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Big Island

Green Acres – Benefits of Farm Living in Hawi, Hawaii

Just like the song says, “farm living is the life for me!”

I live the real life version of Green Acres everyday on my farm in Hawi, a quaint little town on the northern tip of the Kohala Coast. Being a city girl like Eva Gabor’s character on the 60’s TV show “Green Acres,” I never thought I would end up living on a farm and enjoying it as much as I do!

A year ago, we had 8 acres of weeds as tall as me, and today we have a real farm with rows of crops and orchards galore. A lot can happen in a year on a farm in Hawaii with ideal year-round growing conditions. Abundant soil, the perfect combination of sun and rain, and fresh trade wind breezes make this part of the island a paradise for plants.

In the last year, we (really my husband) have planted over 100 banana plants, papaya and avocado trees, a citrus orchard, rows of pineapple, lemongrass, green onion, cassava, sweet potato, cilantro, lettuce, tomato, asparagus, taro, squash, peppers, herbs, carrots, and much more.

We even have a whole section of ornamental trees including monkey pods, shower trees, bamboo, palm and coconut trees. It is amazing to see the transformation and how happy all the plants are!

Big Island grown farm fresh lettuce from today’s harvest

Nothing beats a homemade salad straight from the garden, and I love being able to step outside to our gardens and harvest food for the day. Not only is it extremely healthy to grow your own food, but it is very economical and sustainable, all very important things living on an island.

We always have more food growing then we could ever eat, so we like to trade, share with anyone we can, or sell to local restaurants or farmer’s markets. If you would like to try some of our farm fresh organic veggies drop me a note, I’d be happy to share with you!

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Erik Hinshaw, R(S)

April 1, 2011

Certainly sounds like “the Place to Be” All you need is a pig named Arnold.

Erik Hinshaw, R(S)

April 1, 2011

Certainly sounds like “the Place to Be” All you need is a pig named Arnold.

Brooke Derby, R(S)

April 1, 2011

Oh don’t you worry Erik! We do have a pig and her name is MISS TILLY! I am saving her for her own blog so stay tuned!! Happy Aloha Friday!

Brooke Derby, R(S)

April 1, 2011

Oh don’t you worry Erik! We do have a pig and her name is MISS TILLY! I am saving her for her own blog so stay tuned!! Happy Aloha Friday!

Julie Keller

April 2, 2011

Mmmmmm, and the tomatoes from your Green Acres are the tastiest of Nature’s candy :). Sounds like an awesome Hawaii Life!!

Julie Keller

April 2, 2011

Mmmmmm, and the tomatoes from your Green Acres are the tastiest of Nature’s candy :). Sounds like an awesome Hawaii Life!!

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

April 2, 2011

And don’t forget I have some listings in the area with ag water available if anyone is interested in becoming a farmer in Kohala! They could be neighbors with you, Brooke!

Mike Chandler

December 27, 2011

Beth,
I am interested in agricultural land in North Kohala. How is best to visit about it?

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

December 28, 2011

Hi Mike,
I hope you are continuing to read this…feel free to contact me directly at 808-443-4588 or beth@hawaiilife.com
Aloha
Beth

Mike Chandler

December 30, 2011

Thanks for your response and I will either email or call you soon. But preliminarily, I am interested in knowing what produce is grown in your area, is irrigation water readily available, do you require irrigation always or does is depend on where you are located? Thanks, Mike

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

April 2, 2011

And don’t forget I have some listings in the area with ag water available if anyone is interested in becoming a farmer in Kohala! They could be neighbors with you, Brooke!

Mike Chandler

December 27, 2011

Beth,
I am interested in agricultural land in North Kohala. How is best to visit about it?

