Articles & Testimonials

What People Say:

What interns said about the internship program: 

“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.”
“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
“I’d recommend it to a million and a half people.” – LeeThe program was a “conscious learning environment” – Roberto
“This is more than I ever dreamed of….” – Ann“I came here to learn about growing things, and what I really learned about was growing people.” – Emily

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

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

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.

June 2011 interns

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
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 manta 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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