Farming Then and Now

I hope you folks have had a nice Thanksgiving. Bea, AKA Mom, was surprised that the harvest is over before Thanksgiving. I reminded her that this and last year have been unusual. Back in her time, the school year was adjusted so that kids could help with the harvest. The school year ended in about the third week of August (versus late May now). And it started up about two weeks before Thanksgiving (versus early-August now). And they used to pick coffee through the Christmas holiday, when they had two weeks or so off of school. They only got New Year’s Day off of coffee picking. My mom says the Japanese believe that if you’re laboring on January 1, you’ll be working hard your entire life. Those kids knew hard, manual labor.

This segues to a recent human interest article about a local family in West Hawaii Today, “Organic ‘glamor camping’: Bonderas living sustainably on Kanalani Ohana Farm in South Kona.” I’ve been seeing them around and/or their names for years, but I learned more from this article. For example, Colehour Bondera, a regular at the Keauhou Farmers Market, was one of 11 kids and grew up working on a farm in Oregon. Click through the photos in the newspaper article. I’d like to get that bike-driven mill (pulper) and put my husband and cyclist friends to work. (I don’t think we have enough coffee to keep Keish Doi sufficiently busy to replace his daily Kailua-Hawi round trip ride. Ha ha.)

The Bonderas have been in Hawaii now for about 20 years. The Bonderas’ farm, Kanalani Ohana, is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed earlier this year in the U.S. District Court in Seattle about fake Kona coffee. I mentioned it in my 3/10/19 post. I appreciate how involved they are with the community.

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”

— George Bernard Shaw

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