Dave and I took off for Haiku, Hawaii today (on Maui). Owner, Sylvia Hamilton-Kerr, has completed a restoration of the old grounds. The once-thriving mill had sat crumbling and was a historical loss to all. However, it is now protected and able to be enjoyed by visitors. A tour is given to a limited number of guests a few times a week. You get a dose of entertaining history, amazing tropical horticulture, and breathtaking photo opportunities. Their fresh mango lemonade at tour’s end isn’t too shabby, either. Note the Breadfruit tree and its fruit. Its uses are many.
It is starchy and sugary when ripe and can be baked, roasted, fried, or boiled. I’ve had it as potato chips and as a thickener in a Hawaiian preparation of an octopus dish. Both were tasty. Interestingly, the sap from the Breadfruit tree (see the white drip above) may be used as a latex in caulking waterproof boating vessels, homes, and in chewing gum. That was new information to me.
Ms. Hamilton-Kerr has made a garden of Eden under a mango tree that is approximately 150 years old. Cool breezes blew through my hair as I soaked up the ambiance and beauty of it all. Vintage French ironwork and woodwork adorn walls, decorates walkways, and even hangs from the tree. My senses were overwhelmed in this area of the mill tour. Bird songs in the background and sweet scents from nearby blossoms were a treat for everyone present.
The actual old mill structure is only 1/3 present but in what a presentation it is offered! Old World Europe meets Island Tropics. Sylvia married these elements into a unique and delightful piece of Maui that seems a million miles from the “real world.”
As a side note, Haiku Mill is a perfect wedding venue. I have seen many settings, as I am a registered wedding officiant, but none so much a paradise as this.
Vines and other lush vegetation cling to the old mill’s stone facade. The inside of the entry wall is as beautiful as the outside.
Our tour group of eight lingered after the presentation was shared. We took photos, chatted, and drank our mango lemonade. We were excited to be offered for purchase a fresh star fruit and a jar of homemade mango jam. This gem of Maui should not be missed. Escape the tourist areas, and enter a world steeped in island history and a place of peace and tranquility ~