The Pod Squad
At Mahilani, we are building a cooperative and enduring community of people who share love and appreciation for the ‘aina, who regard each other as ‘ohana, whose work on the property sustains, beautifies and improves the land, and who continually seek a healthy balance between work and play. Whether the task at hand is cracking open cacao pods, caring for the cattle, or welcoming guests to the farm, each person is important to the overall picture and brings their unique talents and skills to the experience.
At Mahilani, we use the principles of engineering and the natural resources available at the farm to increase our self-sufficiency and implement sustainable farming practices. We operate off-grid, using solar systems for electricity and catchment tanks for collecting rainwater. We have planted fields of oil palms so that we will one day have the option of making biodiesel to operate our farm vehicles and machinery.
One of our fields of oil palm, planted in anticipation of making biodeisel in the future.
Cacao nectar, made from the juice drained from the beans and pulp before fermentation.
We are constantly refining our practices and products to eliminate waste in processing. For example, during cacao harvest we compost the discarded pod husks and return those nutrients to our fields. Then, we developed products to make use of every part of the cacao fruit so no part is wasted. We collect the juice that drains from the wet beans before fermentation and make it into sweet, delicious jelly. The husks removed from the cacao beans at the nib-making stage are made into amazing looseleaf tea. At that point, all that remains is 100% cacao beans, ready to be turned into handcrafted chocolates.
The Mahilani ‘ohana is comprised of people with a wealth of diverse skills and backgrounds. We aim to share our talents and experiences with the local community through educational workshops and community-building events. We are developing an agritourism program so that visitors to the islands can learn about the unique practices of Hawaiian agriculture. By opening the farm and surrounding area to visitors, we hope to foster an appreciation for the history, culture, and natural environment of this unique place.
Friends, family, and community members are invited to work AND play at the farm.