Fresh, seasonal, flowers are a big part of our mission at Paiko, and we are proud to source most of these beauties on-island. Our friend Jason Silverstein is a favorite Oahu farmer, always amazing us with the blooms he brings in from his East Oahu property and the neighboring Waiahole Fresh Farm. We took a trip out to Jason's jungle oasis with Paiko contributor Marcela Biven to get a peek into his life in paradise.
The drive to Waiahole is a magical one- one road swaying to-and-fro through long legged trees and eye gaping vistas. Grey concrete is replaced with the depth of chlorophyll green, massaging the eyes and stimulating the senses. Yet this is only the introduction to the natural grandeur that has taken root through the efforts of Jason Silverstein and the crew at Waiahole Fresh Farm.
You can find traces of the land in Jason’s daily tea and edible odds and ends. He is in a serious relationship with the land in the most playful and lively way possible: dutifully caring for and managing the acres of land he oversees while climbing banana trees and honing his archery skills with target practice. Everything is familiar to him, both necessary and possessing a name. Yet, the plants are not organized by rows and clusters but rather find their place in a natural, varied landscape. Demanding zealous work, vigilance and trust in the land, this style of farming is called permaculture.
An island boy through and through, Jason studied geography in college but found his essential passion in cultivating the land. Harboring a love of emerald forest plants, he and his canine companions meander about his own verdant three acres, separate from Waiahole, spying bananas, ginger and the occasional stray rooster. Speaking of roosters, Jason doubles as a sculptor creating wildly beautiful arrangements made from local plants and, lo and behold, roosting roosters! Thus creating pieces with unique life, personality and pizzaz.
With ease and a laugh constantly lodged in his throat, Jason lives a life that mirrors the varied beauty of the flowers, trees, shrubs and roots on his land. And much like the fantastical wolf t-shirts he wears, which he admits to having invigorating energy properties, he's a force of aloha to be reckoned with.