Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spend a Day Down on the Farm - Update on Kamilo Nui Valley

Somewhat of a secret to many Hawaii Kai residents are the farms at the head of Kamilo Nui Valley mauka of Mariners Cove. Have you shopped at one of the flower growers for fresh cut flowers? Have you realized how much open space and undeveloped land we still have in this one scenic "corner" of Hawaii Kai? And how close it may be to development?

A "Day on the Farm" sponsored by the Kamilo Nui Farmers Cooperative and supported by Representative Gene Ward and staff, is an effort to educate Hawaii Kai residents on the beauty and value of this agricultural land.

Livable Hawaii Kai Hui was originally formed over 5 years ago to help protect the valley from development, maintain the open-space, promote the valley's agriculture component and natural watershed qualities. They will participate in the festivities along with Aloha 'Aina 'O Kamilo Nui. They hope to introduce the mission and visions of the non-profits and enlist more volunteers and sponsors for their work.

The event will be headquartered at R&S Nii Nursery (Richard & Judy Nii) October 10, this Saturday, from 10 AM - 2 PM, starting with a blessing, then fun, games, drawings, and a "Teach In" about the history and importance of keeping our farmers in Hawaii Kai, and the dangers of overdevelopment. A children's' bouncing house and food vendors will also be onsite. Additional community organizations participating include: Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, Malama Maunalua,, Kaiser High School Interact Group Rotary, Maunalua Fishpond & Heritage Center, and 'Aina in the Schools. Governor Linda Lingle will join the festivities from 11:45pm to 12:15pm.

The farmers of Kamilonui Valley are just a few months away from lease renegotiations with Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, and many fear steep rent increases will shut down their operations and make staying in Kamilonui Valley unaffordable. Judy Nii, owner of R&S Nii Farms said, "We hope the more people understand our farms and what we mean for the community, the more they will support us."

Rep. Ward adds, "Hawaii Kai is already over-developed, and to lose our farmers in Kamilonui Valley is a clear and present danger to all of us who live in this community."

At least drive up to the Valley this Saturday and take a look this beautiful resource, at what is endangered - not just land but a lifestyle for many. Contact Rep. Ward or your representative on our Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board for more information.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

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