Bob & I are each from families in Hawaii whose parents & grandparents worked in sugar cane. We were raised in an agricultural environment in Hawaii- so this is what we know.
Pounders Beach Laie, Oahu near where I was born- hasn’t changed much
on a recent visit to Laie, I saw happy kids on top of the same piers(below) shown in the above photo
Bob is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a BS in Tropical Agriculture. He worked in sugar for many years before we bought this coffee farm in 1988.
Two ancient Hawaiian sugar cane varieties up close -each piece of sugar cane is actually about 3 inches long and the new growth begins from the node you can see. We have both on our farm here.
We live on the farm in our house and are the growers, pickers, and packers, selling our entire crop directly to people who enjoy our unique products. We hand farm our land, using no machinery, continuing the ancient tradition of hand farming by Hawaiians who grew taro, bananas, sweet potatoes and sugar cane in our same fields.
a bunch of our favorite “apple” bananas which we brought in so the wild chickens wouldn’t fly up into the tree and eat them – best bananas around!
Bob is conscientious about the care of the land and has enhanced our practically perfect natural conditions through individualized attention to each tree. He is able to give our trees this specialized care because of our 5-acre size.
taken from near the top of our farm- looking down towards the ocean, a photo of Lehua blossoms from one of our Ohia trees.
We have pre-contact stone walls, hand built by Hawaiians. No bulldozer has ever crushed our earth. The roots of our coffee plants can go anywhere they want, wiggling into our light volcanic soil. Makes them happy!
Loving our fence-even many years later still loving it. Farm is so much better without the rototiller effect of the nasty wild pigs. Took us about 20 years to decide it had to be done and it was so worth it, despite my calling it the “golden fence” because of its cost.
Neighbor’s to the left and we are pig-proof! As the ranch guys were building the fence in the middle of the day- here, they could hear noisy wild pigs fighting to the left and the guy told Bob he ought to get a few. No thanks!
Every night we close the electric “gate” and we have enjoyed- really enjoyed,
Update 2023- We can STILL hear the pigs and we sometime even see them, outside of our fence. (Waited a long time to put in the fence!)
The shy Bufo marinus (about 7 inches) hiding under the leaf matter, lives on our farm. According to “Honolulu Magazine”, December, 1995, page 22. “C. E. Pemberton gives “Paradise of the Pacific” this account of how he single handedly introduced the toad for the Hawai’i Sugar Planters Association, in an attempt to control Hawai’i’s spiraling insect population: ‘In 1932 the writer collected 148 adult Bufo marinus in Puerto Rico and brought them to Hawai’i packed in boxes of excelsior. Part of this lot was sent by express…almost all arrived in good condition after the three weeks journey.’ Within three years, these colonists had multiplied impressively ”
note: Dr Pemberton was a distant relative of mine.
UPDATE below- 11/2013, from my cousin Michael Lilly whose grand father was
Bob holding one of our wild Jackson Chameleons.
a lucky shot of a saffron finch
Javas eating. (From the southern hemisphere so they have their chicks in winter) They are a flocking type bird and sometimes we see 30 or more all waiting their turn. Think they have a spy because there can be no birds, I fill the bird feeder and omg-snarfle gobble.
It is really just us. We the sole packers and the pruners and roasters of our Smithfarms 100% Kona Coffee. We are farmers who are confident that we offer you the finest 100% Kona coffee.