Ms. Honma Speaks on Caring for the ‘Aina

Ms. Honma Speaks on Caring for the Aina

In this month’s Dragon Post we decided to focus on the earth in honor of Earth Day. Ms. Honma is an advocate for the environment and the steward of our school farm.  She takes her students down to the garden and teaches them how to Malama the ‘Aina and how we can survive off of what we plant. She is an amazing influence on her students, shares important knowledge, and shows great respect for the land and how it ties into our culture. We decided she would be a good candidate to interview about sustainability. 

DP: What does sustainability mean to Hawai’i? 

Ms. Honma: Sustainability for Hawaiʻi would mean that we are independent of needing anything from anyone outside of Hawaiʻi to survive.  That Hawaiʻi would have enough resources to support our communities.

DP: How does the garden teach kids to be sustainable?

Ms. Honma: We teach our students to take care of our ʻaina because the ʻaina will take care of us.  It teaches us to respect not only ourselves, but also who we represent – where we come from, our kupuna, our community, and to be aware of our intentions, behavior, attitudes, because of how we carry ourselves and the energy that we bring goes into what we are growing or taking care of and that in turn goes into who we feed.  The animals also teach us how to be ʻoluʻolu – gentle and kind but also firm and strong.  They depend on us to help take care of them and they in turn will feed us, just like all of the plants that we are growing.  We are also learning how plants and animals work together so we donʻt have to buy so much feed and fertilizer – regenerative and sustainable.

DP: What does sustainability mean to you?

Ms. Honma: Sustainability to me is being able to survive and live in a way that we are taking care of our community without having to buy processed food from the store.  We would be able to survive on what we raise – plants and animals – and it’s regenerative – an ongoing cycle.  We would be able to feed our community like our ancestors did – sharing our food so no one in our community goes hungry.  The goal is to have our students want to be independent, responsible, respectful, and able to perpetuate our culture.