My Visit to Olamana Gardens
Olaman Gardens is an organic farm. It mostly has worms, but it has some other animals, too. I took a tour and found out what Olamana Gardens uses their worms for. They use them for many things like making plant garbage into soil that doesn’t smell. Worms can also make animal manure smell good. Some other animals there are chickens, of which they have a great variety, goats, rabbits, horses, dogs, and a lot of worms. Olomana Gardens also has a natural spring that runs through the property with fish and prawns, which are lobster looking animals.
Interview with Farmer:
V: What is Olomana Gardens?
F: What is it? It’s a refuge from the insane world, the city. It’s a permaculture. Permaculture is two words, permanent and culture, in agriculture. The idea is you plant it once and if you do it right you don’t have to go out there and work everyday.
V: When did you start organic farming?
F: Ten years ago. Ten year ago on July 2, just a couple of weeks ago. We just had our anniversary.
V: What kind of vegetables do you grow?
F: Anything that will grow in Hawaii. We love our tomatoes, our cucumbers. I love my beans, any kind of beans, they are my favorite.
V: When do you start planning most of your vegetables?
F: Spring time, like most farmers, but we are lucky here in Hawaii, we go year round.
V: Do you sell vegetables and what kind?
F: Yes, anything that’s extra. If we have lots of something then we sell. More and more we eating almost everything we are growing, because we have college kids they have bottomless stomachs.
V: What season do you have the most buyers.
F: That’s kind of a funny one. That would be with our worms. For us it’s the fall, the traditional harvest time. Everybody is used to everything being in season, but consumers these days are spoiled. They can have bananas year round, strawberries year round, oranges year round. We’ve lost that seasonal flare of feast and famine. Now we have everything in Safeway all the time. But for us is whenever it’s in season. Most people plant in the Spring and you harvest in the fall.
V: Tell me about your animals?
F: My animals? I have way too many. But my animals get to live here for free because they poop on the ground and raise the worms. And the worms pay all the bills.
V: Do you use your animals for work and what kind?
F: Yes. The goats we take out and put in the pen on the lower plateau to eat all the weeds up. Or we put a collar on and tie him to a rope and they eat in a circle. So I’d rather they weed than me. Like that pasture you saw--they eat all that down. So the pigs eat it down. When the pigs turn to eat they plow, they dig it up. Not too deep, but they dig it up.
V: What jobs are there on the farm?
F: Well you can be a maintenance person just fixing things, you can be a farmer growing things, and house cleaning is an amazing chore. It’s not only for us, our house cleaning, but keeping all those animals clean.
V: What is your favorite part about organic farming?
F: Quitting at the end of every day. That is my most favorite time. No, the most favorite, I thing for everybody is the harvesting. But for us, for me, growing the little baby plants. We grow in soil blocks, the little square blocks, we put a seed and it grows up. To me it’s a miracle of life that within the first two weeks where you know you are going to have a plant. The rest of it is plain. You go out, you put it in the fields, you are going to have a crop. But getting the seed to sprout, that’s the tricky part, propagation.
V: Thank you for letting me interview you.
F: Sure you betcha.