Life on an Organic Lettuce Farm in Hawaii

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Our “normal” jobs in Florida have the perk of fresh Organic Lettuce being delivered once a month. It’s always fun to carry home pots of green goodness to eat. But there was a time, not so long ago, when lettuce wasn’t our favorite green. In fact, we thought lettuce was pretty boring. That was before we worked at an Organic Lettuce Farm while WWOOFing our way around Hawaii. Here’s the whole story…

Knock! Knock!

Who’s there?

Lettuce…

Lettuce Who?

Lettuce in and we’ll tell you!

Our second WWOOFing adventure in Hawaii brings us to Island Paradise Lettuce Farm in Haiku, Maui. This farm supplies a delicious organic salad mix to many of the restaurants and produce shops on the island. It’s much cooler on this side of the island and we’re learning LOTS about 14 different kinds of lettuce. Our favorite so far is the Green Wave with a very distinctive wasabi taste – YUM! Who knew lettuce could taste like wasabi?

We thought it might be fun to show what we do in a typical day on the lettuce farm – from the field to your salad plate!

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The pickers cut the lettuce by type, and then bring it to us in crates to WASH & PACK! Into the sinks it goes…and all the little creatures that were hiding among the leaves are now rescued and sent happily on their way.
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Once everything is squeaky clean and all the weeds are picked out, it’s time for a SPIN!

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This is an ordinary washing machine with the agitator removed, we put it on the spin cycle only and in a few minutes we have mounds and mounds of clean, dry lettuce READY TO PACK!

Look at all this lettuce!

Look at all this lettuce!

Now, it’s loaded into the packing room and piled HIGH!

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Time to bag up the lettuce!

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Three pounds per bag are the norm. A box of four bags gets labeled and taken off to local restaurants where this lettuce will be served tonight. Talk about fresh from the garden!

Always time for a nibble!

Always time for a nibble!

Next week we’re off to Kona to work on a coffee plantation for a month, we’ll be sure to share lots of photos and stories. Bring on the caffeine!

ALOHA!!

About the author

Lisa Chavis

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!

3 Comments

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  • Hi, looks fun!

    1. Do you plant the various kinds of lettuce separately? Or do you mix the seeds?

    2. Do you have to put meeting over the fresh seed so birds will not eat?

    3. How long does it take for the lettuce to grow? Do you get second cutting from it?

    4. Is it a profitable business? Where do you buy seed from?

    Thanks!

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