Return to Maʻo Farms - GIVE Day
A couple of months ago, a group of thirty volunteers from our Foodland and Sack N Save ohana returned to Maʻo Farms in Waianae’s Lualualei Valley for our much anticipated quarterly GIVE day (Get Involved, Volunteer Environmentally). We all looked forward to spending the morning working in the fields planting, weeding and harvesting, but more importantly reconnecting with the knowledgeable and passionate student interns and staff at Maʻo. Since this was our fourth visit over the past year, it felt like a reunion for us.
We also eagerly anticipated seeing all the plants we tended to in prior visits. We wondered if they survived and if they were thriving. As we entered the drive that leads into Maʻo, the first thing we saw was a row of about 20 banana trees that we planted at our first GIVE day last year. Not only did the trees survive, they were healthy, mature and bearing fruit. Everyone was excited to see the results of our labor. We realized that our time and energy made a difference and were grateful for that.
As we gathered together to begin our work, we listened as the student interns described the work opportunities for the morning. One group was needed to dig holes and plant lime and avocado trees. Another group would be transplanting some Tuscan kale plants and another group would help weed one of the gardens. On the way to the fields we would be working in, we passed by fields planted with the diverse array of produce grown on the farm and sold in some of our stores: beets, eggplant, wild arugula, radishes, kale and cilantro to name a few.
Our group had the task of planting dozens of lime and avocado trees in new acreage most recently acquired by Maʻo. We were fortunate because Gary Maunakea-Forth, the farm’s managing director, had rented a power auger which would make our task simpler and faster. There was still a lot of hard work because of the abundance of rocks in the soil and the digging we had to do, but the auger made a huge difference. Two of the talented interns, Ikaika and Alfred, were masters of the auger and shared their skills and knowledge with us. After much digging and using picks and oʻo to remove all the rocks, we completed our task and saw four neat rows of trees with open fields of dirt in between. It was rewarding to see what we had accomplished working together. But our work was not done. We were so efficient and worked so quickly that we were given the opportunity to plant bamboo trees which would serve as a wind break for the strong winds coming from the back of the valley. The soil where the bamboo was to be planted was even rockier and filled with debris so it seemed the auger wouldn’t help us much there. But we were undaunted and working together for another hour or so, we successfully planted a row of bamboo trees. We didn’t realize that in that short time, we had planted 71 trees in total. It was a really productive morning and the Maʻo staff was so appreciative of all the extra hands that helped them get the trees planted.
After our work was done we all gathered in the visitor center and together with the Maʻo interns enjoyed a lunch prepared by Foodland’s corporate chef, Keoni Chang. Everyone had worked up quite an appetite working in the fields so the delicious lunch which included a salad of freshly harvested Maʻo greens was a real treat.
Thanks to everyone at Maʻo for the privilege of working alongside them and bringing great quality, locally grown organic produce to our customers. I’m excited to announce that Maʻo Farms produce is now available at Foodland Beretania in addition to Foodland Kailua, Foodland Market City, Sack N Save Nanakuli and Foodland Farms Aina Haina.
Ever wonder how to cut open this exotic unusual looking Dragon Fruit? Here are a couple quick tips on how to enjoy a delicious locally grown Kona Dragon Fruit:
•Slice the fruit in half, lengthwise, as shown in the picture to the left.
•Scoop out the white (sometimes red or fuchsia) flesh onto a separate dish or bowl.
•The seeds are completely edible (much like a kiwi), so go ahead and dice up fruit into bite-size morsels.
Whether you love making baked Kale chips or are a hardcore juicing fanatic, we're excited to share that you can now find beautiful locally grown organic produce from MA‘O Farms at the following select Foodland locations: Foodland Farms Aina Haina, Foodland Beretania, Foodland Kailua, more »
Buddha's Hand is a uniquely shaped and very fragrant citrus fruit grown locally here on Maui at Howard's Nursery. More well known in China and Japan for perfuming rooms and personal items such as clothing, this fruit is also given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the "fingers" of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer.
It’s that time of year for Walla Walla Sweet Onions! You need to get these sweet onions while we have them, as the season is short and we’ll only have them through early September. Walla Walla Sweet Onions have a thin golden paper skin and creamy sweet insides.
They are best described as an onion so sweet, it can be peeled and eaten raw like an apple. They’re also perfect to slice and put on top of a burger. Here are a couple yummy recipes featuring these delicious onions that ... more »
Sweet summer lychee...one juicy ice cold mouthful can bring back so many fond memories. Growing up here in Hawaii, we are fortunate to have some of the freshest local produce and delicious lychee is definitely one of our favorites for the summertime!
Our local lychee farmers have supplied our stores with a bounty of beautiful lychee and we're excited to share them with you at a great price. Now through June 18th, visit any of our Foodland stores to pick up a bag of sweet and juicy ... more »
You have to try one of the best tasting pear varieties we have here at Foodland, the California Apple Pear! Similar to the taste and texture of an Asian Pear, these California Apple pears are exceptionally sweet and delicious. Personally, I love the crunch and sweet fragrance of the Apple Pear! And, they are on sale this week at Foodland.
Beautiful Bing Cherries are on sale this week at your local Foodland and Sack N Save stores. These sweet summer treats make for a wonderful snack anytime, and are also great in pies, fruit salads, and of course to top your favorite ice cream!
Here are some helpful tips on picking and storing Bing Cherries:
How to pick Bing Cherries
We’re working with farmers who think the same way we do here at Foodland - that taste is number one. These growers are the best and they leave the fruit on the trees longer, so the fruit actually ripens on the tree. That really allows the fruit to have a higher sugar content. So the fruit that you’ll find in our stores this summer will be the sweetest fruit available anywhere. The sweetest apples, cherries, berries, melons, peaches, pineapples, and a whole lot more that your family will ... more »
One of our favorite Hawaii Grown fruits is in season and on sale this week at your local Foodland and Sack N Save stores. Grown by the Kona Dragon Fruit Company on the Big Island, this beautiful Dragon Fruit comes in shades of green, red, purple, and pink. The flesh of the fruit inside can range from purple, pink, red and even white with tiny edible black seeds.
The sweet flavor and texture is similar to that of a kiwi mixed with a pear, but you really have to try it for yourself ... more »
A couple of months ago, a group of thirty volunteers from our Foodland and Sack N Save ohana returned to Maʻo Farms in Waianae’s Lualualei Valley for our much anticipated quarterly GIVE day (Get Involved, Volunteer Environmentally). We all looked forward to spending the morning working in the fields planting, weeding and harvesting, but more importantly reconnecting with the knowledgeable and passionate student interns and staff at Maʻo. Since this was our fourth visit over the past ... more »