Kealia Farm is one of Kauai’s thriving Taro Farms located on the East Side of Kauai across from Kealia beach. We visited the farm on our first stop of our Tasting Kauai food tour, the “coconut coast tour”. This post is sponsored by Tasting Kauai.
On our recent vacation to Kauai one of the days was spent on a food tour with Tasting Kauai. One of the most memorable days I have ever spent on Kauai, aside from my wedding of course. ha ha! The tour was so amazing that one post wouldn’t do it justice so I have broken it down into two parts. Part one is the visit to the Taro Farm – Kealia Farm. Part two will be all about the food we had when we visited a few food trucks, bakery and a farm to table restaurant. Marta Lane of Tasting Kauai does an amazing job with these tours and I will go into greater detail about her and the tours in part two.
Kealia Farm is a working taro farm. They have 25 acres of wetland taro as well as other native Hawaiian fruits and vegetables, but taro is their main crop. The farm used to be part of the McKee sugar plantation that was the 1st electrified sugar plantation on Kauai. MaKee plantation housed 4000 workers, produced 20 thousand tons of sugar a year and closed in 1934. It took 5 million gallons of water to grow one acre of sugar, and only 20% came from rain. The sugar plantations had to develop irrigation systems and aqueducts to help irrigate the crops. Taro is a wetland crop, needing constant water to grow, so taking over an old sugar plantation makes for an ideal location for taro since the irrigation is already in place. Lihue Sugar Plantation took over the Makee plantation in in 1933 but has been closed since the year 2000. Kauai Backcountry Adventures has taken over part of the Lihue Plantation for a fun rafting adventure through some of the old irrigation canals and flumes. We didn’t have time for that adventure this time around, but it is top of our list for next time.
We started off down this dirt road to the taro patches as Adam Asquith, the main farmer of Kealia Farms, gave us the brief history of the sugar plantation as well as the history of the taro plant. Adam is clearly passionate about being a taro farmer, as well as teaching all about taro to school children, farm tours and like, that visit the farm. I was trying my best to take notes and photographs along the way so I could remember it all, but it was so easy just to walk and listen to him speak so passionately about this Ancient Hawaiian crop. Read More…