Kaua‘i Community College’s aquaponics program reached a milestone — since 2013, the program has sold more than $25,000 of produce and honey cultivated in its aquaponics and apiary facilities at the Kauaʻi Community Market, according to a news release by the University of Hawai‘i this week.
Ueli Muller, manager of KCC’s aquaponics program reported that over the years KCC’s aquaponics facility has successfully grown and sold 10 different kinds of lettuces, including butter head, types of romaine, summer crisp varieties and oak leaf; mizuna; mint; watercress; arugula; cilantro; napa cabbage; red cabbage; varieties of beets; fennel; varieties of basil; and tatsoi. The honey, coming straight from the college’s beehives, varies richly in hues and flavors.
“Thanks to all my team members and volunteers who have assisted me over the years and put in so much work and dedication to the cause,” Muller said in the release.
Every week KCC staff can be seen at the market busily making sales and teaching customers about where and how the items are grown. The income from sales is used to purchase supplies for the aquaponics and apiary programs.
“I commend Muller, his staff and members of the apiary program for their diligent efforts, which have brought us to this impressive level,“ KCC Chancellor Helen Cox said. “We are proud of our programs and weekly presence at the Kauaʻi Community Market,” she said.
Aquaponics and apiary classes will continue to be held through KCC’s Office of Continuing Education and Training.
“Backyard farming has indeed a place in agriculture sustainability,” OCET Director Calvin Shirai said.
KCC, Cox said, promotes a sustainable lifestyle, where growing your own food is a way of life.
“We support agriculture as a viable industry for Kauaʻi and members of the community who love to garden and want to grow their own food,” Cox said.
The Kauaʻi Community Market, held every Saturday in the campus’ front parking lot from 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m., was voted Best Farmer’s Market every year since 2012. Frequented by visitors from other islands, states and countries, with residents of all ages and from all parts of the island, it has become a gathering place where healthy, freshly produced food is abundant and ready to take home and enjoy.