With over eighty inches of rain each year and no frost – or even cool weather! – to kill off or slow down pests and diseases, Hawaii can be a challenging place to grow vegetable crops. Add to that the cost of bringing fertility inputs over 2,500 miles from the mainland, and you’ve created a situation that could try the best of farmers. Chad discusses what he’s done to ensure that his farming operation succeeds in the face of these challenges.
We discuss how Chad has developed a market for his products since he started his farm in 2010, how he’s changed his production in response to business growth, market development, and weather; and how he’s developed a worm-based composting system that brings him fifty to sixty pounds of compost each week with a minimum of effort and off-farm inputs.
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Quotes from the Show
I've cut down to four or five crops to simplify my life and I've just found them a lot more profitable when I compare the amount of input and labor versus my return.
The way I look that is, I don't want to hire people but if a tool or a piece of equipment would make my job faster and easier I was going to buy it.
I want [my products] to be unique, stand out for its quality something that people can remember when they go back to the store to go buy.
I've noticed with the worm compost I culled so much less and that makes your job easier when you're processing and washing and sorting your vegetables and packing.
We discussed Elaine Ingham’s work on the soil food web.
Chad uses the Worm Wigwam to make his vermicompost.
And the BCS Caravaggi shredder to grind the materials he puts into the Worm Wigwam system.