GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living

Island Style Fall


Fall has always been my favorite time of year. The crunchy leaves, chilly days, pumpkin picking and glorious colors make my heart sing!

But wait- I live in Hawaii.  Fall means something different here! Rougher ocean waters begin this time of year, surf is gearing up for the massive North Shore waves of winter, it rains a little bit almost every day, but the days are still filled with sunshine and average temperature of 82 degrees fahrenheit.  In some spots it’s a good time to plant cooler weather varieties of things though, as our micro-climate up on the mountainside actually does drop to the low 70’s at night. So chilly! 😀

So in order to try and re-create the fall of my youth, we do visit our local pumpkin patch and eat a lot of locally grown corn this time of year.  Family has commented that it’s funny to see us at the pumpkin patch in shorts and flip flops, but if we decide to hit the beach afterwards, it makes sense, right? 🙂

What doesn’t make sense and frustrates me is that there is only one farm on our whole island that actually grows their own pumpkins. It just happens to be a place I won’t go because they were indicted on charges of human trafficking for farm work a couple years ago. The whole case is sketchy and I won’t go there. So we go to another farm, Waimanalo Country Farms where I’m fairly certain they don’t grow all these pumpkins. I think they perhaps grow some smaller ones and gourds, but the pallets of pumpkins that have been shipped in was my first clue. And really, I’m just not sure how they could possibly meet the demand. The farm was so busy on Saturday! We had to wait for a table to sit and eat our corn chowder (yum!) and they have expanded the kids activities to include pumpkin painting, hayrides and a little train that pulls them around the farm.


Pumpkin selection is serious business!

So we picked our pumpkins and then went home to enjoy some fresh Waimanalo sweet corn, compliments of the College of Tropical Ag (where I work!) There are some perks to my office job, one of which is the occasional delivery of produce to staff.

wpid-20131020_131637.jpg Our university grows several varieties of corn, all traditionally bred (not GMO) and the flavors really are quite different. A few were a bit rotten on the ends so our hens got those, but the rest were lovely!



My favorite: I love the mix of white and golden kernels!


All in all, a fabulous re-creation of a “traditional” fall- without frost on the windows or heavy coats!
















Author: Carmen

Things I love: justice in all forms; flowers; locally grown food; cloth-diapering; breastfeeding; feminist theory; outdoor play; beaches; wine; Divine interventions; 4-H and coffee. Things I loathe: racism; homophobia; toxic crap; misogyny; litterbugs; the zombie apocalypse and pitbull-haters. My formal education is in sociology, gender studies, and public policy. I'm also a Lactation Educator; 4-H Youth Development coordinator a Certified Master Gardener and a graduate of a Permaculture Design Course. I've been blogging for several years on dozens of topics- everything from women's health to breed-specific legislation. But the thing I like to write about most is my gardening, food adventures and my kids. So there you have it. Please be kind. Thanks.

2 thoughts on “Island Style Fall

  1. Human trafficking? holy moly. That could put a damper on your pumpkiny fun.
    If it’s any consolation, even the pumpkin patch here in rural Kansas usually buys some pumpkins, if they don’t have a good season. They also spray the heck out of the ones they grow. Maybe one day you’ll have your own farm with organic, Hawaii-grown pumpkins.

    • Right?! It was all over the news for such a long time, and then suddenly nothing. So disgusting. And we did try to grow our own pumpkins this year, but between the rain, mold and bugs we just couldn’t get one past a baseball size without rotting. 😦 Next year!


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