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Ahiki Acres is a 1.25-acre farm located in the backroads of Waimānalo. The small farm is run by two GoFarm graduates, Haley Miyaoka and Matt Mckinnon, whose mission is to increase Oahu’s food security by growing healthy, tasty products, while practicing responsible stewardship of the ‘aina. They utilize fully organic farming practices to grow their diverse array of crops. Some of the vegetables they grow are leafy greens (kale, collards, lettuce), herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro), eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, roots (radishes, beets), and turmeric.
Growing up in Hawaiʻi, Haley noticed that a disproportionate amount of our food is imported from out of the State. She also learned that there is a lack of farm labor due to an aging farming population. As a young Native Hawaiian, she started Ahiki Acres to address growing problems around food security. Now Ahiki Acres is a profitable small farm (without any debt) that now supports two living wages for Haley and Matt, and two part time employees. Ahiki Acres is Native Hawaiian owned, brings in revenues of over $100,000 a year, and Haley and Matt are both in their 30s! Their farm truly is a model for the development of new, young farmers in our state.
Matt and Haley met in the GoFarm Hawaiʻi program where they were both enrolled separately. They farmed on their own independent plots during the first six months of the program, then they realized they'd be better together in business (and in life). Prior to becoming partners, Matt worked in IT and carpentry, and Haley got her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in French. All of these skills continue to come in handy (well, maybe not the French) as they scale up Ahiki Acres. Their goal is to find land to lease or buy in Waimānalo by the end of the 2021 and expand Ahiki Acres to 3-5 acres. With expansion they hope to feed more Oʻahu residents, specifically in the moku of Ko'olaupoko.
For Haley and Matt, the most fulfilling aspect of farming is being able to support their local community. Ahiki Acres supplies produce to Hui Malama O Ke Kai, who distributes free produce to the community. The Waimānalo community has a high Native Hawaiian population with many residents at or below the federal poverty line, so they provide them with affordable, healthy produce. Haley also volunteers with 'Aina in Schools, through which she has worked with schools like Blanche Pope and Kainalu Elementary to teach students about farming, cooking, and local food systems.