A relaxing rural farm with beautiful sweeping views, it is rich in abundant flora and fauna, and a diverse selection of wellness and educational services. The farm hosts guests from around the world to come to stay and experience its lush surroundings and unique offerings.
The native land of Honaunu Farm was first developed as a family-run macadamia farm in the early 80’s. The farm boasted 200+ macadamia nut trees and supported the Hughes family. Steve Sakala purchased the farm with partners in 2007. The intention to diversify the farm and create an education model for holistic living. The project began in earnest, with a community of visionaries sharing a goal of transforming the place into a permaculture farm and community living model. Early steps included increasing the diversity of food grown on the land by slowly shifting some of the macadamia trees to other food-producing trees as well as opening up areas for gardens both vegetable and medicinal.
The project was put to an abrupt halt after just a year when the housing crisis of 2008 hit. Many who had underwater mortgages were counseled to go into default in order to refinance their loans. The farm was caught in this unfortunate situation and a 6-year journey to liberate it was embarked upon.
Despite the constant threat of impending foreclosure, the vision of the farm as a model was eventually again pursued, and the experience, in the end, was a triumph. The farm won what many thought was an unwinnable battle. It was granted a loan modification and a new lease on life! The result was a renewed sense of hope that sometimes justice is served, and the small guy can win against the big guy. With the victory came a big sigh of relief and the project was able to continue with more viability and vigor.
After the battle was over, more extensive investment into the infrastructure on the property was possible alongside the continued expansion of the food forests, vegetable gardens, retreat features, and general beautification of the land.
Over the course of the last 13 years, the farm has been host to several thousand guests, 50+ interns, and community members, a few famous artists as well as prominent legislators. It has been host to many tours, including those for school children, mama’s groups, tourists, retreat groups, permaculture students, legislators, and even Democratic presidential candidate, congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard shared an hour live stream tour as she learned more about hemp and small scale farming on the island.
It has also been a place of relaxation and nourishment for those seeking a slower pace of life, especially those wanting to experience a bit of rural Hawaii, away from the resorts and busy tourist spots. It has also served as an education hub for those wanting to learn more about natural wellness, regenerative agriculture, and community living.
The farm has done much to fulfill its vision of becoming a model for holistic living where people can experience it firsthand and learn skills to take with them when they go. It has been a meeting ground for many with shared ideas to learn, grow, and transform their lives.
One notable experience led to the launch of Mana Artisan Botanics…more on that to come.
Honaunau Farm is located in an area called the “healing triangle”, a revered stretch of land between Kealakekua Bay, Honaunau Place of Refuge, and Mauna Kea mountain. There are two sacred Heiau (Hawaiian temples), one at Kealakekua and one at Honaunau, both are dedicated to “healing” and the transformation of the human being.
In alignment with the energy of this land, the farm has always been a place that embodies the spirit of aloha for wellness and personal transformation in many forms. There is something innately healing about growing food and living close to the land. It touches our deeper nature and brings our personal mana (life force energy) back to life.
The farm couples this intention with other healing offerings like massage, yoga, qigong, nutrition, meditation, and community collaboration. It has served as a powerful way to bring people closer to themselves and to the natural world that supports and surrounds them. The stunning beauty of the hillside location, the incredible waters of the pacific ocean, and the awe-inspiring lava that rises up from the earth are enough to enliven and create healing for even the most downtrodden amongst us. It is quite spectacular and often very transformational in expected and unexpected ways.
The 7.5 acres of Honaunau Farm are richly planted beyond the multitude of macadamia nut trees it boasted from the previous owner. Under Steve’s stewardship and with the help of many hands, the farm has a wide diversity of food growing. There are 16 different kinds of bananas, and two plantain varieties. Avocados flourish here, 8 different kinds to be exact along with just about every other kind of fruit bearing tree that grows at the farms elevation and climate. Everything from exotic dragon fruit, cherimoya, longan and star fruit, to more common fig, citrus and papaya thrive there. Spice trees like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice as well as herbal varieties like kava and passion vine which produce the beloved passion fruit are established on the farm There are over 100 fruit trees in total across the land and several varieties of bamboo.
