Oprah and Hawaii join together

It seems Oprah understands the value of a local food system, Hawaii is in great need of one!

Here’s an article on what Oprah’s is doing to make this happen.


Oprah Winfrey enlisted Bio-logical Capital’s Hawaii operation to create a sustainable farm on some 16 acres of land she owns in Upcountry Maui last summer, and now she’s showing off her harvest in next month’s issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.

Winfrey, who owns several hundred acres in Kula, said the idea to farm some of the land came from her friend, fitness expertBob Greene, who noted that some 90 percent of the food on Maui was imported from other places.

“We realized if we could grow delicious food ourselves, we could share it,” Winfrey wrote in the magazine. “So we designated 16 acres for farming, and last summer, with the help of a brilliant natural-resource-management group called Bio-Logical Capital, we planted a single acre with more than 100 species of fruits, vegetables and herbs.”

The crops were planted in a half-moon shape, and Winfrey said one of the reasons for the variety of plants was to see which would thrive. So far, beets, leafy greens and beans are doing well, she said.

“The other reason: The greater the diversity of crops, the richer the mix of nutrients that can wind up in the soil,” she wrote. “Here on Maui, our soil is now so good and so rich that we’re already producing 145 pounds of food each week.”

Winfrey said she is currently giving away the produce, but Greene said in a videoposted on People magazine’s website that they plan to start selling it soon. Winfreyregistered trademark applications last year for the brands “Oprah’s Organics” and “Oprah’s Harvest,” and previously registered the business name Oprah’s Farm LLC with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Bio-Logical Capital, which is also working to acquire the 4,500-acre Hana Ranch in East Maui, is using a regenerative approach to farming on Winfrey’s land that increases the yield while increasing flavor and nutrient density, while also conserving water and saving energy, the company said in a statement. The operation also recycles organic waste into compost.

Guy Kaulukukui, senior vice president of operations in Hawaii for Bio-Logical Capital, said the company is also planning to convert some of the acres of pastureland on Hana Ranch for organic farming. The company is in the final stages of due diligence and expects to close on the deal this summer, he said.

“We definitely have the plan of growing food,” he told PBN. “It will continue to be a cattle operation, but we are also excited about the prospect of converting some of the pastures to organic agriculture.”

Because herbicides have traditionally been used to combat invasive species on the ranch, it will take three years for Bio-Logical Capital to get the land certified for organic farming, Kaulukukui said.

If successful, the company plans to farm about 10 acres, and sell the produce to local retailers and at roadside farm stands, he said.

“The goal is to feed Hana, feed Maui, feed Hawaii in that order,” he said.

June 10, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

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