Faceplant Farm

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Kea'au

Vanilla Orchid
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Annie and cured vanilla beans
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Vanilla beans
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Soursop & Vanilla
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Crops:

Māmaki, Vanilla Beans, Tropical Fruit, Citrus, Spices

Methods:

Hulgelkultur, KNF (Korean Natural Farming) and biodynamic practices

Annie Bunker and her family have been developing Faceplant Farm since 2009. It began as a 2-acre parcel with nothing but a lone monkeypod and has grown into a 5-acre farm beautifully landscaped with over 40 types of fruits, spices, teas, herbs, and, of course, flowers. Managed by Annie, her partner Chuck, and her son, Wrenn (pictured), it takes each one of them constantly working to maintain the edible botanical garden they've created. The farm's primary market crops, at the moment, are vanilla beans, māmaki tea, and assorted tropical fruits. While production may be on the smaller side for certain crops, they consistently produce some of the highest quality we've encountered.

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How long have you been growing/raising food?

Both Annie and Chuck have been involved in farming their entire lives, having been raised in farming families and continued to raise their Sons, Cooper and Wrenn, with an appreciation for what the earth can give us for survival and nourishment.

What has been the most surprising thing during your farming journey?

How much of Hawaii’s food is imported from the Continent (the Mainland). How important soil biology is to plant and human health and well-being. And how quickly things grow - food, flowers, and weeds alike. Don’t turn your back on an Albizia tree!

What has been the most challenging thing during your farming journey?

Staying ahead of invasives and promoting natives

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What has been the most rewarding thing during your farming journey?

Being part of a process of the seen and unseen and knowing that we are part of a symbiotic relationship with all things alive around us. Opening a box of cured vanilla beans and smelling the fragrance. The smell of roasting coffee. And when we’ve made a delivery to Locavore Store and folks are purchasing our produce before we leave.

What is something you wish everyone who enjoyed your food knew about what you do?

We wish folks understood the time it takes to create, maintain and harvest all that we farmers grow and process.

What do you wish more people knew about farming in general?

Farming, in general, nourishes the human spirit.

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What's a helpful tip or trick you can share about the food you grow/raise?

Don’t ignore your soils. Remember, soil is a living thing. Microbes, mulch, and compost are essential to healthy and productive plants.