Agricultural Tourism on Hawaii Island
Hawaii Island is the heart of Hawaii’s breadbasket. The bulk of the state’s agricultural products are grown and processed here, and our farm and ranch products continue to flourish, nourished by the popularity of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a culinary showcase for fresh, local and culturally-inspired ingredients.
Hawaii Island is an agricultural cornucopia. Macadamia nuts, coffee, orchids and other tropical plants, papaya, mango, cacao, jackfruit, vanilla, ginger root, kava, goat cheese, honey, hearts of palm, and exotic fruits like durian, rambutan, star fruit, cheremoya, figs, lychee, and dragon fruit are just a sample of what Hawaii’s farms have to offer. Hawaii Island is also known for its cattle ranches and paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys), as well as rich ocean resources, perfect for aquaculture such as lobsters, pearls and micro-algae.
The coffee culture in Hawaii Island is especially strong. Started in the late 1820s, the farms and mills in the famous Kona coffee region, as well as Kau and other nearby areas, are renowned for their award-winning coffee beans, expert roasting and superior flavor.
When in Hawaii, eat as the locals eat. For an up-close introduction to local foods, explore Hawaii Island’s colorful farmers’ markets. Aside from a wide variety of fresh-picked vegetables, fruits and prepared foods—some of which you may not have seen before—you’ll find crafts, gifts, artwork and so much more.
Hawaii Island also has festivals throughout the year such as the Kau (May) and and Kona (November) coffee festivals, and Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range (September), which celebrate our rural and agricultural lifestyle.
The future is now at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii in Kona. NELHA is an ocean science and technology park that promotes educational, research and commercial projects. These projects revolve around NELHA’s unique deep seawater system. which provides a continuous supply of seawater for aquaculture and other uses. For tour information, visit Friends of NELHA.