We are blessed to live on a small 2 1/3‑acre homestead on the East side of the island of Kauaʻi. This land has been in Roland’s family since the 60’s when his grandparents fell in love with Kauaʻi and bought this little plot of land in a quiet rural neighborhood. Care of this land was given to us when Roland’s father passed in 2003, and we came here with the vision of creating a sustainable way to live in harmony with nature that we could share with our friends and family.
We grow a lot of different things here, using permaculture methods to make best use of all the resources available on the land. The diversity is partly to help us learn what grows well here, partly to satisfy our curiosity, and partly to ensure that there are many things that we can use as food, spices, or medicine. (we both have a professional culinary background and Lisa is an herbalist) There is a lot of experimentation, a lot of time spent taking care of the plants, a lot of time just being with the land to get a deeper sense of what works: not just what we want, but what the land “wants,” if you will.
Vanilla came to us, like many of the plants and trees we have here, as a volunteer: a plant that just showed up, seemingly at random (although I’m pretty sure my grandmother planted it). We didn’t set out to grow it, but when we propagated the vine to several locations on the property, it responded and it became clear this was going to be part of the plant community here. Later it became a big part of things.
We founded The Vanillery of Kauaʻi when our success with the plant indicated we were ready to move from being hobbyists to being vanilla producers. Our first production beans were sold in late 2017, and we’ve been working ever since to maintain and improve the quality of our vanilla.
We hope you enjoy our vanilla as much as we enjoy living and working with these wonderful plants.
Aloha, Roland and Lisa