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There are many things to love about Hawaii (aka The Big Island), but one of the most memorable discoveries for us had to have been the large variety of fresh, locally-grown food available! Hawaii Farm Stand wants to share those incredible gifts from the Hawaiian aina (land) with the rest of the state (and the US) in order to help Hawaii’s farmers flourish.

Hawaii is home to 10 of the world’s 14 sub-climate zones, helping to create a rich tapestry of taste throughout the Island. Though some of the areas are more fertile than others, all of these climate zones work together to make the 4,028 square miles of Hawaii some of the most fertile in the Pacific.

The Hawaii Farm Stand subscription farm box program is the brainchild of Kalisi Mausio and her sister, Angela Fa’anunu, two farmers in Hilo who wanted to create opportunities for their farming business and their neighbours’ farming businesses statewide.

The sisters work to develop relationships with Big Island farmers and ranchers, then they gather small batch, handmade products (like honey, macadamia nuts, chocolate) from these farms and create monthly subscription boxes to sell nationwide. 

Hawaii Farm Stand was originally a branch of their agritourism Hawaii Farm Trails app, created to map and connect Hawaii’s farms, ranches, and farmers markets with visitors as regenerative tourist destinations, however these subscription farm boxes have become an important source of revenue for the participating farms as COVID-19 slows down tourism.

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Supporting Hawaii’s Farmers and Its People

The majority of farms in Hawaii are small, diversified, family-owned operations. As a result, value-added products tend to be grown and made by hand and in small batches.

What farms lack in quantity, they make up for in quality, not only via the value-added process but also as a result of sustainable agricultural practices and the diverse ecosystem (as well as the soil supporting the plants). Hawaiifarmstand.com helps to create a marketplace that allows farmers to preserve the identity of their farm and their single-origin products, while ensuring access to a reliable, consistent market.

Hawaii Island serves as the center for agriculture for the entire State of Hawaii. Even with the abundance of different types of foods that can be island grown, agriculture still pales in comparison to tourism as an industry in Hawaii; at about 21% of the state’s entire economy, many want to do more to focus on agriculture, rather than tourism, as the driving economy for the state.

In addition, 85-90% of Hawaii’s food is imported, leaving a lot of room for small farms and ranches to help drive a movement forward that focuses on sustainability.

Hawaii Farm Stand is a regenerative enterprise committed to telling the story of the farmer and of agriculture in Hawaii. HFS believes that keeping farms in business is the key to reducing Hawaii’s food insecurity and to creating the basis for resilience for this island community. Every Hawaii Farm Stand purchase goes back to assisting the farmers through promotional and capacity-building programs.

Hawaii Farm Stand

How to Order

To get started with a subscription, visit Hawaii Farm Stand online. Depending on the type of box, products can include chocolate, honey, coffee, tea, macadamia nuts and more. Subscription boxes range from $35 to $60, with free shipping throughout the U.S. As well, there’s a farm box option that includes a code for a virtual farm tour to learn more about where the products come from.

The website also helps to connect customers to over 30 farmers, giving them the option to buy one-off products at their own convenience. Additional shopping options include gift cards as well as branded “Cultivate Resilience” hats and stickers.

These subscription boxes make great gifts and can be personalized with a handwritten note on a custom ulu (breadfruit) fiber note card. Visit Hawaii Farm Stand online for more info.

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