2013-06-10 16.43.19Saturdays in December, we’ll have open factory hours from 10-3, so please stop by to talk story and grab some chocolate. We’ll make sure there’s something delicious to try. Parking right in front of the factory at:

296 Mokauea Street, #101
Honolulu, HI 96819

If you get lost or need more details, give us a call at 808-223-9997

See you there!

X-ray analysis of Martian soil samples has recently shown that the structures are quite similar to the basaltic soils we have here in the Hawaiian islands. Explains a lot, really 🙂 Now if we can just warm that planet up a bit (and maybe recreate an atmosphere), we’ll have a vast new chocolate territory…

One of the first questions we often hear from visitors is: why is this dirt so red? The answer is basically that our soils are heavy in hematite, an iron oxide that contributes the distinctive rusty color. We work in a soil structure that is locally known as the Wahiawa Oxisol, and visitors beware–it will stain you and your clothes 🙂

Wishing everyone a very exciting and happy 2011. Here are just a few images from 2010–we’re looking forward to more trees and certainly much more chocolate in the coming year!

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Let’s face it: Wahiawa isn’t exactly on most people’s heavy rotation for tourist sites on Oahu’s North Shore. But there are at least two reasons it should be part of your visit if you’re interested in botany and local food.

Wahiawa Botanical Gardens


Founded by the Hawaii Sugar Producers Association in the 1920s, the Wahiawa Botanical Garden has got a really interesting collection of Hawaiian native palms, as well as some beautiful older Ficus specimens, and a generally fun (and free!) walk through this sheltered canyon.

Peterson’s Upland Egg Farm


If you’re trying to eat locally here in Hawaii, then you know that eggs and dairy are some of the most challenging daily-use foods to source responsibly. Happily, Foodland is now carrying milk from the O’okala Dairy on the Big Island, and locally produced butter can be found at Haleiwa farmer’s market. For eggs, we highly recommend a trip to Peterson’s–one of the oldest egg producers in the islands. Delicious eggs, and cheaper by the flat than any dozen you’re likely to find on the supermarket shelves.

141 Dole Road, Wahiawa
(808) 621-6619

Wahiawa ditch line

One of the fortunate things at this moment in agriculture on the North Shore is that we still have an active (albeit admittedly decrepit) ditch water system, a legacy of the sugar barons that continues to deliver gravity-fed, partially treated water from Lake Wilson all along the Wahiawa ditch line, from Mokuleia to Kawailoa and Waimea.

The existence of this inexpensive water resource makes projects like ours more viable, and will continue to be a very important component of a viable diversified ag future locally. Unfortunately, issues of ‘deferred maintenance’, which began under sugar in the 1960s, have continued to plague the system, which is trapped in a bureaucratic morass between the state and several other for-profit and not-for-profit entities, not all of whom really care all that much about the system’s future. Just this past winter, the system’s capacity was reduced almost by half due to the loss of one of the mauka syphons. The replacement tactic was a short-term fix that shows no signs of being actually addressed anytime soon.

Back in the height of the sugar days, the bagasse-burning facility in Waialua actually generated so much excess power that they were able to pump water uphill to expand sugar further into central Oahu. The days of that type of environmental insanity are long gone, but the fact remains that anyone comitted to an agricultural future on the tablelands of north Oahu needs to keep a keen eye on the Lake Wilson ditch system–if it decays to a point where its failure becomes a reality, agriculture up here in the country will enter an even more troubled time.