Growing interest in Oahu's gardens

Published: Feb. 5, 2009 at 9:32 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2009 at 9:56 PM HST
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Eleanor Yamashita
Eleanor Yamashita
Nathan Wong
Nathan Wong

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With leaner times for many in the islands, hundreds of Oahu residents have found a way to get food without paying for it.

And this is turning into a 'growing' trend.

Eleanor Yamashita spends a lot of time tending to her flowers and plants, she's with them every other day. For her, gardening is a great stress reliever.

"The beauty of the flowers is so nice, relaxing, and I talk to them...'if you don't blossom I am going to cut you down.' And they usually grow," said the Honolulu gardener.

But Eleanor's prized plants aren't around her house, instead they're in a community garden in town. One of ten provided by the city around Oahu.

Gardeners share space with one another as they grow beautiful flowers and small crops of vegetables. They also share their knowledge.

"You learn from one another, you make a mistake and you tell the others 'don't do this or it will not grow'," said Yamashita.

Interest in Oahu's community gardens has grown recently. Because, for many, this has turned into more than a hobby but also a help during these tough financial times.

"With the downturn of the economy, this is one way to provide food for your table and not having to spend so much money," said Nathan Wong, the City's Community Garden Coordinator.

Gardeners agree, there is something special about plants you nurture and grow yourself, you can even taste the difference.

"Its not like store bought, homegrown is so different," said Yamashita.

These community gardens provide more than just fresh food or beautiful flowers but also a chance to get down and dirty doing something they love.

"Just to watch a plant grow you watered, to see it produce something for you, its a good feeling," added Wong.

There are small annual dues and user fees for the garden. And not all of the city's ten sites have plots available.

But if you would like more information on Oahu's community gardens head to and click on the community garden link.

Or call Nathan Wong at 522-7063.