How I built my garden in Hawaii from beginning to end - all organic, sustainable, and non-GMO.

How I built my garden in Hawaii from beginning to end - all organic, sustainable, and non-GMO.

Hi everyone, I am SO happy to be here with you today to share with you in detail how my garden was built here in Hawaii from beginning to end, using organic and sustainable materials. This video encompasses a full compilation of the past year and a half, with newly added and recent updates. I am SO happy to be finally sharing this video with you because it initially took five months to build the garden, and it’s grown and evolved so much in the year since then. It has been so incredible to see this vision come to life and to witness it provide ample bounty. I’ve just given the garden beds a recent glow up, and I’ve re-planted new seeds. There is infinite abundance and delightful goodness ahead. My garden will always be a work in progress, and I cannot wait to share its evolution with you each step along the way. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some of my friends and local community. I have really learned the true meaning of Ohana here in Hawaii, and when you live on a small island, you really do rely on your neighbors to get things done and to live. I live in an agricultural community, and I feel so blessed to have so many incredible growers around me who have so much knowledge and who have so graciously helped guide along the way. I had 11 years of experience running Rawfully Organic in Texas before I came here, but Hawaii is a completely different terrain and there’s always so much to learn about the climate, the soil, and the best growth methods when you arrive at a new place. In addition to this garden, I’m nearly done installing an organic fruit orchard, and so far I’ve planted over 500 fruit trees on the property. I created a separate YouTube video sharing my journey on planting this fruit orchard, and it’s linked below for you on my channel. It’s a fun watch. This is only the beginning of much to come. I am just getting started.

I want to give a special thank you to…

John J and his guys
Mark and his team
And anyone else who has helped us in this beautiful process.

I talk a LOT about good quality seeds and soil in this video, and this video is in full support of True Leaf Market. I have used their seeds to plant my entire garden. I love their organic and non-GMO seeds, and I am so happy to support them. Please check the links below if you’re looking to start your own garden, start sprouting in your kitchen, grow your own microgreens in trays, plant a flower garden, grow fruits, grow vegetables, and more. I cannot recommend them enough. Please definitely check out the links below for ALL things seed related and share the love.

It took five to six months to complete this garden from beginning to end in 13 different steps. I’ll be sharing those basic 13 steps with you today. While I cover these basic steps with you in this video, there’s still soooo much detail that went into completing the garden. For the sake of time and not having this video be hours and hours long, I wrote a more in-depth blog post on building my garden that is already up on my website in addition to this video that you can reference, and I hope you will find it very helpful for you.

What I want you to know first and foremost is that this garden has been a labor of love and it’s been brought to life with much intention, lots of carefully crafted steps, and loads and loads of patience. It’s still evolving and will forever be a beautiful evolution. I’m inspired daily to grow more, learn more, and make it better and better.

Here are the 13 steps we used to create my garden...are you ready?! Let’s go back in time…


a) When I first moved into this house, I knew I wanted a garden, but I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to put it. After studying the light, the soil, the weather, and more, with help, I decided that this little spot behind the garage was the best place to put it. At the time, I was also working to install an organic fruit orchard around the rest of the property, so I felt having the vegetable garden closer to the house and even near the kitchen was essential. I had so many discussions about what I wanted for this garden. I brought many friends into the conversation to get guidance and advice, and then I thoughtfully sourced materials and planned out the active steps. For those who haven’t already seen my orchard update video, I’ve spent two years planting an organic fruit orchard on the property, and in this time I’ve planted 632 edible plants, including over 500 fruit trees. That full video is on my channel and linked below for you as well so you can go watch and check it out.


a) I knew I wanted to have six raised garden beds, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough space since the home and garage are elevated on a small hill. Everything was measured and designed so the beds could live within this rectangular space.

3) CLEARING THE SPACE (Prepping and leveling the land)

a) First thing was first: the space needed to be weeded and then cleared so that the soil could be seen, tested, and leveled. The work literally began from ground zero. Literally ground zero. We then had to bring in more dirt and gravel, compress it, and level it out so that we could have enough space to put the garden in this area. This was a process, and it took time. I feel blessed to have had the support and connections in my community to make this happen. This wouldn’t have been possible without access to resources like excavators and loaders. While this machinery isn’t necessary to build a garden, it definitely helped us to make this process a lot easier, especially since I live on a hill that’s hit hard by sunlight and sometimes rain for the majority of the day.


a) While the space was being prepped, the raised garden beds were simultaneously being built. The beds are made from high-quality cedarwood, and I actually had to wait about a month just for the wood to arrive on the island. My friend Ethan helped us put these together.


a) Once the space was cleared with the excavator, we tapped into the existing sprinkler system to help create a super efficient irrigation system. It does get dry here in the Summer, so helping the veggies to stay hydrated with good water retention is essential.


a) Once the irrigation system was installed and the beds were built, it was time to place the garden beds exactly where they needed to be. You’ll see in the video that at first we were only able to fit four beds because the space wasn’t big enough, and as we brought in more dirt and gravel and leveled out the land, we were able to have enough space to fit in the last two raised garden beds.


