It takes only a few to ruin it for all

At my weekly volunteer gig at the Amy Greenwell Garden nursery, lately I’ve been noticing eggs in random places. And the fridge is full of collected eggs. There has always been chicken drama around the nursery, which is amusing. It’s frequent and funny enough, that this short rooster video got shared amongst us.

The latest real drama at the garden is theft of valuable cultural botanical heritage. I’m going to intentionally be vague here, just because I don’t know who might stumble on this post. There is a plant of which there are several varieties. The garden has many of those varieties, and it isn’t known where else some of those varieties might be found. Period. The plant is significant enough that there is someone who harvested some, with permission, to be able to make something for the King of one of the Pacific Islands who will be in Hawai’i state in a few weeks. Hawai’i state is hosting the Festival of Pacific Art and Culture for the first time in June, in Honolulu.

Someone came to the Greenwell Garden at night and stole some plants, and some tools were left behind. We assume they got startled and made a run for it. I was there the day after, and we immediately went out and made cuttings for cultural preservation. Then, two weeks later, thieves struck again. This is not “just” agricultural theft. It’s culturally significant, valuable, valued, treasured. It hurts. I believe the garden used to just have low stone walls around the garden, and it was about 2015 when a wire fence went up, and locked gates at the road entrances. I had assumed it was to keep pigs out. Now more security and maybe cameras are called for. It saddens everyone that it’s come to this.

By the way the Amy Greenwell Garden website was recently updated. I don’t think it’s completed yet. But the Visit link has some very well done plant descriptions, really highlighting the ethnobotanical significance, and available in audio from various garden kūpuna.

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