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About The Farmer

About The Farmer

Back in 1992, I came out to Hawaii for three weeks of vacation and determined to move out here someday.  My goal was to find some raw lava that had nothing growing on it and make it productive.  In thinking about what to grow, I decided on coffee since it is a high value crop that can be handled by one person.

Fast forward to 2006 when I came back to the Big Island for three months to see if I still wanted this adventure.  After driving around the island for a month, I was ready to toss in my dream and go back to reality – why, there was no way I could get something to grow on that lava.  Right then, I was driving out the back road beyond Kalapana, a road that had been buried under numerous lava flows that have been flowing continuously since 1989.  It was a rough landscape of really new lava.  And right there in the midst of all that devastation was a plantation of noni trees!  Noni are used to make a medicinal drink that is supposed to be good for you.  I pulled right in and inspected what the farmer had done – unfortunately, I’ve never met the person who did all the work – and saw that, indeed, you could make plants grow and thrive on fresh lava.  I was renewed!  Now I was ready.

So just weeks later, I put my money where my faith was and bought six acres on top of the First Lava Flow of 1950.  Just months later, a huge Catepillar tractor arrived on site to carve out a house site and to “squash”  -- a good technical term if I ever heard one – the lava into a semblance of smoothness.  My land abuts the main highway at an elevation of 1,100 feet ( ~335 meters) and slopes steadily downward so my house is at 1,000 feet and the back of the property closest to the ocean is at 950 feet (~290 meters).  I’m just a half mile (0.8 kilometer) from the Pacific Ocean and can see 22 miles (35.4 kilometers) to the Kailua Kona harbor.  On a really clear day I have seen the island of Maui, which is over 90 miles (144.8 kilometers) straight north from me.

Having retired from many years of business, I have gone back to my Texan roots to be once more a farmer.  I have always liked working with the earth.  I determined that my home would be ecologically beneficial, so I produce hot water and electricity from the sun.  My water is collected from my roofs and stored in catchment tanks.  My trees, planted where nothing was growing before, capture carbon dioxide from the air.  I practice good husbandry on my land: mulching, composting and recycling.  I started with raw lava and am making it productive.

The perfect year round climate in South Kona is not only great for growing our Kona coffee. It also provides excellent growing conditions for tropical fruits. Monk's Delight is in the process of planting over fifty different types of fruiting plants. Some of our pineapple plants are already producing our first crop of locally grown pineapple! It will be a number of years before the fruit trees reach maturity and start giving us year round fruits to enjoy each and every day.

In the meantime, let our delicious coffee transport you to Hawaii and the spirit of paradise and aloha. Enjoy!

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