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Grove Farm News

Grove Farm Newsletter - November 2022 Edition

Protecting & Preserving Māhā‘ulepū

Recently, some members of the community have been asking about our plans regarding the gate to the vehicle access road to Māhā‘ulepū. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for us to reopen the gate at this time.

Private road that was once open for public access, but closed due to illegal activity

We all share a responsibility to protect and steward Kaua‘i’s natural beauty and resources, including pristine areas like Māhā‘ulepū. Many farmers are leasing the lands to grow fruits and vegetables for local consumption. There are significant archaeological sites in this area and there are endangered species.

For decades, Grove Farm allowed vehicular access to Māhāʻulepū during daylight hours. In 2020, we made the difficult decision to close the vehicle access road in order to mitigate the substantial criminal activity taking place on our property. There were multiple incidents, many of which involved not only Grove Farm’s security crew, but also the Kaua‘i Police Department.

The following photos show just a tiny glimpse of the types of incidents that were going on, ranging from graffiti and destruction of native Hawaiian plants to theft, illegal camping and campfires, and illegal dumping. Other illegal incidents that have occurred include drug use, trespassing, and damage to our farmers and other tenants’ crops and property.

Graffiti on the ironwood trees
Native Hawaiian plants grown at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve were trampled on
Cash was stolen from the donation box at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve, a non-profit entity
Illegal camping activity
Illegal campfire stopped before it could cause irreparable damage. A few years ago, a fire scorched over 600 acres in this area.
Illegal dumping of trash

Ultimately, the road closure became unavoidable and was necessary due to the danger posed to our community, the damage being done to the environment, and the unsustainable financial burden of the large security needs on top of costly road maintenance and repairs.

For many decades, Grove Farm absorbed the cost of road repairs and maintenance

Grove Farm has already invested considerable resources in security cameras, patrols, and other measures to protect our property and tenants, but even with these precautions, we cannot guarantee that criminal activities will not pose a threat to our community. Although the gate has remained closed since 2020, many people continue to access Grove Farm’s property illegally, and we are working with authorities to address the issue.

It is also important to note that there is ample parking nearby and each day, there are hundreds of cars that park there and the visitors take the scenic trail to access these areas. So, the area is open from the public parking location.

This is an aerial view of the parking location and the route to the beach and the Makauwahi Cave Reserve areas

Grove Farm has a responsibility to care for our tenants and the land, and we cannot in good conscience reopen the vehicle access road to Māhāʻulepū at this time. We will continue to examine potential scenarios for reopening, and we will keep the community informed if the situation changes.

Hundreds of Pumpkins Shared with the Community

On Saturday, October 22, Stephanie Iona — representing the many sponsors and supporters of the agricultural industry — gave away free pumpkins at the Grove Farm Market. Mahalo to the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League for their hard work assembling the booth and distributing the pumpkins. This wonderful event distributed free pumpkins to Kaua‘i’s keiki for the 9th year and also included a free rock-climbing wall for all to test their skills. Happy Halloween!!!

Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League President Blaine Agena handing out pumpkins
Brooklynn Silva was excited to bring home pumpkins to her extended family

Join Us for Holiday Shopping & Giving Back

With the holidays around the corner, find a special gift made by local crafters at the Grove Farm Market Craft Fair on Saturday, December 3, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Also, every Saturday from November 5 through December 3, Precision Fencing and Landscaping will be at the Grove Farm Market collecting new, unwrapped toy donations for the Toys for Tots Foundation. Please share the holiday spirit and bring joy to Kauaʻi's keiki by supporting their initiative!

Recipe Roundup – Kale & Sausage Chowder

As the evenings begin to cool, a bowl of hot chowder will soothe your soul and warm your heart! Ken Morikawa, Jr. (KJ) discovered this recipe when his family put together a recipe book. This was something his Grandma Kubota would make for family gatherings. His grandma’s recipe inspired him to create a Kale & Sausage Chowder to pay homage to her, while adding his own flair.

And what would complement this hearty chowder? Try Keifer Quiroz’s mom’s Popover recipe to dip in your rich and savory chowder!

Looking for more delicious cooking inspiration this holiday season? Check out Grove Farm’s full searchable database of favorite local recipes online.