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Transforming Hawaii's invasive plant species from liabilities into assets. Gourmet wild food truck, mobile education center and app.
Transforming Hawaii's invasive plant species from liabilities into assets. Gourmet wild food truck, mobile education center and app.
192 backers pledged $30,882 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Spreading like wildfire across the Hawaiian Islands, invasive plants have taken over some of the most fragile and unique ecosystems on the planet. Hawai'i is on the front lines of species extinction, with 87% of native endemic plants directly threatened by these invasive superweeds that have no checks and balances. What is the solution to this problem that seems to be eating away at the future of biodiversity, of life itself? A little known fact :: many of these invasives are edible. It is time to eat the invasives! 

After 20 years of foraging, I have never felt more inspired to share about wild foods than now. It is a true act of freedom to know how to feed yourself, and people can free up from worry of overharvesting when the focus is on invasives. By introducing people to these new tastes at the Savage Kitchen food truck, organizing a community of volunteers on the front lines of invasive species removal, and demystifying their identification through an educational mobile app, we are tripling up efforts on creatively using them without spreading them further. Good for us, good for the planet.

Our bodies are designed to receive information about the environment from the foods we eat. Wild invasive plant species are adapting to climate change and pathogens successfully, and inform and activate our own DNA with new information. This portal into a new way of being that is dynamic rather than static, has the power to transform our ecosystems and ourselves rapidly. 

This project needs $30,000 to cover the cost of the food truck and for development and implementation of the mobile app. Any monies raised above that amount will be used to increase the functionality of the mobile app, as powerful streamlined technology invigorates learning. Despite their value, wild foods have been excluded from official statistics on economic values of natural resources and their current use is limited relative to their economic potential. I believe that this project is reproducible around the globe, and hope that it also sparks small cottage industries in the food industry. After establishing these efforts on Maui, I could see taking this model to help communities identify and utilize the top edible invasive species in their bioregions. dreams. for now the food truck and app would be awesome! 

Savage Kitchen Budget
Savage Kitchen Budget

 

In addition to wildcrafted foods, Savage Kitchen is dedicated to serving only local and organic foods.
In addition to wildcrafted foods, Savage Kitchen is dedicated to serving only local and organic foods.

SIGN UP for the Savage Kitchen newsletter to find out about our community foraging events, along with updates and promotions :: https://savagekitchenmaui.com/ 

Any sharing on social media would be greatly appreciated, as beyond money to fund this project, I believe that this project can inspire others to utilize the invasive edible plant species in their areas as well. Mahalo nui loa! 

LIKE us on Facebook ::      Savage Kitchen Maui                     https://www.facebook.com/Savage-Kitchen-Maui-439651693042390/?ref=br_tf

FOLLOW us on Instagram ::    @SavageKitchenMaui https://www.instagram.com/savagekitchenmaui/

Volunteers Processing Wild Foods
Volunteers Processing Wild Foods

*opening statements about 87% of Hawaiian endemic species threatened comes from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which held their World Conservation Congress in Hawai'i this past September. I attended nearly all of the invasive species sessions at this event, which had over 10,000 participants from around the globe, and although invasives are on the radar of governments and non-governmental organizations there is a large gap in getting invasive species information to the general public...this project fills that gap! https://www.iucn.org/news/four-out-six-great-apes-one-step-away-extinction-%E2%80%93-iucn-red-list  

**calling Hawai'i the "Endangered Species Capital of the World" is a mixed bag, as there are several biological hotspots around the globe facing dire ecological crisis if the challenges are not met with fast-acting responses. However, there is no doubt this title, albeit exclusionary of other places, is fitting for the islands' small land mass and rapid pace of extinctions. http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/rare-plants/

Risks and challenges

I'm not yet in possession of the Savage Kitchen food truck (the current owner graciously borrowed it to me for the video!), but do hold the title. Until it is in my possession there is the risk that it could be damaged in some way. If that happens, then the project timeline would be extended as a new food wagon is located.

Finding app developers who can complete projects in a timely manner seems to be challenging, but I have set the delivery date of the app to October in hopes that provides sufficient time. If not, this deliverable may be delayed, but not stopped!

There have been significant barriers to working with edible invasive plants, like limited access to natural resources, legal restrictions, and permitting issues. In addition, the messaging from agencies has been inconsistent, and lacking in definition and enforcement. For example, haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala) is on the IUCN's List of 100 Worst Invasive Species on the Planet, as well as Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) list of invasives, but is not on the US Department of Agriculture's Hawai'i Noxious Weed List.

