How to Order Local Beef, Pork and Produce from Hawai‘i’s Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch, its 4,000 acres often the backdrop for Hollywood movies, is now coming to the forefront for its livestock.
Beef Tartare made with Kualoa Beef
Photo: Martha Cheng
Only at Kualoa Ranch would the backdrop of the dancefight scene in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle be repurposed into a piggery. The pigs’ home is as much a hodgepodge as the activities at Kualoa Ranch: The pens are made of roof trusses from a Jumanji set, decommissioned highway guardrails and dividers, old lampposts and even zip line wire. And only at Kualoa would cattle roam on pastures with names such as Godzilla, their boundaries delineated by a 50 First Dates cattle guard.
Kualoa Ranch, its 4,000 acres often the backdrop for Hollywood movies, is now coming to the forefront for its livestock. With all the filming and weddings and ATV tours and zip line adventures, it was easy to forget that Kualoa Ranch has been a working cattle ranch since the late 1800s. Until now. With grocery stores struggling to keep up with protein demands during the COVID-19 lockdown, Kualoa Ranch has seen orders for its beef and pork go up almost tenfold.
Kualoa began ramping up its agricultural operations, including growing fruits and vegetables, “with gusto” in the past five years, says Taylor Kellerman, director of diversified agriculture and land stewardship. It shifted from shipping its calves to Mainland feedlots to finishing its grass-fed cattle (about 500) in the Islands. Two years ago, it began the piggery. Now, at any given time, Kualoa raises about 100 pigs in a deep litter system, where instead of hosing cement floors and maintaining waste lagoons, microorganisms and organic material manage waste and produce compost.
Photo courtesy of Kualoa Ranch
Beef is offered in all the standard steak cuts; pork can be purchased ground and in cuts from chops to ribs. Kualoa Ranch also partners with Pacific Sausage in Kalihi to make links including bratwurst and Portuguese sausage—one of the few sausages in Hawai‘i made with locally grown pork. The ranch sold its beef, pork, fruit and vegetables, shrimp and oysters (and even small amounts of coffee and chocolate) primarily through its visitor center. Order directly from Kualoa Ranch, and until the visitor center reopens, pick up in the parking lot once a week; you can also get the meats delivered to your door via Farm Link Hawai‘i and O‘ahu Fresh.
Due to recent events, “everyone’s restaurant business fell off, but the home market has gone through the roof,” says Kellerman. “I feel like people always really appreciated farmers, but this is a silver lining to a much grander unfortunate situation—it’s nice that ag people are really starting to be recognized for how important they are.”
For the latest updates on how to order directly from Kualoa Ranch, check @kualoagrown on Instagram.