Punaluʻu, Oʻahu – Kamehameha Schools announces the opening of Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms, a new 220-acre agricultural park on O‘ahu’s windward coast dedicated to food production.
The Schools recently began preparing approximately 140 acres of fallow ground for new operations, which will add to currently farmed plots in Punaluʻu. The new units will range in size from two to 10 acres.
By providing land that is cleared and connected to a reliable water source, Kamehameha Schools expects to attract interested, experienced farmers to Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms.
“At Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms, we provide land, a connection to the irrigation system, security, and common area maintenance,” said Kamehameha Schools land asset manager Kāwika Burgess. “We anticipate these features will make it a little easier for farmers to start or expand an agricultural enterprise in Punalu’u.”
Kamehameha’s 2009 Strategic Agricultural Plan calls for increased food production on KS lands. Partnering with knowledgeable farmers committed to growing food for the local market is just one step towards achieving that goal. Today, Kamehameha manages an estimated 800 agreements in agriculture – more than any other private landowner in Hawai‘i.
“I’m in total agreement with the Schools’ vision to increase food production for the local market,” said new Punaluʻu farmer, Ikaika Bishop, a second generation Koʻolau Loa farmer. With plans to grow taro, mixed vegetables, fruits and tilapia on five acres, Bishop recognizes his role in Hawaiʻi’s move towards food sustainability and is grateful for the agricultural park’s amenities.
“Security and road maintenance at the ag park is a huge benefit for us farmers, and with the water source being maintained by Kamehameha Schools, it helps organic farmers like me make the numbers (costs) work. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity,” said Bishop.
Though total completion of the agricultural park is expected within two years, multiple units are currently available for farming.
For more information on Kamehameha Schools’ agricultural initiatives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The year 2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of Kamehameha Schools, which today operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i and 31 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,000 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States.