Tag Archives: organic

Fire Tongue Farm

Fire Tongue Farm is born. Organic chile peppers for all!

I am so excited to tell you about my new farm: Fire Tongue Farm! We are growing organic hot peppers and specialize in smoked peppers. Please check out our website and tell me what you think. I am so excited about this project. We are working so hard to get things up and running. Thanks for your support!

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The Chadwick Garden

My best try at mapping the Chadwick Garden. Of course, the place changes by minute so this already a relic.

My best attempt at mapping the Chadwick Garden. Of course, the place changes by the minute, so this is already a relic.

I want to introduce you to the Garden. The history and magic of this place is immense, but I won’t go into all of that right now. I just want to show you what I see. A steep, south facing hillside in the redwoods above Santa Cruz. About 2 1/2  acres covered in a thin 18″ sheath of black gold set down by 40+ years of back breaking work.

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4 New Hives in the Garden!

UCSC Apprentices installing new hives in the Garden. Now we have 9 hives total for the season.

UCSC Apprentices installing new hives in the Garden. We have a total of 9 hives this season.

When I put a bee suit on I look calm and composed. But my insides are squirming and it feels like my stomach is flipping over like a steak hot on the griddle, sizzling and simmering painfully with each somersault. My first memory of stinging winged insects is stepping on a rock, that turned out to be a hive while backpacking in the Sierras with my family. I was stung all over, but I remember vividly my swollen lip that kept me from chewing the already unappetizing dehydrated backcountry food for the rest of the trip. As I grew older I became more familiar with the different types of stinging insects that came alive every summer in California. So familiar that my Little League baseball coach coined my nickname Sting, more for my record number of swollen arms and feet that season, than base hits or RBI’s. Even as an adult I found myself submerged in the safety of a swimming pool, stealing gulps of air and anxiously waiting for an angry pack of hornets to disperse on my last vacation to Mexico. It should have been common sense not to dig up the coconut tree those irritable hornets called home. So I was expecting the worst when 4 new hives arrived for the Garden and I (being the official beekeeper of the UP Garden) was put in charge of leading a group of apprentices through their first (and my first) hive installation.

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Harvest Gypsy on the Move!

UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden from the air!

Seasons change and gypsies wander. My time in Hawaii is done for now, but California is in full bloom and I find myself in Santa Cruz just in time for apple blossoms among redwoods. For the 2012 growing season I will be apprenticing at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden!

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Top 5 Farm Photos from Hawaii


Stopping to catch a glimpse of rainbows overhead while working in the makai field at Mohala Farms happens more often than you would think.

After three months living in Hawaii there have been more than a few picturesque moments. Check out a couple I caught on camera!

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Farming the Youth in Hawaii

Hilda from MA'O Organic Farms is one of the four-year program participants. She recently graduated from MA'O's two-year program and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Hawaii while working at MA'O as a manager.

The drive to MA’O Organic Farms in Waianae on the West Side of Oahu winds along a coastline dotted with extravagant vacation resorts, industrial power plants, run down strip malls, and military artillery test zones. The main highway is lined with boarded up local businesses and restaurants rotting in the shadows of colorful, bright signs beckoning customers to fast-food chains like McDonald’s and KFC.

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Long Term Local

Ted laughs as he shows off his wing bean crop. He is one of the only farmers on Oahu with this rare variety.

From the top of the hill behind Kawai Loa Farm, Ted Nakamura often looks down to check the surf rolling into Chun’s and Lani’s. He is hesitant to remove his gaze from the farm and the ocean beneath because behind him spreads a sea of Monsanto seed corn. Ted smiles as he recounts the decade he has spent on this land supplying Oahu’s grocery stores with USDA organic certified asparagus, beans, eggplant, and okra. A walk down the local organic produce isle at the Kahala Whole Foods in Honolulu features Ted’s goods alongside plenty of other food grown locally on the Hawaiian Islands.

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