Archive for July, 2014

  • Ohana: Birthdays in Santa Cruz

    This past weekend, the last weekend of July 2014, Nancy and I went to Santa Cruz California to celebrate Nancy and daughter Jessica’s birthdays together… along with extended family and friends. Jessie celebrated a milestone 30 years old, and Nancy made 61 years old. Nancy birthed Jessie at 31 years of age on her own birthday, so they share the same birthday together.

    We stayed with Wende Stitt and her son Ben in their beautiful house on Chestnut Street in downtown Santa Cruz. We shared meals, went for morning walks along the Bay, collected firewood, had BBQs and bonfires in the backyard garden area almost every night.

    We got to go to farmers markets, bringing back amazing organic food to grill and eat, highlighted by grilled home made jalapeno sausages. We also made poke Halibut with organic walnuts ginger, tamari and green and sweet onions, sweet and sour pigs feet with ginger garlic, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar with brown sugar onions and carrots and pineapple. We ate tasty, amazing heirloom tomatoes, basil, cheese and balsamic vinegar salads, toasted sourdough bread.

    Ben, Geoff, Jessie, Nancy, George & Wende

    Ben, Geoff, Jessie, Nancy, George & Wende

    We shared breakfasts at both the Buttery and Gayles gourmet bakeries and a special birthday dinner at Cafe Cruz.

    We even got to swim at the local high school pool.

    Nancy hooked up with old friends and Dancing Cat co-workers Gail and Belinda.

    She also went birthday shopping with Haley Brozeman who was also celebrating her birthday that was just the week before.

    We met up with Ben Churchill (retired from Dancing Cat and now working as a construction dispatcher) and his son Dominic. They joined Haley, Nancy and Wende’s son Ben and we ate breakfast at the Walnut Cafe.

    Nancy also took this opportunity to stalk her son, Geoffrey, working at the US Post Office in downtown Santa Cruz. And we spent time with Jessie’s boyfriend Thomas at his tattoo shop where he also does piercings.

    Interestingly, I met amazing animals on this trip. A squirrel in Wende’s backyard, a possum, got to smell a skunk, saw sea lions and ahd a close encounter with a seagull. Taking this break afforded me the opportunity to people watch and I even got to watch the Santa Cruz recycling trucks in operation.

    Just a weekend yet Nancy and I each gained about 10 pounds eating Wende’s fresh homemade blue berry, peach, nectarine and pineapple pies served with homemade lavender vanilla and sweet corn ice cream.  Yummmm.

    -Uncle George


    UPDATE: More Photos posted at:


  • George Kahumoku Jr. “RENAISSANCE MAN”

    by BY JON WOODHOUSE of On Maui Magazine

    Fueled with more energy than someone half his age, multi-Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musician George Kahumoku Jr. pursues so many varied interests it’s hard to keep up with him. Besides hosting his weekly Masters of Hawaiian Music shows at the Napili Kai Beach Resort, this visionary artist operates a large organic farm in Kahakuloa, marketing Hawaiian herbal teas; he’s in the midst of completing four books; and he’s gearing up for a Mainland tour with Ledward Kaapana and Uncle Richard Ho’opi’i.

    George Kahumoku Jr., Led Kaapana, Richard Ho'opi'i

    Having just finished running a slack key guitar and ukulele music camp, he’s also about to release a new album with Da Ukulele Boyz, followed by a collection of Hawaiian paniolo songs, and he’s helping produce two documentaries on the lives of Hawaiian legends Dennis Kamakahi and Richard Ho‘opi‘i.

    All these projects are linked by his passionate desire to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian values and culture.

    Lately, George is most excited about the expansion of his Hawaiian Masters series. For more than a decade he has helped promote traditional music first at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and then at the Napili Kai Beach Resort, hosting many of our greatest musicians. Beginning in 2006, live recordings of the shows over the years have won four Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Album.


    “We’ve been doing so well on Wednesdays, we’ve started another show on Thursday nights,” George enthuses. “We’ve been going for 10 years, but I thought by now we’d be having shows five days a week, because there are three or four magic shows going seven days a week. Shouldn’t we have that for Hawaiian music?”

    Hailed as a modern Hawaiian renaissance man, besides his illustrious career as a slack key guitar master, George is an avid educator, most recently helping establish the Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

    As for his writing he’s working on a sequel to his delightful A Hawaiian Life compendium, along with a guide to edible plants, a song book, and a cookbook which he has been compiling for 10 years. “Everything from how to dress goats to cooking wild chickens.” he notes.

