The Healing Garden

By Sarah Herring

At times like these, spending time in the garden can be so healing.  With more time closer to home, why not invest in a hobby that will offer a lifetime of rewards and health benefits for your family and your island community.  Growing your own food means access to more nutritious food, closer to home, with no concerns over whether the supply chain will meet the demand.  You may even find it to be quite therapeutic (and delicious). 

Try mess with a good thing?  Mother Nature knows her craft and has all the wisdom to support luscious gardens that give us so many health benefits.  If you go back to basics, you will find that soil, minerals, worms and compost can combine in a way that activates soil for optimal plant health and nutritional value. 

Activating the microbes in our soil is crucial to plant health.  Just like our coral reefs are important in providing structure for ‘good bacteria’ to grow – keeping our reef ecosystems strong against stressors such as changes in the environment, the soil that we base our gardens ecosystems on is just as important.  When you add things like ‘compost tea’ and effective micronutrients, you are kickstarting a process that maximizes mineral absorption and builds the immune system of the plants and the people eating them.

We can help you take the guess-work out of building your soil here at Garden Ponds in Kilauea.  Our house special ‘Buddha Blend’ offers up a unique mixture of blended minerals, worm castings, and other amendments that are tailored to kick-start Kaua’i soil for optimal plant health.  Take advantage of our free compost to get you growing — 5 gallons to each household on Kaua’i and tell your friends and neighbors to do the same. Don’t forget to bring your own bucket!

You can also find a growing list of garden amendments as we join Kaua’i’s movement towards planting and tending our own food systems.  Check out our weekly supply of garden starts coming in from two co-op nurseries that include things like longevity spinach, nioi peppers, celery, tatsoi, gai choy, amaranth, Okinawa spinach, cucumber, collards, lettuces, kales, pidgin peas, chard, squashes, pole beans, holy basil, snow peas, katuk, onions, eggplant, tomato, bok choi, sunflowers, basil, cilantro, parsley, tarragon and poha berry. We are open to suggestions as to what would be beneficial to you in your gardens! These starts range from $1.50-$3.00 each and we have experts available to help you with garden consultations, or building garden beds.  Whatever the need, we can help you embark on this journey.

Stay tuned for the availability of our very own aerated blends of compost and worm teas as we continue to explore the best combinations of activating your soil, and giving you a recipe for success in the garden. Lets grow, Kaua’i!

Garden Ponds by Kaua’i Mini Golf in Kilauea is open Wednesday to Sunday 12-5pm. Ph: 808-828-6400 or visit for more information.

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