Mazzy's Hawaiian Adventure - Part 1

May. 17, 2024
Mazzy "holding a male Jackson's chameleon that was strolling by. The males have horns and the females do not. They are harmless but invasive."

This summer we're super excited to spotlight Mazzy Grisak as she takes on a new adventure in Hawaii! Mazzy is one of our Sustainable Plant Systems (SPS) students specializing in Horticulture and this summer she'll be interning on a farm in Maui as part of the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program.

Be sure to check back weekly as she keeps us up to date without further ado, we'll turn this over to Mazzy...

Hello from Maui!

I have been here a little over a week now and have been able to familiarize myself with the farm and the vision Hans (the owner) has for it. I am staying with 5 other WWOOFers in “The Doghouse.” Get it? This is an outdoor space that all the WWOOFers share. I am staying in a renovated shipping container with two other girls, one is my friend I travelled here with. When you walk out of the shipping container, you’re on a covered patio complete with an outdoor kitchen, refrigerator, picnic table, hammock, and grill. This is where we cook our meals and hang out after the work day. Just past the patio is an outdoor bathroom with a sink, flushing toilet, and (usually) hot shower. The other folks stay in an RV connected to the patio and a van that has a bed inside. I’m pretty happy with my accommodations!

All farms through WWOOF have different living accommodations. For example, I saw some that offered a room in the owners’ houses, tent camping, etc. For anyone interested in WWOOFing, I would recommend you find a farm that provides you with food, (which we are lucky to have here), because sometimes a grocery trip can be difficult without a car and can be very expensive, (especially on an island like Maui). 

Enjoying an orange straight from the tree for breakfast. These are the best oranges I've ever had!

Hans Huber moved to Maui from California when he was 18 years old to be a surfer bum. His intentions were to stay here for a while then move back to California. Many years later and he’s still here! He started his own business building pools, then began planting on his property until he needed some extra hands. Now he has 6 WWOOFers, his mother and son, dog Saba, chickens, sheep, a goat, and a baby deer all on the property helping him out.

One of the things that really made me happy when I first arrived here, is the amount of food on the property. There are several large avocado trees that are very productive, which provides us with more avocados than we can eat. There are also oranges, apples, lemons, bananas, passionfruit, cherimoya, macadamia nuts, and lots of vegetables around the property that we can all help ourselves to. As a vegan, I am in fruit and vegetable heaven! I’ve made guacamole using the fresh avocados, lemons, and cilantro a lot and I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of it. 

View of the island from my walk down to the bus stop one morning.

My first two weekends here were spent familiarizing myself with the island and the free bus system that allows me to explore it. I have visited a couple of the towns and beaches and am excited to get to explore more on my weekends off!

We are required to work 25 hours each week, which can be done 5 hours each day Monday-Friday, or we can choose to do some longer days to get a long weekend if we want. This is something else that varies from farm to farm through the WWOOF program- every property owner will have different work expectations. The flexibility here is very nice and the work is hard but lots of fun. So far, I have helped with trail maintenance, picking fruit from the trees, and caring for some small native Koa trees Hans planted in the forested area on the property. I will continue to share projects we are working on here and some of the fun adventures I have outside of work hours.

Stay tuned!

   - Mazzy Grisak

Eager for more news from Mazzy? You're in luck - check out her articles here.