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Mahi Pono first planting

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

A bin of potatoes waits to be planted Friday. Mahi Pono General Manager of Farm Operations Darren Strand said about 1,000 potatoes will be planted in each acre with an expected yield of between 10,000 and 30,000 potatoes per acre. He said the company’s first crop of potatoes is expected to be harvested in 90 days, and soon after be available in local stores.

SECOND PHOTO: Mahi Pono General Manager of Farm Operations Darren Strand (right) hands out potatoes for guests and dignitaries at Friday morning’s blessing and official planting of the company’s first row of crops in Central Maui. With many of the speakers at the blessing calling it an historic day, Mahi Pono took its next big step toward replacing monocrop sugarcane with diversified agriculture on the 41,000 acres it purchased from Alexander & Baldwin in December.

THIRD PHOTO: After Friday’s ceremonial hand-planting of potatoes, a Mahi Pono tractor pulling a mechanical planter demonstrates how it is done on a large scale.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos