Chuck and wife Lilly have created an organic oasis, a fifty-acre farm that is bordered by Haleakalā National Park on either side, and bursting with produce both familiar and foreign—and some we could barely pronounce.
The tours follow the seasonal flow, and during our springtime visit, the harvest includes freshly picked bananas and the most deliciously nutty avocado I ever laid taste buds on. As the afternoon passes, the fruits become more bizarre. Doing our best sommelier impressions, we solemnly taste each selection, savoring them one bite at a time.
“Surprisingly sweet,” I confirm, reaching for another piece of sapote.
“Tart,” Brad says, nibbling on bilimbi. I heed the warning of his puckered expression and break off a tiny piece.
For the grand finale, we mix and match several varieties of bananas with a spread of jellies, jams and butters. The clear favorite is the apple-banana butter, a balance of spicy and savory, all wrapped up into one gooey package. Any sweeter, and it would have to be called a dessert. We walk off our afternoon feast with a stroll through the grounds. Mountain-apple trees share real estate with cacao plantings within a seemingly haphazard system, but Chuck says it’s done this way to enrich the soil through biodiversity.
Before leaving, we pick up a few jars of apple-banana butter to take home, plus avocados, and a bag of Kīpahulu Estate Coffee. We bid aloha to the Boerners and vow to return.