    Ever since he almost died of cancer at the age of 27, George has been on a mission to fulfill his dreams. “Divine intervention has saved my life so many times,” he says. “I live each day to the fullest, and I hope I can keep passing on aloha and passing on the knowledge. My thing is to teach the spirit of aloha. You’ve got to live aloha, not only talk about it.”

    A graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts, George’s talents also include a gift for ceramics and sculpting. “I’m growing milo and teak,” he says. “I planted the trees about 10 years ago, so they are almost ready to start carving. I’m drawing all the time for the books, and I plan on doing some ceramics and bronze stuff.”

    With so many projects in the works, George stays focused by starting his days mindfully. “I have a red lauhala tree that came from my great grandmother,” he says. “It’s a sacred tree, a tree of forgiveness. Every day at three in the morning I meditate under that tree.”

  • Feeding Orphan Goat Kids

    Hanai (v.) – to adopt, to be close; to nourish, to sustain. There isn’t a singular definition for the hawaiian word hanai. It was common practice for the Hawaiian people in the olden days to give their first born child to their parents to raise as the highest form of love and respect that one could bestow upon their parents. As time went on the practice extended to the community… to nourish and sustain by adoption.

    Recently our prize doe Boer** goat “Ha’ole Girl” got her head stuck in the fence and passed away leaving a set of week-old triplets orphans: a female and two males. We were very distraught not only for losing Haole Girl but also the potential loss of the orphan kids. It is NOT the nature of goats to cross foster other kids who aren’t born to them. I use to cross-foster piglets by rubbing Vicks on their moms noses so the pig sows or moms would take any baby, but goats are another animal.

    The thought of having to mix formula 4-6 times a day and bottle feed the triplets was daunting but we had to try and began our vigil. The two boys came readily to the bottle when called. But the female would not have it, sometimes taking me 45 minutes to catch her and even then she just wouldn’t take the bottle. I also had problems with the formula. The directions said 4 ounces of dry power milk to 12 ounces of water but that gave the kids the scours or runs. Reducing the powdered milk to 2 ounces to the same 12 ounces of water stopped the scours. It was impractical to bottle-feed the triplets with our busy farm and music schedule!

    BoerKids3We had a nannie (lactating female) “Flying Nun“, named after the American sitcom because her ears stick out ever so slightly like airplane wings. Her young kid, named “Hop Along” because of a dislocated hip, couldn’t keep up with her. The Flying Nun would cry and cry for her baby to follow but Hop Along kept getting weaker and weaker. We finally had to separate them and put the kid in the goat condo (our horse corral enclosure) so his nannie mom wouldn’t step on him. Next thing we know the orphan female is sneaking up getting a drink off of Flying Nun!

    Was there a way to get nannie goats to hanai needy kids?  Nancy came up with the brilliant idea of using the milking stand that my hanai nephew, Sam Hambek built, to secure the nannie to let babies feed. No more mixing formula, chasing down kids and no more runs from bottle formula. At first we had to hobble or tie the various nannie hind legs so they wouldn’t kick the triplets off which takes an additional 5-15 minutes to hobble both hind feet together- time that we don’t have!  So we developed a trick where you just hold up one hind leg of the doe being milked and the triplets just go for it. Most goats have only 2 teats so it’s a challenge to keep one triplet off while the other two go for a drink! And not to forget Hop Along as he won’t drink from anyone but his mom, Flying Nun.

    It worked so well we started rotating all of our lactating mommas on the milking stand, including “Dark Eyes“, “Grand Daughter“, “Dark Eyes Daughter“, “House Goat“, and “Cow Girl“. The orphan triplets love it, feeding off of all the lactating does and moms in our herd.  It’s a trip to watch them fight each other to hop up onto the milk stand and milk from any of our lactating does. It’s so successful that their bellies are getting really, really, really, stretched out, even over full! All three are bombucha boozas… big and really heavy!

    Yes we are still learning about goats but looks like we’ve discovered a practical method, that others can use, to get nannie goats to hanai or cross foster orphan kids.  And now our orphan triplets are thriving on our farm.

     -Uncle George 

    ** The Boer goat is a breed of goat that was developed in South Africa in the early 1900s for meat production. Their name is derived from the Afrikaans word “boer”, meaning farmer.