Faith Can Move Mountains.
Outgrow Monsanto #PlantTheSolution was one of the most beautiful, divinely guided days of my life. With just a week before the worldwide March Against Monsanto, Autumn Rae Ness who has now joined me to co-direct GMO Free Maui and I decided to create this event with James Simpliciano of Simpli-Fresh Farms and Farmer's Market and Alika Atay. The goal was to plant 2 acres of food with the possibility that Neil Young might join us, as he has a new album being released called #TheMonsantoYears.
It was a very intense week pulling this together. We had a lot of positive support along the way. The day before the event brought many concerns as to how logistically this event would unfold. It really couldn't have been more perfect! The day of, many people arrived very early in the morning and started helping immediately to set up pop-up tents and registration. The soil and plants were all ready.
Merv Oana generously helped us with sound, Bruce Douglas lent us his stage and anything else I had asked for. A friend lent me his truck to transport the stage and there were huge tropical flowers that Jade and Tulsi harvested making our stage so beautiful. I designed the flyer and banner, Deb was able to get it printed in just a day's time. Autumn and Lauryn made signage. Many more dear ones volunteered many hours to set our earthen banner to Plant the Solution.
We so wanted to tell the masses Neil Young & the Nelson brothers band might be there but were requested not to as it was only a possibility and were told that the likelihood of Neil actually playing very low. Regardless, I wanted to make sure if they showed that we would have a lovely stage and sound system for them to play on.
It was incredible to witness over 200 people throughout the day passing stones, planting sweet potatoes, kalo, banana and more! Ryan with Coconut Information brought 100 coconut sprouts that were planted around the perimeter! People of all ages were present, smiling, working together with such joy!
Multicopter Maui arrived to generously take aerial drone photos. We all formed a circles with our hearts and hands to the sky, shouting Outgrow Monsanto! Way up in the sky, above the drone a majestic 'Iwa bird circled our circle.
We were blessed with clouds in the morning. Around noon the sun was growing stronger, people were eating local potluck grinds and I wondered if Neil was going to show up and if he did, would people still be around? I sent a text out and got a 'yes.' I encouraged people to stay and sure enough Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, and Darryl Hannah arrived ready to get their hands in the dirt. After some instruction, they started planting sweet potatoes! I took them up to the stage, they looked at each other with glimmers in their eyes and immediately wanted to play! They hadn't brought any instruments so we rounded them up a couple of guitars and we miraculously got a preview of one of their new songs. It was the chocolate nibs on the coconut creme:)
They started to leave and I ran down to see if they would plant an ulu tree as I knew Kimo, our farmer host had sincerely requested. Neil and crew walked back up in front of the stage and planted the ulu tree right at the bottom tip of the stone heart altar Tulsi and I had created early in the morning. I see visions of this tree growing big, dripping with breadfruit amongst a coconut grove.
I thank Ke Akua and everyone that helped make this all possible. It had been a dream for a long time and came to be more beautiful than ever imagined. Maui community we have been shown the way! TOGETHER WE GOT THIS! Let this movement spread across the world! See you at the next Outgrow Monsanto in the near future!
Courtney Bruch, GMO Free Maui co-director
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