In Our Fields
Paradise Meadows is home to 30 bee hives and growing. In Hawaii, we have flowers blooming year round, and our bees produce honey in every season. Bees are opportunity feeders, which means they will range up to 1.5 miles from their hive, when necessary, to find a food source. When food (that is, nectar and pollen) is abundant, bees will tend to stay closer to the hive, selecting from among the array of flowers blooming.
We also have some unique specialty honeys, including our creamy Lehua honey and our "Wild Hive" comb honey. Check out our online store and try some for yourself.. Or, better yet, come by the farm and we'll do a full honey tasting for you!
The folks at Paradise Meadows are all coffee lovers, and that love shows in the quality of the award-winning coffee we call Hawaii's Local Buzz. Our coffee is the result of taking 3 varieties of 100% Hawaiian Ka'u Arabica beans (Arabica Typica, Red Caturra and Yellow Caturra) and blending them to produce an extraordinarily smooth, complex, low-acid coffee. 100% of our trees (and, therefore, 100% of our beans) are grown in the Ka'u district of the Big Island of Hawaii at elevations ranging from 1800' - 2200' above sea level, and our soil is unusually deep and rich relative to other parts of the island (including Kona).
If you come visit us at the farm we can take you on a brief tour of one of our coffee fields and talk story with you about how our coffee gets from the tree to the bag. And, of course, you'll be able to sample some freshly brewed coffee.
Paradise Meadows is also home to the largest lime orchard in the state (that we know of). Over 1,400 trees produce delicious mostly Tahitian limes that we sell to local grocery stores, restaurants and other vendors. Our orchard of Ponderosa lemon trees produces amazingly large juice lemons -- you can sample them in the fabulous, fresh-squeezed lemonade they sell at Annie's Island Fresh Burgers in Kealakekua.
In Our Greenhouse
Aquaponics is the fusion of two methods of farming -- aquaculture, or fish farming, and hydroponics, or growing in water instead of soil. In hydroponics you typically fertilize your plants with man-made chemicals and must maintain a constant and careful balance at all times. Over time, hydroponic systems become toxic and require you to break them down and sterilize them. In aquaponics, the plants are fertilized naturally by the waste of the fish, which breaks down into a form of Nitrogen called Nitrates that the plants can use. This system becomes a closed pond system and balances itself naturally without the need for chemicals. The only thing we add to the system is fish food.
In our Aquaponic greenhouse, we can grow a head of lettuce from a tiny "start" to a full head in 4 weeks -- about half the time it takes to grow in the ground. And we use up almost no water in the process. The only water "lost" in this system is what evaporates, and we recapture that using a "catchment" system for our fish tank which catches rain water and returns it to the tank.
If you visit the farm we can give you a tour of our Aquaponic system and greenhouse, and introduce you to our fishy farmhands. If you have a real interest in Aquaponics we'll be happy to talk story with you about the system in greater detail.