Having lived on Maui since 1978 as a youthful 26 year old with my 23 year old brand new bride Laura, we have seen tremendous changes on the Island and in the state. When we moved to Maui, there were 4 stop lights on the island and everything except churches were closed on Sunday.
Having lived on Maui since 1978 as a youthful 26 year old with my 23 year old brand new bride Laura, we have seen tremendous changes on the Island and in the state. When we moved to Maui, there were 4 stop lights on the island and everything except churches were closed on Sunday. We have lived on Maui for 40 years and have lived a wonderful, bountiful life raising our family here. We have huge seen huge growth on all fronts. We produced a family of three children, all born on our farm in Haiku. Jeremy, 35, is married to Megan and lives in Kaanapali. Brianna, 30, is a career police officer and lives in Kahului. Chloe, 26, is married to Zack and lives in Yakima, Washington on their ranch.
What is really interesting is that they are all returning to their roots, living and growing up on a farm in Haiku, Maui. All three grew up feeding chickens, working in the yard and garden, helping to cultivate a bountiful coconut grove that was planted to help pay school tuition and just learning a great fundamental work ethic. Now, they all have their own little farms.
Making the Move
Laura and I purchased 5 acres that was an abandoned pineapple field with no trees, together with my mother, Janet in 1978 that had a tiny 500 sq. ft. cottage on it. We moved to Maui right after our honeymoon with no jobs, no friends, $2,000 and a mortgage payment of $1,000 a month. We were so happy to get out of the crowded hustle of Southern California and to make a fresh start on Maui. No challenge seemed too great. 40 years, three children, and many ventures later, we still live on the same property.
Waking up each day, I love to walk outside and visit my orchards and animals.
Raising Pigs and Chickens
We have two 16 year old pigs, Smarty and Leilani, that Chloe and Brianna wanted as pets when they were teens. The human girls have moved on, but the pig girls still sleep side by side and I do geriatric pig care for them.
I am the chicken person. For 40 years, I have raised chickens for eggs, yard clean up and company. When it is feeding time, I feel like the Pied Piper as they all follow me into the pen for supper. What I get back is a bountiful supply of fresh eggs, sometimes 30 a day!
Gardening and orchards are also a passion of mine. With year around summer-like weather, winter never is a factor. Look at the picture of my raised garden in February! We enjoy the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables all year around and don't have to depend on imported produce or eggs.
Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
We get constant crops of every kind of citrus you can imagine. I have limes, lemons, tangelo, calamanci, oranges, pomelo, and the list goes on. Add to that, several types of bananas, breadfruit, sapote, starfruit, lychee, longan and many others. Our crops are so often and so bountiful that we donate to schools, the local food bank and homeless shelter.
When you add in a huge PV power system, solar hot water, and water storage, things even look better. When the boats stop coming to Hawaii for a while, at least we can survive.
If you live in area surrounded by millions of people, freeways, crowds, and lines for everything, every place you go, Hawaii and especially Maui, start to look like a pretty good alternative. Take winter out of the pictures, add in year around water clean ocean with lots of waves and whales, world class golf, and a very friendly population, then things look even better. It is no wonder that Hawaii has the longest lifespan in the United States, year after year.
Live Your Own Hawaii Life
If you are interested in retiring to Hawaii, you may want to read another blog I wrote all about retiring on Maui. The market certainly has changed since then, but the fundamentals are still the same.
If you are interested in learning more about the country lifestyle and a more sustainable and long lived way of life, lets’ talk. For 39 years I have been in the real estate business on Maui, owning or managing three firms and over 2000 transactions. My team, my son Jeremy Stice, and my nephew, Tim Stice, work with me and do all of the things I don’t do well, like tweet and talk Facebook as well as really being on top of the real estate game as top producing sales agents.
An opportunity to consider is a parcel Tim and I are offering at 160 Nahele Rd. in Haiku (read about it here). It is five acres, a big house and cottage with a swimming pool and hundreds of palms that is actually two parcels which would allow another house and cottage. For a big compound, all agriculturally zoned, and only 7 minutes to Hookipa Beach Park, you can escape the rat race.
Looking for seven acres along a stream, almost oceanfront, in Haiku, Maui? If so, try 715 Honokala Rd. on for size.
The blue outline shows the approximate property boundaries from a property survey overlay
This is a fantastic value at $550,000. If you are looking for a spot larger than the standard two acre lots you find on Maui at about the same price, you may want to consider this property (MLS# 361900). Located 1.5 miles off the Hana Highway in Haiku, Huelo, Maui, you have great roadway access and are a short hop to the civilized world.
There are several different sites for building with ocean views. This property has many options as it has a stream that crosses through that runs almost all the time. If you want to do some agriculture, there are several flat areas, currently in cow pasture, that should offer great productivity for your gardens and orchards.
About 3 of the acres follow along the stream and have huge old trees along both sides. There are some huge mango trees that could be 100 years old and a few tall old coconut trees too. With the varied topography, you have the option to create multiple sites for structures and gardens.
The property is being sold with a deeded easement over the adjacent 27 acres to a site that borders the oceanfront state owned property. A trail can be created from this spot to directly access the small bay below, which has great fishing and diving, and occasionally a very private surf break.
This area does not have any utilities available, so you will be a dedicated off the grid owner if you take the challenge. All nearby owners have water catchment tanks because the annual rainfall is around 70 inches. Power is generated by photovoltaic and wind systems. Internet is via satellite link.
