About the farm

Old Ways Farm lies on three acres in Keei, South Kona, carved from what was originally dry-land taro land under the Bishop Estate.  In 1906, a sizeable parcel was sold by the Estate to become a vanilla farm. That venture lasted only ten years, then the land was sold off for pasture, to be divided several times in the twentieth century.  Much of the farm has never been buldozed, and since the taro days has been only very lightly worked, so traces of its history remain.

The Old Ways Farm name refers to this history, but more importantly to the way the farm is worked today, organically and with a minimum of commerical inputs. We find ourselves using the old ways of many different farmers.

Like the Hawaiians, we border our gardens with ti,  work them with the o`o,  enrich them with kukui slash, mulch them with ti.  Like the Portuguese ranchers, we control animals with boundary walls of drystack stone, some that they have left, and many that we've built. 

Steve often realizes he's using techniques from his farming grandparents - the offhand, clever carpentry of his West Virgina grandfather on his father's home place, the hot-water weed control his Pennsylvania-Dutch grandmother used to use on her Ohio farm.

And, as on those small general farms of a generation ago, we feed ourselves first.  The first purpose of the farm is put food on our own table.  That's what sets our standards; that's how we learn.  When we find something we can produce efficiently and with good quality, we are pleased to offer it for sale.