Youth Farm In Hawaii Is Growing Food And Leaders
Posted On: March 30, 2018
A tight circle of teenagers is deep in conversation — not about movies or apps, but about … vegetables.
It’s 7 a.m. at MA’O Organic Farms, part of 24 acres nestled in an emerald mountain-ringed valley just two miles from Oahu’s west shore. Under a hot sun that bathes this idyllic breadbasket, college-aged farmers harvest tons of mangoes, bananas, mizuna (mustard greens) and taro every month for the island of Oahu.
The farm’s atmosphere bubbles with enthusiastic lightheartedness, its college interns quipping across the rows that they can beat their neighbors’ harvesting speed. But a calm falls over the group as they move from joking around to talking more seriously. A circle forms under an open pavilion, and a young woman speaks.
“We got 21 more orders for parsley because our stuff is great,” Junell Fonokalafi, a student intern from Leeward Community College, says proudly. The organic bunches of parsley will go to top Honolulu restaurants like Chef Ed Kenney’s Mahina and Suns, and also direct to consumers at markets like Whole Foods and Foodland Farms, where few might know that teenagers are growing their organic produce. [Keep Reading]