Fruit Growers Featured Farmer
HTFG Molokai Chapter 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 gardeners, farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about promoting products, skills and agricultural opportunities. Meetings are held the first Monday evening of every month. The next meeting is March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Mahana Gardens.
This month’s featured farmer is Marshall Joy, owner of Joy Farms in Ho`olehua. Marshall is an amazing man, one of five young (“true hearted”) farmers in Molokai and the youngest beekeeper in the state attaining recognition with his award winning Hoolehua honey. He collects wild bees and watches over his 30 hives to prevent infestation from the hive beetle. He is a master food preserver of value added products, has culinary training and a University of Hawaii Master’s degree in Education. Driven by passion for Molokai living and the spirit of excellence, Marshall masters time management juggling his 40 acre homestead, family, full time job, horse, hunting and fishing. His time is used for permaculture, muching, composting, cultivating and seeking exotic fruit trees like guavas (Egyptian, Indonesian, Chinese, Middle Eastern), wax jambu, sour sop, brews worm tea and maintains a high quality alfalfa field as his family did.
With many worldly options and talents before him, Marshall chose to come back home to Molokai with his wife Hazel to give back and successfully model the best of western education and traditional knowledge as he teaches elementary kids at Kualapu`u School.
“Huli, kalima, elalo” — turn your hands down to the land. His two small keiki are the fourth generations of farmers that will use traditional knowledge as a valued life skill, working smart, working hard and working with excellence. Marshall says, “Molokai kids can do things no other kids can do….grow taro, make kululo, harvest deer meat. There is nothing Molokai kids can’t do.” Perpetuating the life of the land by modeling to Molokai’s next generation is an important time-honored way he shares what he was taught.