Women’s Month: Roots of Healing: North Shore's Noni Farmer, Dafna Epstein

Women’s Month: Roots of Healing: North Shore's Noni Farmer, Dafna Epstein

Women’s Month Feature: Roots of Healing: North Shore Noni Farmer Dafna Epstein

In the heart of the beautiful Oahu island in Hawaii lies a hidden gem - a noni farm that exudes life, passion, and the promise of healing. Join us as we step foot onto the North Shore's enchanting noni farm, guided by the warm presence of Dafna Epstein. Alongside us is Chris Boling, owner of greenteaHAWAII, on a mission to experience the essence of this tight-knit community and the natural wonders cultivated. As we traverse the lush landscapes of Oahu's noni farm, guided by Dafna Epstein, we honor her remarkable contributions as a local woman entrepreneur during this Women's Month. Although, greenteaHAWAII does not source from these farms, it is important to recognize the land, the people, and their ventures which elevate the awareness of noni for humankind. 

Our Journey Begins

Our journey began with a serendipitous encounter at the Wailua Farmer's Market set near the Wailua Sugar Mill, where the vibrant colors and alluring aromas beckon visitors from all around. As part of the greenteaHAWAII family, the desire to connect with the local community led us to the noni farm on the North Shore. Drawn by the stories of Dafna Epstein and her Roots of Hawaii teas, we set forth to discover the magic hidden amidst the noni trees. Upon meeting her at market, I purchased the Chocolate Mint tea and an exquisite personal-sized key-lime pie. 

Embracing Nature's Guardian - Dafna Epstein

The moment we met Dafna, we knew we were in the presence of an extraordinary individual. A world traveler with a bright spirit, Dafna's commitment to sustainable farming and love for the land is palpable. Her hands have toiled tirelessly for nine years, clearing the land of brush and invasive plants to make way for the noni trees. She seeks to share her passion and the fruit's remarkable potential for human well-being through her Roots of Hawaii teas and non-pasteurized noni juice.

Cultivating Resilience: The Noni Trees

Amidst the lush greenery of the farm, we learned about the cultivation process of noni trees. The initial years demanded extensive clearing to protect the land from fire and ensure room for beneficial plants to thrive. Noni trees, resilient in nature, have rewarded Dafna's efforts, providing a nurturing habitat for bees and yielding the fruits that have aroma, flavor, and therapeutic benefit distinguishable from other fruits.

The Bees' Delight: Guardians of the Noni Flowers

As we wandered through the noni farm, we were captivated by bees diligently tending to the noni flowers. Dafna acknowledged their significance as vital pollinators in the ecosystem. Witnessing the intricate dance of the bees and the interdependence they share with the noni trees reminded us of the delicate balance that exists in nature.

Roots of Hawaii: The Artistry of Handcrafted Teas

Dafna's handcrafted teas, Roots of Hawaii, are a true testament to her love for herbs and botanicals. Blending noni with a symphony of flavors like spearmint, lemon verbena, rose, and hibiscus, she creates teas that offer exquisite taste and potential health benefits. We savored a couple tea flavored on our visit, and her Chocolate Mint Tea, a unique delight that accompanied me on my journey home to the mainland USA. It was the perfect alternative to the drab airplane refreshments usually offered. I drank four cups of it.  

Unearthing Cultural Heritage: The Significance of Noni in Hawaiian Traditions

Noni fruit, a sacred part of Polynesian culture, holds a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians. Beyond its medicinal uses for headaches, joint pain, and skin conditions, noni is believed to possess spiritual significance. A symbol of fertility, strength, and resilience, the fruit and tree play essential roles in traditional rituals and ceremonies, keeping Hawaiian heritage alive.

Healing Touch of Noni: Chris Boling's Experience

During our visit, Chris Boling experienced the healing potential of noni firsthand. Struggling with complications from a knee injury, Dafna generously offered him noni leaves as a compress. To his delight, the application significantly improved, highlighting this remarkable plant’s therapeutic properties, specifically helping to reduce inflammation in his knee. 

A Farm Full of Life: Nature's Bounty Beyond Noni

While there is an abundance of noni on the farm, it’s not the only important plant growing there. There are a lot of botanicals and herbs at the heart of Dafna's journey, it is a testament to the abundance of nature and life she cultivates. Alongside the noni trees, various plants, leaves, vegetables, and botanicals flourish, each contributing to the farm's vibrant ecosystem.

Our journey to the noni farm on Oahu's North Shore was a transformative experience that transcended the boundaries of time and space. Through Dafna Epstein's passion and dedication, we delved into the essence of sustainable farming, the cultural significance of noni, and the invaluable role of bees in nature's grand tapestry. Witnessing Chris Boling's healing encounter with noni added a personal touch, reinforcing the profound impact this small fruit can have on human health.

With this experience we carry with us the wisdom of the land, the spirit of community, and the promise of healing that emanates from every leaf and flower. Our hearts are forever connected to through appreciation for roots of healing, etched into the enchanting landscapes of Hawaii's cherished North Shore. In a world where the value of sustainable farming and ancient traditions is more important than ever, the noni farm stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the beauty that arises when humans and nature work in harmony.

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