Last week, I was fortunate to be able to visit with several partners in Hawai'i as well as visit several small producers in on O'ahu. Hosted by Farmlink Hawai'i, I visited with Matt and Haley with Ahiki Acres in Waimānalo on their developing 5-acre parcel. I was tremendously impressed with their passion to transform their holding from a previous horticultural nursery to diversified farm serving their local community. People like Matt and Haley are an inspiration and testament to the hope many of us have about transforming local food systems. I cannot wait to see their progress in the coming years as they continue to build their operations!
We next travelled to the North Shore to visit Hawai'i Banana Source. Gabe Sachter-Smith and Rob Barreca's 35-acre certified organic banana operation was a wonder to behold and I was afforded the opportunity to have a master class in the world of banana during the visit. Who knew that more than 150 varieties of banana even exist! The intentionality of purpose and thoughtful design of the operations were unprecedented for a producer of their scale. As with Matt and Haley, I'm very excited to see how HBS develops in the coming years and am hopeful of their ability to supply tremendous organic produce to their O'ahu community and the other Hawaiian Islands.
Hawai'i is a fascinating study in regional food system studies and I'm glad to be connected with this wonderful agricultural community. As the continental U.S. considers the development of their local and regional food systems, it would benefit policymakers and producers to look west and to lessons that might be learned in Hawai'i.
A very special thanks to the entire Farmlink Hawai'i team for their ho'okipa, especially CEO Claire Sullivan and CTO Rob Barreca! Propagate is very proud to directly support Farmlink Hawaii's efforts to make Hawai'i prosperous, healthy, and resilient by connecting the local community to local producers.
Are you interested to learn more about Propagate's investment in Hawai'i? Reach out to learn more!