Hawaii Agricultural Foundation: July 2017
Q&A with Noe at Lokoea Farms
MEET OUR LOCAL INSIDE FARMERS:
Noe from Lokoea Farm
If you’re a Local Inside member, we’re sure you’ve seen those delicious lemons, oranges and figs come in your bag. These items were all grown under the tender love and care of Noe at Lokoea Farms. Lokoea Farms is a family-run fruit farm based in Haleiwa that has been tending orchard crops since 2000.
We had the opportunity to talk story with Noe and get her thoughts on being a farmer here in Hawaii. Here’s what she had to say:
What is the most fun aspect of being a farmer?
I really enjoy being my own boss. I don’t think I could go back to having a boss at this point. Every day, I walk outside and just see what needs to be done...so I never get bored.
What are some of the regular challenges you face on your farm?
It’s hard to learn about all the different types of trees that we have. You can treat them all the same but you’re not going to get quality. You have to think about weather, water needs, the amount and type of fertilizers you give, and know how to prune each tree.
How do you change perceptions of ugly fruit vs. what you see in the grocery store?
It takes education, which is hard when you’re not face-to-face with your farmer. You have to help people understand why the produce doesn’t look perfect. I have a sign that I made for when I go to markets that explains the oranges because a lot of the times they are really russetted... but it really has nothing to do with the taste.
What overarching message would you like to share with our Local Inside members?
Thank you for buying our product! It makes a really big difference for tiny farms like mine to have that outlet that is flexible, pays a fair price and helps us keep doing what we love.