Our First Field Day

Today we left chilly Volcanoes National Park and ended at Waimea with just about the same temperature, which is a nice change for those of us from much warmer areas. Our first stop was at Richard Ha’s farm in Honoka’a called Hamakua Springs Country Farm. Richard gave us a great “101” on the economics of farming focused on driving energy costs down to become more competitive and sustainable.
He also showed us the riches of his farm, including beautiful beefsteak and grape tomatoes. Aren’t they gorgeous?!
We then saw his latest experiment — raising tilapia. The tilapia looked really good and ready to eat! The gravity- and rain-fed tanks and pond show much promise.

Our next stop was at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company in Pa’auilo. Jim Reddekopp, alumnus of this program a few years back, was our host along with his sons. Young Ian even cooked part of our meal, which featured vanilla in every dish. And every dish was so ‘ono!

Jim taught us so much about the realm of agriculture + tourism, value-added marketing, and the value of having strong communication skills while pursuing a dream.

Finally, we visited Richard Spiegel in Ahualoa at the Volcano Island Honey Company. Richard’s passion for what he has done as a bee-keeper and honey-maker, along with his steadfast commitment to living his values gave us much food for thought. How are we living our values and incorporating them in our workplace?

His product, the white, creamy honey, was out of this world!  No wonder it is in high demand all over the world!

Richard had so many stories to tell that choosing even one is hard, but suffice to say we were mesmerized with what he had to say and wished him very well as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.

Perhaps with honey, there is a chance for world peace. (See the peace signs in each honeycomb.)

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