Sweet Treats & Eats
Farm Location: Puna
Year Established: 2016
HUC Member Since: 2020
Farming practices used: Alley cropping, Multi-story agroforestry, Natural farming, Crop rotation, Composting
Philosophy around farming: “At Sweet Treats and Eats we are devoted to sustainable farming. We want to grow food in an approach that not only sustains the land but heals and improves it. Additionally, we aim to support the well being, health and subsistence of all those in our community including the people who consumes our produce. Therefore, we don’t use chemically synthesized pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.”
Aileen Lubong and her family manage Sweet Treats and Eats, a home bakery and farm based in Puna on Hawaiʻi island, where they grow a variety of palaʻai (pumpkins/squash), tapioca (cassava), pipinola (chayote), dryland taro, long green squash, and a wide range of fruit trees.
Aileen grew up helping her mother with her farming business and after having her own child in 2019, started Sweet Treats and Eats, utilizing culinary training from Hawaiʻi Community College in Hilo to create delicious desserts and cooked food. After the COVID-19 pandemic shifted life and the economy, Aileen got back into farming, joining HUC as a farmer-member in 2020: “Since being a stay-at-home mom and having to stop my home baked business, I wanted to utilize my flexible time in growing sustainable food to generate income as well as provide healthy food for my family.”
Aileen’s Puna farm sprawls across 3 acres of open land, greeting visitors with ʻulu, dragonfruit and other fruit trees. Squash vines act as ground cover in agroforests of ʻulu, avocado, Hawaiian chili pepper, rollinia, rambutan, longan, citrus, soursop, mango, jackfruit, and lychee trees. Animals on the farm include "the tiniest chicks to the furry rabbits and everything in between."
Aileen says she and her family “decided to grow ʻulu and pumpkins to produce more sustainable food options for the community of Hawaiʻi” and she hopes that in the future we will see “more consumers of Hawaii utilizing these sustainable food as part of their daily meals,” ultimately “minimizing our dependency on imported foods.”
Farmer Recipe: Honey Butter Roasted Pumpkin Recipe
Our pala'ai is made recipe-ready for your convenience in the kitchen – providing farm-fresh and pre-washed, chopped, steamed and frozen squash chunks packed in resealable 5-pound bags that are ready to go when you need 'em!