If you happen to be on the Big Island this weekend, come on up to Hawi for the Blessing of the Palili ‘O Kohala Natural Farm Learning Lab on Hoea Rd. (turn towards the ocean right at the Welcome to Historic Kohala sign). Admission is $15, including a locally grown lunch. There will be demonstrations of farming and livestock raising techniques, workshops, and live music!
Turn makai, towards the ocean, at this sign to find the event at Hoea Farms on March 1, 2014
The North Kohala Community Development Plan contains a strong commitment to food self-sufficiency. This event is one of many initiatives designed to help our community achieve its goal that 50% of the food we consume be grown or raised locally.
Hawi & North Kohala Already a Center of Agriculture
If you arrive in Hawi driving Highway 270 from the resorts, you’ll notice the dairy farm when you turn the corner. If you arrive via the Kohala Mountain Road from Waimea, you’ll see beef cattle and sheep on the large ranches of North Kohala.
Continuing down Hoea Road in Hawi on your way to the event, you will notice a number of existing farms and produce stands. Or better yet, stop off first at the Hawi Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Saturday morning under the banyan tree in the middle of Hawi town (trust me, you can’t miss it).
Then as you drive down Hoea Road, you can tick off the location of the vendors you met at the farmer’s market. Lokahi Gardens, where you bought asparagus. Sage Farms, those yummy greens and beets, and two kinds of pesto. You won’t see a sign for Mo’s place, where he grows the most amazing yams and jicama under the ornamental trees he raises. But you will see a cute little farm stand belonging to one of my Hawaii Life colleagues who keeps me in bananas.
Small-Scale Farm Properties for Sale in Hawi
If chatting with the movers and shakers of Kohala’s agricultural world leaves you inspired, there are currently two properties for sale in the neighborhood that already are set up for small-scale agriculture.
3-acre farm with small house in Hawi has two shade houses and Japanese gardens
Just off Hoea Road sits an older, but perfectly maintained home of just over 1,000 sq.ft. on a little over 3 acres planted with mature orchards and gardens, offered for $735,000 (MLS# 269207).
The listing says plantings include Loquat, Neem, Coffee, Apple Banana, Rambutan, White and Ruby Red Grapefruit, Tangerines, Pomelo, Lemon, Limes, Jaboticaba, Maui Gold and White Pineapples, Sapodilla, Pumpkin, Mountain Apple, Chesa, Guava, Mango, Avocado, Bartlett Pear, Mac Nut, Pomagranite, Surman Cherry, Bread Fruit, Ice Cream tree Lichee, Longon, Starfruit, Papaya, Pumpkin, Liliokoi, Thai Basil, Eggplant, Tamarind Tree, Miracle Berry, White Fig Tree, Coconut, Bitter Melon, Cotton, Miniature Orange, and Moringa – reflecting the diverse ethnic backgrounds and tastes of Hawai’i.
There are two shade houses for flowers (ginger, orchids, and anthuriums), and a workshop larger than the residence for farm equipment, including mac nut processing. When I previewed last week, I was struck by the Japanese-style gardens throughout the property. The MLS photos don’t really do this property justice.
If you need help envisioning how to update or expand this original home into a darling plantation-style residence, I can recommend local contractors who’ve done it many times.
Six acres, with some tea house structures, is already planted as a permaculture “food forest”
A second option is maybe half a mile towards the ocean. This six-acre “food forest” offered for $750,000 (MLS# 254138) was part of a larger property, but is being sold separately as the house on 9 acres just adjacent is already in escrow.
There are several cottages and “tea houses” on the land for immediate use, but because the existing structures are not permitted, the buyer could build a residence of their choosing while enjoying established orchards. Sixty varieties of mango, oranges, grapefruits, lime, banana, papaya, and avocado are ready for harvest.
Other Agricultural Properties in Kohala
Moving east from Hawi towards Pololu Valley, there are many vacant land parcels for sale that would be suitable for farming. Even the 3-acre parcels of the new Mahi’ai subdivision could grow plenty of food, with lots starting at just under $300,000. For the really ambitious, there is my 485-acre listing for $3.5 million (MLS# 263044).
Makapala 3 acres with architect-designed concrete home produces avocado and citrus for market
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)
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