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Foster Farming

Building a More Sustainable Food System for Maui

Maui County is home to more than 5,600 unique agricultural properties. Imagine what our community would look like if we grew fruit trees and vegetable gardens on each on of them.

Launched in 2019, the Foster Farming Harvest Project aims to empower landowners to transform their properties into productive farms and orchards by providing full-cycle services for planning, planting, maintaining, harvesting, data collection and transferring produce to markets. We nurture orchards and gardens for property owners who might not have the capacity to farm, while ensuring that all those avocados or mangoes you struggle to reach - or eat yourself - will feed many other Maui families.

Landowners who participate in the Foster Farming Program can choose between donating produce to Maui families in need or opting for Common Ground Collective to sell harvests to wholesalers and retailers, in exchange for a service fee that helps cover our operational costs. In 2023, Common Ground Collective's Foster Farm Program harvested 50,074 pounds of produce from almost 190 properties. We sold 17,323 pounds to local businesses and donated 32,751 pounds to nonprofits, including organizations such as Feed My Sheep and the Maui Food Bank. On top of that, we collaborated with local composters to divert 5,123 pounds of inedible fruits and veggies from Maui's landfill.

Our dream is to one day expand our Foster Farm Program to establish new farms 

In the aftermath of disasters, the largest gap in feeding families who've lost homes, income and means of transportation needed to travel to grocery stores often access to fresh, local produce. Common Ground Collective quickly stepped in to provide fresh fruits and vegetables that were grown through the nonprofitʻs backyard harvesting program and purchased from local farmers, many of whom lost income and market connections when the fire destroyed Lāhaināʻs restaurants and businesses. In 2023, Common Ground Collective distributed more than 15,400 food boxes to community members.

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