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Grove Farm News

Harvesting Hope: Grove Farm’s Community Impact

Harvesting Hope: Grove Farmers and NonProfits Cultivate Community Growth

Grove Farm’s Employee Volunteer Grants Program actively promotes involvement in Kauaʻi’s communities. Grove Farm employees personally dedicate their time to assisting local nonprofit organizations, and the organizations assisted by our employees also receive grants.

We are proud to introduce three Grove Farmers–Beau, Kevin, and Justin–who excel in their roles and serve as positive role models for our island’s youth by coaching sports at their respective alma maters.

Meet Beau Acoba

Before the roosters even begin their cockle-doodle-doo call in Kekaha, Beau Acoba is already up at 4:30 a.m., embarking on his daily journey to Līhu‘e. There, he starts his day with a workout before diving into his role as a Project Manager at Grove Farm.

This October, Beau celebrates seven years at Grove Farm, managing a diverse portfolio of projects. His expertise, particularly in plant development from his time managing Kapaia Watershed Preserve, is often sought after Nowadays, Beau’s responsibilities include overseeing cesspool conversions and enhancing Grove Farm’s social media, website, and newsletter. Additionally, his multifaceted skills as a photographer, videographer, drone operator, and audio technician are continuously being refined on the job.

After work, Beau dedicates his time to the westside community, teaching taiko on Mondays and coaching youth soccer during the week and on Saturday mornings He recently completed his third year as the head coach of the girls’ soccer team at his alma mater, Waimea High School. His weekends are filled with a mix of coaching, refereeing and taiko performances.

Beau’s family instilled in him the value of volunteerism from a young age.

“My family, from my Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Dad, and all my aunties and uncles, were involved in youth sports in some capacity,” said Beau. “Knowledge is nothing if you can’t pass it on, so it naturally was instilled in me to be involved and give back what I have learned over the years.”

Beau expresses gratitude towards Grove Farm for supporting his passion for volunteering, allowing him the flexibility to coach soccer and teach taiko. He also appreciates the grants provided to his team and his high school alma mater to help cover the costs of uniforms, equipment, and travel, making soccer more accessible for young athletes.

Beau’s relentless energy surpasses that of an average person, showcasing his dedication to his work and community involvement. Our heartfelt thanks go to Coach Beau for his unwavering commitment to our community!

Meet Kevin Reyes

Since November 2021, Kevin has been a vital member of the Grove Farm team. He manages the historic water system that flows into numerous reservoirs and irrigation channels, benefiting more than 100 agricultural tenants and several eco-tourism ventures.

Kevin was a standout athlete in high school and earned letters in both football and volleyball at Kauaʻi High. He remains active in volleyball, playing for the Kauaʻi Adult Volleyball Association and participating in both indoor tournaments off-island and sand volleyball competitions at Kalapaki.

Beyond his field duties, Kevin dedicates his post-work hours to mentoring the boys’ volleyball team at Kauaʻi High School, a role he has cherished for five years, including the recently concluded season.

Kevin shares, “My passion for volleyball and the desire to nurture the sport’s growth on Kaua‘i drive me to coach. The collective memories and efforts are truly rewarding, especially when working with the next generation.”

His coaches — Derek Borrero, Jacqueline Inouye, Lorna Basquez, and Jon Takamura —had a profound influence—on shaping his work ethic.

“Coaching is about being a meaningful part of my players’ lives. A season is an emotional journey, just like a roller coaster, filled with triumphant highs and challenging lows. I aim to help players improve, both on and off the court, so I eagerly return each year.”

Beyond his coaching responsibilities, Kevin devotes himself to his family, especially his one-year-old son, Avery. It is a familiar sight to see them side by side on the sidelines, offering inspiration and enthusiastic support to the team.

He adds, "Thanks to Grove Farm, I've been able to offer coaching support with a flexible work schedule. Our grant to Kaua‘i High School covers travel expenses, post-game meals, and updating equipment when necessary." Kevin’s dedication to the Kauaʻi High School boys’ volleyball program, fueled by his commitment and the support he receives, exemplifies his invaluable contribution to the sport and community.

