I took a little detour. The week between Greenfire Farm and Kumu Aina Farm on the Big Island of Hawaii my fingernails have gotten a little cleaner as I traded in farming for sight seeing. Dan and I were lucky enough to stand among towering redwoods, drive where dramatic cliffs meet the Pacific, stretch our legs on the hills of San Francisco, and watch the early evening sun dip away into the ocean in Hawaii.
Amongst all this beauty away from the farm, one thing I have continued to wonder is where all the food I’m eating is coming from. At Greenfire Farm it was easy. The veggies that comprised the majority of our meals came from the field and the other basic food supplies came from the food Co-Op in town. But now, back on my own, I’m wondering more. Who picked the carrots I bought at the grocery store? How much were they paid since I only had to pay $1 for the bag? As I ate mouth-watering sushi in Waikiki, I wondered if any of the ingredients besides the ahi tuna came from the island.
Clearly it’s not always realistic to grow all of the food locally for a community—especially considering the space it would take for a large city like Honolulu and the restrictions on the types of food that can be grown and produced based on climate. But it does seem like it should be possible for the avocadoes in the grocery store to be Island grown rather than imported from California, as a newspaper article here today pointed out. I think articles like this one that highlight the work of people trying to get more local produce into grocery stores are a good sign. As the efforts of those working on behalf of farmers and local food producers converge with greater consumer awareness, the more our taste buds, environment, and farmers benefit.