Jan Tenbruggencate

The Beauty of the Breadfruit

By Jan TenBruggencate There are a few plants that evoke the tropics, plain and simple. The coconut, of course. And blossoms like the fragrant white Tahitian gardenia. And breadfruit, the `ulu. What a [...]

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Value of Coconut to Polynesians is Hard to Overstate

By Jan TenBruggencate The father of a friend of mine had an interesting quirk: He would not plant anything in his yard unless it was edible. If there was a tree, it was a fruit tree. If there was a [...]

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Happiness Grows on Trees

By Jan TenBruggencate If you plant a fruit tree, you’re committing an act of faith in the future. And when you pick fruit from a mossy-barked old tree, it’s appropriate to thank the good person [...]

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There Are Monk Seals and There Are Monk Seals

By Jan TenBruggencate The Hawaiian monk seal is a mysterious species, a member of a small group of exceedingly rare or extinct seals, and the only one in the Pacific. New genetic research has shown [...]

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Selflessness

By Jan TenBruggencate When we set aside a few days each year to remember some of those who gave service, it ought to remind us of all the others who do the same. I think of the remarkable selflessness [...]

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The Cult of Xylem in Our Neck of the Woods

By Jan TenBruggencate I was drawn back into woodworking on a recent weekend. The smell of fresh-cut camphor, the hard smoothness of lemongum eucalyptus wood, the familiarity of monkeypod — the slab [...]

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History on the Beach

By Jan TenBruggencate History is where you find it, and on Kaua‘i, you don’t need a book. There are beaches all around the island that provide windows into life on Kaua‘i in generations past. I [...]

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Diversity and Uniqueness on the Westside

By Jan TenBruggencate The Westside of Kauaʻi, not easy to pigeonhole. In many ways, it is a place defined by its diversity. The rainfall on the leeward slopes minimal, but West Kauaʻi has always [...]

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Locally Grown

By Jan TenBruggencate Our island’s “Kauaʻi Made” program celebrates the value of things uniquely from the Garden Island, but for a view of how far this theme can go, turn to another Pacific [...]

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Jan TenBruggencate

Mahele: Sustaining Communities Through Small-scale Inshore Fishing

By Jan TenBruggencate We don’t talk about it much, but there is a significant underground economy in the Islands. A barter economy—one that has been here for generations, even centuries. If I have [...]

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