Waipa Farm is a local favorite when it comes to experiencing the Hawaiian culture. Its 1,600 acre of taro, trees, indigenous Hawaiian plants, fruits, and vegetables is the highlight and staple of the farm. It is equipped with a poi making area and kitchen to host many teaching events for the public to enjoy. Check out their “Pili Au,” which means local food and tour, on Tuesdays from 11am to 2 pm. There is a fee of $55 dollars per person and you will need to call Kelli for a reservation at 808-639-9999.
To get to Waipa Farm, follow these directions found on their website:
- Drive on Kuhio Highway (56/560) north through Hanalei town.
- As you leave town, cross one-lane concrete bridge over Waioli stream and enter the Waipa ahupua’a.
- Drive ½ mile MORE, then TURN LEFT (mauka) into MAIN WAIPA ENTRANCE.
- PARKING IS ON LEFT after entering.
Waipa Farm is one of the finest ways to learn more about the Hawaiian culture and how the Hawaiians lived off the land for many years. You can cross a Hawaiian culture experience off of your bucket list, because it’s a once in a lifetime experience. How often can you learn how to pound a taro or cook a pork dish and wrap it up in a taro leaf with some fish in it?
Don’t get too crabby about working as you learn how to make poi, because it is a lot of work. But look on the bright side: They do have sweet treats to try along the way! Sometimes they teach groups of people how make the traditional haupia (coconut) dessert. After all the hard work and learning is done, you get to eat it. That’s right, reap what you sow. it’s a great way to learn the Hawaiian cultural and eat some “ono grinds,” (local slang for food).
Often times, there are groups of elementary students at Waipa Farm, learning how to make poi. The workshops are open to all, just call them at: (808) 346-5752 for more information. Yes it’s a lot of work and an acquired taste, but who knows, you might be “ono,” or craving for this experience after you leave. If you are looking for a more laid back experience, check out their weekly farmer’s market.
Don’t forget to put Waipa Farm on your bucket list. It’s a fresh way to learn about the culture and eat the fruits and veggies you can only get here on Kauai. Be one with Kapunas (elderly teachers of the land) and Mother Nature, an experience you won’t forget. There is a saying to remember: “Not every poi in Hawaii taste the same, it’s all about the way the love was put into making it.”