Editor’s Note: FOCUS is a multimedia series that highlights the diversity and depth of our community through interviews and photographs.

The community of Hawaii Kai has been almost completely developed over the last 60 years. But venture just a little bit off of Lunalilo Home Road and you’ll find one of the last remaining farms in the area, owned by 74-year-old Edwin Otsuji.

“I was here before the houses,” Otsuji told Civil Beat.

Otsuji, who was born on Molokai, moved to Oahu when he was 10. He has been farming for the past 40 years raising kale, spinach, beets and other fresh produce to provide for his family.

Although it’s hard work, he says it’s worth it.

“I live in the best country in the world, and the best state in the best country, and the best neighborhood in the best state in the best country — so what do I have to complain about?” he said.

We first heard about Otsuji when we stumbled across his booth at the Honolulu farmer’s market. Intrigued by his story, we trekked to his farm one morning to learn about his life, family and what it means to be a Hawaii farmer in the 21st Century.

Listen to Otsuji’s story:


Got the perfect person for FOCUS? Email Nathan Eagle at neagle@civilbeat.com.

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