Hawai‘i Public Health Institute in East Hawai‘i recently ventured out to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s agricultural Farm in Panaʻewa. On September 19, fifteen energetic community partners visited Panaʻewa for a personal and hands-on private tour as part of our Perspectives on Community Health program.
This incredible farm has 110 acres of land where students directly apply what they have been learning in the classroom, including aquaculture, hydroponics, animal science, and beekeeping. Through the field trip, attendees gained a better understanding of how vital Hawaii’s agriculture is to our economy and to efforts to help with food security and sustainability.
On our field trip, we were able to tour several areas of the farm: hydroponic crops, aqua culture and hydroponic greenhouses, citrus cultivation, and animal production. The tour ended with a visit to the largest enclosed honeybee hive (awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book of Work Records) and a talk story session with our host, Dr. Jesse Eiben, Assistant Professor of Applied Entomology.
The takeaway: sustainable agriculture is vital to life in Hawai‘i. To meet our people’s needs, UH Hilo isn’t just growing foods in a sustainable way, they’re also grooming the next generation of farmers. Mahalo UH and the folks at Panaʻewa Farm!