Australian farmer ‘clears the air’ on pesticides in Waimea: Free talks scheduled Thursday and Friday

WAIMEA — In an effort to help residents understand how to protect Hawaii’s fragile ecosystem for future generations, internationally recognized expert, author and organic farmer André Leu will conduct two free community events in Waimea this week to spread the word about the science behind pesticides, GMO and organics.

The first event will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in Kanu o ka Aina’s Olu Olu room. There, Leu will share a 45-minute slide show presentation on conventional and progressive farming techniques, followed by a Q&A session. The event is free in hopes of raising awareness and helping the public get their most pressing questions answered. Space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended although not required.

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From 8 to 9 a.m. Friday morning, Leu will lead a breakfast talk story in Kamuela Inn’s Tea Garden on Kawaihae Road, including continental breakfast. Pre-registration is required for this meeting, as space is strictly limited to 12 guests.

To register for either event, go to http://nutritionheretic.eventbrite.com.

“Instead of chemical science we’re using ecological science,” explained Leu. “We’re working with nature, and we’re building better systems, healthier farming systems and healthier communities. We replace chemicals on our farms with people. We employ people in our communities. We bring people back into our communities. We are the real success story in agriculture in the world at the moment.”

Leu, who runs a regenerative organic agroecological orchard with his wife, Julia, in Queensland, Australia, has extensive knowledge of farming and environmental systems on six continents from over 40 years of visiting and working in over 100 countries.

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He is currently president of IFOAM–Organics International, the world umbrella body for the organic sector, which has roughly 800 member organizations in 120 countries, and is a founding member of Regeneration International. His audiences around the world include The United Nations, governments, industry, farmers, consumers and NGOs.

Leu is also the author of the award-winning book, “The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” and the newly released “Poisoning Our Children: A Parent’s Guide to The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” which will be available for sale and signing at the events.