Friday, March 30, 2012

Jordan's Journal: Kamuela Enos

There is a lot of talk about supporting local agriculture, encouraging young people to farm, and revitalizing economies in impoverished areas. Kamuela Enos, Director of Social Enterprise for Ma'o Organic Farms, is doing all of those things and more on O'ahu's west side.

Rep. Jo Jordan hosts Mr. Enos on the next episode of Jordan's Journal, where they discuss some of the truly amazing, revolutionary things taking place at Ma'o. The farm gained a great deal of notoriety when First Lady Michelle Obama made several visits to the farm during APEC. You may also recognize their produce from top restaurants like Roy's, Alan Wong's, Chef Mavro, Town, and Prima. Ma'o products are available for sale in Whole Foods, Down to Earth, Foodland, several farmers markets across O'ahu, and through a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Box.

Producing local, organic, healthy, and delicious fruits and vegetables is only part of the story of Ma'o. The 501(c)(3) non-profit is operated by interns from the Wai'anae area. Mr. Enos explains their internship program, which includes 100% tuition assistance for Leeward Community College and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, monthly stipends, and matching interns savings account contributions 2:1.

Mr. Enos discusses the "culture of college" Ma'o is creating in a place where 90% of youth don't complete a year of college. Ma'o firmly believes that "poverty is an attitude" and is working directly with the youth to overcome the dysfunction and disconnection to the land that has crippled the leeward side of O'ahu.

Ma'o stands as an example of what the future of Hawai'i could be and serves as an inspiration to us all. Please tune in to Olelo Channel 54 this Sunday, April 1 at 8:30 pm and learn more about what's taking place in the Lualualei Valley. The episode will be rebroadcast on Monday, April 2 and Monday, April 9 at 1:00 pm.

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