Inspiration: Why Gingerhill Farm’s Got it Right
I picked up the latest issue of FLUX Hawaii which focuses on stewardship today during my afternoon coffee run(s). Stewardship can take many forms — of the land, of each other, and of ourselves. Though ‘right’ can be relative, there is, no doubt, a right way for responsible stewardship, and we look to Hawaiian culture for guidance. Pictured below is Mayumi Oda, known to many as the “Matisse of Japan,” and the founder of Ginger Hill. She has done extensive work with female goddess imagery and the feminine connection to nature. Mayumi has taught creativity and meditation workshops throughout the world.
“Making Peace at Gingerhill” got my foodie senses tingling. At Gingerhill, farmers wake before dawn for meditation, do yoga between tasks, barter for goods, pray for peace in the living world prior to every shared meal, and its founder makes art of female goddesses. Those facts are recited up front before snap judgments can be made. Sounds too Marxist, hippy, feminist, cultish ? It isn’t. If proponents of equitable food production win in the next generation, my generation, Gingerhill is the sort of place many ambitious, creative, equitable minds will grow what we eat.
Like over a dozen organic farms located on the “green belt” of Hawai‘i Island’s Kona coast, Gingerhill Farm is part of a global movement to change the way farming has become increasingly more corporate and environmentally unsustainable since the Second World War. The problems with mechanized modern farming, the overuse of chemical fertilizers, monoculture growing, and pesticide runoff have become widely known in recent years. Organic farms, which comprise the small minority of farms in the western world, present a model for sustainability and are making the term “farmer” a viable option for young people.