A Piece of the Tropical Pie

ChompaJack_lrA piece of the tropical pie and we were going to find it. We had 10 days to look for a place to live in Hawaii. Our friend was picking us up at the airport and just happened to be a realtor. Before we left, we told our friends and neighbors in Florida we were moving to Hawaii and like good friends and neighbors they were full of encouragement. Gone would be the days of my dropping bags of cherry tomatoes off on their doorsteps from my tiny organic garden in my backyard or my basket hanging from our tamarind tree in our front yard filled with abundance of produce for our neighbors to walk by and choose from. The only concern from our immediate neighbors was that we don’t sell our house to the investors, a group of companies that were buying up our little 1950 homes on big lots and tearing them down to build McMansions.

Zero lot line, two-story homes that all had just a pinch a room in the back yard for a swimming pool. Whose occupants could look out their second story window at our backyards and into our lives. After all, we were in the golden triangle. A small geographic triangle subdivision of affordable homes built within walking distance to the beach. Some of which were built for the military personnel back when Boca Raton had a military base at the site of Florida Atlantic University. Currently, we could walk to Mizner Park, an outdoor exclusive shopping center with restaurants, outdoor venue and movie theaters. We could drive to Publix grocery store without going through a traffic light, something unheard of in the overpopulated cities that make up South Florida. All very desirable and it was the start of the real estate buying boom. Which means housing prices were rising.

All in the back of our minds as we drove passed the fish vendors in Hawaii that sell fresh ahi tuna along the highway that leads to our new home, that is, when we find it. Now we didn’t exactly set out to buy a farm, live in community and raise animals. We thought at least maybe three acres would do and I could plant as many fruit trees as I wanted since my now overgrown with fruit-tree-yard in Florida did not have one spot left for a fruit tree, even the best of the best tasting mango. As it goes in the movies, the first 3 acre spot we drove up to was featuring a woman nailing a “sold” sign over the “for sale” sign. Just our luck, to miss even looking at that one. Though she was kind to point us further up the road where we would have a bit more luck.

It was a nine-acre tropical fruit farm filled with over 600 mature fruit trees some very rare and ones we never heard of before. If I hadn’t died and gone to heaven. How can this place even be on the market? It was currently owned by a man and his wife and he was busily preparing it for resale having only owned it for less than a year. Before that a Norwegian couple owned it for about 15 years and I believe they put a lot of work into the farm caring for the young trees. I’m told that the original man and wife team, who long ago sold to the Norwegians had planted most of the trees. I imagine him and her going to far off land and bringing back fruit seeds from their travels from fruit no one ever heard of let alone tasted.  For whatever reasons these fine folks gave up this land,  they had put a lot of time and work into the place and we are forever grateful to them.

The land wasn’t exactly cheap, it came with a hefty price tag. One we could barely afford. We were coming here with no jobs and we were in our forties. We wanted some bank to live off of while we figured out our new lives and how we were going to survive.

Have you ever thought of taking the plunge and changing your life? We’d love to hear it. You can post it in our comment section. Mahalo!


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