In the magical land of Maui – deep in the rainforrest on this remote island that hovers just past a hot spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lies a garden. We call it Hale O Kauka Healing Garden. It is a small sanctuary, a little over one acre in a village called Haiku. Its off the beaten path, it is a remote spot with space to commune with nature; trees, herbs, elementals and the creatures of the forrest. The garden surrounds a house. The wood for the house was sailed in on large vessels in the 1800s to build a home for The Doctor. Hale O Kauka is Hawaiian for House of The Doctor, properly it would be Hale O Ka Kauka but we’ve abbreviated it.
We just purchased this beautiful home and garden – somehow we feel it chose us. We are restoring the home as a sanctuary and retreat space for our immediate family, invited guests and day visitors to the garden. The property has extensive deferrred maintenance and we are currently overseeing its revitalization.
The property is home to upcountry’s oldest mango tree, over a century old, it is a giant of a tree that still stands proud and welcomes guests upon arrival. I am curious about the avocado leaf tea once cultivated from the three avacador varieties there. I am excited to make Olu (breadfruit) with my family’s potato salad recipe and I want to learn how to process the cashews and can’t wait to bake bread from the bananas growing outside my bedroom window. I want to restore the lau lapau garden and get the pump replaced to move the water in the Koi and frog pond under the canopy of trees next to the house.
I envision those original doctor’s office shelves holding apothecary jars filled with teas and herbs grown in the gardens on the property, actively supporting Hawaii’s cultural renaissance and the revival of traditional herbal medicine. I expect to open the doors to this garden and offer locals and travelers on Pilgrimage to Maui an opportunity to walk the garden, learn about the healing plants of Hawaii, sit in meditation or spend time soaking in the tropical climate while enjoying a cup of tea under the old mango tree.
I can’t wait for the farm stand to be finished so my children can sell fruit and lemonade on the corner. I’m collecting design ideas for the pottery studio we will establish in the accessory building on the property where my two daughters who study Japanese culture and native mythologies will create pottery inspired by the island’s cultural myths and suitable for drinking teas and potting herbs and local orchids. Everything grown or created on the property will be available for sale in the “tea house,” an open air agricultural stand and shop which will in turn support the nurture and maintenance of this special place.
Read more on our Hale O Kauka page or follow our restoration progress on Instagram #HaleOKaukaHealingGarden