Honopua Farm was started as a commercial flower farm more than 30 years ago by Bill and Marie McDonald. Marie, who has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as a living treasure, is an outstanding authority on Hawaiian flowers and lei making and has authored several books on the subject. The name of the farm, Honopua, means "a gathering of flowers."
At an elevation of 1300 feet in Opihihale (near Captain Cook in South Kona) you will find Ohana Farm Orchards: 16 rehabilitated acres of 650 producing macadamia nut trees, 650 coffee trees that have been recently 'whipped into shape' and 42 Sharwil avocado trees, among other things.
Owners Renn and John Giblin, their daughter and son-in-law Carolina and Shad Bennett, and granddaughter Leyla have been taming the land and farming since they moved to the island in February 2012, a mere year and-a half ago.
I moved to Hawai'i Island close to three years ago, straight from a desk job in a small city in the northwest U.S., to my lifetime dream of learning to live off the land. My kids were mostly grown, and I was disillusioned with the effectiveness of my job as an environmental health educator. I had a new partner who shared my desire to go "back to the garden." But unlike me, Dan had planned ahead and owned 20 acres off-grid along the Hamakua coast of the Big Island.
Brynn Foster started her personal voyage to develop healthy food products from indigenous Hawaiian crops in 2005. As a young mother, she was dedicated to finding healthy foods for her children. Motivated by a lack of commercially available teething biscuits free from refined sugar, diary, and gluten, Foster’s first product was a taro-based teething biscuit.
A very long time ago in what is now south-central China, a little remembered civilization arose – the civilization of Chu – whose influence we can still feel today, as far removed as we are in time and space from that land and people. The echoes of Chu have been the spiritual underground – the Da Vinci Code – of East Asian civilization for millennia; the influence of Chu can be seen in the philosophy of Taoism, which in turn inspired that global spiritual phenomenon – a hybrid of Taoism and Buddhism – called Zen.
Eva Lee and Chiu Leong founded Tea Hawaii & Company with an overarching vision of putting tea front and center as a Hawai‘i grown specialty crop. The couple has been growing and processing tea for over ten years and currently engages in all aspects of tea production: growing, processing, marketing, and education. Their products include several 100% Hawai‘i-grown single estate whole leaf teas including, “Forest White,” “Volcano Green,” “Mauka Oolong,” and “Makai Black.” The first two of these are grown and processed by Lee and Leong and the other two were carefully selected to be sold under the Tea Hawaii label (with the source estate clearly identified). The company also processes finished teas for other growers to sell under their own label. Based on their prominent role in promoting Hawai‘i grown tea, Lee and Leong provide product development services for other Hawai‘i tea farms, including consultation on a customized product line for the specific teas others grow. Additionally, Tea Hawaii propagates tea varieties and sells plants to other farmers and advises on tea horticulture.
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