ALP Class XVII Hawaii / Maui Trip Day Two

Waking up at The Kamuela Inn Waimea is a great way to start a day full of adventure. Continental breakfast was available with coffee, yogurt, muffins and granola. The schedule had us departing from the hotel for Bird and Bee Hawai’i at 8am.

Arriving at the gate with the shark on it, we head up the drive way and are welcomed by Susan and the turkey. Susan prepared a great breakfast of quiche, fruit, cornbread and two different honeys from Bird and Bee Hawaii! We were able to enjoy breakfast outside on the farm seeing the sun shine through the trees and watching the bees traveling in and out of their hives.

Bird&Bee Logo
Day 2: Starts at Bird and Bee Hawai’i
Bird&Bee Breakfast
Breakfast at Bird and Bee Hawai’i
Bird & Bee Smoker/Hives
Breakfast with the bees
Bird&Bee Classroom
The classroom at Bird and Bee Hawai’i
Bird&Bee Education
Learning about bees
Bird&Bee Materials
Take home educational material
Bird&Bee Suited
After class it was time to put on our bees suites and meet the bees up close
Bird&Bee Techniques
Two techniques On the left: Langstroth Hive On the right: Top Bar Hive
Bird&Bee 10 Frame
Langstroth Hive 10 Frame
Bird&Bee Hands on
Tory holding a Langstroth hive frame

Our second location visit on Monday was at Kawamata Farms in Waimea, home of Kamuela’s Finest produce. We arrive outside the greenhouse and are welcomed and warmly greeted by Leilyn Kawamata (daughter of Raymond Kawamata). We are escorted to the packing building where we have the opportunity to introduce ourselves. We learn more about what we are seeing and how the Kawamata tomato is grown, packed and distributed.

Sorting and packing machine for 1 lbs tomato clamshell
Greenhouse at Kawamata Farm
Owner and Farmer Raymond Kawamata
Row of tomato being worked from elevated trolley
Rail trolley for elevated harvest and plant work
Beautiful red on the vine tomato freshly harvested to be hand packed

Raymond and Leilyn shared with us the many challenges of farming and how a manual back up or option can provide the same solution as a high tech or expensive sensor can. The example provided was they installed a bleed line in the irrigation line so if the floor is wet in a small area they know the irrigation is running. Low tech but high value insight to what is happening in the greenhouse.

A common theme identified by many of the locations we visited was a lack of labor. At Kawamata Farms the lack of labor has impacted their ability to run their pack line and equipment at scale. Resulting in product having to be packed in smaller volumes and by hand.

As we were preparing to depart Raymond surprised us all with signed copies of his new book “Too Big to Lose” ” A small farmer’s ten year battle against Dupont” a quick read on Raymond’s battle against Dupont and how and why he became a tomato farmer.

Book by Raymond Kawamata and his fight against DuPont

For Lunch we had the opportunity to meet with Parker Ranch team members and ALP Alumni Keoki Wood (ALP Class XI) and Jacob Tavares (ALP Class XV). The recent fire on Parker Ranch land was a major topic of conversation and was addressed openly and candidly by Keoki and Jacob. The fire will take years to recover and rebuild water infrastructure and fencing. The connection and stewardship of land by ranchers was interesting and eye opening. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them identify as land conservationists and grass farmers and not cattle producers. The many years of good ranching practices and tending to the soil will hopefully aid in a quick recovery to the land.

The Parker Ranch has a strong connection with the land and community. The Parker Ranch Foundation Trust serves its beneficiaries to include: North Hawaii Community Hospital, Parker School Trust Corp., Hawaii Preparatory Academy and the Richard Smart Funs of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Parker Ranch Paniolo Ikua Purdy
Parker Ranch Paniolo Ikua Purdy 1908 World Champion

Parker Ranch Fireplace
Fireplace at Parker Ranch
Parker Ranch Gift from the Emperor of Japan
Parker Ranch Sword
Sword given to Samuel as a Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.


After lunch at Parker Ranch headquarters it was time to head out and connect with Dash Kuhr and see the HIP Ag (Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture).

HIP Ag Mission:

To Practice and teach regenerative agricultural education programs.

HIP Ag Vision:

Heal and inspire Hawaii through resilient agriculture education.

HIP Ag seemed to like they had to put many of their community and fund raising events on pause during covid. Before covid HIP Ag would host farm to table dinner events but gathering restrictions and group size limits has HIP Ag hitting pause on farm to table dinners for now.

Dash and farm dog (Ginger)
HIP Ag small row crop plot
Intercropping planted

Bamboo growing on site to be used for construction material
Out building on HIP Ag property for gathering, ,centering or group circle

The final farm visit for Monday was Island Harvest, an organic macadamia nut farm in Kohala. We had the opportunity to meet with Nathan Trump the General Manager of Island Harvest. Nathan described the harvest technique used and even field demonstrated how the equipment worked for us. Nathan was able to describe the equipment used flow of the nut from the field to processing facility.

Key to the success of Island Harvest is their organic growing practice creating additional value to their product and then adding a value added chocolate covered MacNut line positions them for growth in the future.

Island Harvest Orchard
Island Harvest harvest Demo
Island Harvest in action
Island Harvest bin dump
Island Harvest harvest
Island Harvest Equipment Husker

We’d Love to Hear From You!

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Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai‘i
P. O. Box 342066
Kailua, HI 96734