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Grove Farm News

Grove Farm Newsletter - February 2020 Edition

Public Uses of Kauaʻi Water

For well over 150 years, Grove Farm has operated, maintained, and enhanced a series of legacy water systems that serve Kaua‘i communities. Given the central location of the Grove Farm lands, this water infrastructure is critical to the island’s sustainability.

When you arrive on Kaua‘i and leave the airport, did you ever wonder how the state is able to maintain the beautiful gateway?

County facilities like the Kauaʻi Police Department and Judiciary Complex also benefit from irrigation water.

Youth and adult soccer enthusiasts also enjoy the County’s North Vidinha soccer fields that are irrigated by this water systems.

The hopes of past Mayors have come to fruition with the County’s Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center. This much needed facility is made possible through the water systems.

The Kaua‘i Community College also benefits from surface water for its taro loʻi and the "Go Farm" program. Students benefit from hands-on experiences on the fundamentals of farming, growing your own food, and sustainability. The water for these outdoor classrooms comes from these water systems that Grove Farm maintains.

Adjacent to Kaua‘i Community College are the campuses of Island School, Pūnana Leo Preschool and Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School, which all benefit from these water systems. In fact, to start its school, Kawaikini was the recipient of potable water source credits from Grove Farm’s Waiahi Surface Water Treatment plant.

The Lihu‘e Water System also serves the farmers and ranchers operating on the state’s Agribusiness Development Corporation lands in Kalepa. Water was also provided to the Wailua lands owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and will be available when water is required in the future.

These legacy water systems were designed primarily for sugar production by Lihu‘e Plantation, Grove Farm, and Koloa Plantation. All of these activities are protected uses under the state Water Code and are also important components in Building a Sustainable Kaua‘i. Despite the end of the pineapple industry and the sugar industry, our island continues to rely on these plantation-era water infrastructure systems to provide for the many public uses today.

Also, imagine if these systems were not maintained – the disastrous flooding and damage that would occur during adverse weather conditions. For these reasons, Grove Farm has continued to maintain these irreplaceable water assets, such as reservoirs, streams, tunnels, flumes, and other water-related infrastructure.

A Grove Farm Farmer Story

Rich volcanic soil, well-managed water sources, lots of Kaua’i sunshine, and most importantly, the heart and dedication of farmers brings a bountiful assortment of locally grown harvests. This is the story of Nophadom “Nap” Seechachet; his cousin, Wirat Yothachai; and our visit to their farm.

Nap and Wirat have farmed on Grove Farm lands in Lihue since 2012. With their wives and children, they devote their hearts and souls to farming.

Nap is the youngest of eight children and comes from generations of rice farmers in Thailand. He started working on Kaua’i as a contract worker in 2004. When his work visa expired, he returned to his native Thailand, and later immigrated back to Kaua’i in 2010. Having worked for several agricultural-related businesses, he took a chance and ventured out on his own. He reunited with the rest of his family on Kaua’i in 2012. Nap’s cousin, Wirat, shares much of the same journey. Read more of their story here!

Educational Modules

Wilcox Elementary School

In October, Grove Farm hosted the fifth graders of Wilcox Elementary School at the Waiahi Surface Water Treatment Plant. The students learned about processing surface water into potable water, and the importance of conservation.

The fourth grade class learned about sustainable energy with a visit to the Green Energy Biomass Plant and the Tesla PV Farm and Battery Storage facility.

A few weeks later, the third graders took a trip to the south side of the island to learn about geology and paleoecology at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve and the beneficial uses of water at Waita Reservoir.

Commitment to our Veterans

LIHU‘E, HI – The Grove Farm Foundation gifted the Kaua‘i Veterans Council and Museum $10,000 to assist with the renovation of the Kaua‘i Veterans Center’s Silver-Bronze Star and the Purple Heart conference rooms. The funds, which were presented to Commander Mary Kay Hertog, will also be used for the much-needed renovation of the Kaua‘i Veterans Museum.

Grove Farm’s President and CEO, Warren Haruki said “We are extremely pleased to be able to help Kaua‘i’s veterans. We honor veterans who came before us and those who continue to serve and protect our country.” Haruki, whose father was a veteran who served in the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team in WWII, and whose uncle is the decorated General Eric K. Shinseki, former Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, has a deep understanding and appreciation of the numerous sacrifices and acts of bravery and heroism of our veterans.

Read the full story here!