The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is a “must see” Hawaii attraction and the only living history coffee farm in the nation. Stroll through this award-winning, historic farm that tells the story of Kona’s coffee pioneers during the early 20th century. A self-guided experience, you’re free to walk among the coffee trees, meet a “Kona Nightingale”, or watch how farmers used the kuriba and hoshidana to mill and dry their world-famous coffee. Visit the original 1920’s farmhouse where you may find the homemaker starting the fire to cook rice or making musubi for the farmer’s lunch.
Living history gives visitors an opportunity to experience history “brought to life” by costumed interpreters who demonstrate traditional crafts, agricultural activities, and the everyday tasks of people from the past. “Talk story” along the way with the farm’s living history interpreters and discover the story behind Kona’s gourmet crop. Before you leave, be sure to sample the farm’s 100% Kona coffee and purchase some to take back home. All proceeds from admission and sales go directly to educational programs and preservation projects.
The H.N. Greenwell Store Museum, the Portuguese Stone Oven, the Kalukalu Pasture and our administrative offices are all located on a 3 acre site in the ahupuaʻa ili known as Kalukalu, in the city of Kealakekua. Kalukalu was purchased by Henry Nicholas Greenwell in 1850, which was at the time full of native forest and farmland stretching from the coast to the foothills of Mauna Loa. ʻOlelo Hawaiʻi was the predominant language spoken in the area, and agriculture throughout the ahupuaʻa consisted of sweet potatoes, dry land taro and breadfruit.
By the end of the 19th century, Kalukalu became the headquarters of Kona’s largest cattle and sheep ranch. The homestead was surrounded by cattle pens, a blacksmith shop, a saddle house, and carriage houses. As a bustling hub of commerce, H.N. Greenwell worked with vendors, farmers, purveyors and customers from the many different cultural groups moving to Kona to make their way. Chinese cooks, Hawaiian sheep-herders, Portuguese launderers, and others did business in the general store and shared their languages, foods and values.
Today, in this ahupuaʻa you will find along with the Store Museum, the Oven and the Pasture, the ruins of the main dwelling house where Elizabeth Caroline and Henry Nicholas Greenwell lived with their 10 children. The two-story wooden structure was torn down in the 1960’s. You’ll also see an iron cauldron, originally used by whalers to render blubber, that H.N. Greenwell used to render tallow from the carcasses of wild cattle. It is now planted with beautiful water lilies. Activities and hours vary from day to day.