Last year, Anthony and I bought some rural property on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's a gorgeous, 7.4 acre valley with views of the Pacific and of Mauna Kea. It is raw, beautiful land. The only structures on it are two old redwood "sheds" that the previous owners had moved and placed on pallets there. No electricity, no water.
We took Anna and Colin there last August, and even camped a few days on the property. This month, Anthony and I went back to do some work.
Here's sunrise the first morning on the property:
Below is the produce that we were GIVEN by our friends and neighbors. People in Hawaii are very generous and friendly, and its easy to grow lots of your own fruits and veggies. Below are apple bananas, a big papaya, two avocados, two lemons, and a pepper.
One day Anthony hooked up an outdoor shower AND he hooked up a generator to the electrical wiring existing in the house. This was an amazing feat. If you've ever been camping or in a similar situation where you are without a shower for a few days, you know how valuable that shower is! Anth borrowed a tank and filled it with water from our kind neighbor, attached tubing to a pump, hooked to the generator, that led to an instant water heater, hooked to a propane tank. Here's our outdoor shower. It doesn't look like much, but showering outside makes you feel so free and clean! Hot water!
The electricity was so nice, too. We had a floor lamp that provided us nice light after sunset. We could charge our phones and even watch a movie on the computer. It's amazing how the little things can mean so much.
Unfortunately, they were having a rainy spell while we were there. Obviously, it rains a lot where our land is, usually a nice shower every afternoon. This was more like a monsoon. It rained hard, 9-10 inches PER DAY, for 5 days in a row. It rained all day and all night. Not good when you want to work outside.
Anthony cut guava trees and shoots down with a chainsaw, and I followed with a cane knife (like a machete) and herbicide. We hate to use an herbicide, but cutting the guava alone will not kill it. Some of the guava I cut in August had already regrown, springing up in huge branches from the stump, stronger with a full root system. I used a powerful herbicide in a sprayer, so we could target only the guava trees. We worked 6 hours one day, until we couldn't lift our arms! Then we took a wonderful outdoor shower, drove into town, and ate this ginormous pizza.
While it was a working trip, we did have some fun. On the 4th rainy day, we gave up and drove to the other side of the island, the dry side, and went to the beach. Great boogie boarding! We also were invited to a friend's St Patrick's day party. There we met other homesteaders like us, people who have bought Hawaiian land and are trying to figure out how to build and live on it. It was a great evening.
We were sad to say goodbye to Hawaii and all our friends there just 10 days after we'd arrived, but were happy to have accomplished some tasks. Can't wait to go back with the kids in the summer! I hope it rains less.