Duck Eggs and Knowledge at
Tony's Mayan World Farm in Orchidland
As I mentioned in my last gardening article, I have learned that there is a tremendous amount of knowledge about gardening here that I just do not know. One of the resources I have been blessed to find is Tony at Mayan World Farm in Orchidland. I first met Tony when I got a response to my Facebook post about looking for duck eggs. I went to the farm to pick them up and started talking story with Tony. Tony and his wife are originally from Belize, where they learned to grow plants in their backyard for food and medicine, before they moved to Oahu for Tony’s military service. In Belize, Tony’s dad taught him about natural ways of farming and natural pest control. From elders in his village, Tony learned about the medicinal value of many plants, and learned to make natural medicines. Both Tony and his wife learned from an early age that everything around us has a soul and can talk to us, if we listen.
Learning is Growth
When they moved to the Big Island, they decided to start a backyard garden here, but found that it was difficult to get many of the fruits, plants, and flowers that they loved in Belize. So, they began to learn about what grows here, and Tony earned a degree in Tropical Plants and Soil Sciences. Tony discovered that most vegetables need about 6 inches of soil to grow. Although they only had about an inch on their property, they knew how to create more soil by composting cardboard, cow manure, and coffee grounds.
The animals they had purchased help turn the compost and provide additional fertilizer, and they achieved pest control with selected plants combined with animal byproducts. They also benefitted from the generosity of a local woman, a fellow military veteran. She shared her knowledge on how to raise some of the animals they currently have. The farm started with chickens and has since grown to include ducks, geese, turkeys, quails, goats, guinea fowl, guinea pigs, rabbits, pigeons, cockatiels, tilapia, and worms. They also share the farm with their very friendly rescue dogs.
Worth The Trip
Since starting the farm in 2017, they have won several agricultural competitions for their giant fruits and vegetables. Some of the winners include a 56-pound watermelon, pumpkins up to 400 pounds, and 2.5-pound tomatoes. They grow an amazing array of fruits and vegetables, and make medicinal products, teas, fruit curds, and chocolates (ask them about their incredibly special Jaguar cacao- it is delicious!). They have a great page on Facebook where they post photos of their farm and products. It is definitely worth your while to take a trip to Orchidland to talk story with Tony- and get some duck eggs.
Check out the Mayan World Farm’s Facebook page here: