I thought you might like to see what a modern commercial taro growing operation looks
like. This one is under the bridge going into Haleiwa, HI.
In the foreground you can see a freshly planted field. Then going clockwise you can
see the other fields are more and more mature.
They use more machine help than anyone else I know. The fields are leveled with graders,
then lined with a thick rubber sheet to hold in the water. (Actually, I can’t remember if the whole field was lined,
or just the berms that hold in the water. Sorry.)
The surprising machine to me was at harvest. They drain the water from the field, and
use a small digger on a track tractor type machine to drag the taro clumps out of the ground. (Traditionally that is the most
back-breaking work, and usually done in the mud and muck on wetland farms. Even in dryland, getting a grown clump of taro
out of the ground takes a few digs with a shovel.) Once the machine has the clumps out, the workers take over and separate
the clumps, etc. It is all done on nice dry ground.
This operation grows corms
for making poi, as do most of the taro growers in the state. The main central corms are big, well-shaped, and of excellent