Growing Pono

Written By Vanessa & Belle

Greetings from Vanessa and Belle

When we arrived at our new placement (a local organic farm), Katie gasped at the site of a refrigerator. Evan, our host, graciously prepared a covered kitchen and living area. We spent our first day getting aquatinted with the land through a short tour and setup of our camp site in the fruit forest. In the afternoon, we had the privilege of planting a whole patch of taro.

The next morning, we started off with some light weeding to prepare beds for vegetables. Our work day was completed with a very competitive watermelon seed spitting contest. Although Calvin was the ultimate victor, Ben was close behind in second place. We had a movie night and watched “Kiss the Ground”, a documentary about the importance of healthy soil. Amanda was especially inspired to learn that farming is an effective method in not only mitigating climate change, but fixing the problem.

Prepping cauliflower beds.

On Thursday, the Carpe group got to plant a plethora of vegetables, herbs, spices, and legumes. Belle found planting leeks to be especially soothing! Vanessa and Nicco were in charge of tomatoes, and even got to snack on a few throughout the day. Lula, a farming intern joined us for dinner that night, and brought along a community guitar! Loden was ecstatic to play Ophelia after a month without their six-string.

The next morning was harvest day. We grooved out to the Grateful Dead, harvested plants and vegetables, and prepared the food for market. We completed our initiation by riding down the slip and slide. Ty, Cooper, and Katharine got covered in mud and soapy water. To top off the amazing day, we played ghost in the graveyard. Unfortunately, Gus’ fun was cut short when he slammed his head into a tree.

One of the farm’s WOOFF’ers teaching students how to harvest Kohlrabi.
Packaging tomatoes for the farmers market.

Saturday was earth medicine day. We learned that Hawaiians only named plants that they have uses for, and that many plants that people see as weeds can be used to cure various ailments. Our health was evaluated through the color of our tongues and the quality of our pulses! We were also able to visit the local farmers market and see Evan’s booth! The group was blessed to watch the incredible sunset at Haleakala, and Aleia led us through some peaceful stretching as our day came to a close.

The Farm booth.
The sunset at Haleakala.
Sunset snuggles.

The next day was our mountain biking excursion! Nathan led us through a local forest reserve, and we pushed our limits through a 6 mile ride. There is nothing to describe the deep feeling of pride after completing such a challenging journey.

Monday was bee day! We learned about how the farm takes care of their bees, harvested honey, and even got a jar to take home. Afterwords, we visited a “death store” and spoke with a man named Reverend Bodhi Be. He talked about the realities of death, and gave us all space to grieve, whether that be for a person, place, or idea.

Learning how to bee keep with Evan Ryan, the owner of this amazing organic farm.

Finally, Tuesday consisted of tree planting. We learned about how trees sequester carbon, and how to best plant a fruit forest! In the afternoon we got practice planting various citrus trees and banana plants (which are actually a type of grass!). The group was stoked to do some laundry, and ended the night with a bonfire and s’mores.

Vanessa, Katie, and Loden with some banana trees they’re about to plant.

See you next week!