Reviews & Testimonials

See what others are saying about their experience here at Honaunau Farm.


I can’t say enough wonderful things about Honaunau Farm. The tent cottage is like a place from my childhood dreams and the porch kitchen is absolutely going to be one of my favorite things about our entire trip to Hawaii. We were able to take amazing care of ourselves there and the land also contributed its healing. The stars are so bright and clear here at night (if you can manage to stay up to see them – our circadian rhythms were very strong on the farm) and the sounds of roosters, frogs, ducks, and the rain were soothing and really helped me feel a part of this place. I was content to sit for hours on the porch just reading and soaking it all in. So far Honaunau Farm is absolutely the best place we have stayed and I think it will remain that way. It’s in a great spot to be able to reach activities all up and down the coast, and particularly Kealakekua Bay. The sunsets are sublime, the mornings are long and cool, and the property is lush and well tended. I wish I could bring all my favorite people back to experience it with me!


I just spent 10 beautiful days at the farm (half with a friend and half with my husband) — my only complaint was that it wasn’t long enough! Highlights include: a beautiful room with “jungle view” (and very comfy bed), a fantastic lanai with majestic view and the best outdoor reading/relaxing/chilling-with-the-kitties couch EVER, learning to make fresh, delicious macadamia nut milk, an outdoor shower in the late-morning sunshine surrounded by red hibiscus and the occasional peeping-gecko, bottle-feeding the adorable baby goats, and falling asleep to the sounds of crickets and frogs (which I loved so much that I recorded them for home!). The other highlight was the people, who were so friendly, interesting and passionate about their work and the farm. I would (and will!) recommend the farm to anyone, and hope to be back one day too.


Life-changing opportunity to reset and recharge the soul. My stay was a stay in Paradise, to say the least. Great people to be around who received me with the most loving heart. The food at the farm is deliciously organic, the animals extremely docile, and the learning experience in doing the chores around the farm as well as learning more about Sustainable Farming were all some of the highlights of this Retreat! I had no idea my mind, body and spirit would be this much nourished. I called this trip a Rebirth. Thank you for the opportunity to be ONE with Honaunau Farm.


Steve and company were very accommodating, and the pictures and description do not do justice when describing how immaculate and wonderful the farm turned out to be. If you’re looking for a true getaway and a host with a warm personality, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of the Farm/Eco-Stay.


An incredible couple of people! We loved staying with Steve and Melinda, the farm was such a fun place to explore: its a real model for permaculture, and the animals are so delightful. The additional services they offer, like massage and fun farm classes, were so worthwhile. They also made coming and going very easy. We felt very comfortable and welcomed, but they were absolutely non-intrusive. The accommodations were luxurious and rustic! We plan to stay again when we return to the Kona coast, I highly recommend their farm stay to anyone, whether they usually look for a Hilton or hostel.


My husband and I stayed at this gorgeous farm on the southwestern side of the Big Island. We were there for a combination honeymoon + friends’ wedding trip. We are so glad that instead of staying at a hotel or a resort, we decided to stay at Steve and Melinda’s. We stayed in the smaller guest room with the shared bathroom. We loved that from our window we could see the flowers and plants behind us, the animals on the farm, and a bit of the coast. It also felt very private even though we were in the main house at the same time as another (wonderful) couple. Some our favorite moments were feeding the baby goats, having dinners with the other awesome couples, and eating breakfast on the veranda/patio. None of the hotels’ ocean view rooms can compare to the ocean views we had, while feeling like we actually lived there. We loved their beautiful dog and adorable cats who were just too cute for words. We came away having learned and discovered so much and we recommend their farm to anyone else considering doing something off the beaten path. For my husband and I, it was truly paradise.


My wife and I spent 3 days at the farm and we loved it. We would have stayed more if it had been possible but there was no more availability. The place is exactly as described in the airbnb ad: no bad surprise. Actually everything was better than we had expected. The property is big and well located, with incredible views over the ocean. Every room is furnished and decorated with style, in a kind of oriental way. Steve showed us the farm around and was just wonderful. Actually everybody on the farm was great and we became friends very fast. Gabriela and Matias prepared us the best breakfast with products of the farm. We also loved the contact with the animals, Lani the dog, the cats and others. We also loved the huge outdoor shower. Now we are back in Europe still very jetlagged. I don’t know if my head is clear enough to really describe how nice it was.


Steve and Melinda have a beautiful and luscious farm that they have graciously shared with guests. The house is very nice and big and quiet, with dramatic panoramic view of Kona coast. You just get lost in the nature and the sunset. Walking around the farm, we saw adorable animals and lots of fruit trees. We could easily find lilikoi falling from the trees that taste delicious. Everyone in the farm was very nice and friendly. We highly recommend this place to everyone exploring the Kona coast.


Wonderful location. A short drive down the hill is a wonderful place to kayak and snorkel. I went snorkeling near ‘2 step’ with dolphins playing around. Captain Cook monument is a great place to kayak and snorkel. Good coffee places near by. The fruit and mac nuts on farm were good.


