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Featured Farmer

HTFG Molokai News Release

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is a statewide nonprofit organization, dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. The Molokai Chapter is made up of members that are home gardeners, small scale farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about promoting products, skills and agricultural opportunities.

This month’s featured farmer is Michigan-born Jamie Ronzello who runs her family-owned Barking Deer Farm off Maunaloa Highway. Years ago, her college degree focused on cultural anthropology, and she is right at home farming on Molokai with its rich history. Jamie is a super busy, young farmer who delivers her “Beyond Organic” fresh vegetables to Molokai stores and Paddlers Inn and enjoys being a beekeeper.

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Photo courtesy of HTFG.

On top of that, she is representing Barking Deer Farm as one of 12 Molokai vendors, 120 total, at the firstever, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development’s Made In Maui County Festival at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Nov. 7-8. She is a certified master food preserver with a small business “Island Style CSA” which features a great, creative value-added line of products like: spiced coffee meat rubs, hibiscus teas and island style jellies. Value-added means “expanded value added to enhance a product to increase marketing revenue”. To add to her repertoire, Jamie is on a group panel to support legislative recommendations for the cottage food business to the state of Hawaii, Dept. of Health.

Jamie joins other members of HTFG who are biophiliacs — those who have hard wired tendencies to connect/interact with nature. Her message to the younger generation is to get involved, fall in love with farming and work the land. She is a wonderful example of community involvement: The MOM Hui, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower’s secretary, Kuha`o Business Center participant and Molokai’s representative for the new cottage food law in Hawaii. Jamie appears to be a “workshop junkie” who is always stretching herself to learn something new. We are excited to see what else she creates! Visit her beautiful website, barkingdeerfarm.com.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Molokai Chapter working group panel to provide recommendations to the DOH for creating legislation that would support cottage food industry/businesses in the state of Hawaii.

Meetings are held at 5 p.m., the first Monday evening of every month at Kalele Bookstore’s backyard. The contact person regarding meetings, new memberships and general information is Luann Cefola, public relations coordinator, Lcefola@earthlink.net or 553-5265.

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