Meet our Punalu`u Farmers
DAVE BURLEW and his family have been farming vegetables and fruits organically for over 20 years. He began farming at Punalu’u Ahupua’a Farms in 2013, and also has a farm in Kahuku. Dave’s concerns for the planet and its people led him to pursue a college degree in Environmental Science. Dave’s path to being a positive steward of the land began when he took a course called Alternative Agriculture. Organic farming is Dave’s way of interacting directly with the ʻāina by caring for the land in an environmentally conscious and beneficial way. He began his farming career as an apprentice on a diversified certified organic farm. He attended the Tropical Horticulture program at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and the General Agriculture program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Dave is pictured here with his wife Tara and their son Kainoa on their family farm.
ROBERT AND LATASHA WILSON are the owners of Little Tomato Farms, a family farm operation based at Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms. Their vegetables and fruits are grown with aloha ʻāina and regenerative farm practices, without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilizers. Their passion is to work with the land to create healthy, fresh food for their community.
TED NAKAMURA is a wellrespected veteran of the local farming community who has been farming in Hawaii for over thirty years. He has farmed organically since 1993, and received his USDA Organic Certification in 2002. He operates USDA certified organic farms on Kamehameha Schools’ land in Waialua and Punaluʻu, and is dedicated to growing healthy, nutritious food for the local market.
Though you wouldn’t know it from this photo, KEITH WARD is the friendly owner of Keneke’s Grill, who also farms 15 acres of land at Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms. He was born and raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York where he milked the cows with his father every day. In addition to growing all the feed for the cows, they farmed sweet corn, green peas, soy, red kidney beans and wheat. After serving our country in the United States Marine Corp, he ended up in Hawaii in 1984 and opened his first restaurant. His goal at Keneke’s is to grow all the produce, fruits, herbs and potatoes used in his restaurant. He also raises sheep for their wool and milk, with the goal of someday producing his own ice cream and cheese.