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‘We’re calling them food islands’

Ohana Gardens Project Manager Jenny Pell demonstrates how to loosen the roots of a root-bound plant Friday morning during a tree planting project at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Lahaina. Looking on is Mariko Higashi, assistant governor of the Coastal Maui Rotary Club. Friday’s event was the last of a Rotary-sponsored tree planting and gifting initiative that saw more than 3,500 food-bearing trees either put in the ground or given away since November. Pell explained it is important to loosen roots before transplanting so they will spread and grow properly. She said her goal for 2021 is 1,000 new gardens on Maui and 10,000 trees planted. The soil in the already-existing beds at Ka Hale A Ke Ola were turned and amended Friday before a variety of trees and edible plants were planted, including avocado, breadfruit, orange, mint, herbs, ginger, banana and papaya. Pell said blending a variety of plants together is good for the plants and the people who harvest them. “We’re calling them food islands,” she said.

SECOND PHOTO: Rotarians and volunteers prepare beds for planting Friday.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

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