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Hans was born in Berlin and spent his early professional life in the German Luftwaffe. He resigned his commission and became US Citizen in 1971. Graduate School (Claremont), University teaching and administration turned into 30 years in Los Angeles County, and included a decade as management consultant and software developer. An avid SCUBA diver for many decades, Hans had made frequent trips from L.A. to Kona for SCUBA safaris, and pretty much knew since 1982 that he wanted to live here.

Marsha, with an MBA from Columbia University in Finance, was, and still is, working as software developer specializing in accounting software applications for her clients from Atlanta to New York and Los Angeles. She is Microsoft certified everything, and is earning the money that Hans spends on building and running the farm.

It took twenty years of thinking, and a year and a half of study and learning, before we decided to buy THESE 8 acres of jungle and build our Kona Coffee farm "from scratch". Hans had written a software programHans picking Coffee Cherries comparing all available data of 40 different properties in the Kona Coffee Belt. He interviewed 20 farmers, and interned with two of them before we knew that this is what we wanted to do long-term -- AND that we would be able to do it well. We were, and still are, wagering our lives’ savings, and all of our labor and psychic resources, to first start the farm and coffee business, and then to make them successful.

Kona’s chronic shortage of reliable and affordable agriculture labor made us realize that the farm would have to become, in essence, a one-man-operation. The farm can’t afford employees. We often use the help of temporary and voluntary farm interns, members of the international WWOOF program (Willing to Work On Organic Farms).Those good people are a true blessing to us, although motivating and training and supervising takes significant time and effort. But basically, we are mostly it: Marsha earns, Hans spends. And who is managing all of this? Well, our daughter Karen of course. Karen Johanna Lyman Eckert is now ten years old, and she actually owns the place (just ask her).

David and Sarah Lyman were among the early Christian Missionaries invited by the Kingdom of Hawaii. They arrived in Hilo in 1832 from Boston, founded a school and built a church (where David preached in  Hawaiian). Their house was the first (and is now the oldest) wood-frame structure on Hawaii. Today, the Lyman Mission House and Museum in Hilo tells their story and that of Hawaii. We named the farm after the Lyman family because David and Sarah are Karen’s sixth generation grandparents. The Lymans are an old Family - they arrived in America in 1630, and Karen is 18th generation Lyman in America.

Lyman Kona Coffee Estate has a great location in the North Kona Coffee Belt. Our coffee growing conditions are ideal, our processing methods meticulous. We have two separate irrigation systems to give our tree the water they need, when they need it. We collect every drop of rain, but also have access to County water. At 2100 feet, we have a rare bonus of breathtaking ocean views. We have also built, and are operating, a four room, four bath BnB – the Mango Sunset Bed and Breakfast Inn. When Hans is not sitting on the tractor, he works on reservations, cooks breakfasts for our guests or conducts "Coffee Tours" for them. When Marsha is not managing her clients’ accounting software systems or trying to keep up with Karen, she helps keep the place attractive.

Karen above her farmLyman Estate has about 3200 Coffea Arabica trees of the Kona Typica variety. We planted them in a 6 x 12 foot pattern so that we can use a tractor for mowing or foliar feeding. A "hog wire" fence keeps wild pigs from chewing up our water lines and destroying our top soil. For our many efforts, the Kona Soils and Water Conservation District graced us with their "Cooperator of the Year 2008 Award". For all of our years, we have been employing exclusively 100% organic practices: No synthetic pesticides or herbicides, or fertilizers. We have our own mulch piles, we are composting; we are whacking, mowing and pulling weeds. We have planted cover crops. Being Certified Organic is a lot more work and is more expensive than conventional farming. Of 750 Kona Coffee farms, only about 40 are Certified Organic. Hans frequently questions his sanity (as do all of his happily retired friends). We have also planted over 60 different types of tropical fruit trees, vines, and bushes. We have an organic herb- and vegetable garden: our goal is to become not only fully sustainable, but mor self-sufficient. We expect to reach fruit independence sooner or later: many fruit trees take 10 years or more to bear fruit (at our elevation). Of course we are also raising our own coffee seedlings (for replacements), as well as cacao, beans, peas, eggplant, etc. We are experimenting with our own chocolate and are planning a hydro-ponic set-up.

We have our own state-of-the-art “wet mill” to process all of our coffee and our own 1600 square foot sun-drying deck. When sunshine does not fully cooperate to dry the parchment beans to the desired humidity, we use our own Coffee Finish Dryer. This is an efficient monster that can dry moist or wet parchment within days. We built this ourselves with the design of a professor of Agricultural Engineering at U.H.: it is the first of its kind anywhere. The quiet de-humidifier is powered by solar electricity, and the beans are not tossed around like in other drying machines. We also have our own climate controlled storage container and our own fluid bed air coffee roaster. Our trees have reached full productivity, and we harvest about 30 thousand pounds of Coffee Cherry per year. We are doing all of the processing, drying, storing, roasting and selling of our own product alone, here on our family farm -- and we love it with a passion.

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