Agroforestry: It's About Soil
Earth Day Is Every Day
Earth Day is every day. You’ve heard people say it. But on the Kona Coffee & Tea family farm, this is a reality. As coffee farmers, we work with the earth every day. And as you know, this year, 2023 marks Kona Coffee & Tea’s 25th Anniversary. We started in 1998 when we planted 20 acres of keiki coffee trees. Now, 25 years later we carefully manage and tend to more than 700 acres of land. Much of that is untouched, raw natural forest reserve that will remain that way as long as we are around.
The portion that we farm is now almost 300 acres of Kona coffee and other fruiting trees and shrubs, some of which you’ll find in our varying products and offerings at our café in Kailua-Kona. On any given day in the shop you’ll find a fresh batch of honey or some ripe papayas, just delivered…or a basket of fresh bananas, still on the stock…these café offerings are as fresh as food gets!
We Are Farmers
We are farmers, first and foremost. Our farm and the water and soil in which it grows are the foundation of our company and the health of this land is the legacy we leave as we grow older.
The Hawaiian name of the area that our farm grows is called Wai’ono. “Wai” means water, specifically freshwater. “Ono” means delicious, sweet—the best. As it turns out, the ancient description is quite appropriate, as this area rains almost daily, and the river that runs through it is one of the main veins of fresh, clean water flowing down the mountainside that fed (and still feeds) the village of Kailua-Kona. This water access was well-known in ancient times and is just as important today, as populations grow.
The rich, volcanic soil of our farm benefits from this fresh, clean water each day. It is a cycle. A loop. This is the reason we care so much about the land we work on. Not only does it grow the coffee, citrus, avocado, ti, papaya, and cacao that we use in our café, but also…our families live on this land, our children eat its fruits, we feed our community…we are all ever-connected in a vast cycle of nature. Kona Coffee & Tea believes that it is imperative that we all work together to care for the health of the soil and water.
A New adventure: Agroforestry
In the last few years, Kona Coffee & Tea has planted more than 5,000 coffee trees and 1,500 other trees and shrubs on nearly 17 acres. Between every five to seven coffee trees, you’ll find a banana tree, ulu, avocado, koa, cacao, papaya, or lychee tree (just to name a few). We also have shrubs growing beneath the trees like lemongrass and olena (turmeric). All these species of flora benefit one another by creating diversity for pollinators, improving soil quality with a vast root system, and helping control pests and diseases including the coffee borer beetle that would otherwise decimate our coffee trees.
It’s about the soil. Our hope is to foster a solid foundation of rich soil full of diverse microbial activity, which nourishes a vast array of plants around our coffee, and in the future, we’ll be able to share our entire agroforest harvest—from coffee to cacao, olena to ulu—with our community.
From Our Farm In Hawaii To Your Kitchen Table
With Earth Day approaching, here are just a few products that come from the earth at Wai’ono, the Kona Coffee & Tea family farm. We invite you to take a moment to think about what goes into each and every product we offer. Our farmers are proud to share our award-winning coffee with the world. But we’re also proud to share our honey, our papayas, our tea, oranges…the list goes on and on! Who knows, maybe our honey will be next to win an award!
Already love our coffee?
try a kona coffee & tea subscription
It’s simple. You only sign up once, and here’s how:
First, choose which roast you want from our full menu.
To subscribe, just check the box that says “Click for Autoship” and choose how often you would like your coffee shipped (every 30 days or 60 days). That’s it! Subscriptions save 10%.
New Kona Coffee & Tea Subscribers agree to fulfill a minimum of three orders within 6 months of subscribing. We ship worldwide to hundreds of happy subscribers who tell us they never want to run out of fresh-roasted, Single-Estate, 100% Kona coffee from our farm in Hawai’i!
How do you make your cup of coffee?
Let us know by commenting below or on social media @konacoffeeandtea