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

December 28, 2011

Hi Mike,
I hope you are continuing to read this…feel free to contact me directly at 808-443-4588 or beth@hawaiilife.com
Aloha
Beth

Mike Chandler

December 30, 2011

Thanks for your response and I will either email or call you soon. But preliminarily, I am interested in knowing what produce is grown in your area, is irrigation water readily available, do you require irrigation always or does is depend on where you are located? Thanks, Mike

Brooke Derby R(S)

April 3, 2011

@Julie I am glad you liked our tomatoes! We have plenty more! I love being able to share our abundance and it helps with our carbon footprint!

@Beth You do have some great listings right near me with incredible Farm potential! Our little Farm community has so much to offer! If you are in the Waimea office be sure to take a Kabocha Squash- I left a bunch up there!

Brooke Derby R(S)

April 3, 2011

@Julie I am glad you liked our tomatoes! We have plenty more! I love being able to share our abundance and it helps with our carbon footprint!

@Beth You do have some great listings right near me with incredible Farm potential! Our little Farm community has so much to offer! If you are in the Waimea office be sure to take a Kabocha Squash- I left a bunch up there!

Jessica

April 21, 2011

Aloha Brooke,

Your farm sounds heavenly….Hawi is incredibly beautiful. My husband and I spent some time last year living on the Big Island doing some organic farming and we just fell in love with the simplicity of the farming lifestyle. We will be returning by the end of 2011 to learn more about sustainable farming and to enjoy the land and more delicious produce. Do you ever accept work traders on your farm, or are you open to the idea? Feel free to email me if this is something you would ever consider. We’re 29 & 32 years of age, raw vegans, non smokers/non drinkers, non hippies 🙂

Mahalo!
Jessica JMcMahan821@yahoo.com

Jessica

April 21, 2011

Aloha Brooke,

Your farm sounds heavenly….Hawi is incredibly beautiful. My husband and I spent some time last year living on the Big Island doing some organic farming and we just fell in love with the simplicity of the farming lifestyle. We will be returning by the end of 2011 to learn more about sustainable farming and to enjoy the land and more delicious produce. Do you ever accept work traders on your farm, or are you open to the idea? Feel free to email me if this is something you would ever consider. We’re 29 & 32 years of age, raw vegans, non smokers/non drinkers, non hippies 🙂

Mahalo!
Jessica JMcMahan821@yahoo.com

Brooke Derby R(S)

April 25, 2011

@ Jessica Aloha and Mahalo for your kind note! We think our Farm is pretty heavenly but we are biased! Hawi is amazingly beautiful and it never ceases to amaze me! I love the synergy of the community and how everyone is really focused on sustainability. Where did you and your husband live while you were on Island? We were just talking about signing up with WWOOF Hawaii organization http://www.wwoofhawaii.org/node/39 which is a work trade setup. Have you checked that out? We would love to have more help on our farm!

Brooke Derby R(S)

April 25, 2011

@ Jessica Aloha and Mahalo for your kind note! We think our Farm is pretty heavenly but we are biased! Hawi is amazingly beautiful and it never ceases to amaze me! I love the synergy of the community and how everyone is really focused on sustainability. Where did you and your husband live while you were on Island? We were just talking about signing up with WWOOF Hawaii organization http://www.wwoofhawaii.org/node/39 which is a work trade setup. Have you checked that out? We would love to have more help on our farm!

Josh Arriola

May 20, 2011

Mrs. Derby,
I love your post :)I’m considering moving to that area and I would like to know if its a relatively cheap place to live. Just a bachelor looking for a new experience. Thank you very much for the post once again. Email me if you would like.

Josh Arriola

May 20, 2011

Mrs. Derby,
I love your post :)I’m considering moving to that area and I would like to know if its a relatively cheap place to live. Just a bachelor looking for a new experience. Thank you very much for the post once again. Email me if you would like.

Brooke Derby R(S)

June 19, 2011

@Josh Mahalo for your comment! Have you visited the Big Island before? As you probably know everything in Hawaii is more expensive because most of our goods come on either a boat or plane so it is not necessarily a cheap place to live. It is, however, an incredible place to live and the quality of life is hard to beat! To me, it is the cost of living in Paradise! When do you think you will make the move? Are you thinking North Kohala is your destination? You will definitely have a new experience living in Hawaii! Good Luck! ALOHA!

