By Dagny Brand
Established in 2002, Kekela Farms continues to “provide healthy food to the community and to care for the ‘aina” with its new owners Tammy and Amit Singh. The familial values of the farm remain strong as Tammy, Amit, and their three daughters embrace the adventure of farming and engage the community in two weekly markets. “The learning curve has been steep, but with the help of the excellent farm crew who have stayed on, we are continuing to offer the same high quality produce our customers have come to expect,” said Tammy. “We are just so grateful to have had this opportunity to connect to the land and the community in this way.”
Kekela Farms practices “safe, responsible, and sustainable agriculture” to grow over 30 different vegetables, over 100 varieties in all, for the Waimea community. “We use organic farming methods because it’s better for everyone: ourselves, our workers, our customers, and the ‘aina.” Kekela Farms welcomes the community to taste their delicious produce at two weekly markets, one held at the farm and one at Waimea Town Market. Here, consumers can try lettuce and other leafy greens, beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots, radishes, green beans, fennel, sweet peppers, leeks, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, fresh herbs including basil, parsley, and oregano, and squashes including kabocha, pattypan, crookneck and zucchini. “Our family’s favorite veggie that we grow is our baby romaine: it’s sweet and delicate, and we eat loads of it every week,” added Tammy. In addition, the family bakes and sells their own “soft and chewy cookies” and “sweet and crunchy granola.” Kekela Farms also offers organic coffee beans from Hawaiian Cloud Forest Coffee and reusable produce bags, shopping bags, and hand-woven fair trade Bolga baskets to round out their market.
“It’s truly an honor to be able to grow and sell our produce,” said Tammy, explaining that the family run farm prides itself on connecting with the community through farming. “We love talking story with our customers at the market.” On their website, Kekela Farms invites people to “taste the difference” through their produce, and Tammy added that she “always enjoys hearing how people are using our veggies, either in person or when we are tagged on Instagram (@kekelafarms). So many beautiful and creative dishes that people post!” Kekela Farms also hopes to offer farm tours in the future to further engage the community.
You can visit the Kekela Farms family on Saturday mornings from 7:30am to noon at Waimea Town Market and on Tuesday afternoons from 2-5pm at the farm. The on-site market is on the lanai of the barn on Mana Road in Waimea. For more information about Kekela Farms, click here.