Hale O Kauka Healing Garden is located on a little over one acre near the North shore in Haiku surrounding the original home of Maui’s first plantation doctor, built in 1870. The home, situated in the center of the garden, has been called a “house of healing” for over 100 years.
The property’s history unfolds from ancient paths streaming daily life from Haleakala and upcountry, through missionary settlements, and early pineapple and sugar cane plantations to today’s modern mix of sustainability and next generation science of green practices and ecofriendly living.
Majestic Norfolk pines line the property’s front boundary and were established during the plantation days well over 100 years ago. The trees not only marked the old path from a distance, but also the property boundaries of several working families within the plantation. As you turn up Haiku Road from mile marker 11 on Hana Hwy these trees bring you past the old mill, the original Baldwin Home, the plantation manager’s house and ending here at the old doctor’s home. The Norfolks were selected and planted to serve as a very rare commodity in the island chain to replace ship masts. Today many of these original old trees still survive and stand tall and grand here at Hale O Kauka Healing Garden; beside century old palm trees and a garden of local fruits and ancient medicinal plants.
One of the first land grants, this property was deeded to Rev. Armstrong, who arrived in Hawaii and Maui in the 1830’s and was the first African American missionary. He later became the minister of Education appointed by the King to oversee the education system of the Territory of Hawaii.
In 1870 the doctor’s home was constructed in the old Hawaiian plantation style but with one distinct difference, it has two doors off the main lanai – one for the doctor’s family to enter their home and another for farm workers to enter the doctor’s office and exam room. There are built-in shelves lining the original doctor’s office to hold glass apothecary jars and medicinal tinctures. The entire home is constructed of pine and Douglas Fir that was imported on huge sailing vessels.
The property was home to Haikuleana Sanctuary, a healing center and private residence of late author Ralph Blum who wrote several books on the ancient language of Runes and his wife Jeanne, a medical intuitive, massage therapist and author of Woman Heal Thy Self. According to locals, familiar with the Blums and the property, Ralph and Jeanne hosted retreat guests and short-term visitors seeking healing in their sanctuary.
For last 30 years the home was operated as the Haikuleana Bed & Breakfast and later as Haiku Plantation Inn, the original Bed and Breakfast on Maui’s north side. It was the first to gain permits through the State of Hawaii and County of Maui for a legal operating bed and breakfast back in 1986 and again first in the industry to regain and pass through a permitting system established in 2009, holding in the distinction of being the first bed and breakfast to gain permits to operate under the new ordinances established for B&Bs.
Purchased by Jen and her husband Douglas in 2019, they are restoring the home as a sanctuary and retreat space for their immediate family, friends, guests and day visitors to the garden. The property had extensive deferred maintenance and is currently being revitalized.
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. Jen is working with a local botanical gardener and arborist to refine the current farm plan and continue cultivating the avocado leaf tea and harvesting the Olu (breadfruit), three varieties of avocado, red grapefruit, mangoes, cashew and bananas established on the property. Following her passion, Jen is working with local native gardeners to restore the lau lapau garden and a fish and frog pond under the canopy of trees next to the house.
Jen envisions 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. She expects to open the doors to their 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.
Plans to build an agricultural stand are being worked on by Douglas and plans to operate a home-based foods business are being developed by Jen and co-collaborator, Lisa to continue the tradition of homemade mango and banana bread baking in the large farmhouse kitchen. A pottery studio will be established in the accessory buildings on the property where Douglas and his 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.
Haiku is on the North side of the island of Maui. It lies on the edge of a rain forest along the road to Hana – the most secluded and remote part of the Hawaiian island. Hale O Kauka Healing Garden is located about a mile from the famous Jaws surf break near Paia town and Mamma’s Fish House. It is also neighbor to the Temple of Peace Healing Sanctuary which holds inclusive Sunday services for locals and travelers to the spiritual mecca of Haiku.
Agritourism is Especially Important on Maui. It helps to sustain the local upcountry farmers – where you will find fruit stands, a weekly farmer’s market, rural country stores, quaint restaurants featuring fresh local products, and of course several farm tours where you can meet the locals and experience everything from lavender to goat milk ice-cream and cheese production.
If you would like to visit us while touring the upcountry of Maui, meditate in our tropical oasis, learn more about la’au lapa’au, the herbs that belong to the Hawaiian pharmacopoeia or to try some avocado leaf tea & local fruit bread – contact Jen to make an appointment or book a stay here.
Visitors who do not have an appointment or who arrive while we are closed for restoration may purchase local produce at our honesty stand outside the front gate of the property – where we place mangoes, avocados, bananas and olu (breadfruit) harvested from the garden for purchase.
Follow our restoration progress on Instagram #HaleOKaukaHealingGarden
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