Posts in the ‘Activities’ Category

The Vanilla Bee and Vanilla in Maui & Hawaii

Vanilla is an orchid, native to Mexico and Guatemala. Vanilla does not come from a tree it is a long vine that grows up into trees. The vanilla orchid produces a pale yellow flower, with a mild fragrance that does not smell like vanilla. This vanilla flower opens only once for a few hours before closing and falling off the vine. Orchids can not pollinate themselves. If the flower is not pollinated before closing it will never produce a vanilla bean.

Vanilla is pollinated one of two ways, either by human with is a very laborious and tedious task or by a bee, the Melipona bee, specifically. This is a true bee, it is very small and does not sting. This bee does not exist on Maui. Yet, we still grow a fair amount of Vanilla beans here. Read more »

Quick and Easy Magical Face and Body Scrub that happens to be tasty too – Just in Case

Sometimes working in the garden can get pretty muddy here on Maui. This is a quick, invigorating way to get…

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11 Items to Consider Packing for Your Trip to Maui

Maui vacation coming up? Get packing! What to Bring.

So, you have decided to visit Maui! Maybe for the first time or maybe you visit frequently. You have reserved the perfect Hotel or Bed and Breakfast, the Rental car is all lined up, and Plane tickets?  Yes!

To ensure your time in Maui is the best it can be read on to find out what you will want to have and why. I didn’t bother listing all the stuff you need, you know the stuff you have to have no matter where you go, things like toothpaste, medicines, and identification.

Here are the items that deserve serious consideration when filling up your suitcase.

1. Comfortable footwear –
Keep the feet happy and the body will follow. On Maui, we wear slippahs, (aka flip-flops, thongs) almost exclusively. If you are self conscious about your feet you may want to get a pedicure before your trip. Guys this means you too. Slippers or slippah are great because they go on and off easily. We don’t wear shoes in our homes here, if you are visiting the home of a local be prepared to leave your footwear at the door. Read more »

Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month for February – Rambutan

Welcome to our second post in our “Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month” series. If you missed reading our first…

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Feeling Amazing Maui Style

A big part of living in tune with the planet is taking care of your own body, this body is…

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Tips for Being Mindful of Nature and Others While Visiting Maui

One thing is for sure practicing mindfulness makes us all feel better. There are so many ways to be mindful. We can be mindful of nature, the safety of animals, the health of our environment and of course we can all be considerate and mindful of one another. We are all deserving of respect and mindfulness. No one is better than anyone else we are all here together so let’s make the best of it.  Here are a few ways to take care of the land, nature and each other on Maui.

1. Stay on the trails. This is for your safety and the protection of nature. Many of the trails on Maui are very challenging on their own. Our mud is thick and slippery so wear good hiking shoes, take a good look at those shoes and know they will never look the same after they get stained with Maui mud. Hiking poles may also be your friend when adventuring here.

2. Keep your vehicle on the road. Unless pulling over for emergency vehicles or to allow faster traffic to go by. Let’s keep the cars on the road in order to protect natural habitat and plant life.

3. Take ownership of your garbage – Take your trash with you. If it can be carried in, it can be carried out. Isn’t it nice to experience a pristine natural view? When going on adventures around the island you may see something that was accidentally dropped by someone ahead of you. GO ahead and pick it up because somewhere along the way you have also accidentally left something behind that had to be disposed of by another.

4. Respect Animals – Observe wild animals from a distance as to not upset or disturb them. The Hawaiian Monk seal may look like a harmless creature but it can inflict quite a nasty bite if it feels threatened. Our beach is the seal’s bedroom, this is where they come to sleep, so if you come across a resting seal move away quietly. NOAA, The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, recommends maintaining a distance of 150 feet away from the seals.

5. Show love for plants and trees. Plants and trees have feelings too. Please refrain from carving your name, initials or anything else into the trees and bamboo. Imagine how much lovelier it would be if this were to stop.

6. Shop with reusable cloth bags – never settle for single use plastic. Many stores on Maui sell these amazing souvenir shopping bags. And the reusable nature of Read more »

Reasons to Leave Maui Rocks and Sand Behind

It is said that removing rocks or sand from the Hawaiian islands will result in the collector experiencing a series of unfortunate events.

The Hawaiian Deity, Pele is the creator of the the Hawaiian Islands, she is the goddess of fire and volcanoes in Hawaiian religion.  There is a Hawaiian legend that states removing rocks or sand from the Hawaiian Islands would cause Pele (peh-leh) to place a curse on to anyone who takes rocks or sand away from the islands, as Pele’s rocks and sand are essentially her body. Although, there is no way to scientifically prove that these curses do or do not exist and little is known about when or how the legend began it might be better if we agree to leave the landscape the same way we found it.

There are laws protecting the natural landscape in many parts of the Hawaiian Islands that would hopefully prevent people from taking Hawaii away one piece at a time. It’s illegal to take rocks and minerals from any national park or to take sand and rock from any public beach.  Approximately 10 million people visit Hawaii in a year, if everyone took a piece of Hawaii home with them, it would be obvious. So please take as many photos as you want and let the island stay here.

Haleakala National Park on Maui receives over 100 rocks per month from tourists wishing to break the curse. Additionally,  Haleakala National park is not the only place receiving cursed rocks and sand in the mail, the actual number of rocks being returned to the entire island is much much higher. Before these rocks and other natural treasures can be placed back into the wild they must be stored in a freezer for 30 days to sanitize them as to not inadvertently introduce an unwanted bacteria or virus to our delicate ecosystem. The rocks can not be returned to the crater because there is no way to know exactly where they were taken from so the rocks will be placed in the gardens just outside the visitor center as not to make a mess out of the geologic record. So let’s save everyone the trouble and leave them where they are.

If it’s too late and you already removed rocks and now find yourself wishing you hadn’t, you can mail the sand or lava rock back to the islands just in case. The packages can be mailed to the appropriate address below, depending on what is being sent and to which island. Please enclose a note indicating from where the sand or Read more »

Mele Kalikimaka from

Mele Kalikimaka and Happy New Year from Hoku and the team! We truly appreciate our community and visitors and…

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The importance of buying Fair Trade products and services, not just on Maui but on Earth.

Greetings earthlings! It is important that we continue to improve consistently in order to evolve. This is a great time to consciously empower one another and offer encouragement and support to everyone we encounter. Imagine a supportive environment where you were encouraged to thrive, a space where your peers lifted you up, imagine having the freedom to be who you really are.  What if you were able to accept others as they are. Would this encouragement make us better? Happier? I think it would. Our free flowing positive energy would be spent on creating and growing! What is better than that?

Everyone deserves fresh water, healthy organic food, comfortable clothing and safe shelter from the elements. We need to make sure that each of our needs are being met and that we are paying and being paid fairly. Sadly many of us are being exploited. Even today  some people are working long hours and barely making enough money to scrape by. This is a sad existence, this is not living. But it does not have to be this way.  Companies care about profits thus the most powerful vote we have is the vote we make when we spend our money.  If you don’t stand for it don’t buy it. When participating in a capitalistic society it is only fair that working people receive a reasonable wage for the services and products they provide.  We should expect to pay others what we would want to be paid for providing the same services. Our time is equally valuable.

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Dennis Kahula Jr. plays “Queens Jubilee” on his Ukulele

Dennis Kahula Jr. plays “Queens Jubilee” on his Ukulele. The song was originally composed by Liliʻuokalani on June 20, 1887…

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Conscious Maui