Cherry Tree Planting Honors Three Generations of Lalamilo Farmers

Posted on Feb 18, 2014 in Main

Earlier this month, Gov. Neil Abercrombie planted a flowering cherry tree during the 21st Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, to honor the three generations of farm families who converted what was once a rocky, arid section of land into the “vegetable basket” of the state – an area known as the Lalamilo Farmlots.  

The Governor recognized the incredible tenacity of an earlier generation that had to remove about 100 tons of rock – all by hand – to make this land productive, and he also acknowledged the many challenges that the current generation of farmers face today including improvements needed to the nearby Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant, for which he recently released $1 million for needed repairs.  

Gov. Abercrombie is pictured with Sen. Gil Kahele and Sen. Malama Solomon, surrounded by Waimea farmers (L-R) Lima Tamasese, Larry Nakamoto, Royce Hirayama, Lorraine Kawano, Earl Yamamoto, Raymond Kawamata, Wendell Kawano and David Greenwell.  Standing in front of Greenwell is Department of Agriculture Irrigation Division staff member Steve Diaz and next to him, Ken Kakesako from HDOA.  The keiki in the photo lending a hand – perhaps the next generation of farmers – are Pu’uwai Covington and Chaz Hirayama Wada.