Introducing the Canoe Plant Collective
The collapse of Hawaii's tourism economy was not without warning. Over-burdening one aspect of a over-dependent island economy is bound to burn out at some point and the farming community was voicing this issue for decades.
It takes grass-roots organizing to pivot quickly when disaster strikes and with the support of a community with island values, Hawaii has all the ingredients for a positive solution to this pandemic.
The Aloha Connects Innovation (ACI) is a new initiative led by the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii (EDAH) to nurture and grow knowledge-based work opportunities in Hawaii and fuel our emerging industries and innovation sectors.
Voyaging Foods is participating as a Host Company as part of the solution in supporting meaningful employment provided by this statewide program.
We work in emerging industries within the Aloha+ Challenge sectors such as conservation, agriculture and entrepreneurship. The Aloha+ Challenge is a statewide commitment to achieve Hawai‘i’s sustainability goals, and locally driven framework to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
We contribute to greater local opportunities for Hawaii’s kamaʻaina economy to build more regenerative enterprises which is ultimately needed for the short-term survivability and the long-term prosperity of Hawaii.
We are collaborating with other like-minded companies supporting healthy eco-cultural systems and individuals to build the Hawaii we want to live in.
Voyaging Foods is excited to partner with 'Ulu and Kalo Bakery to bring about a Regenerative Enterprise called Canoe Plant Collective that values people, culture and place in the belief that all prosperity follows this model. Follow along @thecanoeplantcollective on Instagram.
"We dream of a Hawaii where our economic measurement is not our belongings but how we use and share what we have to inspire belonging and lives lived well."
Our Mission: The mission of the Canoe Plant Collective is to bring like-minded businesses and individuals together to increase Hawaiʻiʻs food sovereignty through producing value-added products with canoe plants.
Project: Weaving like minded people with food sovereignty to forward Hawaii into interdependence.
Here's the Team:
"After the birth of her son, Brynn Foster, created an allergy-free teething biscuit using home-made taro powder from Hawaiian taro root as a healthier alternative to the overly sweet and fiber-empty gluten-free snack foods on the market.
'Our Native Hawaiian ancestors fed poi (cooked & pureed taro root) to their babies as the first food. Continuing that connection to this healthy root, I started preserving it in the form of a flour for our allergy-free meals.
I couldn't find a healthy teething biscuit for my toddler so I decided to make my own. When my mom started sneaking my toddler's snacks, I knew I had to create healthier snack options and access for everyone, not just family.'
What began as one mother’s attempt to supply her children with nutritious gluten-free meals has evolved into the artisan milling company to support both the economic and health stability for her island community that is now Voyaging Foods. Voyaging Food produces flours from canoe plants such Hawaiian-grown breadfruit, taro and sweet potato as a beneficial fiber, natural gum and thickener for use in baked goods, dry mixes, soups, stews, smoothies, or oatmeal.
Voyaging Foods merges Brynn’s culinary interests with her Hawaiian ancestry.
'When I started to eat more taro, make more taro powder, plant my own taro-I reconnected with my memory as a seven-year-old eating my first poi cookie that my great-grandmother gave me. I believe my great-grandmother planted a "seed" through that purple-colored treat and connected me to my culture that is now the basis for all I do.'
Founder of 'Ulu and Kalo Bakery: "Several years ago, I began the journey of health. I decided to get physically fit, but little did I know that diet is equally or even more important. Upon realizing the importance of food, I began a lifestyle switch. As a result, I had more energy, clearer skin, and achieved better grades. It was amazing! I knew my next step after graduating from the University of Portland was to attend culinary school at Kapiolani Community College. After KCC, I gained experience at Kokua Market, The Nook, Fete, Fresh Box, and Eugene's in Bronte, NSW, Australia.
Throughout the years and these experiences, I developed an understanding and deep love for Hawaiian canoe crops. They connect me to Hawaiian culture and are so nutritious. I knew there had to be a way to bake with ʻulu and kalo while keeping it healthy and delicious. Several years after my journey began, I am so excited to be able to share with you now, my baked goods that integrate ʻulu and kalo with health-focused dietary lifestyles."