Future Organic Farmers

CCOF CEO Kelly Damewood Interview with Polipoli Farms

If you’ve been following the CCOF blog, you’re likely aware of Lehia Apana, co-founder of Polipoli Farms in Waiehu, Maui. Polipoli Farms describes itself as “tucked away in the Waiehu foothills,” and is located “on the same ʻāina mōmona [fertile land] that fed generations of Native Hawaiians.” Says Apana, “As a Hawaiian-run farm, we blend indigenous and modern growing practices.”

Meet Santiago Contreras, Future Organic Farmers 2020 Grantee

For the last 15 years, Santiago Contreras has been a vegetarian—conscious of healthy eating and healthy food. After many years working in the restaurant industry, he made the leap to learn to become a farmer by enrolling in the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) to develop his knowledge and skills to work the land.

The Story of One Hawaiian Farmer, Lehia Apana

In a recent interview, Lehia Apana, multi-year Future Organic Farmer grant recipient and co-founder of Polipoli Farms on Maui, Hawaii, recalled her struggle identifying as an organic farmer. Despite using agroforestry and applying organic methods on the farm for many years, Apana speaks of having imposter syndrome and wondering when she and co-founder Brad Bayless could call themselves farmers. Their journey is not unlike that of other young farmers across the United States or even of young professionals in the first five years of their careers.