PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

March 30, 2010

Local Agriculture

Filed under: 6Sustainable Environment,General,SHAPES platform — rachel @ 3:46 pm

In our sub-group at the LG speed dating event on Saturday, one of the topics we asked most candidates about was supporting quality agriculture land. In that group, the focus was largely about the Ho‘opili development that may displace an existing farm if allowed to go forward. The concept of “food sustainability” has come up in conversations a lot lately. It seems to be on off-shoot of the standard “sustainability” buzz word that many people profess to support, yet few seem to take many tangible steps to make it a way of life.

Along those lines, for many months (years?) I have been thinking about signing up for one of those weekly vegetable boxes that some local farms offer. It is an idea that I have always liked, but never got around to implementing in my own life. Until now. A friend of mine recently used his status post on facebook to comment about his CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegie box that he just got from MA‘O organic farms. Since I had been thinking about it already, that prompted to me to look into it once again. This time I followed through and purchased a subscription, so will now be receiving weekly boxes of fresh produce. 😀

According to CSAfarming.com, “At its heart Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects local farmers with local consumers.  These consumers help cover the farmer’s operating expenses in exchange for shares of produce grown or raised.  Shares are usually purchased via varying types of memberships or subscriptions.” I chose to go with MA‘O, partly because of the facebook-friend connection, but also because I know about their work in the community and have always admired what they do. There are other local farms that have this type of set up as well. Some are listed at this link, http://csafarming.com/hawaii-csa

If each of us does our part to support local agriculture, perhaps food sustainability can become more than just a concept in Hawai‘i. We need to push our elected officials to support saving quality agriculture land, but we also need to support those farmers ourselves as directly as possible.

5 Comments »

  1. Unfortunately, there isn’t that kind of farm nearby to where I live. But I get to buy at the local farmer’s market because I’m retired. I get enough produce for the week with just $10. It isn’t organic though, but that’s OK. I don’t think that I can afford the more expensive organic stuff.

    I’m kind of worried though about this kind of purchasing. I recall that some people on the big island got some parasites when they ate raw vegetables. Isn’t there some kind of chemical dip or processing that most super markets use for their produce that would assure me that the parasites are gone?

    Also, I wonder about the quality at the farmer’s market. Sometimes I get the larger Manoa lettuce there and I notice it doesn’t taste as good as the smaller Manoa lettuce that I buy at the store. I’m thinking that the big lettuce is just too old and not as tasty as the younger stuff.

    Comment by Al — March 30, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

  2. Al~ The farm isn’t near where I live either; it is in Waianae. They have a drop off location in town though, so I can pick my box up there (the also have a pick up at Leeward Community College). Other farms have various locations for box pick up.

    Farmers’ Markets are great too! I just never get around to going to them and have been doing most of my vegie shopping at Costco.

    I don’t remember the details of the parasite story, but I think that kind of thing is really rare. I don’t know about chemical dips either… but if supermarkets are using them, then all the more reason to get my vegies locally!

    Comment by rachel — March 31, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  3. I like the term “food sovereignty”, rather than anything that refers to sustainability. That term should be relegated to the trash heap of history! 🙂 In fact, MA’O used to sell a T-shirt (talk about consumerism!) with that on it, which was a cross between the locavore movement, and the Hawaiian sovereignty/independence movement. Last time I was in Wai’anae, I was disappointed to see that Gary and Co. had closed their cafe. Too bad.

    Comment by Ritxard el Vasco — April 7, 2010 @ 9:52 am

  4. We are enjoying our fresh vegies so far! I posted some images of the first box full as well as the first meal we prepared with them here, http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=211755&id=723367456&ref=mf

    Comment by rachel — April 8, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  5. There are some real farmers at the farmer’s market. However, about half of them are not– I suspect. They are backyard gardeners who sell their produce. I guess that’s more to worry about than the professional farmers you buy from. I try to wash my vegetables from the farmer’s market and have stopped buying the Manoa lettuce for the above reasons. I still like the bananas and papayas from the farmers at the farmers market. I try to cook the vegetables I buy there rather than eat it raw.

    Comment by Al — April 15, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

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