Kamehameha Schools Opens Punalu‘u Farms

Kamehameha Schools is preparing 140 more acres of its Koolauloa property for an agricultural park that will eventually be the 220-acre Punalu’u Ahupua’a Farms.

When completed in about two years, the new units will range from two to 10 acres of cleared land, and be connected to a reliable water source. Multiple units are available now for new tenant farmers, and Kamehameha Schools welcomes applications and business plans from interested residents. Email ksinfo@ksbe.edu for more details.

“We provide land, a connection to the irrigation system, security and common-area maintenance,” said Kawika Burgess, KS land asset manager. “We anticipate these features will make it a little easier for farmers to start or expand in Punalu’u.”

Echoing that thought is Ikaika Bishop, a second-generation farmer who also assists customers at Koolau Farmers in Kaneohe. Bishop already has signed on for five acres, where he plans to raise taro, vegetables, fruits and tilapia.

“I’m in total agreement with the Schools’ vision to increase food production for the local market,” said Bishop, who also likes the infrastructure that comes with it. “It helps organic farmers like me make the numbers (costs) work.”