Harvest time is nearing again on the Big Island, after two consecutive years of vandals chopping down thousands of papaya trees.
"I couldn’t say anything. I just cried. We’re still trying, even though it’s really hard on us," said Big Island papaya farmers Erlinda Bernardo.
"It was all cut down like this, as low as this," said Bernardo, pointing to a mangled tree about 2-feet-tall.
In 2011, vandals cut down half of her and her husband Jimmy's 10 acres of their genetically modified papaya trees, and those tall stalks and golden fruit meant money in the bank.
Because of the vandalism, the Bernardos said they lost well over $10,000 last year, and they said much of what’s growing back is just not good enough.
"Look at that, no more fruit," said Bernardo, pointing to new growth on the stunted trees. "We were hoping this farm would support the education of my two kids, who are in college."
It's been about a year since the vandals chopped down the Bernardo’s trees.
"We were just kind of worried what would happen to the other farmers," said Bernardo.
Elizabeth Julian joined the Bernardos to talk to KITV reporter Lara Yamada.
Last year, vandals chopped down more than 8,000 of her family’s trees.