Agriculture at Kalani

Kalani Eco-Agriculture

Kalani's agricultural operations include:

  • Raised-bed gardens used for growing vegetables (purple sweet potatoes, beets, eggplant, and zucchini) and herbs (basil, turmeric, oregano, cuban oregano, Italian parsley, curly parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, garlic chives, hawaiian chili peppers, lemongrass, curry leaf, ginger, fennel, and dill).
  • Fruit and nut tree orchards growing papaya, star fruit, breadfruit, avocados, liliko'i (passion fruit), mangoes, bananas, plantains, figs, lemons, limes, oranges, guava, and macadamia nuts.
  • Planted beds of pineapples.
  • Conservation of native plants and eradication of invasive plant species.
  • Development of walking trails for educational purposes. One of Kalani's newer trails represents a timeline related to the introduction of plants to the Hawaiian Islands.
  • A weekly walking tour of the Kalani grounds, emphasizing the flora and fauna of Hawai'i, and Kalani's agricultural operations, within a Hawaiian Cultural framework.

For some volunteer's reflections on their experiences in Kalani's agricultural programs, click on the links to their blogs below:

Hawaiian plants

Read more about Kalani's Sustainability programs here.


Cultural Gardens at Kalani Honua are furthered by your participation, plus the Kellogg Foundation, County of Hawai’i, and Hawai’i Tourism Authority

Kalani Oceanside Retreat Village, the educational campus of non-profit Kalani Honua, Inc., is restoring and expanding its horticultural learning curricula and gardens to build a closer bond between people and the natural environment.

Located along Kalapana-Kapoho coastal road (Highway 137), Kalani's "Cultural Gardens Project" seeks to bridge nature, culture and wellness in sustainable programs that honor Hawaii's heritage. The project has been awarded grant support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.  Kalani’s educational programs and facilities are also supported by member donations, volunteer staff, plus contributions from local residents, organizations and visiting students. See  Contribution options include donations for tree planting and expanding Kalani’s solar power bank.

Kalani’s existing and planned garden areas include:

Bamboo garden

  • A "Hanau O Kalani" (birth of Kalani) nursery, where native and non-invasive plants introduced by Hawaii's various cultures are propagated for Kalani's gardens and local uses. Since its founding in 1975 Kalani has continually expanded its organic production of herbs, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
  • A "Keiki O Ka `āina" children's garden, near the nursery and camp ground, especially designed to give youth a fun learning experience of how nature nurtures humans and all of life. A classroom garden, also adjacent to the nursery, with a covered area and lawn space for group presentations and discussions.
  • A "Mālama `āina" garden encompassing Kalani's native heritage halau and heiau (school and temple) sites, to impart reverence and encourage preservation. Native Hawaiian and Oriental meditation gardens bordering workshop spaces to emphasize and preserve the heritage, beauty and spirit of central Pacific and Asian cultures.
  • A European influenced garden to emphasize geometric form, including the spiraling in and outward journey of a labyrinth.
  • "Waiola" waters-of-life gardens near places of rest, yoga, and massage to enhance tranquility through the sound and spirit of running water and the beauty of koi fish and lilies.
  • Several mixed culture botanical displays, "windows of beauty" along paths and adjacent to dining and recreation areas, to encourage pedestrians to pause, commune with and appreciate nature.

Kalani's campus constitutes a large portion of a Hawaiian ahupua'a. Traditionally such land divisions provided for the makai and mauka (coastal and upland) needs of 'ohana (extended family) groups. Core to the project is the restoration and expansion of native plant gardens, as well as non-invasive plants representative of other cultures in Hawaii's heritage mix. The educational goal of the Kalani Cultural Gardens project is to connect participants with a richer sense of body-mind-spirit through communion with nature, and to inspire all participants to become aloha ambassadors supportive of healthful, sustainable community living.

Individuals, groups and volunteers come to Kalani from around the world and participate in learning experiences such as agriculture, yoga, massage training, lauhala weaving, hula, ecstatic dance, music and much more. In addition to classroom learning, the Cultural Gardens Project provides for "break out spaces" in nature, where in-door education is enhanced and harmonized by out-door learning in relaxed environments characterized by the aloha spirit integral to Hawaii's plant life and pleasant climate.

Kalani garden volunteers

Activities of the Kalani Cultural Gardens programs will include youth and adult hands on aqua and agriculture classes, guided visits to the Gardens, collaboration (shared programs and support) with visiting schools, communities and organizations, "open house" days with plant propagation and purchase opportunities, program combinations with on-going "Experience Kalani" offerings, "Taste of Kalani" dining opportunities, and volunteer assistance positions and scholarships.

Integral to the Kalani Cultural Gardens Program will be the relocation of a tennis court to a new, improved site. Tennis aficionados are invited to contribute to this addition to Kalani's sports, pool and spa wellness offerings.

Kalani is open daily 8am-8pm and welcomes visitors of all ages to participate in the gardens project and enjoy free nature treks and other on-going activities. Education leaders include Barcus Adams, Linda Tua, Ehulani Stephany, Jared Sam, Tim Lawson, Crandall Leialoha, Kathy Elder, Wailana Simcock, numerous visiting faculty, and founder-director Richard Koob, MFA, University of Hawaii, Manoa. Beginning in 1975 Kalani Honua, Inc. has presented multi-cultural youth and adult educational programs throughout Hawaii.

Adjunct to the Gardens experience, participants are introduced to Kalani's sustainability operations and goals, including: 50KW photovoltaic net metering electrical system; water conservation; energy efficient architecture maximizing natural air, view and light; plus the inherent eco-efficiency of traditional cluster community dining, laundry, transportation, and recycling. These sustainability projects, along with expanded orchards and gardens, are all part of the Kalani 2012 master plan as approved by the County of Hawaii Planning Commission and also part of agricultural plans as presented and approved in annual reports to the Planning Department.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930. The organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. For further information, please visit the Foundation’s website at For more information, or to lend support to programs please call 965-7828, use the donation button below, or use the contact form at the bottom of our web page.

To contribute to Kalani's agricultural programs and other green efforts, call (800) 800-6886 or click the button below. Kalani Honua is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization and your contributions are tax-deductible. And secure!