April 2016  Vol 47   
Same Canoe Newsletter    Hawaii, California & Washington

             Happiness as a Quality of Life Indicator . Building Community Food Orchards
Learn to Ferment your Foods and Create Soils for your Garden . Thoreau and Goodall  


One Island News
Build a Community Food Orchard
One Island and Same Canoe have launched a Community Food Orchard project. Our goal is to help foster the planting of 500 fruit and nut trees that provide food to local families. Sites can be in South Kona, Ka'u, North Kona and North Kohala.

One Island will purchase and donate 250 trees and invites community members to donate $35 per tree as a match to help us reach the 500 tree goal. Planting sites are local schools, libraries, non-profits, senior residences, food banks and teaching farms. Planting dates will be announced and the community is welcome to donate trees, come plant trees, and provide amendments to help the food producing trees flourish.

towards the Community Food Orchard matching fund. 
You will receive a confirmation about the type of tree and location where it will be planted, and an invitation to attend the planting day.

If you would like to donate a potted tree of your own, or organic soil amendments, please email    [email protected]

100% of donations are invested in trees! 

Upcoming Recommended Events
April and May
dates to be announced
Soil to Soul - Fermenting for Health and Wellbeing with Donna Maltz

Happy Microbes in your Garden -
Worms and Vermicastings using biochar bokashi with Brooks Thomas

Help create Community Food Orchards and learn Korean Natural Farming to increase tree health and fruit production

Symphony of the Soil, Film Showings

In Search of Balance, Film Showings

In Defense of Food, Film Showings
United Nations World Happiness Report Results
Top Twenty

On a scale of 1 to 10, the top twenty  nations ranked based on six Happiness indicators for 2016 are only .65 points apart, so it's a tight race between the top twenty. A fair question to ask is
why is the highest any nation ranked still below an 8?
1. Denmark (7.526) 
2. Switzerland (7.509) 
3. Iceland (7.501) 
4. Norway (7.498) 
5. Finland (7.413) 
6. Canada (7.404) 
7. Netherlands (7.339) 
8. New Zealand (7.334) 
9. Australia (7.313) 
10. Sweden (7.291) 
11. Israel (7.267) 
12. Austria (7.119) 
13. United States (7.104) 
14. Costa Rica (7.087) 
15. Puerto Rico (7.039) 
16. Germany (6.994) 
17. Brazil (6.952) 
18. Belgium (6.929) 
19. Ireland (6.907) 
20. Luxembourg (6.871) 
See the World Happiness Report online

Earthy Anti-Depressant? 
We're Down with 
the Dirt!
The recent Good Medicine 'Microbiome' talk with Stacey Shepard and Donna Maltz at the Kohala Library kept coming back to happy bacteria in our soil and in our bodies. Maybe not eating mud pies, but by ingesting these happiness helpers through our fermented foods, guided supplements, or maybe (per a recent NPR interview) a little less rigorous washing of a carrot?

 Medical researchers in the U.K. have found evidence that "friendly" bacteria found in soil may activate the immune system, boost the brain compound serotonin and help ward off depression.


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Good Medicine at
Lokahi Garden Sanctuary

As the finale for the 2015-2016 
Same Canoe Local Food Challenge pilot project in March, One Island convened a multi-faceted on-farm and culinary learning experience hosted by Lokahi Garden Sanctuary with a delicious farm-to-table meal prepared by Chef Stephen Rouelle of Under the Bodhi Tree. The tour highlighted an exceptional and diverse botanical collection and, using ingredients from the Lokahi farm, the concluding three course meal highlighted the Best of Kohala.
The following are comments from participants about the event
"On Sunday, March 6th, Same Canoe and Dr. Richard Liebmann and Natalie Young, founders of Lokahi Garden Sanctuary, sponsored and hosted a farm tour and medicinal & food plant talk story on the beautiful grounds of Lokahi Garden.  Beginning with a Hawaiian pule, thirty guests, farm stewards, the chef and farmers enjoyed strolling the bountiful orchards and educational and nutritional discussions under clear blue North Kohala skies.  Richard and Natalie shared growing tips and allowed us to take some seeds and cuttings home for our own gardens."

"What a splendid day!"

"We enjoyed sharing a group garden tour of beautiful Lokahi Garden Sanctuary and a wonderful lunch mostly sourced from the garden. Our hosts Richard and Natalie started with overgrown sugarcane land 15 years previously and showed how working hand in hand with nature and caring for the earth can create incredibly rich and diverse food and medicine forests, rich gardening areas and an abundance of native foliage along with a distinct feeling of peace, harmony and unity.
"It was a beautiful way to spend a lovely Sunday with friends!  Mahalo to all for a very successful event!"
"To top off this amazing tour we were then served a bountiful lunch made by Chef Stephen Rouelle (Under the Bodhi Tree restaurant) including many items found on the land and in the garden. Before lunch we were blessed with a wonderful poem by John O'Donohue about the love farmers put into the earth. Then we were treated to a delicious lunch by Chef Stephen which included fresh asparagus, salad greens with avocado, ruby grapefruit and a turmeric and citrus dressing, grilled eggplant and asparagus over glazed island-made organic tofu on a bed of bok choy with house made kim chee, all infused with herbs from the garden.
"During lunch, Chef Stephen was asked to share his amazing story of transformation from major weight problems and history of family health problems. He had been living a high stress life while being head Chef at a local resort and decided to make a major change in his diet, outlook on life, and employment. He made a change to a plant based diet and experienced significant weight loss, reversed the path to life threatening illnesses, and opened his own amazing vegan, vegetarian and raw restaurant. It was also inspiring to hear Chef's dedication to sourcing a majority of the food he serves from organic farmers he knows and has visited and worked hand in hand with on their farms. He humbly describes his culinary work as being in partnership with the farmers and the abundant potential of Hawaii grown foods."

