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May 30, 2024

Midland is catching up with Nic Cargualaf, a farmer in Hawaii.

He shares how he made the decision to purchase land on the island and how Midland's two-way radios are making a difference on the operation.


About 10 years ago, Nic Chargualaf purchased land in Ka’ū, Hawaii that he would turn into a farm two years later. Coming from Dallas, Texas, it was part of an effort to slow down.

“We came out here and had a vacation for a little bit. We decided we wanted land and to not do the 10-hour days. We all moved out here so I’ve got family that lives on the property with us because it’s just a lot of work. As far as the motivation- it was just to get out of the city’s hustle and bustle so we came out here and starting doing our thing,” he said.


As a first-generation farmer, it’s been quite the experience.

“Our main goal was to minimize our trips to the grocery store as much as we could. Every couple of months, one thing gets checked off the list and it’s been really cool to see. We were used to living close to a Target and picking up stuff when we needed to. It’s been nice to see the growth on the farm, but then also with us. We are first generation, city slickers who decided we wanted to do the farm life." 

The land has presented unique challenges as Chargualaf learns to farm.

“The elevation change is so different. It makes a difference in what you can and can’t grow. That was new to us. We thought if you put it in the ground, it’ll grow. Learning the ins and outs of the elevation changes, the lava rock, so it’s just different from what we’re used to.”

It’s a constant learning curve.

“For instance, we’ll plant mangos on the farm and they won’t work out. They’ll grow, but don’t produce any fruit. We plant them down at the beach and we’ve got more mangos than we know what to do with. It’s the same tree.”


With his location in Hawaii, the farm experiences every type of environment, making for an incredibly special piece of land.

“15 different environments and we’ve got 13 of them on this island. When we go to the summit, there’s snow year round. I can go stand in the sand and then rinse my feet off in the snow. It’s so cool. We’ve got the desert, we’ve got the rain forest. We’re outdoors people so all those different environments were a draw to come here. It’s all new to us.”

That includes earthquakes. Chargualaf said he experience a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, commenting, “it looked like the ground was doing the wave.” 

He categorizes the farm as a homestead- with 19 acres of cattle, alpacas, pigs, ducks, and chickens.


After escaping the city life, his time on the farm is grounding for him.

“I just enjoy being outside and working with my hands. It’s nice to work to break a sweat instead of sit behind a screen all day. We’re in Hawaii, it’s the best place to be outside. I also enjoy feeding ourselves. Our main goal was to minimize our trips to the grocery store as much as we could. Every couple of months, one thing gets checked off the list and it’s been really cool to see,” he said.


Chargualaf first learned of Midland when he noticed his neighbor using two-way  radios. Now, he’s got a MicroMobile in his truck and tractor, handhelds in the UTVs. Two-way radios have changed the way he communicates on the farm.

“It’s just reliable communication. As far as cellphone service, it is really spotty, especially where we live. We’re in a town of 600 people. Service just goes out on the farm and we won’t get a text or a call sometimes. You can’t miss the radios, they’re loud so that reliability has been nice.”

Previously, he would have had to trek all over the farm to get what he needed.

“If it weren’t for the two-way radios, I’d be hiking across the acreage to get an attachment or a shovel versus just reaching out to us. That’s been the biggest change. Now, I reach out and it’s pretty instant. It goes to my truck, it goes to my house, everyone gets the message. If something happens, we’re good.”


Because he farms in Hawaii and it’s a homestead, the work doesn’t stop at any point in the year. However, during the month of May, he’s working on securing the pastures for the animals.

“In May, we’re working on cross fencing to divide up our pastures. I’ve got 13 acres that’s just one huge pasture. We’ve got the horse and alpacas doing knocking all that grass down.”

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