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  • Isabella Naiduki

Land of the Milk & Honey

My parents acquired a farm when my siblings and I were much younger, they felt it was important that we had this separate from our Mataqali land rights. The farm is in Waimalua, Tailevu North. My parents both worked fulltime so we could only go in the weekends to plant etc and so right from when I was a small child, I’ve had this amazing opportunity of watching and helping both immediate and extended family work the land.

My parents didn’t do large scale commercial farming, it was more subsistence farming. My mother who was an avid beekeeper got a few beehives from the Fiji Beekeeping Association and had these hives placed where the wild flowers grew, goes without saying that we were never short of wild flower flavoured raw honey. On the farm, there’s also a (natural) fish pond in the front bit and a river/waterfall in the back. I grew up with wild fruit trees, eating cocoa beans straight off the tree, fishing in the pond (it was catch and release type of fishing), “falling in” one too many times and swimming by myself out in the back of the property. It really made me appreciate growing up in Tailevu North in a whole different way from what I was used to in our village.

Now fast forward many, many years later, my older sisters are now using the land to farm commercially at large scale. My sister Sala and her husband, Lote started with ginger as their first cash crop.

She did this with her husband and children and they worked diligently planting and harvesting.