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HER Homestead

On a broad level, forests are an essential component to sustainability due to their ecosystem functions that provide us with fundamental necessities such as oxygen, water, medicine, habitat, biodiversity, erosion control, soil development, wind break, carbon sequestration, timber, recreational opportunity, peace of mind, etc. Though native plant species do not provide much food for humans, forests make it possible for us to grow food, and fill our bellies!

Human’s depend on crops that have been introduced to the islands. The early Hawaiians brought 40-50 species of plants, also known as canoe plants, most of which co-exist well with the native plant communities, and all of which have an important role to our survival, or to our sense of place and culture here in Hawai’i!

Since European contact, between 8- 9,000 species of plants have been introduced. A small fraction of these introductions are invasive species, but pose a great threat to the integrity of Hawaii’s delicate native environment. Living sustainably in Hawaii requires an awareness of plant species distinctions. Contributing to a healthy balance of appropriate species in our home gardens is critical to Hawaii’s environmental balance at large.

Indeed, growing food at home is the biggest way one could contribute to Hawaii’s environment! By developing a more nourishing relationship to home and becoming less dependent on stores and the burning of fossil, we transform our lives in profound ways.

Along with restoring our local Puna forest, HER Homestead in Kapoho, provides an example of sustainable living (Species List). Here one may witness biodiversity providing an abundance of food, including over 50 different species of fruit trees, a dozen easy-growing perennial edible greens; a half a dozen root crops;  and beautiful  annual beds with favored foods and flowers. Come discover how invasive species are the secret to soil building and food growing; and how native species beautify it all! 


This small homestead/farm of 2 acres has been developed over 34 years by president of HER, Jaya Dupuis, and contributes now to HER greater vision and mission! Jaya’s homestead opens to occasional events, inviting the extended community to volunteer on the land for the sharing of knowledge, fruit, seeds and propagules.

Events may be scheduled by any interested individual or group. We begin with a tour and discussion about basic plant species and growing concepts during which time we gather various seeds and perennial edible cuttings for volunteers to take home. This is followed by hands-on activity in support of the farm, and the sharing of seasonal fruit together in celebration of the land at the end.