Mala ‘AI ‘Opio Community Food Systems initiative or MA’O Farms was established in 2001 to turn the new millennium with their desires and concerns to focus more on the youth and community. In the Waianae community, Mao farms are a 501c3 non-profit with focuses on sustainable economical development and organic agriculture. MA’O farms are training the youth of the island to be culturally active and become strong leaders for the island. MA’O Farms has stated “when we reconnect and restore the relationship between the land and the people, we are able to return abundance and prosperity to youth, to their families and to the community”2. They plan to put the value of aloha into action.
MA’O Farms is a leading Agriculture Activist on the island of Oahu with a focus on under privileged youth, sustainable economic development, organic agriculture, health & wellbeing, and Hawaiian culture. Mao farms’ mission is “to restore a thriving and resilient community food and education system … growing organic fruits and vegetables while cultivating youth leadership in Waianae”. MA’O farms goal is to focus on Hawaiian cultural values of aloha aina. They not also care for the land in perpetuity to grow, process, package, prepare and share food in ways that are pono and sustainable to the community, and all of Oahu. The area in which MA’O Farms is located is seen as an environmental injustice, due to the United States military occupation.
MA’O sells some of its produce at Tamura’s and also to nearby Makaha Resort in the Waianae community. But the mass of its produce is sold in the city and to the Kapi‘olani Community College Saturday farmers’ market. Demand in the city is overwhelming, and although MA’O is feeding the island of Oahu, may the focus on feeding the community be lost? Rachelle Carson a previous worker of MA’O Farms states that she had “learned about nutrition, being part of a team of workers and, when I’m in the field picking, what real peace of mind is “. The drive to educate the community of the aina and importance of community is still strong.
With Oahu offering fertile soils and land suitable for the agricultural production it is vastly changing from the focus of more buildings to more community and more reduction of the carbon and ecological footprint. MA’O Farms is taking a stand and restoring the community of Oahu and educating the importance of clean and green, as well as ohana.
- MA‘O Organic Farm: Growing Food and Empowering Youth (n.d) by Regina Gregory Posted June 2008 http://ecotippingpoints.org/our-stories/indepth/usa-hawaii-mao-organic-farm-empower-youth.html
- Who We Are by MA’O Farms http://maoorganicfarms.org/who_we_are
- MA’O Organic Farms: Social Responsibility, Produce + People By Joshua Lurie, December 6, 2011, http://foodgps.com/mao-organic-farms-waianae/
- MA’O Organic Farm, https://www.tpl.org/our-work/mao-organic-farm