Aerial photo Secret Beach Organics Turmeric Farm

In a globalized food market, information about our food, including origin, labor practices, and agricultural methods, often eludes us. Member-owned cooperatives, like Moonflower Community Co-op, use selective guidelines when purchasing products. Our produce manager constantly seeks the most sustainable, fairly cultivated produce items to stock our shelves and is always eager to accept locally grown produce.

Many Moabites and co-op shoppers regularly depend on food products cultivated in tropical regions, including turmeric. A rhizomatous member of the Zingiberaceae plant family, turmeric has become increasingly popular in the United States due to its culinary uses and potent health benefits. Related to ginger, turmeric thrives in humid, warm climates with heavy precipitation, and is predominantly cultivated throughout India, the native origin of this rhizome. Populations throughout Asia have incorporated turmeric into their traditional dishes, such as various curries, and herbal remedies for thousands of years. Turmeric factors prominently into Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Fortunately, Moonflower Co-op has found a year-round source of sustainably, fairly produced turmeric from Kauai, the fourth largest island within the Hawaii archipelago.

Secret Beach Organics, a family farm situated on Kilauea, Kauai, produces a year round supply of Hawaiian red organic turmeric. The Hay family, descendants of Canadian dairy farmers, purchased 140 acres of land on the north shore of Kauai decades ago and embarked on a massive undertaking: the transformation of overgrown tropical vegetation into a sprawling, highly productive farm. Adam Hay currently serves as the Farm Manager, transitioning from a path toward real estate to a life dedicated to sustainable farming. Shelly Welch, Farmer/Sales Manager for Secret Beach Organics and Adam’s partner, was born and raised in Moab for over 18 years, providing a serendipitous connection to Moonflower Co-op. The family has focused on soil remediation and farm development for decades, and ultimately they hope to produce dozens of varieties of tropical fruits, including coconut, mangoes, and loquats. They utilize methods based in permaculture, such as the planting of nitrogen-fixing pigeon pea plants around newly planted fruit trees to provide ongoing fertilization and nourishing green manure. Crop rotation and other regenerative practices are a priority for this farming community, and they compensate their farm workers fairly with living wages.

Their main crop is fresh turmeric root. They ship out 2,500 pounds per week to various buyers in Hawaii and the mainland United States, mostly working with small community owned co-ops and health food stores. Hawaii has the perfect climate for growing turmeric because of its year round warm weather, high humidity, regular rainfall, and rich volcanic soil. It also happens to be one of the only crops that can be shipped to the mainland due to strict agricultural regulations. The turmeric is harvested and washed with using water from their onsite well which taps into Kauai’s rich, mineral rich aquifer. It is then dried overnight, and shipped out the next day. This particular Hawaiian Red Organic variety offers a higher quantity of curcumin, a potent compound with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. We feel incredibly fortunate to stock such a high quality product in our co-op.

Learn more about Secret Beach Organics by visiting their website ( and following them on Instagram (@secretbeachorganics).