Starting a new property from scratch, Keaau, Hawaii


United States

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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Aloha, I just bought 2 acres right up the street and will need some extra help turning it into my new home. Great opportunity for those interested in learning construction, homestead development, tropical plant knowledge, tropical landscape installation/propagation/
    maintenance. Please read ALL below for detailed info on arrangement.

    My current residence is a unique, centrally located places in East Hawaii with upcycled, artistic accommodations. We are located between Keaau and Pahoa on the East side of the Big Island of Hawaii. About 15 minute drive from Hilo and nearest coastline and about 30 minutes from surfing, Volcanoes National Park, Geothermal hot ponds, hiking and more. We have a 2 acre property that has been our labor of love for almost 20 years. Over the years we have transformed our original tiny home into a extremely comfortable personal sanctuary. Using my background of professional landscaping, Green house construction and mosaic art the place has been polished into a gem. Tropical gingers, heliconias, anthuriums, palms and a wide variety of exotics overflow the property. Repurposed decades old greenhouses were dismantled from nurseries and incorporated into our house for a garage and workshop as well as another complex used for food production and guests accommodations. Mosaic art sculptures welcome you to the driveway and you will find artistic touches throughout guest living areas in the form of carved concrete floors, mosaic granite backsplashes, concrete counters, whimsy paintings and recycled material wind chimes and light catchers. We also have eight chickens , one dog and one cat.

    I'm looking for 1-2 people for stays of 2-4 weeks on site. All the common guest areas are for you to use as well as the bedroom if vacation rental is not occupied . If occupied a tent platform will be your bedroom for that time. My goals for the workaway is to get some assistance developing new property and maintaining current one. The other aspect of the trade will be interacting and networking with passionate, artistic, open minded, adventurous, outdoor loving, resource conservative, agriculturally interested people for my own growth and expanding my social circle as well. I travel to the mainland US for at least 5 weeks a year and would love to have a network of friends to visit, explore and reconnect with through our newfound friendship. I do need help keeping my "to do list" manageable but am also not looking to burden the guests with so many hours they can't enjoy their travel to the island. My requirements are 16 hours per week in exchange for room (less than most any other trade situation) or 25 hrs for room and board (food). I do require that you be extremely able bodied, goal oriented, hard worker, positive, adventurous, have a love the outdoors, and flexible. You in return will become familiar with everything involved in developing a raw property in Puna into a home. This will include installing landscaping, fencing, building structures, how to work with tropical plants , how to prune them, weed them, how they propagate, what is a weed and what's not. Also helping to maintain my current home and extensive landscaping. There may be some housekeeping but it will be a small portion of overall needs. Housekeeping for vacation rental is not required, but you will be expected to clean all areas of rental you have used to prearrival condition. You will also learn about the challenges of this area, vines, mold, rain, slugs, pigs, vines again, and last but not least our recent newcomer the Little Red Fire Ant which is not only a painful PITA but also farms aphids on plants for a double whammy pests. If you're artistic and hopefully you are we can collaborate on some fun art, you can do a mural if that's your discipline or during a adventure something fun can be done on site. Also if chores get done around the homestead I would like to use some of the work trade hours for community projects like coastal cleanup, trail building/clearing or similar. And once again don't forget to pack your sense of humor as mine is always on task;)

    I do recommend you be able to afford a rental car for at least a few days of your stay. The island is big, has lots to see and using the bus is not a very efficient way to go around here. There is bus service but its about two miles to bus stop and it only runs couple times a day to limited destinations. You also need to have money. The reality is, travel costs money and having some financial resources will allow you to eat better, explore more, have more adventure options and basically have a better experience overall. If your plan is to barely scrape together a plane ticket and rely on me to for the rest, this isn't realistic or fair to me and our time together will be short. Traveling within your budget is always more rewarding and fulfilling.

    Hope to hear from qualified candidates looking for a mutually rewarding experience, Aloha

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travelers will have access to a lifetimes worth of knowledge form someone who goes where few have been. Will also have the opportunity to learn about construction, Hawaii homestead development, tropical farming, gardening, fruit trees, greenhouse gardens, pests management, etc.. Also possible to go surf, bike, kayak, hike as these are interest I routinely participate in.

  • Help


    Most is listed above in general description. Need help with landscape installation, property development, construction property maintenance, , weeding, garden propagating, bed development, housekeeping, possibly some coastal cleanup, etc if time allows.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Two greenhouses have been converted to living quarters ( bedrooms and kitchen /common area)and garden for all to use. Bathhouse is located about 50 feet away and has awesome art shower in 8'x8' stall next to independent room containing toilet and sink. May sleep in tent on tent platform at times depending vacation rental occupancy during stay, otherwise fully locking bedroom will be available.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Some requirements:
    1. For our security as well as yours : NO outside guest allowed. We do hope you socialize and meet new people during your trip however bringing them to our property is NOT allowed.
    2. Have sufficient funds to get here, have transportation, adventures, and NOT be co dependent on us for your overall experience.
    3. Try to get a car for at least a few days if not more. This is for your benefit, as being "stuck" on any rural property is not ideal for any traveler.(optional)
    4. Be extremely considerate of housemates, owner, property, structures, local culture. we have worked a lifetime to create this and respect and nurturing it is essential.
    5. Be prepared to work. This includes bringing closed toe boots( water resistant/proof), 2 pairs of work jeans, 2 long sleeve work shirt, 2 short sleeve work shirt, wide brim hat, eye protection, gloves and a good work ethic. I will work along side you to help with direction, teaching, teamwork and goals. The right clothes are really important to help reduce injury, sunburn, and be proficient at this type of work. Yes you will be hot and sweat a ton. The upside is a great sense of accomplishment and a built in workout program guaranteed. I will not ask you to do anything I haven't done and will not do again.

    #1,2,4,5 are required for a mutual arrangement to work. If these parameters are not met by you we will ask you to leave. Please understand above rules so there are no misunderstandings. #3 is for your benefit as a traveler to a island with limited public transportation, so not required but highly recommended.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    16 hours per week for room or 25 hrs per week for room and board.

Rock wall finished. Finally:)
Some free flow mosaic stairs I made one day for guest bathroom.
Halloween fun with some friends.
One of a kind shower, huge 8'x8' with custom carved concrete floor, bamboo walls, custom made bottle lights and indoor/outdoor feel

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 356415232878

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