Brooke Derby R(S)

June 19, 2011

@Josh Mahalo for your comment! Have you visited the Big Island before? As you probably know everything in Hawaii is more expensive because most of our goods come on either a boat or plane so it is not necessarily a cheap place to live. It is, however, an incredible place to live and the quality of life is hard to beat! To me, it is the cost of living in Paradise! When do you think you will make the move? Are you thinking North Kohala is your destination? You will definitely have a new experience living in Hawaii! Good Luck! ALOHA!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

July 15, 2011

Wow…I love the dialogue…Mahalo, Brooke!

Annie Mendoza, (RS)

July 15, 2011

Wow…I love the dialogue…Mahalo, Brooke!

Ruth S. Montgomery

January 10, 2012

I Love what you wrote about Hawaii farming on the Big Island! That is what I want to do! I’m looking into moving to Hawaii. I have a lot to learn first. Maybe you can help me?

Brooke Derby R(S)

January 11, 2012

Aloha Ruth! That is great that you want to farm on the Big Island! Farming has become a major thing here and there is a huge slow food movement taking place as people are very concerned about knowing where their food comes from. Where do you live now? I would love to help you learn more about farming and moving to the Big Island! I have learned so much from our Farm and it has been the best thing for me. I look forward to connecting with you! You can call me directly at 808-937-5352 or email me at brookederby@hawaiilife.com Warmest Aloha!

Ruth S. Montgomery

January 10, 2012

I Love what you wrote about Hawaii farming on the Big Island! That is what I want to do! I’m looking into moving to Hawaii. I have a lot to learn first. Maybe you can help me?

Brooke Derby R(S)

January 11, 2012

Aloha Ruth! That is great that you want to farm on the Big Island! Farming has become a major thing here and there is a huge slow food movement taking place as people are very concerned about knowing where their food comes from. Where do you live now? I would love to help you learn more about farming and moving to the Big Island! I have learned so much from our Farm and it has been the best thing for me. I look forward to connecting with you! You can call me directly at 808-937-5352 or email me at brookederby@hawaiilife.com Warmest Aloha!

Brooke Derby R(S)

January 11, 2012

Hi Mike! I am sorry I missed your comment from a couple of weeks ago. I would be happy to talk with you about what grows well here and what does not and the situation with irrigation/rain amounts/Ag water, etc. For example, Kubocha squash used to grow really well here but then we had a major bee issue and all the crops died. In the Kohala area you can grow almost anything (depending on elevation) and some of the crops that do well are: most citrus, bananas, all kinds of vegetables, lettuce, carrots, cassava, jicama, green onions, taro, tomato, etc. On our Farm we have Ag water that comes from the ditch as well as county water on our property. The Ag water is much cheaper but not available everywhere. I would be happy to discuss this in greater detail with you if you would like. You can call me directly at 808-937-5352 or email me at brookederby@hawaiilife.com Warmest Aloha!

Brooke Derby R(S)

January 11, 2012

Hi Mike! I am sorry I missed your comment from a couple of weeks ago. I would be happy to talk with you about what grows well here and what does not and the situation with irrigation/rain amounts/Ag water, etc. For example, Kubocha squash used to grow really well here but then we had a major bee issue and all the crops died. In the Kohala area you can grow almost anything (depending on elevation) and some of the crops that do well are: most citrus, bananas, all kinds of vegetables, lettuce, carrots, cassava, jicama, green onions, taro, tomato, etc. On our Farm we have Ag water that comes from the ditch as well as county water on our property. The Ag water is much cheaper but not available everywhere. I would be happy to discuss this in greater detail with you if you would like. You can call me directly at 808-937-5352 or email me at brookederby@hawaiilife.com Warmest Aloha!

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