"A Change of Pace, Change of Life, A Change For Love..."
You may be familiar with the old saying by Heraclitus which states “The only thing that is constant is change”. We all wait for December 31st to come around each year as we put into motion our changes for the new year. We want to change our diets, we want to change the way we view life, change jobs, take more time to relax and make more money.
But, the change that I’m referring to is different for a small local business on the west side of the island of Oahu. Located off of Farrington Highway between Waianae and Maili is a non-profit 501(c)3 that is fulfilling their mission statement with each passing day. Please join me with an A L O H A as we explore “Kahumana Organic Farms”.
“Our mission is to co-create a healthy, inclusive
and productive farm-based community with
homeless families, people with disabilities
Kahumana Organic Farms
We stumbled upon Kahumana Organic Farms by accident. We visiting their neighbors “Naked Cow Dairy” on a nearby parcel of land and were leaving to get lunch. It was around 11:30am and we were clueless as to where to eat in Maili. As I was about to open up YELP! I saw this sign on the street that encouraged us to make the turn into the driveway.
As we were pulling in, I saw a few buildings around the property. At first, I was thinking they hosted parties for weddings or private events. There was ample parking available and we scored a stall under this big tree who provided shade for our lunch stop.
From afar the building looks so comfortable and I wondered where they'd fit a cafe in here.
Upon walking into the building you’re kindly greeted by what looks like a living room. A wall of books and a few chairs added a nice feel to the waiting area.
Prior to entering the dining room, I couldn’t help but notice the small retail store out front and I had to go check it out. Inside there were dozens of products that were created at the farm. Dried herbs and spices that were grown on the property were available for purchase. A plethora of other small local businesses also graced the shelves of this unique gift shop.
A young lady working behind the counter was answering so many of my questions about the property as it was enamored by the amount of things that take place on one property. Jessica (picture below) was so helpful and friendly. I asked about a small painted pot on shelf and she informed me that she personally makes them, places a bag of seeds in it and some soil to encourage people to grow small plants within their homes.
Onward to lunch…
The dining area was so cozy. We sat on the taller tables but we had the option to eat on the patio, a longer wooden luau table or even outside near the garden. (check out the YouTube video below)
When I looked on Yelp, the restaurant was labeled as a vegetarian café BUT this isn’t totally true. The Kahumana Café menu offers a bundle of options to include vegetarian, vegan and gluten free choices. As you’ll notice, the recipes from the menu include a majority of vegetables and herbs that are grown and gathered on the property.
“We are committed to providing local fresh meals
served in a pleasant farm environment at
an affordable price. We highlight produce grown
just steps away from your table, wild-caught fish
brought in by local fishermen,
and responsibly farmed local meats.”
Kahumana Organic Farms
We didn’t wait very long after placing our order to eat. The food came out and the presentation was spot-on. The plate was smothered by vegetables and greens that you KNOW came from the lands outside. I felt so humbled to know the food was grown and harvested locally. The flavors that embodied each dish was incredible!
Macadamia Nut Pesto (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Whole wheat pasta served with fresh stir-fried farm veggies
(I added chicken)
A Special Of The Day: Turkey Patty Loco Moco
Later the waitress stopped by and I asked her about the organization and she happily told me about ALL the things that happen on the property:
Transitional housing programs for disenfranchised families
Programs for adults with developmental disabilities
School feeding programs
Vocational experience programs
I was taken back as she shared her personal story with us and how Kahumana Organic Farms helped her get back on her feet. After feasting on fabulous meals, strolling outside in the garden and speaking to people on the property who really loved what they were doing, I NEEDED to share this story, this café, this craft store, this legacy of positive CHANGE with others.
I wanted to extend a big M A H A L O to everyone who spoke with us and to those behind the scenes who go beyond the call to help others make a change in their lives for the better. We most definitely will be returning to see you soon.