Anytime someone tries a new food there is a risk that that person would develop a previously unknown allergy. Savage Kitchen will have an epipen on site, along with full disclosure of all ingredients (including scientific/botanical nomenclature). Savage Kitchen will carry necessary insurance protections, but it is also dependent upon a community of caring people who take responsibility for their health and any preexisting condition which would prevent them from trying unknown foods.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Wild Amaranth

    Spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus) is a global invader of tropical and sub-tropical areas, and is extending its reach into temperate climates due to climate change and increased disturbances of native habitats. Teaching us to give our thorny plants some space so they can mend depleted soils, this invasive species provides a plentiful supply of nutritious greens and medicinal uses. Put the 'One Wild Food Every Day' sticker somewhere prominent in your life, and then follow its advice!

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    Rubus

    Rubus are brambles, different species of raspberry's that take over and make impenetrable thickets. Birds and wild boar spread the seeds far and wide, wreaking havoc on our delicate ecosystems. Learn about using their leaves for tea and berries in the 'Wild Food Plants of Hawaii' eBook by Sunny Savage. This will be delivered to you as a PDF.

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    Strawberry Guava

    Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleyanum) are one of the most delicious fruits in Hawai'i, along with being one of the most destructive to our native forests. Learn identification, recipe ideas, best management practices and more through the Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app and the Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i eBook.

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    • Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i eBook
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Haole Koa

    Haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala) is in the top 100 most invasive species on the planet. Do your part to help stop its spread, by eating its protein and beta-carotene rich seeds. Learn more about this plant when you receive your autographed copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i by Sunny Savage, as well as the Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app.

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    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Wild Ginger

    Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) is in the top 100 most invasive species on the planet. Responsible for directly threatening endangered species in our high elevation forests, this aromatic and medicinal plant is in the top 100 most invasive on the planet. We also use two other Hedychium spp. which clog up waterways from mauka to makai. If we want the streams to flow again, we must clear the way of this invasive species. Your donation equips you with creative ideas on incorporating wild ginger into your diet, your medicine chest, and the information you need to make sure it doesn't spread further.

    Includes:
    • Autographed Copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i
    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
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    Banana Poka

    Your generous donation gives this project some traction. You'll receive a one-of-a-kind tank top or shawl made from eucalyptus fabric (invasive in Hawai'i), dyed with African tulip flowers (invasive in Hawai'i) and eucalyptus leaves, and treated with a blend of aloe vera/honey/medicinalplants. Your custom medicinal clothing also comes with African tulip flower essence, which helps assist in releasing fear and lack of peace. The invasive passionflower Banana Poka (Passiflora tarminiana) smothers out endemic and native species in upper elevation forests. With beautiful pink flowers and delicious long fruits, picking these and disposing of the seeds properly, helps to ensure that Hawaii's unique flora and fauna, found nowhere else on earth, will continue their living legacy.

    Includes:
    • Custom Medicinal Clothing from Savage Designs
    • Autographed Copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i
    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
    • One Wild Food Every Day Sticker
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Conifer

    Enjoy a private wild food consultation with Sunny Savage, either in person or invite your family and friends. Committed to providing you five hours of high quality information about wild foods found where you live, or relevant in other meaningful ways. We'll cover identification, nutrition and medicinal information, cooking tips and recipe ideas, and can talk story about whatever you like. You'll also receive an autographed copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i, the Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app, and One Wild Food Every Day sticker to empower you. Conifers resonate strength, a strength that has become unchecked on our mountain tops. We are gifted with the knowledge that their needles, their pollen, their seeds when large enough, and resin can be used for food and medicine.

    Includes:
    • 5 hours of Wild Food Consultation
    • Autographed Copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i
    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
    • One Wild Food Every Day Sticker
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Kiawe

    Named after one of the most delicious wild foods in Hawai'i, and one which has oftentimes been labeled as invasive. Kiawe (Prosopis pallida) is a superfood whose galactomanin gums are not only diabetic-friendly, but also provide protection and prevention against getting non-insulin dependent diabetes. This level of support would be truly wild, enabling a community on the front lines of invasive species destruction to physically activate and educate on solutions that are not only healthy for plant, but healthy for people too. Calling all angels!

    Includes:
    • Custom Medicinal Clothing from Savage Designs
    • 5 hours of Wild Food Consultation
    • Autographed Copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i
    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
    • One Wild Food Every Day Sticker
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    Kiawe Gold

    Wild Curiosities Party! Flying to you anywhere in the world, Sunny Savage will show up at your doorstep for two days of wild food prep and feasting and education. Invite your friends and family for a unique experience tailored to your wild food and natural dyeing curiosities. Named after one of the most delicious wild foods in Hawai'i, and one which has oftentimes been labeled as invasive. Kiawe (Prosopis pallida) is a superfood whose galactomanin gums are not only diabetic-friendly, but also provide protection and prevention against getting non-insulin dependent diabetes. The Kiawe Gold funding would be miraculous, just like the tree. Calling all angels!

    Includes:
    • Autographed Copy of Wild Food Plants of Hawai'i
    • Savage Kitchen Maui mobile app
    • 10× One Wild Food Every Day Sticker
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Funding period

- (30 days)