On Kauai: Noni and Waimea Canyon

We were ready to learn about noni so went to Kaakaaniu Plantation for a free tour at the Organic Noni Farm.  (A free tour means they hope you purchase their product but we knew that going in.)

The farm and business is family owned and operated with great assistance from Steve, our guide. He works with noni from tree planting to sales of the finished product.

Steve told us that Polynesians either brought noni to Hawaii or recognized it from previous use when they arrived.   Archeological evidence suggests noni has been used for 40,000 years – most likely as a medicine or pain reliever.  Noni has anti inflammatory properties.

Noni trees are constantly producing.  This photo shows the various stages of development from blossom to ready to pick all on the same branch. The trees produce non stop year round.

This is what a noni looks like when it is mature enough to use.  

We tried some of the pulp and it tastes like bleu cheese!.  We like bleu cheese but it was odd to taste it in fruit!

Noni is a complete protein and could be a primary food source.  However, the Organic Noni Farm does not suggest it be used in that way.

Their primary product is a 14:1 concentration fruit leather.  They suggest a daily dietary supplement dosage of one  2″ by 2″ square per day for maintenance and up to 4 squares per day for medical conditions. 

As an organic supplement, they suggest noni is helpful as an antioxidant for inflammation and arthritis, with additional possible benefit for almost everything!  (We bought some noni leather but haven’t tried it so can’t speak from personal experience.)

The Organic Noni Farm has worked with the University of Hawaii to develop a moisturizing lotion and a pain relief lotion. 

Noni processing, from picking to product, takes one week.  The mature noni softens for a few days, is put into liquid form, and then dehydrates for 60-72 hours.  The entire process, including packaging, takes place in this building.  Nothing is outsourced.

The Organic Noni Farm has 1000 trees. 

The trees provide way more noni than the family can currently process. Much goes to waste but there is a continual supply.

In caring for the trees, they fertilize with worm cast tea. The worms eat blended kitchen waste and give off castings (poop).  

The castings are made into a tea and each tree gets one cup of tea twice a year.  The trees are  also surrounded with mulch.   (Pictured is our friend, Donna, who hosted us on this trip.)

The farm has a number of other fruit producing trees, primarily for family use. These are apple bananas.   The stalks are one and done. Once a group of bananas is grown, that stalk dies off..

Papaya tree are male, female or hermaphroditic (containing both male and female properties in a single tree). Properties from both genders are necessary for papaya production.

The papaya trunks have heart shaped markings as fronds fall away.

We were told about Norfolk pines.

They were imported to the Hawaiian Islands during an age when ships needed mast replacements using strong straight trunks.

Another tree species, common on Kauai but not native, is the Albesia. Albesia trees in Africa grow to 30 feet and are a hardwood.   Because of water availability on Kauai, the Albesia trees here grow 60-70 feet high and are a soft wood.  It is the Albesia tree that is used for the mulch around the noni trees.

Staying with trees, this is the colorful bark of the rainbow eucalyptus. . Native to the Philippine islands, the rainbow eucalyptus were brought to Hawaii in the 1920s to help with reforestation and erosion.

After our tour was complete, we purchased our noni products and left the plantation.  

We were told to look for the nearby rock wall.  It surrounds 800 acres purchased by Mark Zuckerberg.  This enclosed property once had 75 home sites. It now has only one – his.  Our guide indicated that there is both good and bad in having high profile owners on the island. They are frequently generous, but also have specific wants that may not always mesh with local customs.  Mark Zuckerberg owns 1300 acres on Kauai. 

When our sight seeing flight was canceled again due to weather, we drove to Waimea Canyon.

It was also too wet to hike so we drove around a bit and looked at views of the canyon.

We ate at Porky’s – a famous west island eatery.

One more food related item – below is a common Hawaiian comfort food – loco moco.

It combines layers of white rice, burger and brown gravy. It is topped with runny eggs.

I don’t like runny eggs so this was the version I ordered! It was very good.

Next up: Rum tour and Luau!

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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4 Responses to On Kauai: Noni and Waimea Canyon

  1. Karen Kuklinski says:

    You give the best virtual tours, Serene!!You make me want to go to most every place you’ve been. BTW, great photo of you two with the waterfall in the background.
    Any trips to Boise planned?
    I love your blogs but then they make me miss you both! – Karen

  2. tinkersimmons says:

    Love your trips and narratives!

    Sent from my iPhone


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  3. Teri McClelland says:

    I wish we had visited the Kaakaaniu Plantation when we were there. It looks very interesting.
    I’d like to have a papaya tree just for the pretty bark. You could probably grow them in Arizona.
    I hope the rain stopped and you finally got to do some of the things you had planned.

  4. I have never heard of noni. I’m not sure I could deal with the taste since I’m not a fan of bleu cheese. I love the hearts on the papaya trunks!

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