From the Past…For the Future

I don’t remember noticing trees much when I was a child. I lived on a farm in  Eastern Oklahoma where for as far as I could see was flat land – in cultivation – soybeans, corn, cotton. Land was for production. It wasn’t until my late 20s when I moved to Hawaii that I began to hike into the forests and valleys. The sight and smell of the dense vegetation, the leaf litter on the forest floor, the sound of birds were a new experience that would change the way I viewed the world.  In this quiet world, I found  land that is for beauty, for  plants and animals and I was a guest.

In the late 70s, we moved to a small acreage on the Big Island. The large Ohia trees that had once been abundant in this area were struggling to survive. Years of cattle ranching had taken a toll. Determined to turn back time we planted Koa to replace the former pasture with a forest. A few years later we moved to another acreage nearby. Local historians tell me that once long ago before homesteading – the land was native forest. As families moved in, the forest was cleared to cultivate coffee, and later cleared again for pasture for cattle. When we arrived we found 25 years of neglect and the land that was once a native forest was now abandoned and overtaken by scrub guava and guinea grass. This would prove to be a much bigger task and we had much to learn. What would have been the forest canopy…and what trees, shrubs and vines would have been the understory? Every question led me to an answer, a resource, another person sharing the passion.

Kia\’i and Granny

It has been over 20 years – planting one tree at a time. Many have been planted for special events – a birth, a marriage, a passing. The children remember with pride their investment of time as they see the forest grow.

We know we are blessed to be here and share this time together. On a recent “forest work day” an ‘io (native Hawaiian Hawk) circled above us. This endangered bird is known as the “guardian of the forest”. We all felt the presence – the blessing for a job well done.

We are stewards  –  respecting the past and all that has been given, nurturing it for the future yet to come.

  • From our Guestbook

    If you want to get away from the commercial touristic experience of Hawaii this is the place to stay at. The two-bedroom rental is charming and fully functional with full kitchen, outside BBQ and Hot tub! This place will give you a sense of the local life style, making you feel at home and never wanting to leave. I have stayed twice at the Keolamauloa farm and my wife and I can't wait to come back.
    Jean-René (Calgary, Canada)

    This is our favorite place to stay on the island. The property is warm and inviting, and even has a hot tub! They're solar operated, grow several varieties of fruits and veggies, have a huge pet pig, a chicken coop, etc. This part of the island also has endless opportunity for exploration.
    Rebecca H.

  • Life at Keolamauloa

    Garden flowers in the makai bedroom Onions Taro, almost ready to harvest baby tomotoes lettuce Keith making a surfboard out of gathered Agave wood.