Supporting Hawaii Farmers through ‘Local Inside’ CSA

A group of Monsanto Hawaii employees on Oahu recently received a fresh and wholesome treat: a beautiful bag of locally grown vegetables and fruit raised by farmers at the nearby Hawaii Agricultural Foundation Ag Park at Kunia.

These employees were among the first to sign up for Local Inside, a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program launched by the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation (HAF) to support its farmers at the Ag Park, as well as other small growers on Oahu. Each month, Local Inside provides a diverse selection of locally grown produce to its CSA customers, based on what’s in season and available.

As defined by the USDA, a CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. By supporting Local Inside, the community will be able to support small farmers at the HAF Ag Park, as well as many other small growers on Oahu.

The HAF Ag Park at Kunia was created through an extensive collaboration between Monsanto Hawaii, Island Palms Communities and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, and is the first ag park in Hawaii to be established through a private-public partnership of this kind. Monsanto Hawaii continues to support the ag park through training, on-site assistance and now, as Local Inside CSA customers.

Other Local Inside CSA supporters include four popular restaurants: Roy’s Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head Market and Grill, REAL a gastropub and Scratch. HAF is also working with a number of large employers to make the Local Inside CSA available to employees as part of their health and wellness programs.

The Local Inside CSA comes in two sizes: $25 for a small bag (for two people) and $30 for a large bag (for a family of four). Specialty items such as eggs, cheese, butter, juice and other value-added products are also available for an additional charge. Produce is delivered in high-quality reusable insulated bags with ice packs to keep the products fresh. As an added bonus, Local Inside customers can also expect a recipe from partner restaurants featuring the produce in the CSA, as well as special monthly offers.

In their first delivery, Monsanto Hawaii employees discovered kale, lychee, Nalo greens, cherry tomato, eggplant, basil, shishito peppers, watercress and Japanese cucumber. Yum!

For more information, visit www.localinside.org or call 808-754-6697.