I am trying to inquire about the area. I currently just purchased 3 acres of land on Omega Rd in fern forest Hawaii... I want to leave the military after 10+ years because I realized I am honestly just not happy. I don't enjoy working mediocre jobs to buy things I don't really need just so someone else can benefit off of my hard work. It is time for something new... The plan was to build an affordable dwelling with solar and rain water catchment and establish my own fruitperennial orchard using a permaculture concept. I wanted to grow perennial peanut as a living mulch instead of having grass and obviously have a wide variety of fruit tree's, free range chickens and possibly a goat. I am not looking to really clear a whole lot of the land as I want to keep from degrading it. I understand because it is at a higher elevation that certain things have difficulty growing without a green house. If anyone has recently purchased or established themselves in the same area and wants to swap information or help each other out please get in touch with me. I have never built a house before and I am planning on selling my home here in Washington to fund my build. Has anyone dealt with any of the contractors on the island? Any recommendations for cheap affordable homes other then the obvious answer of "build it yourself". I can always learn but I am trying to consider my options. What grows well in that area? Any help would be appreciated... Feel free to email me at JonZahler@yahoo.com if you have any serious information. For anyone that might actually be my new neighbors I say "Aloha".
Sweet potatoes, taro and bananas all grow really well in that area.
There was a fellow there who was trying to set up a food forest and be sustainable and all, although he's now moved off island and gotten married and seems to have moved to Canada. But you may be able to find lots of information in the older posts on the websites he had while he was working on his Fern Forest project.
For building, as Owner/Builder, you can hire carpenters instead of contractors and save some money. You still get other folks to do the building for you, it's just not as expensive of other folks. Building houses in Hawaii is much easier than on the mainland since you don't have to do all the heating and air conditioning stuff.
Ortho Books wrote a book called "Basic Home Building" which will be really helpful for building a house. It's not very expensive and has loads of diagrams and goes through how to build a house step by step.
Late to the party here. I've also lived in that area perennially working on a food forest project. In fact, you'd be our neighbor a few "blocks" away.
A couple things about the neighborhood. Really very shallow soil there. Crazy rainfall at times. So much it tends to wash the nutrients out of the soil. So it helps to have some animals generating manure for fertilizer. Provided that, lots of stuff grows well there. It's largely Ohia forest covered in False Staghorn ferns. I've planted more nitrogen fixing trees. Sprouted quite a lot of the native Koas and some Inga Bean trees. Bananas and plantains, pohas, sweet potatoes and some taros do well. I know folks who have bearing citrus and even sometimes Sharwil avos.
There is some theft. A fence and decent gate and a house back in the jungle is what lots of folks do. Many doing the simple living thing there. Some more successfully than others. Don't know any contractors. Lots of folks build their own. Permitted or on the sly.
I came there for my health. Dodged a lot of winter there and was better off for it. It's a tough, isolated but potentially rewarding place to try a homestead. Decent work is hard to come by. Living is costly, but not nearly as costly as Oahu. Lots of folks making do with not much. Don't want to scare you, but read up on Rat Lungworm and Dengue Fever as both are risks there now.
Good luck! When you make it over drop me a line.
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