Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Local Farms Offer Produce Pickup in Hilo

April 26, 2020, 11:47 AM HST
* Updated April 26, 6:59 PM
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CSA boxes from Hawaii Eco contain all locally-grown, Big Island produce. PC: Hawaii Eco

Going to the grocery store can be a daunting proposition during a pandemic, and some farmer’s markets providing fresh, locally-grown produce will remain out of operation for the foreseeable future due to social distancing requirements.

As a result of COVID-19, many farmers and business owners have been dramatically impacted, and many customers have gone without some of their favorite Hawai‘i produce.

In response to this agricultural and economic crisis, community members and business owners across the state are adjusting their operations to support Hawai‘i farmers and other small businesses. Hawai‘i Eco is one such company.

Founded by Edmund C. Olson and the Keolanui family of O.K. Farms, Hawai‘i Eco’s initial intention was to operate agriculture tours islandwide while supporting farmers through agri-tourism. In response to the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, O.K. Farms has decided to temporarily shift its focus from agricultural tours and begin the sale, transportation and delivery of locally grown produce from several local farms to residents who participate in the company’s program.

Hawai‘i Eco and O.K Farms began Community Supported Agriculture box pickup and delivery at the beginning of April. They are working closely with island farmers to provide the community with fresh produce by pickup and delivery on the East side of the Big Island.

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“We would like to send our appreciation and acknowledgment to the farmers and all other essential workers who are keeping our communities fed and cared for during this pandemic,”  said Kea Keolanui, executive director of Hawai‘i Eco. “We are all doing our part to make this new reality work and we are proud to support our community in as many ways as possible.”

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Farm boxes can be ordered in advance at www.hawaii-eco.com or by calling 808-339-3594. They can be picked up every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon at 1672 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, HI, 96720.

“This is all thanks to the support and incentive of the Edmund C. Olson Trust,”  Keolanui said. “Mr. Olson has been one of the biggest supporters of agriculture on Hawai‘i Island for decades — starting many successful businesses such as Ka’ū Coffee Mill, Ka’ū Farms Management and O.K. Farms, as well as rescuing Hāmākua Macadamia Nut Company from an uncertain fate a few years back. Mr. Olson has also donated and supported the conservation and protection of thousands of acres in the state of Hawai‘i.”

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