WAIALUA, Hawaii -- Could farming in Hawaii become more sustainable? Owners of a farm on Oahu's North Shore believe so. They spent the past eight years making their operation carbon-neutral and energy independent.
Waialua Egg Farm is a chicken farm that spans more than 300 acres. Up to 40,000 eggs can be produced per week between 50,000 chickens starting Dec. 1.
Once the chickens lay their eggs, they go through processing. The eggs are cleaned, inspected, boxed, and stored in a refrigerator. The farmers hope their eggs can replace the supply coming from the rest of the country.
"Our eggs will be laid, processed and ready to go to the customer that day or the next day. The eggs coming from the mainland are probably two-three weeks old by the time they get through the warehouse on the mainland," Michael Sencer, Hidden Villa Ranch executive vice president, said.
The Hawaii Farm Bureau reports more farms could move in the sustainable direction. Installing solar or hydro energy is expensive but the return could be worth it.
"They can invest in other areas and hopefully grow their capacity, grow their operation, produce more of the food, feed, fiber, fuel that we're so proud of here in Hawaii," Brian Miyamoto, Hawaii Farm Bureau executive director, said.
Miyamoto says farmers would be more open to change if there were incentives.
At Waialua Egg Farm, the operation is powered by 3,600 solar panels and a generator. Eventually, the goal is to expand to about 10,000 panels.
Once the eggs are ready for sale and distribution during the first week of December, Sencer says they already have commitments from Times Supermarkets and Foodland.