E*Trade founder Bill Porter and his wife Joan should be thanked for opening up their 500-acre Wai Koa Plantation, founded in 2006. They’ve thrown open the gates and designed it to be a working farm, fun and educational, with a walking path through the nation’s largest mahogany plantation with five miles of groomed gravel and dirt hiking trails open to the public.
There’s history — Kilauea Dam, unveiled in 1891 when Koloa was a sugar plantation town, is still in service, these days bringing water to Wai Koa. It’s nestled at the back of a beautifully landscaped valley.
Hydroponic greenhouses here are totally solar powered. Inside, there are tomatoes — cherry, cocktail and beefsteak. There’s cucumber, basil and over 13 varieties of lettuce that workers cut and bag as a mix and the farm sells to restaurants and resorts on island.
There are 3 acres of organic orchards with a plan to triple that size over the next two years. You get to see a permaculture egg and vegetable farm and koi ponds.
I can not THANK the Porter family enough for opening up their property to stroll down the 5 mile path. Jack has done a great job with the information signs pointing out many of the sites along the way. If you have a couple of hours, do not miss this easy stroll through these beautiful grounds.
Things you will see in the Wai Koa Plantation:
Norfolk Island Pines
86,000 Tree Mahogany Plantation
Malama Kauai Community Gardens
Kauai Organic Orchard
Views of the Hanalei Mountains
Kauai Fresh Farms
Kilihiwai Lagoons ~ Fish Ponds
Historic Stone Dam
Guava Kai Orchard