Where You Live: Sumida FarmUPDATED 7:30 PM HST Nov 11, 2013Video Transcript
If you've ever eaten watercress in Hawaii -- there's a good chance it came from Sumida Farm. Some say the best tasting watercress in the world is grown there -- perhaps because of it's most unusual location. KITV4's Brenton Awa tells us where that is -- in our Where You Live series. NATS - SLACK KEY MUSIC UNDER SHOT OF FARM "...music..." One walk through this field -- and you can easily forget where you are... Sumida farm has a real country feel -- but don't be fooled. The states largest supplier of watercress sits in Aiea -- right next door to the Pearlridge shopping center. NATS - 850 - 855 "WE'RE HARVESTING IN THIS AREA, WE JUST HARVESTED THIS ONE." David and his sister Barbara are the third generation of Sumida's to manage this land. Their grandparents took over the 10 acres -- much of it used for growing kalo -- back in 1928. NATS - 1015 - 1017 "THE FARM IS 85-YEARS-OLD NOW" It took root under their father. Who planted only watercress. A move that's made this farm flourish today.. NATS "..." But the payoff didn't come without a price... As time moved forward... In came development.. and being pushed out was what the Sumidas were up against. 3122 "THE DEVELOPER WANTED TO TAKE AWAY THE LEASE FOR THIS PLOT HERE TO DEVELOP, IT WAS GOING TO BECOME THE PHASE THREE OF THE PEARLRIDGE CENTER." 3107 "MY DAD WAS FIGHTING FOR THIS FARM BECAUSE IT WAS HIS FARM, IT WAS THE FAMILY FARM, THEY WANTED TO KEEP IT." 1:02:12 - 1:02:23 OR 1:03:35 - 1:03:46 "ALL OF THE WATER USED HERE IS NATURAL, COMING FROM SPRINGS LIKE THIS ONE. IT'S NO WONDER WHY DAVID'S FATHER FOUGHT SO HARD TO SAVE THIS FARM." NATS WATER "...water flowing..." 2747 "THE WATER HAS LOTS OF MANA." David says it takes 22-years to get here. After being filtered in the Koolaus... What some call the source of life -- bubbles its way back to the surface. Where it's met with unblocked sunlight. The two combined make this land the perfect location to grow. But another threat to the farm came in 1982 -- almost crippling the field. 29:17 "MY DAD WAS TIRED THE DIAMOND BACK MOTH WAS WINNING THE BATTLE AND HE JUST WANTED TO GIVE UP QUIT AND GIVE BACK THE LEASE TO BISHOP ESTATE AND QUIT." That's when David and Barbara took over -- and with the help of science may have saved the entire industry. Sprinklers were installed to help wash moth eggs off the leaves and break the insects lifecycle. 3010 "ONCE THE OTHER WATERCRESS FARMERS SAW OUR SUCCESS WITH THE SPRINKLERS, THEY INSTALLED THEM FOR THEIR FARMS." Since then productions been steady. Like any farm -- keeping up with supply can be difficult... and the future here is still uncertain... But right now... NATS - 4038 - PAN RIGHT TO LEFT "RIGHT NOW YEAH CAN." In Aiea -- Brenton Awa KITV4 News Sumida farm's lease with Kamehameha Schools has Sumida farm's lease with Kamehameha Schools has been extended until 2032. David hopes to keep it running through then.