Kaua`i Fresh Farms

Kaua`i Fresh Farms

 

Lettuce Queen Candace Nakagoshi

Lettuce Queen Candace Nakagoshi inspects hydroponically grown Buttercrunch lettuce at Kaua`i Fresh Farms. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

by Anne E. O’Malley

E*Trade founder Bill Porter and his wife Joan are akamai about their 500-acre Wai Koa Plantation, founded in 2006. They’ve thrown open the gates and designed it to be a working farm, fun and educational, with a tram tour that scoots through the nation’s largest mahogany plantation with three miles of groomed gravel and dirt hiking trails open to the public.

There’s history — Kilauea Dam, unveiled in 1891 when Koloa was a sugar plantation town, is still in service, these days bringing water to Wai Koa. It’s nestled at the back of a beautifully landscaped valley.

Kilauea Dam

Kilauea Dam, unveiled in 1891 when Koloa was a sugar plantation town, is still in service, these days bringing water to Wai Koa Plantation. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

Hydroponic greenhouses here are totally solar powered. Inside, there are tomatoes — cherry, cocktail and beefsteak. There’s cucumber, basil and over 13 varieties of lettuce that workers cut and bag as a mix and the farm sells to restaurants and resorts on island.

There are 3 acres of organic orchards with a plan to triple that size over the next two years. You get to see a permaculture egg and vegetable farm and koi ponds.

Once people discover this place, says Tour Manager Susan Elliott-Hubbard, they tell her, “You would never know this was here, it’s a hidden gem.”

Residents who’ve driven past it for years tell her, “It’s like having a natural park in your backyard.”

Tours are approximately 2.5 hours long and are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., lunch included. Fee is $65/person; $32.50/children ages seven and under.

Advance reservations required.

For reservations call 808-651-1191 or email Tours@KauaiFreshFarms.com. To learn more about Kaua`i Fresh Farms, click here.

By | 2016-11-10T05:42:38+00:00 September 8th, 2012|0 Comments

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