I was asked to share my experiences with GOFARMHAWAII for my local Community Newsletter, “96795”. Now anyone that knows me knows I can’t shut up at 300-500 words and there is NO WAY you can adequately describe something that takes 9 months in that same length of words…
All I can say is this is a great way for people to “break into” farming if you didn’t ever have the opportunity before. Every hood rat gets dirty, but this is one way you can get dirty and get clean at the same time.#farming #justdoit
So come talk to meh if you want to hear the real deal… but for the sake of brevity and mass audience?
This is what I wrote:
GoFarm Hawaii (gofarmhawaii.org) is a new local program that I, for many years an aspiring farmer, was fortunate enough to be accepted into this year. Still in the early stages of curriculum and program development, it has so far been a very rewarding and worthwhile pursuit.
The first month, “AgXposure” we meet at WCC where the curious farmers-to-be, load onto vans and for a few hours each week, visit farms, plant research centers & businesses to speak with and work alongside those already making their living, in one aspect or another, through farming, plant research and/or plant and food production.
For the next few months, “Ag1” we attend Wednesday evenings & Saturday mornings. We are offered a series of lectures, handouts and class discussion dedicated to farming, plants, soil, production, health & safety as well as many other topics that might pique the interest of someone considering going into commercial farming. Many professional educators, researchers and agricultural professionals have shared their valuable knowledge, personal experiences and resources with us.
Saturday is spent on our practice plot of land that serves as our extended classroom and practice farm. We are provided seeds, irrigation, and the use of some tools by the program. We create our own farm design, each aspiring farmer choosing the crops and methods of farming, employing both tilled and non-tilled methods of organic farming.
Our head farm coach, Dan Rudoy, one of the most talented and beautifully progressive farmers I have ever had the honor of learning from, instructed us in organic methods of farming and shared with us many brilliant ideas we might choose to use in our own farming experiences. He offered many new concepts to the eager student-farmers as well as discussed more traditional methods. He introduced a variety of farming methods that conserve resources, work with nature to heal the land and build soil fertility, all while reaping benefits and bounties that are unsurpassed in conventional farming.
As our hard work begins to show and our vegetable harvests become available, we practice providing, processing and distributing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes to customers. This gave us experience with harvesting, washing & packaging our produce as well as meeting our customers when we send them off with their pre-paid subscription boxes filled with delicious produce. So rewarding to see them smile when they see the large piles of vegetables we grew, JUST FOR THEM!
“AgII” lasting 6 months, will continue into more in-depth farming practices, business practices and other practical info. We will take on a much larger plot of land, with many more challenges.
GoFarm Hawaii has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from other aspiring farmers, tune into the heartbeat of my local community, learn about local health and food needs, learn from commercial organic farmers, producers & buyers as well as given me a look into the icebergs tip of what it might take to be a farmer here in Hawaii. I feel really fortunate to have been included in this exciting new and developing program. The GoFarm program lasts about 9 months. Seems like a pretty good start to the training and experience you will need as a future farmer here in Hawaii!
Dirt Princess, Hoodsteader, Aspiring Farmer & GoFarm Cohort 2
(photo credit & dirt princess nickname by Samurai Farmer- Dan Rudoy)