a) Once the beds were placed where we wanted them to be, we wanted to make sure that each bed had a sustainable filtration system that would help to not only filter water through the beds with ease, but also help to make the beds themselves last longer. You can see that the bottom foundation for all of these beds is organic rock matter where water can easily pass through. This is also helpful so that the soil doesn’t somehow escape out of the bottom of the beds and drain down the hill when it pours rain. Everything will stay intact.


a) After a natural filtration system was created using organic rock matter, we then covered it with the FINEST, HIGHEST-QUALITY 100% ORGANIC COMPOST SOIL EVER. Literally the richest quality EVER. My neighbor Mark sells organic compost soil for a living, and I was SO SO excited about this. Being surrounded by the agricultural community was one of the main reasons I wanted to live in this area. Having good quality soil is the most important aspect of building a garden in my opinion. The quality of your soil determines the quality of your vegetables and your crops, so it’s essential to have nutrient-dense soil if you’re looking to grow your own food.


a) Once the beds were filled with organic compost soil, we decided to line the beds and even the entire area with weed mat so that the weeds wouldn’t creep back in, and we even filled in the walkways with a beautiful pea gravel for aesthetics. I love walking barefoot on this pea gravel.


a) Once the pea gravel was laid down, we were then finally able to reinforce the added leveled earth we brought in with a tiny rock wall. We did this because when it rains here in Hawaii, it POURS, and we wanted to ensure that not even the heaviest of rain could wash down the gravel, the dirt, the beds, or any of this masterpiece. I’ve seen some heavy downpours and have seen some massive rain create rivers on the property, so we weren’t willing to take any chances.

11) BAMBOO INSTALLATION (Sustainably sourced)

a) Something unique to this garden is that sustainably sourced bamboo from my own backyard was used to create the garden poles. I wanted to have added poles and lights so that I could work late into the evening if needed. Originally I was going to use cedarwood, but then we realized we could cut bamboo from my giant bamboo tree in my enchanted forest and use the bamboo as poles for the garden! It felt like the biggest win win, and I’m so elated and excited we were able to do this!


a) Once the bamboo poles were installed, it was time to add the lights, and I got these outdoor LED lights to try them out, and they actually work perfectly.


a) Once the garden was complete, one of the most important final steps was to protect the garden, so we built a very simple cedar fence around it. Special thank you to John and his guys for helping mastermind this fence. There are tons of wild animals like boars, chickens, roosters, and more that are frequently grazing the property, and I’ve heard so many horror stories about people’s yards being completely ruined by animals looking for food, so I knew building a fence was necessary. I am happy to provide food and safe land for these animals...they just can’t come into the garden.


a) Last but not least, when we finished the final touches of building the garden and the fence, it was time to start planting seeds! I put a lot of effort into intentionally planting these seeds. I mapped out meticulously where I wanted my seeds to grow.

Fast forward to present time (nearly one year later)…

Since planting the seeds, there has been so much abundance! I had an insane cucumber harvest with more than 200 cucumbers, endless fresh greens, peppers, herbs, and more. It was such an exciting season. I learned much during this time about rotating my beds as well as replenishing the soil, keeping pests away, and also keeping the garden looking organized. This past Winter, I decided to freshen it up a little and give it a glow-up. The more you garden, the more you learn, and I paid close attention and really observed the patterns happening in and around the space. I decided I wanted to replace the bamboo and treat it for mold so that it lasts longer. I also wanted to add a protecting coat or stain to the fence to make it more visually appealing and to help it last longer. I used Rubio Monocoat because it’s vegan, non-toxic, sustainable, and eco-friendly…perfect for the wood around your garden space. It took days to stain the fence, but I love how it turned out, and I think it looks amazing. Once I replenished the bamboo and stained the fence, I then mixed in new compost soil to add more nutrients into the soil so that the next set of seeds could grow even better. I peppered in just a bit more of pea gravel to cover up any spots that had opened up and VOILA the garden space looked better than new after this little glow-up. As you can see here, I have re-planted the beds and the new seeds are already sprouting and growing. I’m rotating my beds a little differently this time, and I have some new things growing like tons of spicy peppers, zucchinis, watermelons, and more.


I hope you have loved this video as much as I have loved sharing it with you. If you’ve liked this video, please be sure to give it a thumbs up and hit the subscribe button because there is only more ABUNDANCE to come! I will be keeping you posted every step along this journey.

If you are looking for high quality, organic, non-GMO seeds, please check out TRUE LEAF MARKET. I LOVE LOVE THEIR SEEDS and all of their varieties. Whether or not you’re looking to grow your own garden, sprout your own seeds on your kitchen countertops, or grow your own microgreens in trays from your home, True Leaf Market has you covered. They have so many different types of seeds to meet your every need and their website is an incredible resource to help you learn how to grow and plant your own food.

Also, don’t forget I created a more in-depth blog post about how I created my garden from beginning to end, and it’s linked below for you on my website at if you want to check it out, and I hope you find it to be helpful.

At this moment in time, I’m posting about one YouTube video a week. If you want more daily updates on my garden or what’s happening in my life, please follow my Instagram @fullyrawkristina and that link is below for you as well.

I look forward to sharing with you an update on the progress on how all of the veggies are growing in…so stay tuned for that. Thank you all again so much for joining me today. I look forward to seeing you all in my next video. Sending you my hugs and my love!





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