GoFarm @The Kohala Center visited Patrick and Farrell Niemeyer’s 10-acre family farm in Umauma, about 16 miles north of Hilo. We started the day with an overview of the farm and Patrick shared how they transformed abandoned sugar land to what it is today, a diversified farm with sheep, a mixed fruit orchard, and a large veggie garden. The Niemeyer’s shared about how they cooperated with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to make improvements to their farm (i.e. interior fencing, grubbing and grading, a water catchment system, and season extension hoop houses). After the farm tour we got a lesson in fence building and helped to install in interior fence so their sheep could be put on an improved rotational grazing system. Thank you to Patrick and Ferrell Niemeyer, we all had a fun day, learned lots, and did lots of bonding! Here is a reflection from one of the participants: “...getting down and dirty building that fence at the Niemeyer's Farm was one of the best teaching and learning experiences I have ever had. Not only did I get to see an incredible diversified farm that people had hacked practically out of jungle but I got to partake in something that brought all of us together. Afterwards we exchanged phone numbers. Yes...it is true that fences make good neighbors but making a fence together makes good friends.”
The GoFarm Hawai'i team..