PUNA GIRL FARMS – History of the farm:
We fell in love with the Puna area of the Big Island on our vacation. We returned to California, sold our house, packed up the kids and returned to live in Pahoa.
After renting for many years we had the opportunity to buy 10 acres of jungle that had once been a part of a Macadamia Farm. We were advised to bulldoze the property as the macadamia had been abandoned for over 12 years and should have been dead.
We uncovered a few and found that the roots were alive but the trees were in bad shape and had no leaves. Those trees shot out leaves in less than a week after seeing sunlight again. That inspired us to save the rest.
About the same time Ian (mac) was offered work in Special Effects in Hollywood, which was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. I was left with a jungle to clear.
The next two years were spent clearing with machetes and chain saws with some hired friends. We ended up with 600 saved trees and a home that was built while we cleared.
There were 2 acres that hadn’t been cleared as there were no macadamias planted there. Eight years into the farming we brought in a bulldozer to clear the two acres and found that we had a beautiful ocean view.
The price of nuts suddenly dropped and we were forced with the possibility of losing the farm. It was serendipity when we met Tony and Gary, the owners of Kapohokine Adventures. They were looking for a place to bring quests for lunch or dinner so a pavilion was built and a park was created.
We are still farming the macadamias and visitors are here daily. Ian has recently retired to help on the farm and I am now “Auntie Cherie” greeting the visitors.