Jay, Nora, and Kailu chose to visit Pie Ranch for the half-day tour, an interesting farming project combining on-farm education of youth, traditional CSA production, farm-stand sales, value-added sales (in form of pie!), as well as a growing “institutional CSA” model – selling directly to food services of large Universities and corporations. This farm and its creative, novel organizational, funding, and ethical approaches are well worth investigating further.
GoFarm Hawai’i was in excellent Hawaiian company at the conference as Kukui and Gary Maunakea-Forth, Kamuela Enos, Cheryse Sana, and Taylor from Ma’o Organic Farm; Albie Miles and Monique Mironesco from UH-West Oahu; Daniela Dutra Elliott from Leeward Community College; and Amy Brinker and Neil Hannahs (retired) of Kamehameha Schools were also at the conference. Following the conference many of the Hawaiian representatives, along with UH Sustainability Guy, Matthew Lynch, met with CASFS staff to gather ideas and inspiration for the Center for Sustainable Community Food Systems at UH West Oahu, which is in the early stages of what promises to be a significant and impactful evolution for agricultural education in Hawai’i.
The produce in California was AMAZING, as was the cool and dry weather. Seeing the accomplishments (and staff and budgets!) of long established farm educational programs was humbling, but also made the accomplishments of GoFarm Hawai’i in its short life all the more impressive. What makes GoFarm Hawai’i so interesting and successful is the diverse and driven participants who give it their all.