In the lush, remote town of Hana, the quiet, country lifestyle keeps residents grounded. There are no malls, no supermarkets, and few creature comforts. Convenience is all about what you can provide for yourself. Born and raised here, surfing’s power couple, Monyca and Ola Eleogram, epitomize this. “We have such an incredible bond with the community because we all grew up together,” says Monyca, a Roxy freesurfer and model. “Everyone in Hana has known each other forever, and we’ve all participated in community things together our whole entire life.”
I think one of the best things about being a surfer is the connection it gives us to nature. Many surfers are concerned about the ocean, sustainability and the global environment, so it’s not surprising to see the amount of people contributing to make a difference. Monyca and Ola are a wonderful representation of surfers making a small but important lifestyle change. This has taken form as Olamana Organics, a fruit farm on Maui’s east side that the Eleograms bought in 2013 and now call home.
Monyca and Ola both take amazing pride in their fruit farm. They live in a humble home on the property that gets most of its electricity from solar panels, and continue to expand the farm’s yield. “Ola’s put in 100 trees since we bought the property,” says Monyca. Fruits like tangelos, Tahitian limes, lychee, longgongs, oranges, avocados, lemons, mangos, soursops, Cuban red bananas, apple bananas and rollineas can all be found growing abundantly at Olamana Organics, among many other exotic trees and plants.
Ola & Monyca spend their weekends (when home) selling seasonal organic fruits at the Upcountry Farmers Market in Kula during the fall and winter months. “We get there at 6:15am and we’re sold out by 10 o’clock, 10:30 at the latest,” says Ola. Everything they sell is grown right on their property, which is a 5.2-acre lot in the lush valleys of Hana. “We bought the property from an older couple that built the home and planted all the trees, all organic,” Ola remarks. “All the avocados were actually from seed, they weren’t even grafted and somehow they came out amazing.”
The couple takes careful measure to make sure their crops are organic. “We don’t do any spraying of pesticides or Roundup,” explains Ola. “Everything is mulched and sprayed with neem oils or all-organic products, if anything at all.” Olamana Organics boasts quality fruit that the people of Hana recognize and appreciate. “We put a lot of love into our stuff because the owners who had the farm before us put a lot of love into it and we wanted to keep up with that.”
Olamana Organics is also widely known for their amazing oranges, which come from trees that are nearly 30 years old. “It’s a really big spot for people in Hana to come and get their oranges, it’s been around for a really long time,” Ola describes. Aside from selling at the Upcountry Farmers Market, Ola & Monyca also provide their harvest to a restaurant and a food truck in Hana and have a fruit stand on their property, which they pack with produce in the winter months. “We try to load it for all the people around here,” Ola says, solidifying he and his wife’s motto of staying true to their local, tight-knit community roots.