With plans to increase the amount of farmers, WOW Farm owner, Mike Hodson, and his ʻohana has created a model for the future of mahi ʻai for the working class families of the Waimea Homestead.
“Mai nā 115 ʻāina mahi ʻai ma kēia ʻāina hoʻopulapula ʻo Waimea, ke hoʻohana ʻia nei ʻekolu o lākou no ka mahiʻai i kēia wā.” wahi a Mike Hodson Sr., ka ʻona ʻo WOW Farm.
Wahi a ke keʻena o ka Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,
ʻo ka pololei, hoʻohana ʻia ka ʻāina mahi ʻai no ka mahi ʻai. Inā ʻaʻole hoʻohana ʻia no ia kumu, ua hiki ke lawe ʻia ka ʻaelike o ka ʻāina a hoʻihoʻi ʻia i ka Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
“ʻO wau kahi o kēia poʻe mahi ʻai ʻole. ʻAʻole i hiki iaʻu ke mahi ʻai a hana pū. Haʻi kaʻu keiki, ʻaʻole ʻoe he mahi ʻai e Papa. ʻŌlelo au, no laila kākou e aʻo. Ua ulu ka ʻoihana ʻōhiʻa lomi. He 45 hale mahi ʻai kā mākou mai ka hoʻokahi. He hoʻokahi paha ʻeka kalo, he 40 ʻano kalo, a he 24 paha ʻano ʻuala.” wahi a Mike Hodson Sr.
Ua holomua kēia ʻoihana WOW Farm ma o nā makahiki he ʻelima mai ka hana lōkahi a ka ʻohana Hodson. E like me ko lākou holomua ʻana, pēia pū ko lākou ʻiʻini e kōkua aku i ko lākou kaiaulu ma Waimea.
“He hoʻomaopopo ka mahi ʻai i ko kākou ʻano Hawaiʻi. Hoihoi ka hoʻi ʻana o ka ʻike a kūpuna ke hana ʻoe ma ka ʻāina. ʻO ia hoʻi kā mākou. Ua ulu kēia hana i pāhana no ko mākou kaiaulu holoʻokoʻa. Ua hoʻomaka au i ua mea ʻo ka “Farming for the Working Class.” Ua ʻimi kālā e kōkua i ka Hawaiʻi kekahi. ʻO ka manaʻo, ʻo ia ka hiki i ka poʻe ke hana manawa piha a mahi ʻai i ka manawa like.” wahi a Mike Hodson Sr.
“Ua hiki ke kō. Ua hiki iā mākou ka poʻe maʻa mau, no laila ua hiki ka poʻe ʻē aʻe.” wahi a Mike Hodson Jr., ka manakia o WOW Farm.
“ʻO ka pahuhopu no kēia manawa, ʻo ia ke aʻo ʻana i nā ʻohana he 14 i nā lāliʻi a pau no ka hoʻoulu ʻana i ko lākou makemake.” wahi a Mike Hodson Sr.
“Manaʻolana ʻike nā Hawaiʻi a pau i kēia hana, me kona maikaʻi, a komo lākou i ka hana e mahiōmau ke aupuni holoʻokoʻa.” wahi a Mike Hodson Jr.
ʻO wau nō ʻo Kuʻulei Bezilla me ʻŌiwiTV, aloha.
“Right now, there is 115 Agricultural lots here in Waimea Homestead. And I believe there are only three in actual production.” says Mike Hodson Sr., owner of WOW Farm.
According to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Agricultural lots are suppose to be used for Ag purposes . If not, the land can be returned to the department.
Mike Hodson says, “I too was one of the people that never farmed the land. So working full-time at my job, I couldn’t farm the land. My children said, you not even one farmer, Dad. So I said, well we need to learn how to be farmers first. Our tomato business has grown to what it is today. 45 green houses, started with 1, now we get 45 2,000 square foot green houses. We have about an acre of kalo, 40 different varieties of kalo; that’s our experiment. And we get about 24 different varieties of ʻuala, sweet potato.“
From the combined efforts of the Hodson family, WOW Farms has grown very well. Due to their progress, they decided to help others in their Waimea community.
“Farming brings us back to who we are as Hawaiians. When you put your hand in the soil, amazing how the kupuna come back and guide you in the way. So that’s exactly what we are doing. This has grown to a community project where we are looking at our whole community. So I created what I entitled, “Farming for the Working Class.” And I wrote some grants to help our fellow Hawaiians to start farming the land. With the mentality that their still working, but I can show them a system I design that they can now farm the land, even though they work full time.” says Mike Hodson.
“It is possible because look at us, we are no different than anybody else. But we can do it, so you can do it too.” says Mike Hodson Jr., also the General Manager for WOW Farm.
“The short-term goal is help 14 families and be successful and growing whatever they like grow. Teach them from A-Z on farming.“ says Mike Hodson Sr.
“Hopefully the entire Hawaiian population will see what we are doing and see the benefits and partake in what we are doing as well so that the entire state can be self sufficient.” says Mike Hodson Jr.
This is Kuʻulei Bezilla with ʻŌiwiTV, aloha.