My Visit to Ma’o Farms
MA’O Farms is an organic farm in Hawaii. I--Vaughan-- went to MA’O Farms and took a tour there to find out what it is. MA’O Farms has many different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Some things are different from other farms I visited, because there are many tropical fruits like limes, bananas, Meyer’s lemons, tangerines, oranges and Kitt mangoes. They also have herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, and curry.
There are many vegetables grown there. I had seen most of them before, but a few were different. They grow beans, corn, kale, swiss chard, eggplant, baby chard, pigweed, tat soi, bok choy, arugula, radishes, mustard greens, mizuna, beets and lettuces. They grow different kinds of lettuces and greens that they sell to restaurants, which is called their sassy mix, because it is a spicier mix. The sassy mix is a mixture of several lettuces, arugula, chard, beet tops, tat soi, mizuna, kale and mustard greens.
The soil at the farm is volcanic soil. It is really rich soil and they can grow year round. They use bone meal for fertilizer. They grow flowers which attract good bugs. They use the taller fruit trees between the vegetable gardens to help shield the wind. Because they grow year round the fields get tired. They plant something called sun hemp which gives nutrients back to the soil. They sometimes use weed mats so the weeds can’t grow with the vegetables.
There are young adults from Hawaii who work there to learn how to become organic farmers. Our guide told us about the farm’s motto which is in Hawaiian and translated into English below.
Ne huli ka lima I luna popoli ka ‘opu
Ne huli ka lima I lalo piha ka ‘opu
When your hands are turned up or away from the soil, your stomach/ belly will be empty
When your hands are turned to the soil, your stomach/ belly will be piha or full