Mahalo to Richard,Natalie and Chef Stephen for an unforgettable day!

How do you measure 
Quality of Life? 

Sustainability planners and activists often focus on the material indicators of an improved quality of life - affordable housing, local jobs, low rate of crime, quality of education, a strong local agricultural community, access to health care, clean air and easy access to the natural environment are examples.

How do we factor in the intangibility of Happiness as an indicator of a
life well lived?
Global View: United Nation Sponsored
World Happiness Report 2016

There is an international effort to measure happiness as an indicator of national and personal well-being. Each year the United Nations supports a report on happiness indicators around the world. All part of the sustainability quest from a global view.

As with the previous reports that began in 2012, the 2016 edition relied on how people evaluate their lives on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. The rankings, which are based on surveys in 156 countries during 2013 to 2015, show an average score of 5.1 (out of 10).

The six key variables used to determine the rankings are:
  • GDP per capita
  • Healthy life expectancy
  • Having someone to count on
  • Perceived freedom to make life choices
  • Freedom from corruption
  • Generosity

"Measuring self-reported happiness and achieving well-being should be on every nation's agenda as they begin to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, a report co-author.

"Indeed the Goals themselves embody the very idea that human well-being should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives. Rather than taking a narrow approach focused solely on economic growth, we should promote societies that are prosperous, just, and environmentally sustainable."

See Report results to left and link to the Report

A Natural Source of
Personal Happiness


Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the forest or dipped a toe in a lake likely knows this, but nature is a happy-maker. With its fresh air and soothing appeal to all the senses, it is a sly mesmerist who can erase stress and instill well-being in a manner of minutes.

Maybe you've gathered this on your own, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get it. But if you've felt these salubrious effects, you are not alone. In fact, there is loads of research revealing that nature has profound effects on our mental states. Here are just a few of the studies confirming that nature makes us happy!

Take a "forest bath" 
The Japanese have a custom of taking a break for a walk in the woods. Called Shinrin-yoku - or forest bathing - the practice is proven to have a positive effect on health. One study on forest bathing revealed that forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do urban climes. Scientists think that the good stuff partly comes from breathing phytoncide (wood essential oils) like α-pinene and limonene, which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds emitted from trees.Trees are social beings and now we know they also make us happy.

Take a five-minute nature break

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that just a few minutes of nature could improve self-esteem, which has a strong correlation with wellbeing. The researchers analysed data from 10 separate studies and looked at nature activities such as walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming . The largest positive effect on self-esteem came from a five-minute dose, they concluded. "For the first time in the scientific literature, we have been able to show dose-response relationships for the positive effects of nature on human mental health," said University of Essex researcher Jules Pretty.
Read more on Ecotherapy 

Take a walk in a park

Researchers in Scotland used portable EEGs to monitor the brain activity of study participants who strolled through different urban environments in Edinburgh. When they walked through the busy urban areas, their brain wave patterns consistently showed that they were more aroused and frustrated than when they walked through the parkland, where brain-wave readings became more meditative, notes the New York Times.
  • 71 per cent reported decreased levels of depression after the green walk
  • 22 per cent felt their depression increased after walking through an indoor shopping center and only 45 per cent experienced a decrease in depression
  • 71 per cent said they felt less tense after the green walk
  • 50 per cent said their feelings of tension had increased after the shopping center walk
  • 90 per cent had increased self-esteem after the country walk
  • 44 per cent said their self-esteem decreased after window shopping in the shopping center.
Smell some flowers

Most of us have a positive response to the smell of pleasant flowers - and because of that, a lot of research has been conducted on how floral scents can influence behaviors. In one set of experiments, scientists discovered that a floral-scented room led to a boost in happiness and friendliness. One researcher noted that the floral smell is an emotion manipulator and improves the mood. "The floral odors can make you happy; floral odors promote social interaction, social approach kinds of behaviors," said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, of Rutgers University.

Article is excerpted from a piece by Melissa Breyer with references to The New York Times, Reuters, Tree Hugger and Outside   

Green is a Verb. Smell it!

Jane Goodall on Forests

In celebration of the U.N. International Day of Forests on March 21st, Jane Goodall began publishing a blog on her forest experiences. You can read the beginning of her forest story series here.

"Deep in the forest I love to lie on my back and gaze up at the canopy where little specks of captured sky twinkle like stars as the wind stirs the branches and leaves overhead. All around are the voices of the forest - the soft rustling of small creatures going about their business, the buzzing and whirring of insect flight, the shrilling of the cicadas, the calls of birds, the distant bark of a male baboon ..."
North Kohala Food, Health and Wellness -
Happiness right here at home 
click image for easy community input form

Community input is invited to gather Kohala's top concerns and suggestions for food and health solutions that will be presented to community leaders and policy makers. Examples are: opening Pratt Road as a walking path, joining local CSA to increase support for local farms, connecting families with diabetes to nutrition information and fresh foods.

How do we increase the quality life in our own communities?
Thoreau on Nature

"I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil,- to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of nature, rather than a member of society."

"Life consists with Wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued by man, its preserve refreshes him"

"I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows. We require an infusion of hemlock-spruce or arbor-vitae in our tea."

"I do not know of any poetry to quote which adequately expresses this yearning for the Wild. Approached from this side, the best poetry is tame."

"He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, transplanted (words) to his page, with earth adhering to their roots, whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the birds at the approach of spring."

excerpted from Walking, by Henry David Thoreau, 1851
Happy Spring 2016

Plant a Fruit or Nut Tree!

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living."

David Attenborough