Kuilima Farm is the first farm-to-resort operation in Hawai‘i. It is home to 11 tenant farmers practicing good agricultural practices (GAP) to meet food safety requirements to provide fresh produce for the North Shore community. The farm’s solar-powered hydroponics operation produces 300 lbs of pesticide-free lettuce every week. A 25-acre model farm is home to a variety of native plants and seasonal crops that exemplify Kuilima Farms’ commitment to climate-smart and regenerative farming.
Pono is getting us business plans, helping us understand local market changes, and even working to get local hotels to sell our produce.
Meet Pang Saysiri, 54. He farms 14 acres of land at Kuilima Farm. Pang and his family have farmed the land at Kuilima since 1996. They grow tomato, eggplant, and some root crops, as well as some herbs that they export to the mainland. He was a major participant in the COVID-19 Farmer Produce Purchase Assistance Program, giving 4,180 pounds of grape tomatoes to the cause. The Program was launched in early April by Turtle Bay Resort and Pono Pacifi to support the farmers of Kuilima Farm and provide fresh produce to the North Shore community during the coronavirus pandemic. In total, the effort donated 11,485 lbs of produce to the community.
As Kuilima Farm evolves best practices to ultimately increase Hawaii’s food security, there have been many changes to make the land more productive and resilient. Pang says that while some farmers don’t like change, Pono Pacific is doing a good job improving irrigation, constructing new roads, and helping the farmers become more business-minded. “Pono is getting us business plans, helping us understand local market changes, and even working to get local hotels to sell our produce,” he says. He is also excited to sell more of his crops at the new Kuilima Farm roadside farm stand opening up later this summer. Stop by and say “hi” if you see Pang!