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Green Gecko Farm Article


Green Gecko Farm is a memorable destination for anyone intrigued by the early history and culture of the Big Island. As a working coffee and tropical fruit farm, it intertwines ancient Hawaiian agricultural traditions with contemporary farming practices. We see ourselves as stewards of this land, honoring its ahina (spirit) as well as its ecological well being.

The name of the road that brings you to our farm is Kealaola Street, and its Hawaiian translation is “pathway to life and health.” How perfect! We are situated on the western slopes of Mauna Kea. From the gentle hillside there are expansive views of the turquoise waters of the Pacific lying below. Standing and turning in any direction one is surrounded by a variety of tropical fruit trees, coffee trees, and exotic flowers. The senses are filled by the vivid colors and rich fragrances while simultaneously one hears the exquisite trill of birds overhead.

The island of Hawaii, particularly the district of Kona, was the site of an original farming method known as the Kona Field System. It was devised over 650 years ago by the early Hawaiians. The system utilized lava rock and earth to form low mounds which created and separated individual fields. These mounds formed walls, called kuaiwi walls, which run from the sea to the mountains, separating various family areas. Unlike most agricultural dividing walls which are typically built horizontally to protect the soil from erosion, these terraces unique to Kona. Banana trees and sugarcane were then planted next to these kuaiwi walls forming natural windbreakers for the growing plants. The walls are fairly flat, forming a “roadway” which facilitated moving crops to market.

The mounds beautifully depict the intrinsic understanding of the pre-contact Hawaiians to their environment as well as illustrating an important aspect of their social system. The people who first built these walls experienced lava flowing from the mountain top to the sea. They utilized this direction of mauka (mountain) to makai (ocean) in creating land parcels. Each kapuna (family) had a “pie slice” of land which offered them hillsides for animal grazing and logging, fields for growing their crops, and the open waters of the ocean for fishing. The construction of kauiwi walls integrated this inherent environmental and social awareness.

Visiting our farm is a wonderful opportunity to encounter the past meeting the present. Since the first Polynesians arrived here, agriculture has played a significant role in the lives of those living on the Big Island. Here at Green Gecko’s farm one can take in the sights, scents, and sounds of paradise while also exploring the cultural history of the area. We invite you to experience the magical surroundings of our farm while learning about the fascinating ancient Hawaiian traditions of agriculture. Learn how coffee farming began here in Kona and continues to be cultivated while sipping a cup of our delicious premier coffee.

In our paradisiacal setting, award winning estate heritage coffee is cultivated as well as white pineapples, papayas, oranges, lemons, limes, bananas, and lychees. Our fruit is sold to some of the area’s most notable restaurants and hotels including the Hualalai Grille at the Four Seasons in Kona, Alan Wong’s in Honolulu, and Merriman’s Market Place. Green Gecko coffee is sold at select retailers, on our website, and also on the farm.

Come and join us for a tour of Green Gecko Farm! A path to life and health awaits you!

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