O’o farms is located in the lush green hillsides of Maui’s upcountry region. The farm exclusively provides all that it grows to three restaurants on the island of Maui. They average 34! inches of rainfall a year and are often under a misty cover during the winter months. Even so the farm is equipped with drip irrigation because it can really get hot and humid.
When you arrive at the farms the first thing you notice is the breathtaking views, overlooking both the north and south coasts. First to greet us was Richard Clark the farm manager who has been playing in this dirt for ten years and is obviously passionate about the land which totals 8.5 acres of virgin! territory that was once home to a thriving population of eucalyptus trees and hippies. This soil is the rich choclate cake color and texture we have all been craving and can never quite attain no matter how much compost we amend into it. I have now figured out the secret, get your own volcano!
I was happy to learn it’s not all perfect soil and ocean views, they have pest up here too. Thrips, aphids and snails are all regulars but the biggest problem is the humidity. I have enough problems with mildew as is but can you imagine an average of 70% humidity for most of the year in addition to 34" of rainfall? Cucumber, squash and pumpkins as well as tomatoes aren't fans of this climate so tend not to produce very well. O'o is all organic even though they cant legally say so, so no chemicals or pesticides. They use crop rotation, cover crops and row covers to help protect their plants.
The farm gives tours twice a week educating those who attend about everything farm including composting, vermiculture, healthy soil, chickens and growing organic food. Speaking of chickens the farm has a great coop pictured below with a couple of wild roosters to keep the hens in check. Richard hopes to establish a rolling chicken coop here in the near future which I look forward to seeing. At the end of the tour guest are treated to a gourmet lunch cooked on site by one of their fantastic chefs Barry Clark.
My dreams and imagination are in overdrive, especially upon hearing that O’o doesn’t need to do any outside marketing. This farm works with their three restaurants when planning what to grow and takes orders daily for each menu. In addition to the tours the farm sails full speed ahead with only four (very busy) helpers. I don’t know about you but this sounds like a dream come true.