MAKAWAO, Hawaii // We volunteered at Green Leaf Farm today in upcountry Maui. It’s only about 10 minutes from my grandparents which is super convenient. They had 6 wwoofers (world wide opportunities on organic farms) on the farm long term to help who were extremely bright and bubbly. They came from all over the world including Montana, Idaho, and even London. They typically work from 8 am to 2 pm on Mon, Tue, Thur, and Fri with a mango and banana break midday.
The owners gave us a full tour of their 2 acres and then assigned us each a task for the day. Adam helped sift through compost and I helped prepare a bed for planting by weeding it. The weed I picked was called Honohono grass by the locals and it has shallow roots but grows out in all directions and takes over whatever plant gets in its path. We also helped move some rocks for a new retention wall they were putting in to help stop erosion near their green house.
The farm was very efficiently set up. It had an aquaculture pond with tilapia in it and 25 hens enclosed with their banana trees. The banana trees get nutrients from the manure and the hens get shade from the sun. Everybody wins. There were also avocado trees and kale stalks taller than me. At the end of the day they sent us home with an oversized grocery bag full of freshly harvested lettuce, kale, beets, potatoes, turnips, oranges, papaya, and avocados.
Overall I have dirt under my nails and all over my pants but you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried. Being sustainable and learning how to grow your own food has been a curiosity of ours for some time now. We are going to check out as many farms as we can while we are here on Maui as well as when we visit the Big Island next month.