Punachicks Farm, LLC is committed to raising the highest quality pastured poultry possible. We began our farm in May 2013 with the mission to provide a consistent supply of good clean chicken to the Big Island.
Punachicks Farm, LLC is a small family farm run by the Taaroa Ohana. My husband and I started our farm in 2013 to fill the gap in the market for locally grown, pasture raised chicken in the state. Neither of us are from a farming background, so we’ve had to learn everything from scratch and are very grateful to be part of the vibrant Big Island farming community that has always been willing to offer advice and help us along our journey.
I, Emily, was born and raised in Hawaii and have deep ties to the Big Island. I've always been passionate about healthy food and creating a thriving local food system. Strangely enough, I was actually a vegetarian for 17 years before starting our farm, having been put off by the industrialized meat industry. I enjoy talking with many of our customers who have also been in the same boat and have since moved towards eating high quality pasture raised meats. My husband Yoric is originally from the island of Huahine in French Polynesia (Tahiti), and has a background in construction, which has been a huge asset in building our pastured pens and farm buildings. Our farming enterprise is a culmination of all of our past experiences coming together so that we can do something meaningful for the local community. Yoric and I know that we aren't going to get rich raising pastured chickens, but we'll be doing something that we can both feel good about. Yoric is in charge of daily operations and maintenance and I take care of the sales, marketing, processing and just about everything else.
Our Farming Enterprise
Our farm was started with a shoestring budget on a five acre lease parcel and a very modest processing set up. We are proud to be the first farm in the state to have been approved for the USDA 20K bird/year processing exemption and have paved the way for others to follow. Through hard work and perseverance, we have been able to expand into 25 acres of our own and have grown into one of the largest poultry producers in the state that can boast the first fully permitted off-grid on-farm processing building.
In August 2020, an opportunity to buy out an existing pastured egg producer's laying flock presented itself right in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, which has turned out to be a huge blessing for us. We jumped two feet first into pastured egg production to help us find balance after loosing all of our restaurant accounts during the pandemic. We've been trying to adapt to the times and our weekly Sunday drive-through farm stand has grown into a popular shopping destination for our community, where people can safely purchase fresh high quality food produced by our farm and also neighboring farms.
Although pastured chickens are our main product, we have always worked toward becoming more diversified and strive to recycle nutrients on the farm through other enterprises. To utilize all of our extremely fertile grass, which is continuously fertilized by rotating chicken tractors, we also raise beef and dairy cows. The cows provide milk for our family and workers and we harvest beef periodically for meat in addition to selling beef from cattle raised by our neighbors. We are planting a large variety of fruit trees on the property and have been experimenting with agroforestry mixed cropping, which are areas where we can utilize all of our rich compost from the chick house and the processing operations. Currently we have an area planted in ulu (breadfruit) trees, banana, avocado, and longon, with an understory of Mamaki (a native Hawaiian tea) and pidgeon pea (a nitrogen fixing crop that has many uses). Seasonally, we raise turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday and also have geese and ducks roaming the farm.
Our farm specializes in pastured poultry raised in mobile housing on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are passionate about providing the community with a wholesome, local, fresh alternative to factory farmed supermarket chicken and eggs.
The most amazing thing about having a diversified farm is that we produce the majority of the food our family consumes and hardly ever have to go to the grocery store. We’ve formed relationships with our customers and neighbors, so that we can trade for things that we aren’t currently producing ourselves. With all of the abundant food being produced on the property, we recently started a work trader program so that we can get some extra help while also mentoring the next generation of farmers by sharing the farming knowledge that we’ve gained through our experiences. We’ve also been able to open our farm up to local schools for field trips and volunteer our time to give students a better appreciation of where their food comes from.
The time is now for island residents to have more options when it comes to making food choices. Every dollar you spend on food is a vote for what type of system you want to support and perpetuate for years to come. Your choices have profound impact on the community and local economy.
We hope that you come visit our farm to connect to where your food comes from and form a lasting relationship with the family that produces it for you. Once you try how great farm fresh chicken tastes, there's no going back! I can speak from experience.