Natural Farming Learning Lab at Ho’ea

farm 2The Natural Farming Learning Lab at Ho‘ea is a 1.5 acre site that has been developed by the eight families of Palili ‘O Kohala as a learning center to teach the use of Natural Farming methodologies to grow taro, vegetables, fruits and animals. The Natural Farming Learning Lab site is used for training and for producing food for family and community and small-scale commercial production.
The Natural Farming Learning Lab encompasses taro and vegetable beds, fruit trees, taro lo‘i, the Natural Farming Pig and Chicken House and the Hagwan (Quonset Hut Leaning Center).

Activities at the Natural Farming Learning Lab include custom training for the Palili ‘O Kohala families, mentoring in taro cultivation and animal husbandry for local youth in partnership with Hauoli Mau Loa, education and mentoring for visiting youth groups, agricultural workshops, tours and events for the public.

Natural Farming (formerly Korean Natural Farming) was developed by Master Cho of Korea and has been used internationally by commercial farmers to increase yields, grow chemical free food and reduce agricultural inputs (and therefore costs). The core of Natural Farming training is learning the art and science of the on-farm creation of “fertilizers” and “pesticides” from commonly available ingredients such as brown sugar, egg shells, fish waste and fruit, combined with microorganisms from the soil. Natural Farming Hawaii is an organization that has been trained by Master Cho and is teaching and supporting the methods in Hawaii. The Natural Farming Hawaii organization is working on a certification and marketing program that will market the “Natural Farming” brand, adding value by emphasizing that it is locally grown without chemicals.

Palili O Kohala is combining traditional knowledge with modern methodology by utilizing the Natural Farming method in order to increase yields, keep water usage low, and provide a way to make natural fertilizers on the farm, which reduces production costs and doesn’t use chemicals that are harmful to the land, water and people.

Haumana work together with mentors and ohana to conduct a Natural Farming trail to eradicate fireweed from pastures on Kohala Mountain


Chris Trump showing a photo of a beneficial microorganism in the soil.

Our primary Natural Farming instructor is Chris Trump, a commercial Macadamia nut farmer, managing 800 acres, with ten years of hands on experience in produce and livestock farming. Chis has completed the best U.S. training available in Korean Natural Farming methods, as well as training in Korea with Master Cho, the top authority in the world. Chris has adapted Natural Farming methodologies for large-scale commercial operations and is currently running the largest Natural Farming farm in the U.S.

Current Sponsors

County of Hawai‘i, County Council
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Hau'oli Mau loa
Dorrance Family Foundation
Honsador Lumber

Past Sponsors

Local Initiatives Fund-RSF Social Finance
Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaii Tourism Authority-Living Hawaiian Culture Program
County of Hawai‘i-Department of Research and Development

Community Partners

Hawai‘i FFA Foundation
North Kohala Eat Locally Grown
Laulima Center for Rural and Cooperative Development at the Kohala Center
Chris Trump
Jim Cain, King Laulau Poi Company