Earlier this week, it was announced that Turtle Bay Resort had finalized a deal that would preserve just under 500 acres of farmland on Oahu’s North Shore from development, helping to create a more sustainable North Shore. To be sure, this is a monumental move for the area and ensures that the land retains its country vibe, all the while supporting local farmers.
Under the $6 million deal, 468 acres of prime land will be set aside solely for farming and conservation. As part of the arrangement, only housing for farmers on the land will be allowed. Currently, the land is used by a dozen farmers who grow a variety of crops ranging from basil to eggplant and taro. In the coming years, the resort will help the farmers expand their farming techniques, helping to ensure that the island’s food supply works to becoming more sustainable. Currently, Hawaii imports more than 90 percent of the food we consume.
“This agreement guarantees this massive parcel of prime property will always be utilized to grow crops and help feed the people of Koolauloa and the North Shore,” Drew Stotesbury, CEO of Turtle Bay Resort, said. “There will never be gentleman estates or residential developments built on these farmlands.”
The dozen farmers who currently work the land were reportedly excited to learn that the deal had been finalized.
“They made a pretty big commitment to the farmers and to the state of Hawaii to keep this land for farming, to produce food for the island. Like they say, ‘no farm no food,’” Saysiri told the Associated Press.
In addition to the farmland, the area will also include a bike path for the public.
The resort worked closely with multiple facets of government to make this deal a reality, including the Army, the state and the city. “We need to support agriculture and help our local farmers dramatically increase the amount of food we grow locally,” Governor David Ige said.
“This is a great step in conserving agricultural land to increase our food security and keep the promise of ‘Keeping the Country Country,’” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell added.
This announcement of the protected farmland comes months after the resort announced that it would protect 629 acres of its land from development and open to the public in perpetuity, proving that Turtle Bay is committed to a sustainable North Shore, all the while retaining its country nature.