All Kauai Meal

SUBHEAD: Growing and eating Kaua'i ingredients
By Lois Ann Ell on 13 March 2009 in The Garden Island
MOLOA‘A — In the sea of sustainability efforts these days — especially food sustainability — Marie Mauger, owner of Spirit of the Earth Farm in Moloa‘a, is steering in the right direction, and has been for a while.
On its 10th anniversary this month, Spirit of the Earth Farm Foundation has launched “The All Kaua’i Meal” initiative and Web site, an informational and networking service to promote food independence on Kaua‘i.
image above: Marie Mauger at her Spirit of the Earth Farm in Moloa‘a, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo by Juan Wilson
“An ‘All Kaua‘i Meal’ is a meal which is made with in-season, regenerative foods which are grown on Kaua‘i and prepared by you and all cooks and chefs on this island,” Mauger said. “Regenerative foods are ones which will reproduce on Kaua‘i; from seed, cuttings, grafting, root divisions, or other vegetative reproduction.”
Mauger is a biodynamic farmer, who uses the wisdom of the late Rudolph Steiner’s methods to tend the earth. In 1924, Steiner discovered that the nutritional value of food was declining rapidly. Just like any living thing, Steiner proposed that as the earth ages, it needs special care to thrive. He recommended nine preparations — including white oak bark, and common herbs such as chamomile and nettle — to apply to the soil and foliage for optimal growth. This method has transformed Mauger’s Spirit of the Earth farm into an abundance of life continually rising from the soil.
Biodynamic farming is “working with the life in the soil, the plants, all of nature and the cosmos,” Mauger said. “The earth is alive; open the crust of the earth and cultivate it when the planetary influences are just right.”
“I tell anyone who ever comes to help on the farm to please put love into everything you see and touch,” Mauger said. Ten years ago, her farm was 16 acres of bare land that was scraped and grubbed. It was contaminated with years of pesticides and DDT. “Now I have 200 fruit trees, 300 Neem trees, and a large market garden of annual crops, including kale, lettuce, chard, turnips and radishes,” Mauger said.
Mauger sells her produce at the farmer’s markets, local stores and restaurants, and through her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business. She currently has 10 CSA ‘ohanas who have committed to purchasing produce from her farm.
“You develop a direct relationship with the person who grows your food,” Mauger said of the benefits of joining a CSA. “As a member you also have the opportunity to make suggestions on what you want grown, and are assured foods that may be in short supply at the farmer’s markets.”
By joining a CSA, you know where your food comes from and directly support sustainable island agriculture and eat Kaua‘i-grown food, Mauger said. She is currently expanding her CSA network and is taking on more clients.
The “All Kaua‘i Meal” Web site,, has a list of over 280 culinary ingredients that can be grown on Kaua‘i, with different categories, including vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, herbs, beverages and teas, oils, edible flowers and more. The site has a forum to exchange recipes, share gardening tips and information where to get seeds and ingredients on island.
“I encourage every restaurant on island to feature an ‘All Kaua‘i Meal’ on their menu each day,” Mauger said. She also has plans for “All Kaua‘i Meal” cook-offs and potlucks in the future.
For more information on Spirit of the Earth Farm, classes in biodynamic gardening, the CSA or the “All Kaua‘i Meal,” e-mail Mauger at or call 822-7899.
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