First and foremost, I am a farmer.
My work is based on teaching and sharing knowledge that promotes environmental awareness through a conscientious and sustainable approach to managing agricultural practices.
Mobile: (808) 989-1836
"Raising Environmental Awareness One Bite at a Time"
My name is Clarence Alexander Baber, and my friends call me Cab. I was born January 15, 1959, to Ralph King Baber and Caroline Seal Baber. I was the youngest of four children. I have two older sisters, Tara and Deborah, and one older brother, Richard.
I was born in Port Smith, New Hampshire, and my father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force, so we traveled a lot while I was growing up. When my father retired, we moved to Norfolk, Virginia, which is where I grew up and attended college. After graduating from Maury High School with Honors, I was accepted to Old Dominion University in 1977.
After completing two years of university education in Civil Engineering, I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii and pursue my dream of becoming a big wave surfer. This dream became reality on the North Shore of the island of Oahu, which is known for some of the world’s largest waves.
For the next three years, I lived in Waimanalo, on Oahu’s eastern coast, where I surfed every day, supporting myself as a painter and a handy man. During those years, I lived on a two acre farm overlooking the sea, where I began to use the gardening skills learned from my mother, my Aunt Tuby, and my grandmother. I grew my own food and flowers, which I shared with friends.
It was there, in Waimanalo, that I met an old Chinese man named Mr. Pang, an organic farmer who grew exotic heliconia flowers, along with organic fruits and vegetables. He was also very knowledgeable in Chinese medicine, and I grew to respect his wisdom and knowledge. Mr. Pang agreed to take me as his apprentice, and to teach me his current techniques in sustainable agriculture. This was when I knew I would become an organic farmer.
Mr. Pang taught me to how to grow organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and my knowledge and experience in the field grew each day under his guidance.
After three years working and learning with Mr. Pang, I moved to Jupiter, Florida, where I worked as a landscape foreman and nursery caretaker of 13 acres of palm trees. Over the next three years, I grew organic fruits and vegetables, and studied sustainable organic farming practices, selling the foods I produced to the community and to health food stores.
Island Herbs Hawaii
In 1986, my memory and enthusiasm for Hawaii drew me back to the islands, and I settled on the Kona Coast of the Big Island.
The return to Hawaii marked a positive turning point in my life, personally and professionally. I spent my days developing a ¼ acre garden dedicated to fruits, vegetables and flowers, much of which I donated to the community. At night, I continued to self-study organic farming practices.
During this time, I met Jim Lloyd, a farmer who specialized in developing Effective Microorganisms, or EM, who shared his specialized processes and products with me. When Lloyd moved to the US mainland a few years later, he asked me to continue this work, and gave me his supplies, to use or to sell.
My passion for growing vegan and organic fruits and vegetables continued, and in 1989, I founded Island Herbs Hawaii, LLC.
I have come a long way since the days of helping my Aunt Tuby and Grandma on their farms 35 years ago. Milestones include becoming a charter member of the Hawaii Herb Association, and later co-founding the Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA) in order to help educate farmers about sustainable and organic farming practices.
In the 1990s, as one of the first Presidents of HOFA, I started the first community supported agriculture (CSA) project on the Big Island. I also owned and operated the largest vegan, organic tomato farm in Hawaii.
One of my favorite endeavors was mentoring at-risk youth through Kamehameha Schools’ Hale O Ponopono program on his former Kona farm.
Sixteen years ago, I was able to bring effective microorganisms (EM) to Hawaii Island and began manufacturing Effective Microorganism Bokashi, which establishes beneficial microorganisms critical to maintaining soil and plant health, and maximizing food nutrition.
I have been fortunate to meet and learn from international experts who recognize the high quality of my Bokashi, and to share that knowledge as a volunteer. For example, I donated more than a thousand hours to spread the word in Hawaii, and on the US mainland, about the value of effective microorganisms, setting the stage for the recent rise in understanding and popularity of both EM and indigenous microorganisms.
After 30 years of active participation in the production and application of EM, I remain dedicated to organic agriculture and vegan farming.
My philosophy in sustainable agricultural and environmental management is represented in producing nutrient-dense foods, practicing rejuvenative agriculture, and developing the cultivation of industrial hemp.