In 2008, the residents of North Kohala stated a strong desire in its Community Development Plan to "Keep Kohala, Kohala." As a historically agricultural community, part of "Keep Kohala, Kohala," is to develop a community life rooted in sharing and bartering from individual homesteads that grow food and animals, as well as gathering from the communal mountains, gulches and ocean.
Most of the land in Kohala is agriculturally zoned. The sentiment of Kohala residents is generally that they would like to see agricultural land used for agriculture, not luxury subdivisions and/or "gentlemen estates."
In service of this sentiment, the community has a strategy to promote and support a community of diversified agriculture and the goal to "produce 50% of the food it consumes."
We are feeling extra productive and on top of our chores these days and the reason is that we have HELP! For the last month we have had our first real experience with WWOOF, that is, Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (also known as Willing Workers on Organic Farms).
Wedged between the road from Honoka'a to Waipio Valley in front, and the Hamakua Ditch in back, Taro Patch Farm is one busy little farm.
Edith (Edie) Bikle started her first garden when she was 15 years old and has been farming one way or another ever since. She bought the present 1,000 foot elevation 1½ acre property 7 years ago and immediately started adding an edible garden and fruit trees to the already established macadamia tree orchard.
Jimmy Chan went into business after graduating from college in 2000. After two important learning experiences with businesses that did not take off, Chan found success in his chip company, which is now 20 employees strong with distribution throughout Hawai‘i. As his business grew, he found that focusing on product quality was the key to success in selling to bigger and better accounts. Every new account challenged him to continue maintaining quality, while a track record of high quality led to additional accounts.
The GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) controversy continues to dominate the news for our local agriculture's future. Hawai'i Island's farmers, both small and large, are actively engaged in this debate, as are our County Council, the University of Hawai'i, biotech companies, and some wholesalers and retailers of our entire local food system.
How well do you understand the issues? How much do you know, and how much is guesswork or knee-jerk reaction? Are you applying your critical thinking skills to the arguments from both sides, or are your feet more-or-less mindlessly planted in the concrete of your fellow-travelers?
- Large-scale aquaponic lettuce by Kunia Country Farms
- Learning from Scratch: Take Small Steps
- Honopua Farm
- Hubbell's Hog Heaven & Liz's Happy Hens: A Farm Tour -- Book Review
- Healthy taro products by Voyaging Foods
- Learning to Eat from the Land
- Farmer Feature – Ohana Farm Orchards
- Artisan teas by Tea Hawaii & Company