Steve & Melinda’s farm is a great place to stay! If you’re looking for an exotic alternative to big resorts and crowds that may be your place. Their place is very charming and super clean! And the deck with ocean view perfect for sunsets with a glass of wine! We didn’t get to see much of the hosts, but the room had a little folder with plenty of recommendations for food and attractions. Perfect to start exploring the Big Island!


Steve and Melinda’s farm/home up in the Captain Cook area of the Big Island was a peaceful and lovely stay. We arrived late and Steve and Melinda were gone for the other night of our stay so we didn’t get to chat much, but when we did they were warm and super informative in helping us plan our days. Their farm is lush and full of chicken and kitties, a great peek into sustainable living in a tropical paradise. The room we stayed in, the Trumpet Room, was clean and well-decorated, with plenty of hangers and closet space too. We had a shared bathroom that was also very clean and pleasant. Their home has amazing views of the Kona coast and wish we could have explored their property a bit more.


We are grateful to have met Steve and Melinda. It was so fun to learn about their ingenious farm and inspiring way of life. Buy their sheep and goat cheese, and especially their tree tomatoes! It tastes like a guava, pomegranate, tomato smoothie.


My partner and I had a wonderful four-night stay at Steve and Melinda’s farm. Their house is beautiful and relaxing, with a great view of the bay. Loved the animals, especially their friendly cats. Our room, bathroom and the rest of the house were clean and tidy. The hosts were very welcoming and helpful, and recommended places to see and eat. Location is great – very close to two incredible snorkeling spots (Two Step and Kealekakua Bay). Great value for the price.


Our stay at the farm was a unique and a one of a kind atmosphere! The farm is full of life as well as our hosts! We really appreciated the opportunity to stay at the farm. Steve and Melinda are really great hosts and I highly recommend staying here!

Shimyrre Britt

My name is Shimyrre and I’m a proud past resident/intern of Honaunau Farm. I lived on the farm with my partner and many other community members for 1 awesome year. I initially discovered the farm long before I ever knew I would live there when I was browsing online looking for a well rounded, holistic environment to visit. Little did I realize that would become a home of mine later. There were many things that drew my interest, from the appreciation of quality nutrition from farm-grown food to the hands-on opportunities to learn about permaculture to the community lifestyle. It was immediately apparent this was a genuine effort to create a way for others to experience an example of truly holistic living, learn from it, and perhaps practice it when they leave. 

While living on the farm, my perspective of what it meant to be sustainable both in my thoughts and my actions was enhanced greatly. I did things I never thought I would do like herd sheep, make cheese, learn about rain catchment. Children from the local school would come on field trips and tour with Steve, learning about why rabbit manure is good for the garden. We grew a variety of foods and harvested fruits from the trees. Visiting guests were like neighbors, stopping to chat and ask questions about animal husbandry. I grew medicinal herbs in the garden and made medicine from them. As an herbalist, these were by far my favorite activities but the entire experience was beyond valuable. We ate, laughed, worked and learned together. This was community. Not perfect, but a fine example of individuals coming together with their skills and interests to share and empower others to make a difference in how we live. From an economic and environmental perspective, this kind of knowledge is priceless and speaks to the importance of having a place like Honaunau Farm.

Though I no longer live on the farm, my time there remains with me on the daily and has inspired me to make more intelligent choices in how I use our natural resources and whom I choose to support with my dollar. I hope many others have an opportunity to challenge themselves in this way because it’s often through our own actions that the biggest changes occur.

Cate Clegg-Thorp

A stay at Honaunau Farm is the quintessential example of a life-changing, life-fulfilling, life-enriching experience. My husband and I found ourselves there on a journey seeking just that – a departure from the ordinary and a quest for self-exploration, new knowledge and exposure to alternative ways of living and being. As a part of this journey, we had hoped to find a farm to volunteer on where we would learn more about organic farming and to come away with some new knowledge and hands-on experience working the land, but our time at Honaunau proved to be so much more than that.

Yes, volunteering at Honaunau provided us plenty of the opportunity we were looking for to get our hands dirty. However, we also were given the knowledge and experience of Steve, whose extensive background in sustainable, permaculture agricultural practice provided us with ample information about not only gardening, but landscape/garden design, sustainable organic farming practices and resource use and sharing. Steve’s approach to education always included a mix of essential information, insights into his own experience–mistakes and lessons learned included–and plenty of opportunity to try what we were interested in, and encouragement to push our boundaries and try something new.

Contributing our own knowledge and experience during these times of learning was always valued, and encouraged as a way to contribute to the farm and the community–another life-lesson fostered through our time at Honaunau. As residents at Honaunau, we were offered an exploration into living in community, an exercise of identifying how to co-exist with individuals, while creating a place and system that is productive, nurtures a spirit of collaboraton, equity, and an understanding of self and those around you. Living with others, contributing to daily tasks and responsibilities, sharing resources, meeting the needs of others, self-evaluating your own contributions, trouble-shooting group issues and celebrating achievements were all experiences that demonstrated how life in a community is not only possible, but a valuable and sustainable way of living for the betterment of a larger group of people.