If you don’t want utility bills, and you want to eat what you grow, take a careful look at this sustainable property. Unspoiled by paved roads, street lights, and utility poles, you only have the blue Pacific, Haleakala Volcano, and the Milky Way in your view.
Aloha,Tracy Stice R(B) 808.281.5411 Tracy@HawaiiLife.com
Clients and friends have asked me for years why I live in Haiku “where it rains all the time." Frankly, I reply with a smile and remind them that this is the first place the Hawaiian’s chose to live when they arrived on the islands. When you have adequate rainfall and you have to live off the land and the ocean, the answer is very simple; water is the source of life.
Me and my late mother preparing for a garden in 1980
After living the first 12 years of my life in the desert in Tucson, Arizona, hiking through dry gulches, dodging jumping cactus, and enduring 110 degree summer days, Maui was an easy transition. The desert does have a beauty all of its own and an amazing amount of life, but it is very difficult to survive in it for long without a source of water.
So, starting with water in two forms - the fresh water from the heavens and the salt water of the sea - Haiku has both. There is a misconception that our Maui soil is fertile. Mostly, it is not as it has largely been depleted by mono-cropping pineapple and sugarcane for years. Poor soil management makes restoring the soil a huge chore.
When I purchased my home in 1978, I bought five acres with a tiny cottage in the middle of an abandoned pineapple field. Nothing would grow. My neighbor, Guy Moen, was successfully growing commercial bananas right next door and we had a conversation that has carried me forward in my farming (and real estate) careers.
Working the land with my tractor back in 1981
Guy told me to get the soil tested at the local ag extension service at the cottage. He shared that until I supplemented the soil with available nutrients and adjusted the PH from highly acidic soil to a more neutral PH, I would have difficulty even growing a decent weed. I listened and learned.
Adding dolomite lime allowed the soil to become PH neutral and loosened up the existing nutrients in the soil. Adding rock phosphate in large quantities, replaced the phosphate depleted by farming pineapples for years. Adding organic matter, ash, and compost helped build up potassium, and supplementing with all forms of nitrogen, legumes that fix atmospheric nitrogen, and foraging animals all have gradually brought life back to my land.
The same is true of our ocean waters. We have overfished them for years and to earn a living as a fisherman is difficult. My neighbor, Adam, is a commercial fisherman, mostly fishing pelagic tuna, mahi mahi, ono, and swordfish. Adam agrees that reasonable management of the fisheries is the only way to keep feeding us all off the ocean. Recent closings of bottom fishing for onaga, opakapaka, and other bottom fish has started to slowly increase the population of these fishes and now fishermen are reporting better catches in open season.
Maui Sustainable Living and Sustainable Real Estate
I enjoy the lush vegetation that surrounds the same home that I have lived in since 1978, which is quite the contrast from when I first purchased it (see above photos)
Living in an area where there is adequate rain to farm and an ocean that can feed you, offers some opportunities that other parts of Maui don’t have. To farm in Central Maui and Kihei, all the water must come from the windward side. Please peruse my previous article Maui Sustainable Living and Sustainable Real Estate.
Living and Loving the Haiku Life
450 North Holokai Place (MLS# 356689) in Haiku just listed for $1,850,000
A good example of a family that takes advantage of the rainfall is the owner of a new property that I have listed for sale at 450 N. Holoka’i Place in Haiku. Don and Patricia Fisher started with 2 acres of pineapple fields 12 years ago, built their dream home on it, and put in a tremendous fruit orchard and some small gardens.
They have faced the same obstacles that I have, but every day they get to walk out and pick citrus, avocados, lychee, mango, figs, and many other fruits. To farm two acres in Kihei, your water bill would be $600 or $700 per month. They pay $30 per month because they don’t have to irrigate.
Words that Patricia Fisher shared with me, “Why would somebody want to live anyplace but in Haiku? You have peace and quiet with no traffic noise, no burden of the resort commotion, good access to great restaurants, stores and Upcountry Fitness at nearby Haiku Town Center, 10 minutes to the beach at Hookipa, and it is all only 30 minutes from Kahului."
Why Not Consider Haiku?
You have world class windsurfing, the best downwind paddle from Maliko Bay, site of the Olu Kai world competition every year, surfing and kiting at Hookipa, massive winter surf at Peahi Bay aka "Jaws," great cycling and mountain biking, equestrian facilities at Tom Morrow Equestrian Center, rodeo and roping at Kaupakalua Riding Club.
Best of all, you have top notch both public and private schools as Haiku Elementary consistently scores highly in state ratings and both Montessori and Seabury Hall offer high level, college prep quality private education.
Having lived in Haiku since 1978 (I am still on my 5 acres) and raising my 3 children (all born on the property) with my wife, Laura, I truly have a feel for the land, the community and what it takes to prosper here. My children are now all successful adults and my son, Jeremy, is my business partner in real estate. We work as the “Stice Team" at Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers and we are the top selling agents in Haiku. We know and love the area, so it is logical that we can best share that love with our clients.
If you want to talk about farming, real estate, surfing, cycling, schools, canoe paddling, or living the Haiku life, please reach out to me.
Aloha from the North Shore,Tracy Stice R(B) 808.281.5411 Tracy@HawaiiLife.com