Sheila Kawehiooeanakokauaalohaehauoli Arasato is the creator of the video I am a Farmer. A Ke Ala ʻIke Scholar and Leeward CC graduate, Sheila is currently a business owner and working to help provide for her family. She plans to return to school, perhaps to study architecture because of her interest in sustainable building.
As an extern of the Farm2Fork program at MA’O organic farms, she helps bring student and community groups up to the farm to give them hands-on experience of working at an organic farm and educating them about local and organic eating.
Sheilaʻs philosophy is clearly expressed through her poem, Koa Woods, about a koa tree that despite all odds, with care and aloha, thrives. The lesson, Sheila says, is simple:
I realize that instead of what I want for it [the koa tree], where it should be grown, why it is here in the first place, maybe I should be asking what can I do to keep it living in the beautiful place it already is growing at. Our one solution in life is to always run away from things, search and look for a way out of our problems, but like the koa with its roots planted in the dirt, we are here and need to make the most of it. We can be so much better than people perceive us. If [the koa sapling] can grow there, then we can grow where weʻre at.
Credits: photos courtesy of Sheila Arasato