By learning and practicing organic permaculture farming and living and contributing to a community, we also were learning and understanding how to live in an ecologically conscious way. While farming we always sought opportunities to use less energy and resources while yielding the same results. Whether it was rainwater catchment systems, producing and strategically using animal manure for fertilization, or re-purposing existing materials for a new project, life on the farm alters your way of thinking and resulting actions for a healthier and more efficient lifestyle.

My time at Honaunau not only offered new information and experiences on holistic living, but gave me that once-in-a-lifetime adventure that I will never forget. In addition to the knowledge I gained, the time I spent with Steve, Melinda and the others in our community gave me a renewed sense of self, a chance to reflect and think about my own lifestyle and goals for a healthier future, and to make changes in a way only possible by “living it.” My husband and I now live in a rural community, and are already using some of our “Honaunau lessons” in sustainability and in community living.

Honaunau Farm truly provides a journey and experience that far too few places can. The farm experience is an authentic test of who you are and what you can accomplish, while providing lessons and practice on how to “do it better with less” while contributing more. Honaunau is the kind of example we should all learn from to secure a healthier, happier, more sustainable future for ourselves and the global community.

Stephen Lewis

My original reason for going to live on the Big Island in February of 2012 was to pursue reconnection in a love relationship that I had lost. Having had a passion for food and an interest in learning to grow food, I decided to arrange for an internship on a farm while I was there. Now, looking back upon the course of events that led me to Honaunau Farm, and the year that I spent living there, I consider it one of the most blessed times in my life thus far, and am astounded at the the luck I had in landing myself in the beautiful community that lives there.

The agricultural part of the farm contains a little bit of everything and is forward thinking, balancing food-production, animal management, land stewardship, resource conservation, and ecologically-harmonious design. The farm strives and excels within each of these pillars of sustainable, back-to-the-land living, and the community is the fuel and energy which keep these practices going. But to my mind, the most beautiful and beneficial aspect of the farm is not the advanced agriculture, but the community itself. Where the former was designed to support our physical health, the latter was fostered so that we could pursue higher levels of spiritual wellness.

I knew that I would come to the farm and learn to milk sheep and goats; I did not know that I would be afforded the opportunity to live amongst, observe, and interact with over ten different pairs of partners in conscious intimate relationships. I probably learned more about successful love relationships than I did about animal husbandry! The community is physically hosted by Steve and Melinda, but spirit of the community is owned by all those living within it at any given time. The model of community living, when put into honest and successful practice, is akin to a more evolved, self-aware, and intentional form of family. When a member of the community encounters emotional or spiritual crisis, it is shared by the entire community. It is a model that rejects the self-reliant isolationist archetype of western society and instead harkens to indigenous cultures, a la “it takes a village.”

In the community, every person becomes a teacher and every person becomes a student. Authority in different realms of knowledge are earned, respected, and egos are set aside. Every moment of every day is an opportunity for a lesson, whether it be in plant science, cooking, child-rearing, auto-mechanics, patience with loved ones, or effective communication. The accountability and high expectations that community members hold for one another are balanced with tender compassion and humor, just as the male energies are balanced with the female energies.

I could write many essays on the lessons I learned in botany, permaculture, and sustainable farming, but to my mind the most important things I learned and experienced on the farm had to do with the community and the lifestyles held within it. On the farm the speed of my life slowed down, and I learned to listen (so much more attentively!) to my heart and mind and what they need and desire. I began to observe the direct connection between my happiness and how well I was paying attention to the cues of my emotions. This awareness came from observing other community members and their consciousness of such trends, as well as from explicit discussion and analysis of our selves, which usually happened after community dinner but often during breakfast, lunch, or farm work as well!

The most powerful lesson was the living model itself. The farm was carrying these torches long before I came and still carries them after I’ve departed. It creates it’s own honest, beautiful, harmonious, and evolving reality. Into this environment, people with open hearts who want to learn are welcomed in with love and equality. Even some folks whose hearts aren’t so open find their way in, and their issues are absorbed and digested with total love and compassion by the farm community. It is impossible to spend time there and not depart a better human being—the community will not allow it. And you can learn to raise goats.

Lou Clark

I was an intern at Honaunau farm for seven months in 2013. I had been living and working on farms on three different Hawaiian islands and enjoy the lifestyle. Steve’s farm was a wonderful place to call home. I learned a great deal about animal husbandry and growing practices. Every farm is different and every farmer has their own way of doing things so the more farms one sees the better base of knowledge one builds. My desire is to own a small farm of my own and I learned a number of things there to help me in that direction. Steve was a wonderful teacher and host to everyone I met while there. The farm was active in the local community both in providing healthy food and sharing information about alternative ways of living. It would be a shame for it to end over surmountable financial differences.