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Hali’imaile Community Garden

Our own trials and tribulations to establish community gardens in San Diego inspired me to see how other cities, states and islands for that matter start gardens in their communities. So on the recent trip to Maui we made a stop at Hali’imaile Community Garden, the first such garden to be established on the island, in 2006.

The Hali’imaille Community Garden is an unexpected gem hidden among sugarcane and banana trees. As you drive down the dirt road to its entrance you hardly know what to expect then all of a sudden the road opens up to a patchwork of lovingly tended plots.
Elle was kind enough to meet us for a tour of the gardens and has been dedicating herself to this land for 2 years. Elle is a Southern California transplant that along with the additional members lends a hand in the compost bins, common areas, vermiculture and maintaining and clearing of new plots. The land is owned by the Maui Land and Pineapple Company and due to its odd shape the land was never fully utilized to grow their crops of pineapple and sugarcane even though both of those crops can be found there today. As a generous gift Maui Land and Pineapple allowed the community to utilize the land and just recently agreed to a five-year renewable lease on the property at no extra cost. Due to the private ownership of the land they were able to avoid the costly and daunting permitting process. 

With these exciting developments came the formation of the Maui Community Garden Initiative which “exists to proactively engage Maui communities in growing food. Through strategic collaborations and public advocacy, we provide educational and technical support for cultivating and sustaining community based gardens” The initiative is dedicated to looking towards the future as an opportunity to involve local schools and the community in educational programs centered on organic and sustainable agriculture.With these new developments the HCG has seen an increase in involvement and membership. New plots are being cleared everyday to grow the likes of Taro, Broccoli, Borage, Kale, Sugarcane and Sunflowers. The yearly costs to call a 10X20 plot your own is a mere $50.00 which takes into account your water costs and access to all the amenities, including the herb garden, fruit trees and a tool shed. The community garden hopes to maintain the upward trend in membership through continued community events.

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