Report from Leo Nani Farms
Look up the hill to see Ha Lua Leo Nani, the Gathering Place at Leo Nani Farms.
Metal and wood structure made for song and dance, a place to study and perform.
Shades of gold, green, brown and burnished red.
And she is complete now. Already six local and international vocal improvisation groups have met here and performed for the local community. Rehearsals for a local intercultural music and dance ensemble called Elemental have begun here.
Good acoustics and dance floor, Trade Winds and a view of the Pacific below and Mauna Kea above.
Studio and archival room for Janne’s lifetime of photographs.
Leo Nani Farms is thriving.
Three hundred pounds of olena (turmeric root) harvested and shipped around the island and off to the Mainland and Canada.
Camilia sinensis (tea) crop of two hundred plants is producing four harvests each year. We process and package for sale on our own label. Looking for creative ways to develop value added products, especially the White tea which is low caffeine and delicious both hot and iced .
We will harvest more than one hundred white pineapples in September. Investing in a large dehydrator will allow us to dry and sell this bountiful fruit.
Lilikoi (passion fruit) arbors in three places around the land will yield big harvest in fall.
We are now selling our ulu (breadfruit) and avocado at Locavore in Hilo.
Young workers from the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunity on Organic Farms) program are an ongoing presence on the farm. We house and feed them and in return they help with the heavy lifting a farm requires. In the last years we have gotten much better at finding the right matches so that often they stay many months and become part of the family at Leo Nani.
Right now there are four WWOOF staff helping to prune the cacao orchard which we hope will fruit by next season, repair and refine the fence lines around the cattle pasture, learn the chores that support the steers, ducks, chickens, dogs and cats that make the farm so alive.They also process crops, work in the greenhouse, mow, weed and weed wack. The list goes on and on. We are learning from them as well and grateful we are.
Bananas, avocados, mango, papaya, poha berries, corn, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, beans and greens all fill our meals with fresh nutritious food. We feel the blessing of living on a farm where sharing food is an everyday miracle of hard work.
Rhiannon still travels to teach and perform while Janne manages the farm. Whenever we can travel together we do. This often means long separations and a sense that this is a good path and how fortunate we are to have found our way to Leo Nani.
Ha Lau Leo Nani can now be rented for workshops and performances by other local and international artists.
We are also part of an artistic and farming community that exists around the island. One of our goals is to find the next generation, the young farmers, to share and develop the farm. Feels like a revolutionary act to live in community growing food and making art. We want very much for that to continue.
It is important for us to once again thank our community of friends and family. Your generous support has made all of this possible. Investments in the future of Leo Nani Farms will ensure that we can continue to be a resource of food, music, dance and inter-generational farming in our local and world wide community.
Please be welcome to come see what we are doing.