Children grow, sell produce at Ala Moana Farmers' Market

Published On: Apr 27 2013 04:23:00 PM HST

Their homegrown vegetables and herbs sold out in two hours last week.  They're the newest vendors at the Ala Moana Farmers' Market.  And they're only in the second grade.

Business is brisk here at the Ala Moana Farmers' Market. Just ask the newest, and youngest, vendors. Seven-year-old Leo Campagna is CEO of The Littlest Co-Op, a hui of keiki farmers who are taking the business into their own hands. Literally.

He and his sister, Emma, 5, do their own research, choose their plants, grow their products and set their prices and share their products at the market, splitting the profits with the other kid farmers.

Leo's parents said he came up with the idea for the market stand because he loves to grow things.

“We’re also doing this business so we can earn more money for more things to buy instead of just using my mom’s money,” said Leo.

Ala Moana Farmers' Market co-owner Annie Suite said Leo came to her with his proposal a few months ago.

“Just like any other vendor we said, ‘Well, this is what we have to do.’ He took avid notes and he went away and he came back with his GE license and everything and this whole plan,” said Suite.

The young farmers are learning not only about plants and math, they're learning the value of hard work.

“We sold out in two and a half hours and we’re like, ‘Well, here’s your money’ and they’re like, ‘I can spend this on whatever I want?,’” said Carl Campagna, Leo’s father. “Or save it, it's up to you,” he told them. “Immediately, they‘re like, ‘I see what’s happening!'”

To become a member of The Littlest Co-Op is simple. Number one, you have to be a kid. Number two, you have to have seeds.

“The hardest part is there’s a long speech you have to say to get them to want to join,” said Leo.

They’re set up at the Ala Moana Farmers' Market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information on membership, find them on Facebook at The Littlest Co-Op.


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