This article was produced with support from our friends at Guayaki.

Hawaii is many people’s version of paradise, especially if you’re a surfer. And big-wave surfer Mark Healey, who grew up on the island of Oahu, certainly knows this.

But being so isolated from the mainland means that food prices can be quite exorbitant. Which can make it difficult to live a healthy, affordable lifestyle in Hawaii.

“Eighty-five percent of our food ends up here from boats,” Healey says. “A lot of ills can be helped with sustainable farming. The chapter in my life that I’m going into is finding efficient ways to live the lifestyle I want to, and help [others] at the same time.”

Mark Healey and his dad. Photo: Courtesy of Guayaki

People on the islands have been rediscovering the ancient gardening technique of permaculture, which is developing agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

Essentially, this means farming plants together in one space that work in symbiosis to create a healthy soil that naturally regenerates itself.

The permablitz crew. Photo: Courtesy of Guayaki

This can be a time-consuming process and, for a surfer who travels six months out of the year, a difficult task to accomplish. So Healey tapped into a group who implement permablitzes, which is when a crew of people get together to help transform someone’s yard into a sustainable food source.

It’s an innovative idea, and a practice that could help educate and drive more people toward creating sustainable food systems in the future.

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