Jack Johnson’s Oahu

New York Times
June 14, 2023
Jack Johnson’s Oahu

Born and raised in Oahu’s North Shore, the singer-songwriter Jack Johnson can still remember a time when going surfing in Waikiki on the other side of the island was a bit of a trip. “When I was a kid back in the ’70s, that drive seemed extra long. It was mostly dirt roads to get there,” Mr. Johnson said during a video chat from his farm on the island.

He also remembers hearing about a local chef, Ed Kenney, who supported and promoted local agriculture. “In Hawaii we have a problem where 90 percent of our food is shipped in. Ed was one of the first chefs, 20 years ago, who was really talking about how important it was to buy local ingredients. Not only for the local economy but also just so that when people are eating out, they’re tasting food that was grown in Hawaii.”

A pro surfer before becoming a platinum-selling musical artist, Mr. Johnson is, with his wife Kim, an active environmentalist. In 2003 they founded Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which supports environmental education in Hawaii’s schools and communities. Over the years they have helped establish school gardens, launched recycling drive programs and encouraged the elimination of single-use plastics, and most recently, acquired a farm where school children visit for hands-on learning about the environment.