Articles & Testimonials

What People Say:

What interns said about the internship program: 

A poem by Emily Baggett, Summer 2011:

“An incredible group of people

The source of infinite inspiration

Offering knowledge, love and an invocation

To live your life in a celebration

In harmony with Mother Earth


Respecting the plants, the animals, and all of our kin.And all of her sacred gifts


Oh if only the whole world


Could experience the transformation that happens at La’Akea

The most beautiful manifestation


Of love and community

Showing all is possible when you share powerful unity.


Thank you to everyone at La’Akea and all that you do


The world is a better place because of you.”



“Your community truly inspired me—the diversity, the acceptance and the celebration of life’s opportunities. Thank you so much for welcoming me as a farm supporter – and as a friend.”

Carolyn April 2011

“Please know that my experience with you all has been a great point of reflection and continual transformation…Mahalo again for everything…”  Kevin, 2010

“I’d recommend it to a million and a half people.” – Lee, summer ’08

The program was a “conscious learning environment” – Roberto, summer ’08

“This is more than I ever dreamed of….” – Ann, Fall ’08

From an article in Communities Magazine, spring 2007 issue:

Farm supporter Ron Laverdiere found true utopia at La’akea Community in Hawai’i, not because it was perfect— but because it was real. “At La’akea I was able to be fully honest with myself in all aspects,” he reports. “This came from being transparent in relationships, offering support whenever it was needed and feeling supported at all times, plus the willingness of community members to connect in speech or dance or music.” Even the simple joy of eating food on the same day he helped harvest it amounted to a life-changing experience for him.  “Everything in my life was up for question and I resolved many issues with the help of the community,” he adds. “I went through a full-on transformation during my time there.” Surprising perhaps is the amount of time such a transformation required. In Ron’s case—just a month.

“I came here to learn about growing things, and what I really learned about was growing people.” – Emily ’09

“I will begin by saying mahalo (thanks), I can’t begin to explain everything I have learned and how I have grown.” – Laura Schmidt, ’05

“I enjoyed putting work and energy into this land, and harvesting the fruits and food of other peoples labor. To plant seeds and trees that will grow into the future. Making friends that will remain in my heart and mind forever. Getting down to the earth, dirt, sweet and blood; this island is full of fun!” – Isa, ’06

A letter from the teacher of a group of young adults who came for an afternoon tour:

“On behalf of my class SERV 300 I would like to thank you. You allowing us you spend a few hours with you has opened up our eyes to many new aspects of geography that we had not considered before. The wealth of knowledge you each hold is incredible, and for that we are so grateful that you were able to share so much about your land. We discussed often after our visit with you the things we learned and whatwe are going to take home with us to implement in Kamloops.”

-Amanda Aldrich and the Class of Serv 300 Thompson Rivers University

Read about us:

Permaculture at La’akea Gardens – an article written by Janice Crowl, author of “Container Gardening in Hawaii”, about a tour the Master Gardeners had at La’akea in January of 2008.

The Soft Edge of Permaculture– an article about La’akea written by Robert Silber in the publication, Permaculture Activist, in Autumn of 2005.

La’akea Permaculture Gardens – an article about the old La’akea Permaculture Gardens written in the Hawai’i publication, Ka’u Landing, in 1999.

From Academia to Permaculture – an article comparing a ‘permaculture island’ life with ‘mainstream’ life, written in a mainland publication, The Octopus in 1998.

GUT HEALTH by Dona Willoughby, Member Published in the Winter 2009 issue of Communities magazine – Issue #145

Hand in Hand, Heart to Heart: Peer Counseling in Community, By Amara Karuna. Article in the Spring 2011 Communities Magazine


A Poem from an Inspired Intern:

The Tale of La’akea by Helen Crozier

Gather round sweet kinfolk while I tell you all a tale

Of a spot among the islands where I recently set sail

In the Land of La’akea aloha still prevails, and spinner

Dolphins sing beside the breaching humpback whale

On a vast enchanted island first discovered by canoe

In the midst of the Pacific, where the ocean is so blue

That the cyan sky buffs turquoise, a new and different hue

Thrives intentional come-unity like a hidden jungle jewel

Permaculture activists keep land there lush and green

Powered by solar panels, sustainable and clean

Flourishing on rainwater, composting latrines

They cultivate organic crops, the finest ever seen

Mother Nature loves them so provides abundantly

Lavish fertile gardens full of flowers, veggies, bees

Astounding verdant orchards, profusely fruiting trees

Diverse divine deluxe delights ripened in the breeze

Giant juicy citrus, rollinia, mulberry, avocado, apple star,

Longan, Surinam cherry, abiu, rambutan, cherimoya, thimble

Berry, exotic luscious fancy fare for feasts & making merry

With inhabitants so gentle they seldom make demands

Communicate with open heart, talk about their plans

Caring deeply for each other, stewards of the land

Appeals for assistance are met with loving hands

Welcome seekers, wanderers, prepare to be enthralled

By anomalous enormities; bumblebees the size of balls

Double rainbows, drenching sunshine, kale five feet tall

Butterflies that fly in flocks, towering waterfalls

Crashing surf on cliff sides, hidden beaches that delight

Behemoth boulders, silken sand, black or green or white

Flamboyant fish fill still lagoons, beautiful and bright

Sea turtles, seals, moray eels, and manna ray at night

Shimmering scenic summits that sparkle in the snow

Vivid vistas, hidden valleys, live volcano shows

Majestic molten magma, iridescent as it glows

Otherworldly lunar landscapes, flickering lava flow

Witness stunning sunsets while more magic is revealed

Black witch moths as big as bats searching for a meal

Marine toads croak like jackhammers strikingly surreal

Coquis frogs sing lullabies believing they’re concealed

Picture perfect panoramas begin to glisten in the sky

Marvel at the Milky Way, twinkling stars in such supply

Mere mortals gaze up gleefully with glassy gleaming eye

And romantics reach to pluck a star from heavens floating by

Try dancing, drumming, hula; your life may be transformed

Swayed by gentle movement like a ship that ports a storm

Breathtaking surroundings, crystal waters clear and warm

Contentment, kindness, courtesy, all aspects of the norm

Go, surf some salty rising swells, be granted clemency

Submerge your soul in stardust as it seeks serenity

Walk among the wild boar, attain your destiny

Frolic promised paradise, the Island of Hawaii








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