I guess I’ll start with a disclaimer. It’s been two weeks since I arrived here at Kahumana Farm, and this is my first post… I made the decision to leave my mac book at home, so I won’t have a way to post unless I use my phone or borrow someone’s computer. Sorry in advance for tumblr neglect. Anyway. I don’t even know where to start to recap everything that’s been happening over the last fourteen days. I have nothing but time in this place… and the time is somehow simultaneously slower and faster here. I’ve been writing everyday, which helps me analyze my life on the farm.
I guess I’ll start with the basics.
I have my own room in the wwoofer house. It’s kind of rustic, but comfortable compared to other places I’ve stayed when travelling. I share a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a ping pong table with 7 other wwoofers. 3 more live next door. Christian, the farm manager, and Robert, the cafe manager, also live on the farm, as do a handful of other workers. The people I live with are mostly 20-somethings from the mainland, some of whom are wwoofing to transition into full time Hawaii life. A few of them have cars and make regular trips into town, aka Honolulu, on the weekends. Oahu is a strange place. The farm itself is beautiful, and there are all sorts of nature things happening that blow my mind everyday. On the other hand, we’re surrounded by poverty. Our farm is in Waianae, a town that is located on the dry side of the island. The soil is rich, but nothing grows without irrigation here. There are homeless tent ‘cities’ everywhere, and top secret military bases too. When I tell people from town that I’m going to Waianae, they look at me funny… It’s known for being sketchy, but I really like it. I’ve already mastered the public transportation, and I’ve started recognizing regulars on the bus. Waianae definitely isn’t a tourist spot, even though it’s less than two miles to the most incredible beaches I’ve seen.
My little tribe is an interesting collection of creative farmer restaurant people. Everyone is here for different reasons, and it’s really interesting to catch little pieces of their stories. It seems like most of us are in moments of transition, unsure of the next step, but happy to be where we are right now. We’be bonded about mosquito bites, bonfires, good food, and beach runs. I’m one of only three girls, but I’m used to hanging with more guys than girls, so it works out. We are getting another wwoofer tomorrow - Todd from Texas.
The book selection in the wwoof house is killer. Travellers’ libraries are always the best. I’m reading everything I touch, which is time-consuming and necessary.
The farmwork is hard, but I can feel my body adjusting to it with each passing day. I split my 30 hours between the farm and the cafe, just about 50/50. I prefer the farm because I learn so much… But in the cafe I’m teaching others. I’ve found that I do best with the delicate, time-consuming tasks such as planting really tiny seeds, weeding the planters in the greenhouse, etc. I love harvesting root vegetables and lettuces. I still hate shoveling, whether it’s soil, compost, or mulch. Hopefully my mind will change to match the adjustment of my body.
This experience feels more like an experiment the more I move through it, and I’m looking forward to what the remainder of my time here has to offer. I’ve already learned so much about the island, the farm, the people, and myself.
Every Friday we put together 23 boxes for customers who have purchased a CSA share from the farm. This week’s box included rainbow chard, eggplants, kale, a bunch of herbs, tangerines, carrots, beets, radishes, leeks, chives, sugar cane, and more.
washing my first carrot harvest.
How To Be Alone (by Andrea Dorfman)