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Get a firsthand look at Hawaii's food culture when East Oahu farms open their doors to visitors

Get a firsthand look at Hawaii's food culture when East Oahu farms open their doors to visitors
A goat in his pen at Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii, one of the stops on the 2018 Parade of Farms in East Oahu. The May 5 event showcases local agriculture. (Oahu RC&D)

Despite recent flooding, farmers in Hawaii's East Oahu say they will turn the spotlight on their products as planned during the Parade of Farms in early May.

Torrential rain on April 20, KITV reported, fell at the rate of 4 to 5 inches an hour, the area's worst flooding in 30 years.

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As cleanup continues, Parade of Farms organizers say the area's agricultural bounty will be showcased as planned on May 5. Some of the hardest-hit farms withdrew from the event that showcases farms, farm products, foods and more.

People are invited to visit six farms in the Waimanalo area during four guided tours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on May 5. That is down from the planned seven tours of 10 farms prior to last Friday's deluge.

Buses will shuttle participants between the sites, beginning with a 9 a.m. trip to Frankie's Nursery, a grower of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees, including exotic varieties such as cainito, kasturi and malama.

Other stops include Go Farm, a University of Hawaii project to assist new farmers; Kanu Farms, which raises chickens on a seven-acre pasture; Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii, where horses are used to improve the minds and bodies of their riders; and Waimanalo Farms, a grower of various non-GMO produce.

Tickets for the Parade of Farms cost $15.

(Some of the participating farms welcome visitors year-round. Details can be found on their websites.)

Manoa Chocolate in Kailua canceled a May 5 tour after losing much of their cacao crop in the storm. It plans to hold an open house that day, with bean-to-bar products for sale.

Although tourism is the economic lifeblood of Waikiki, the Waimanalo region — on the eastern, and wetter, side of Oahu — relies heavily on agriculture. The fertile growing lands lie about 15 miles east of Honolulu.

Info: Parade of Farms, (808) 622-9026

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