I’m a bit late leaving the peacefulness of the lavender farm, so I headed quickly around the curves and downhill a little way to O’o Farms. An unassuming grassy area serves as the parking lot. I park the car and run uphill; I’m a little late joining the tour now in the loquats and kaffir limes.
There we met Richard Clark guiding a tour through the citrus trees, thew the coffee and stone fruit trees, and up to the outdoor dining area.
Richard talked about their approach to organic and sustainable gardening: “We invite everybody to the party. We just invite more good plants than bad ones.” The farm does not use any pesticides, and has gone three years required to qualify as an official organic farm.
Not unlike a huge home garden, the rows of different vegetables are all working hard to soak up the midday sun. (My shoulders, on the other hand, could use a bit more SPF; note to self.)
Next we met Executive Sous Chef Sean Christensen who also spoke about the gardens, local gardening as a sustainable activity, and the restaurants that all of their produce goes to. O’o is unusual in my tour because all of their produce is spoken for, and priced dependably, ahead of time. At the “kitchen” (a real kitchen but outside in the yard), Chef Christensen talked about the slow food movement while he chopped up raw veggies (carrots, fennel, beets, kohlrabi, watermelon and daikon radish) and fried up some tofu for our lunch. I’m watching the kitchen magic as others in the tour are heading off to the coffee roasters. The farm just put another 200 plants in, bringing the total plants to nearly 300 soon-to-be bean-producing Red Catuai coffee plants.