I live in the 50 year old home of my grandparents. When you live in a home that old, things are bound to fall apart. As a result of this phenomenon, I’ve had to learn a lot skills with fixing things or hire someone to fix it for me. Being from an Okinawan and Chinese background, we don’t like to pay money if we don’t have to.
I’ve learned so many skills just out of necessity. One night while washing dishes, my toddler son decided throw an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet. Pretty soon I heard him screaming, “Look mom! Water!”
I rushed into the bathroom to find the toilet overflowing and a watery mix of toilet paper sloshing out. I knew already that the plunger wasn’t going to cut it. After sopping up what I could and shutting the water, I got my toilet auger and started working on it. I had learned from my grandpa how to use it and sure enough, the plug went plunk, and the water gushed out.
Just recently, one of my outdoor faucets broke and at first I thought to do it myself. I carefully surveyed the problem. It didn’t look too hard but I could easily screw it up if I wasn’t careful. My gut told me to talk to my dad about it.
I described the problem to him and he said I could try to fix it but be careful and use the right tools or I’ll be paying a plumber lots of money to fix a mistake. He decided to come down to my home to take a look.
Sure enough, it wasn’t an easy fix as it appeared to be. It took a lot of careful muscle power and skill to get them off after being there for over 50 years. I learned how to fix it properly from the expert, my dad. Even though things appear to be simple, it rarely ever is.
This lesson brings me back to the restoring expertise in our society. If I had made assumptions that this repair was easy, I probably would’ve caused major damage to the copper pipes. A keen eye with experience help prevent headaches later on.
What if Hawaii politicians kept listening to the anti-GMO crowd demanding to farm only one way? Would we be able to sustain ourselves? For papaya farmers, the answer is no. We need all the tools available and the input of the experts who have been there. Their education and experience is a building block for building the right path for the future.
If we truly want to preserve agriculture here in Hawaii, we need to look at who is talking at the table and has the expertise to be there. If we put the political PhD folks like Ashley Lukens and other non-farmers, will we be set in the right path? Seeing how the anti-pesticide campaigns have contributed to a resurgence of rat lungworm disease here, it’s clear that there is a cost to misinformation. The supposed food safety group is still silent on rat lungworm disease.
Farmers deserve to be heard and have access to technology that can make their jobs better. Listening to politicians who have no experience in agriculture or rely on campaigns based in false information can do irreparable harm for years to come. Luckily, we still have many experienced resources available like my dad still invested in growing Hawaii.
It’s time to support farmers now and get onboard with those working the lands. Farming families like ours need to be heard over the loud activists who have no idea what it means to farm. You can’t have an expert opinion from Google and nor should politicians even rely on this crowd either.
Want farms? Support them and their work if you want sustainability.