Nathan Leo, TEDxHonoulu communications coordinator, thanks fellow X-Adventurers, Steven Chiang and the amazing farmers at GoFarm Windward in Waimanalo.
On a recent Saturday in January, 15 TEDxHonolulu volunteers, guests and members of our community were treated to a really special hands-on “behind the scenes” tour at GoFarm Hawaii, the state’s premier beginning farmer training program.
Taking a day trip out to the beautiful farms in Waimanalo, we met GoFarm Hawaii co-founder Steven Chiang and five farmers participating in the program: Leolani Kini, Priscilla Carbajal, Randy Castellanos, Rosie Warfield and Nora Rodli. These beginning farmers come from diverse backgrounds, with various day jobs and careers, but they’re all dedicated to becoming part of Hawaii’s burgeoning small farms industry.
Steven and the farmers were especially generous, sharing their time and knowledge, and inviting us into their fields. We learned about the challenges and rewards of being part of the small ag industry in Hawaii and saw some really cool inventions (Need a giant refrigerator for your fresh produce? Why not put an air conditioner on steroids and convert that old shipping container? It works!) We also learned about the importance of the cooperative spirit in farming: sharing knowledge and skills and learning as a community makes all the difference.
And we got our hands dirty by getting into the fields–yanking some weeds, learning about soil, pests, growing cycles, how to take your crops to market…just a small taste of what it takes to become a farmer in Hawaii.
And then, a picnic lunch in the shade to discuss what we learned and how we can turn “ideas to actions” and be part of the movement to food sustainability in Hawaii.
We headed home tired but inspired, with nice gifts of fresh produce from the farmers. It was a great day. Wish you were there!
X-Adventures are new TEDxHonolulu events that encourage participants to delve into an important idea, place or organization. They offer immersive, hands-on experiences for small groups of people who want to connect more deeply with one another and Hawaii’s change makers.
Details on our next X-Adventure will be coming soon.
Nathan Leo is a communications consultant who enjoys “hunting and gathering content” for the TEDxHonolulu website. But he also thinks farming is very cool–in fact, he grew up on a farm in Minnesota. Nathan loved the X-Adventure at GoFarm Hawaii and sends a special thanks to Kathryn Mykleseth and Matt Higa for their wonderful video and photos of the X-Adventure event.