WORM POOP ANYONE?
When I first met Glen Martinez at the IHS Rooftop Aquaponics Garden meeting on Friday, I liked him immediately. He was wearing a funny paper-boy/golfer's cap, offering me chocolate-caramel cookies, and he was constantly being "reigned in" by the meeting's moderator each time he launched into a passionate description of an aspect of their green roof project, his blue eyes twinkling brightly.
Now that we've spent 4 hours touring Olomana Gardens, in Glen's words: "an informal, old-style, Hawaiian, tropical garden that is a model for modern, sustainable agriculture", I like him even more.
Most tourists pass right through Waimanalo in the blink of an eye on their way to Bellows Beach camping Grounds, Makapu'u Beach, or Sea Life Park, and never guess that they are passing through Hawaiian Homestead and agricultural lands.
Glen is only the 4th landowner of record; the parcel under his stewardship is a kuleana lot that has been passed along directly from the Hawaiian Royal Throne. The property is nestled in the back of Waimanalo Valley, so close to the foot of the Ko'olau mountain range that the sun was disappearing behind the towering peaks as I drove up at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
Fed by the Waikupanaha spring, the valley used to be filled with