Frankie's Nursery, featuring more than 400 species of plants, is just one of ten farms showcased at this year's Parade of Farms. - Photo: Oahu RC&D

Farms and agribusinesses in the heart of Waimānalo will provide a “behind-the-scenes” look into the business of farming at the O‘ahu Resource Conservation & Development Council’s Parade of Farms.

Farms and operations opening their properties for public tours will include Frankie’s Nursery, GoFarm Hawaii, Kanu Farms, Manoa Chocolate, ‘Nalo Farms, Plant Hawaiʻi, Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii, Waimanalo Country Farms and Yogarden. Additionally, the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ (CTAHR) Waimānalo Research Station will serve as the host and “home base” for the event as well as the open house.

“It’s not every day we have the opportunity to step foot on local farms and meet the people face-to-face who grow our fresh fruits and vegetables or raise livestock,” said Jean Brokish, executive director of O‘ahu RC&D. “It’s easy to take for granted the fact that these operations are often right in our own backyards. We hope Parade of Farms allows people to put a face to the name of those who work to provide us with fresh produce and see that locally-grown options are more abundant than they might think.”

Seven different tours featuring 10 local farms will be offered May 5 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The event is open to the public, but advance registration for the tours is required as space is limited. Tickets are available now online at Tour prices vary depending on age (ranging from free to $15 per person). Walk-in tour registration will be available at the CTAHR Waimānalo Research Station on a first-come-first-served basis.

Transportation/shuttle service will be provided for all guided tours from the CTAHR Waimānalo Research Station, where free parking will be available. Guests should be prepared for an outdoor field experience and should wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen and hats, and bring water.

A free open house of activities will be hosted at the CTAHR Waimānalo Research Station and will include informational booths about local farming and community initiatives. Event-goers can also choose to take short tours of farm plots located around the station, and a local youth group will be on hand to demonstrate ku‘i kalo (poi pounding) and a variety of keiki activities. A farmer’s market packed with fresh produce and locally-made products from surrounding farms and businesses will be up and running until 2 p.m.