Honaunau Farm has also been a place where medicinal gardens, full of herbs like basil, rosemary, calendula, mamaki, tulsi, yarrow, and more have been cultivated. Plantain grows wild across the farm and comfrey grows abundantly in the rich volcanic soils as well. These two potent herbs are harvested regularly for use in Mana’s Hemp Balm.
Turmeric is also cultivated on the farm in several double dug beds allowing for the large “hands” of the root to grow. In Hawaii, turmeric is called Olena, and was used topically to treat wounds, rashes, bruises and injuries. It was also used to help clear the sinuses. The farm supplies abundant fresh Hawaii turmeric to Mana for use in it’s best tasting Hawai’i Turmeric Hemp Oil.
The farm has always been a place where medical cannabis has been grown as part of the plant-based aspect of its wellness model. Steve is a long time cannabis activist having worked on one of the first medical initiatives in California with long time advocate Jack Herer. The small cannabis plot includes many strains that are acclimatized to the unique climate including some hemp varieties rich in CBD. The garden has been visited by many interested in learning more about cannabis, including several legislators in Hawai’i who were considering its goals with the plant and its emerging industry. As President of the local chapter of the Farmer’s Union, Steve was actively involved in the formation of Hawaii’s dispensary and hemp cultivation programs. He was one of a handful of people contracted to grow Hawaii’s first hemp seed varieties for Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture Pilot Hemp Program.
It was Steve’s longtime interest in cannabis, his timely introduction to high CBD hemp and encouragement from his partner Melinda that ultimately led to the formation of Mana Artisan Botanics.
Mana Artisan Botanics was birthed out of a series of synchronistic connections and several decades of educating and advocating for sustainable, holistic living. After two decades of working with medical cannabis, a timely introduction to CBD was made by way of a friend…and a whole new avenue opened.
It was more than exciting learning about the historical high CBD, low THC varieties of cannabis and the potential these strains had to offer those seeking relief without the high. The discovery was 8 years ahead of the CBD boom and it sparked an unexpected trajectory…the possibility of having a legal company and sharing the amazing benefits of the cannabis plant with the wider general public.
After some experimenting, HiCBD Organics was launched as Hawaii’s first CBD company. It was a small scale mom and pop operation that gained recognition in the state, available for sale at local stores and to guests on the farm. The original line had 3 products, a CBD turmeric coconut oil, a CBD honey, and a CBD tincture. It was that line that caught the attention of a retreat guest, who had not yet heard of CBD. She gifted a friend some product, philanthropist Andy Noorda who had a son with cerebral palsy. It was this auspicious connection that brought Andy into this arena when the CBD oil had such a beneficial effect, not only on Andy’s son, but on him as well.
Inspired by the potential, Andy was the first investor, and HiCBD Organics was transformed into Mana Artisan Botanics. The company continued with its commitment to helping people heal and grow on their wellness journey. And the dedication to sourcing quality ingredients, supporting local farmers and producing some of the purest CBD products on the market was a continued part of the plan.
Mana has been a model and trend setter in the industry thanks to it’s early entry to the market and to the commitment of its founders. It recently became the first CBD company to go plastic negative and implement initiatives as a company to eliminate plastic waste. It has been a voice for regenerative agriculture as a standard to strive for in the industry as well as a front runner in using synergistic botanicals like turmeric and traditional processing methods. Since its inception, the company has always been isolate-free and an advocate for organic, time tested, full-spectrum hemp that ensures the entourage effect and the desired efficacy people need to get relief.
Mana is committed, same as it’s birthplace Honaunau Farm, to an enhanced experience that brings many layers of wellness to its customers. The thoughtful formulation of the products, by skilled herbalist Shimyrre Britt, has created what many in the industry have deemed the best-tasting oil on the market as well as one of the most enjoyable and effective hemp balms. The care and consideration of each ingredient, hand selected by Shimyrre, a former Honauanu Farm resident, is intended to deliver optimal flavor, scent, texture and efficacy. This attention to detail highlights nature’s ingredients, in their most pure form, for a distinct holistic effect and is a testament to the brand’s namesake.
Mana is the energy inherent in all things. It is in plants, in people, and in nature. The more this energy is retained in our ingredients as they are processed and prepared, the more mana is enhanced in those that use it. Honaunau Farm is a special place imbued with healing mana and remains the bedrock of Mana Artisan Botanics, striving to be a force for good one day, one plant, and one person at a time.