Monthly Archives: February 2012

Who likes their meat FRESH?

You choose your own animal straight from the pasture at Flying R Ranch.

The opening sequence of American Meat, a new documentary about the current state of meat production in the United States, asks the audience why modern Americans are so removed from the process involved in raising and killing the centerpiece of their meals and diets. Millions in the United States who eat meat daily have never killed a cow or a chicken with their own hands, some have never touched a pig or a sheep unless it was already conveniently sliced into bacon or lamb chops. Although this may be the story for most of the carnivores in our country, at the Flying R Ranch in Waialua, HI customers are intimately connected with the steaks and short ribs they buy from the ranch. Anyone who wants to eat the goats or cattle grazing on the 3,300 acre ranch have to pick and slaughter the animals themselves. The owner, Bob Cherry, laughs heavily and cracks a wide grin as he explains that on his ranch customers have to buy the animal live, then kill it and butcher it themselves. The practice comes both out of necessity and tradition.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Luann’s Local Layers

When it comes to navigating the myriad of certifications, labels, and claims put on chicken eggs sometimes it is comforting to simply see exactly where your eggs comes from. That is why many people on Oahu in search of a healthy oological experience come to Tin Roof Ranch for their farm fresh eggs. On a small two acre farm across the street from the surfers and sea turtles at Chun’s Reef, Luann and Gary raise over two hundred hens for laying eggs and around a hundred more for meat. You will not find a label or mark on any of their eggs, but the couple use strictly organic practices and their chickens have free range of over an acre on the property every afternoon. Luann laughs a little when you ask her about all the ways to classify eggs. She says most of her
customers just come out to the ranch and see the operation for themselves. Some of her extreme egg enthusiasts ask specifically for non-refrigerated eggs that can be eaten raw without losing any of the natural enzymes or microbes. Adding Safe for Raw Consumption or Sashimi Grade to the growing catalog of egg classifications might only interest a few egg eaters out there, but Luann does notice that a growing number of people are interested in where their food and their eggs come from.
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Bridging the Divide

Milton and Aquilano of Twin Bridge Farms are still farming through decades of change in Waialua.

The calm and ease with which Milton Agader slowly navigates his silver pick-up through the rows of his 300 acre farm in Waialua attest to a life dedicated to working the ‘aina or the land of Hawaii. In its ten years of existence Twin Bridge Farms has carved itself a healthy niche among the local food producers of Oahu and their popular asparagus can be found at the Whole Foods, Foodland, and other major groceries around the island.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

High Tech Jam

When you shake hands with Wayne Porter you get the strange feeling that he has been up to more than just making homemade jams his whole life. The same weathered hands that once built a construction business from the ground up are now dedicated to crafting the unique flavors of Homemade Jams of Hawaii and shaking hands with happy customers every Sunday at the Haleiwa Farmers’ Market. Most people outside Hawaii would never dream of making Pineapple Banana Jam or Lilikoi Butter at home, but that is just how Wayne got started six years ago with extra fruit from his backyard orchard in Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore. You can tell from his constant smile that he is happy to have left the construction business for a jam venture.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mohala Farms on North Shore Oahu

The entrance to Mohala Farms is right beneath the tallest mountain on Oahu.

Tucked away and hidden amongst the North Shore’s old pineapple and sugar plantation land is Mohala Farms, a small six acre organic farm sitting at foot of Oahu’s tallest peak, Mt. Ka’ala. The fierce waves that bring both the world’s best surfers and hoards of eager spectators to this small stretch of swell-battered coast every winter look tiny and unmenacing from Mohala’s vantage point atop the beginnings of the Wahiawa plateau in the Kamananui Ahupua’a. The vibrant red soil that makes this area famous has sustained decades of harsh mono-crop agriculture. If you ate a Dole pineapple before the 1970’s there was a good chance it was grown in this nutrient and iron rich old Hawaiian soil and up until 1993 the Dole cannery still operated a short way down the road from Mohala’s current location. It was the end the cannery and of Dole’s major pineapple and sugar plantations in this region that gave birth to Mohala Farms. The practice of industrial agriculture depleted the area of its rich nutrients and the land lay fallow for over a decade covered in six-foot tall Guinea grass until Mark Hamamoto and Kathy Maddux began cutting back the giant weeds and started planting a wide variety of crops six years ago.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Patricia Bragg comes to Hawaii!

Patricia Bragg and her famous Apple Cider Vinegar.

In my kitchen there are a few ingredients that make their way into every meal. Ever since I can remember Bragg’s Liquid Aminos was right up there on my priority spice shelf with the salt, pepper, and sriracha. So you can understand my excitement when I had the chance to meet Patricia Bragg at the Haleiwa Cacao Festival last Sunday. I know what you are thinking. How could I get sidetracked talking with the owner of company that is famous for its soy sauce alternatives and healthy apple cider vinegar when there was so much chocolate all around me? The answer is simply that Patricia Bragg and her father Paul Bragg have been making what they call live natural foods for 100 years and I wanted to learn more about their products and the story behind their long tenure as leaders in the healthy food industry.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Life of a Farmer & Food Warrior…

Join me as I start on a new journey to see and experience Hawaii's farms!

Since January I have been working five days a week on a six acre organic farm on Oahu’s North Shore called Mohala Farm and starting this week on my days off I am visiting farms, markets, and restaurants around the island for my new internship as a 2012 Food Warrior for Real Time Farms in Hawaii. The Food Warrior Program is an opportunity for interns to go out and document the food system while helping build the Real Time Farms growing online food guide. So I am now spending seven days a week either working on a farm or visiting a different island farm!

SO EXCITING! I hope you think so, too.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,