Meet Justin Uegawa

Justin stands out as one of the Kapaʻa Warriors within the Grove Farm office, where he plays a pivotal role in our development endeavors, notably the Puakea II and III projects. Justin joined Grove Farm in February of 2023 and embarked on his coaching journey this spring, serving as an assistant coach for the Kapaʻa High School golf team.

Having been an avid sports player throughout his youth, golf captured Justin’s dedication during high school.

“Golf was a huge part of my life growing up and I saw coaching as a way to give back and help foster the new generation golfers,” he said. “As a coach, especially in golf, promoting integrity, honesty, and respect is my first priority. Teaching them how to make par is my second.”

A typical golf round lasts roughly four hours, yet coaching extends this timeframe to six or seven hours, demanding considerably more effort and walking. This season, the Kapaʻa golf program experienced a surge in participation, boasting more than 20 players on match days!

Justin highlighted, “The Grove Farm volunteer grant was a big help with expenses like range balls, practice rounds, and our team’s equipment, making golf a little more affordable for these student athletes.”

Away from the greens, Justin frequents the Kaua‘i Athletic Club in Kapaʻa and enjoys walks with his energetic dog, Whiskey. His culinary skills come to the forefront as he prepares pot roasts, curries, and stews, ensuring he has hearty meals for lunch and dinner throughout the week.

Fun Fact: What’s the common thread among a duck, a wolf, and a bearcat? These represent the mascots of the alma maters of Grove Farm’s three volunteer coaches, who are all the same age and alumni of Oregon-based institutions. Beau graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Kevin from Western Oregon University in Monmouth, and Justin from Willamette University in Salem.

Dive Into the Grove Farm Water Challenge!

The Kauaʻi Department of Water recently sponsored a booth at the weekly Grove Farm Market to advocate for water conservation. This initiative inspired the Grove Farm team to brainstorm ways to reduce water usage through simple daily habit changes. For one week, we committed to the following challenges:

Challenge #1: Turning off the water while brushing your teeth.

Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save up to eight gallons of water daily per household.

Challenge #2: Repurpose the water from washing your rice when watering your plants!

Instead of discarding the water used to wash rice, use it to nourish your plants with nutrient-rich, starchy water.

Challenge #3: Shorten your shower time.

Showers consume about 2 gallons of water per minute, so reducing shower time to 5 minutes or less can result in significant water savings for you and your household.

The most valuable lesson from this challenge was the collective realization of the importance of conserving our vital water resources and the commitment to integrate these water-saving practices into our daily routines.

May Day Memories

May Day on Kauaʻi is a special occasion for families, characterized by a vibrant display of student performances. Students work hard to showcase their class hula adorned in fragrant plumeria or tī leaf leis. A notable tradition at Kapaʻa High School, initiated by the esteemed Mrs. Adrienne (“Renee”) Thronas, stands out in our memories. As a retired educator, Mrs. Thronas dedicated her career to teaching music theory, band, choir, ukulele, and guitar at Kapa‘a High & Intermediate School.

Every May Day, the Bernice Hundley Gymnasium on the Kapa‘a campus comes alive with the presence of the entire student body. The younger keiki would sit on the floor while those in the upper school students and the chorus found their spots in the bleachers.

The May Day Court, donning attire in the hues of the various islands, would make a grand entrance. They wore lei crafted from the unique flowers of each island, and the girls’ holokū and the boys’ waist sashes were color-coordinated with their respective island’s color.

The highlight was when Mrs. Thronas’ May Day Medley, performed by the chorus, filled the air. She carefully selected specific songs to represent each island. Ni‘ihau’s song was “Ni‘ihau,” which celebrates the island’s iconic shells. Kaua‘i’s chosen song was “Aloha Kaua‘i.”

Enjoy the video and happy May Day!