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South Side of East Maui

“The high lands all along the south side of East Maui … are very fine for farming. It is the region in which most of the Irish potatoes are raised for the ships at Lāhainā, and all the wheat raised at the Islands is grown here. Its climate, also, is highly salubrious, and it will yet be the garden of the Sandwich Islands, from which not only whale-ships, but the hotels of San Francisco, shall obtain their supplies.” (Cheever, 1851)

Oral traditions state that sweet potatoes were cultivated from sea level up to about 2,000 feet elevation and great quantities of dry taro were planted in the lower forest belt from one end of the district to the other. Archaeologists identified grid patterns over significant parts of the landscape, confirming the existence of a major dryland field system (a closely spaced grid of east-west embankments and small field plots bisected at right angles by longer north-south trending walls; it covered an area of 3,000 to nearly 4,000-acres and could have supported a population of 8,000-10,000 people). (Kirch)

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