Hawaii Politics

Kabocha and Aloha

IMG_5164Lately, I have a hard time giving my business to establishments that hang a “Vote Yes” sign in their window.  On every other issue, I don’t care at all if we disagree, I’ll still support your business.  But on the Maui County Initiative, I just can’t make it through the door of a ‘yes’ business.  They are advocating for the loss of my husband’s job, which means no income for us, which means I can’t shop in their store anyway.  They might as well not have my business now.

IMG_5260This week my kids started asking to carve pumpkins and I immediately thought of the charming farm up in Kula that advertises a pick your own pumpkin patch each year.  My parents are visiting, so I figured this was a great opportunity to take the morning off and have some family time.

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When we arrived we were directed to the only entrance, and just outside the gate, was an individual handing out ‘Vote Yes’ literature and DVDs.  I immediately thought, I can’t support this business.  I told the kids we would look around, but that our pumpkin purchase would be made at a grocery store down the mountain.

Luckily, I stopped in the produce stand before we left.  As the nice lady at the register started talking to me about the best way to cook Kabocha (and even gave us a sample from her lunch!), I casually asked about the individual at the gate.  She informed me that they don’t want her there, but she wont leave, even when asked.  Most businesses are smart enough to know that bringing politics on their site will alienate at least a portion of their clients.  It doesn’t even matter which side they fall on – they’ll make someone mad.  This business is no different.  Leave politics out of it.IMG_5261

While I was chatting up the produce gal, my mom, Ruth (who is older and bolder than me), was visiting with another employee of the farm that had the same story.  They have asked these people outside the fence to leave, but they wont.  About that time, the vote yes lady herself walked through the farm and mom decided to have a word with her.  Towanda!

The activist’s response to Ruth was, They can’t keep us away from here.  We have a right to be out there on public property.  This did not sit well with my mom as she was once a small business owner that understands how damaging a demonstration in front of a store can be.  She politely told the activist that it was inappropriate for her to be at the gate when the farm didn’t want her there, and that handing out ‘yes’ literature was giving customers the misleading idea that the farm supports something they may not support at all.

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Most importantly, this activist chose to not leave when a business asked.  Where’s the aloha?  I couldn’t have been the only person to assume that this individual was with the farm.  She stood two feet from the only entrance, how could anyone assume otherwise?  I almost left without a purchase.  Thanks to my feisty mom and an impromptu conversation about kabocha, I found out my money would be well spent at this farm stand.  We left with 6 pumpkins, a bag of green beans, and… one perfect kabocha.

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7 thoughts on “Kabocha and Aloha

  1. I visited kula farms over the weekend as well and the same concerns. My daughter noted a sign that stated that the supported all types of farming, organic and non-organic. That put my mind at ease. Its a great farm and they provide a nice destination for maui kids and kids at heart at Easter and Halloween. Kudos to kula farms.

  2. I love how you put this individual on blast for her passing out vote yes items, yet your doing the same thing, 2 wrongs dont make a right! You have made this business not so great for me after reading your post! Though you said keep politics out of a business? Does that rule only apply to one side?

    • Whitney, I did not pass out literature at this farm, in fact I didn’t even ask them if they are a “vote no”. I simply asked if the lady at the gate was with them. They were very clear about the fact that she was not. If I wanted to hand out vote no info, I would certainly ask permission of a business first and I would respect their wishes.

      • How are you sure what happen in Alabama wont happen here or what happen in Virgina wont happen on this island?

      • Hi Whitney,
        Great question. The two incidents you’re referring to in Virginia and Alabama happened in the 1950’s and 60’s. These were terrible things, and if my husband was working for THAT Monsanto, I’d be horrified. Thank God Monsanto is no longer a chemical company. Please see #12 of this post: https://iowameetsmaui.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/an-open-letter-to-our-friends-on-maui/ .
        Monsanto no longer develops any chemicals, and in fact, all of their current development centers around microbials which will be beneficial to both organic and conventional growers. I know what happened in Virginia and Alabama won’t happen here because this isn’t a chemical company. They grow corn and develop better genetics in that corn. Genetics that will allow less chemicals. That’s the point. No one wants to use chemicals, and that’s the direction that Monsanto seems to be going. Less chemical use for farmers.
        Maybe a clearer answer to your question might just be that no-one is producing dioxins that I’m aware of, and certainly not Monsanto. This was a terrible product that Monsanto warned the government not to use near people. The government did it anyway. That stinks. I totally get why people are scared of Monsanto, which is why I’m writing this blog in the first place. I’m not paid a penny to do this, but I want people to understand what it has taken me years to see. I’ve had a front row seat to their actions for the last 16 years, and frankly, I’m impressed. I doubt I would have been impressed with the company from the 1950’s, but I’m impressed with the company I see today. When I was growing using organic and sustainable practices, I started to see what my husband (working for Monsanto) and father-in-law (a farmer) were able to do with biotechnology, and I was a little jealous. We need to meld these two. There are so many great things in organic practices, and there are some really promising things coming out of biotech. Think of what the two combined could do!

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