Friday, April 15, 2011

Heavenly Hawaii - The Dream Continues

As I mentioned in my last post, Hawaii is on our radar for our shared-resources community. We have found the Upcountry of Maui suitable for growing food, especially the Kula area, which produces much of the island's organic produce. The tropical weather is cooler in the Upcountry and heating is mostly by fireplace or woodstove. Few homes have forced air heating/cooling. The down side is expensive land prices. But not to be deterred, this is my dream after all, so I have envisioned this community to start with my family, and then to grow from there.

I loved these houses, some of which were manufactured in Bali, made of coconut wood, and sold through a company on the island. Coconut trees do not have branches, so the wood is very strong - able to stand up to the fierce winds that occasionally blow through the island. The homes are very small and beautifully carved. Emphasis is on outdoor living in Hawaii, so the lanai is very important.

I would like to start with 5 to 10 homes on about 2 acre parcels, for a total of 10 to 20 acres. The land would be owned by the association, but individual homes would be owned by the occupants. Between the homes would be fruit trees, organic gardens, edible flowers, native flora and fauna, and pathways. A gazebo-like structure would shelter exercise equipment, with a yoga studio on the top deck that would be open on all sides. Of course in this dream we have a (salt water?) pool, (it is Hawaii after all,) and an outdoor cooking/eating/meeting area. The property would have chickens, and possibly a barn for horses and other animals shared and cared for by the inhabitants.

Barter is very important, especially with the larger island community. My background qualifies me to run a pre-school and my younger daughter will be qualified to teach older students. Maybe we have a school on the property, and if we get paid in fish, then so be it. I see daytime retreats and other possibilities - Reiki, holistic nutrition classes taught by my older daughter and her husband who enjoys cooking, a spiritual center, or possibly a place serving healthy, organic lunches in a serene atmosphere.

I would hope that many island friends would live here and/or visit often. One of the problems for the Hawaiian people is affordable housing. The Hobbit houses are very inexpensive, and dirt can be found anywhere. This community would grow and utilize many designs, especially those that are eco-friendly and blend into the environment.

Of course I will write a book about the experience, providing a template for what works and what doesn't, which would be one of my contributions.

Okay. I'm done. Care to throw out an idea or two?

Here are the two companies used in this post:
Mandala Homes (Balinese)
Mandala Custom Homes


Brian Miller said...

that house is wicked cool! love it...i can jump in on the education and counseling, maybe even art classes....keep dreaming...

karen said...

Do all those living in your community contribute to one community garden...or is each homeowner responsible for their own garden? I was thinking of the older seniors that might need help with that.
Sounds amazingly wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing your dream come true. I'm happy you shared your now I can see the vision and help bring this into reality.
I've never been to Hawaii...traveling there has only been a dream for me...guess I need to work on that!

Nancy said...

Maggies - I think we could have one big garden for the food that everyone shares, and then smaller gardens spread throughout the property. Maybe edible flowers, herbs, etc. I love that you are thinking about this!

Nancy said...

Brian - Perfect - we do need teachers and artists!

ellen abbott said...

that was going to be my and craft classes.

Jen said...

Let's do it! I am so ready. :)

Marguerite said...

Sounds like a wonderful dream and I love those houses. My dream is to sail around the world on a boat. Maybe I could stop in and visit you there!

Umā said...

Don't forget about the medicinal herbs ; )
Have you seen this..

Unknown said...

A lovely dream....smiles.

Gemel said...

Starting such a community is a big commitment, have looked into a few here in Australia, trouble is that most have more rules and control than the dysfunctional society I wish to leave, many egos at work in all the ones I viewed, which to me seems to miss the point of the whole exercise, not to mention very pricey too, not all of those who wish to lead a simpler life have oodles of cash at their hands, it seems here, that only the wealthy are able to relish an alternative lifestyle, which again has put me off, thinking that making my own retreat in the middle of suburbia, for now, must do.
The house you looked at is lovely, very harmonious indeed, I look forward to hearing how it becomes a reality :)

Leilani Tresise said...

Fishing is good when done with a rod and reel, only what you can eat theory. no nets, no spears, no harpoons. I would gladly contibute to that deptment...=) Always mindful of the respect and love needed when taking from the ocean. Love this it.

karen said...

Wondered if you ever visited the site
for Intentional communities...they also have a publication.

You've got my mind really focused on this and I'm excited about your idea!

susan said...

I think being able to live on Maui affordably would be pretty close to ideal. The mandala houses really are lovely.

T said...

Ok, sign me up. Rob is a wonderful cook and yoga instructor, I'll do astrology and whatever, Megan is great with horses. We're in.

CrazyCris said...

Need a Biology teacher in your group? Someone who can throw in a bit of French and Spanish (since you guys won't need my usual language classes, i.e. English)? ;o)
And I could participate in a choir if there are other singers... :O)

I'd suggest a cooking day... where people take turns teaching others their favourite or specialised dishes. Paella anyone?

CrazyCris said...

Need a Biology teacher in your group? Someone who can throw in a bit of French and Spanish (since you guys won't need my usual language classes, i.e. English)? ;o)
And I could participate in a choir if there are other singers... :O)

I'd suggest a cooking day... where people take turns teaching others their favourite or specialised dishes. Paella anyone?

Reya Mellicker said...

Looks divine!!

Whitney Lee said...

I would love something like this! I totally love this idea; so many of the aspects are appealing. Of course, my talents these days seem to be of the less glamorous variety...I am particularly good at cleaning with child safe, environmentally friendly products (the kind you make yourself). Somebody has to do the dirty work, right? I seem to also recall some really rusty animal care taking skills...

Bandan said...

wow I absolutely love the shacks/houses . I would love to visit Hawai and you got some greta insights there :)

And hopefully you will like this:

Leave a comment so that I know you've been there :)

gypsywoman said...

hmmmm.....sign me up for art classes!

Nancy said...

Ellen - Great idea.

Jen - I'm on it.

Marguerite - I love that idea, too. :-)

m.heart - Thank you for the link - and perfect reminder to have medicinal herbs.

Emom - Now to make dreams come true...

Gemel - I think you are right about egos. I have no desire to have a bunch of rules, since I rarely follow them. I also have no desire to be Marge In Charge. I'll bet many fail because of all the reasons you stated. But I think we are going to need each other more in the future than we have in the recent past.

leilani - I totally agree. I hate nets. Also, one of my daughters is completely vegetarian, the other mostly veggie, so we won't need much fish. :-)

maggie's - I'm so glad you are thinking about this!! Thanks for the link.

susan - Affordability is the key, unfortunately, everything has to be shipped in. But you could exist pretty simply if you really wanted to. You really don't need much in terms of clothing, heat, air conditioning and the soil is very fertile. The ocean provides food as well.

T - Perfect!!

Chris - Absolutely!!

Reya - You can always join us. :-)

Whitney - I love the earth friendly cleaning, but I also know you have other terrific abilities, especially your writing skills.

Bandan - Thanks for stopping by.

gypsy - You're in!


Unknown said...
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Alex said...

This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

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