Living Harmony: Permaculture Community Immersion 2024

Have you dreamed about living in a sustainable land based community?

Gift yourself a nourishing, experiential two week immersion in our community lifestyle!

Oct 16-29th, 2024

La’akea Intentional Community, Pahoa, Big Island, Hawaii

Register Here

Randy in garden with interns

A significant portion of our modern population has lost the knowledge of how to grow food, build community, build shelter, and connect with the ‘aina (land). We feel called to give loving attention to each other and our home base, Mother Earth.

This unique, exciting event is for you, if you want to:

     * Develop skills in community living, such as having effective meetings, emotional clearing and communication, and consensus decision making.

     * Have opportunities to share your feelings and experiences with caring listeners.

     * Learn locally proven methodologies from presenters who understand Hawai’i’s varying microclimates.

     * Acquire skills for achieving food security and create sustainable home systems.

     *Get your hands in the earth harvesting and planting together!

     *Go for local adventures to the nearby ocean and warm ponds

We are a small, family style, egalitarian, intentional permaculture community on the big island of Hawai’i. Come join us for a deep dive training in our vibrant community lifestyle!  We have successfully lived together for 20 years.  

We are a committed group of people working together closely as a means to health, relationship vitality, economic stability, personal and spiritual growth.

We integrate the social aspects of sustainability into daily life: how to live together with honesty, love and peace, and share power and leadership.  We do not have one central leader, but instead share the cost of the land and the leadership equally. 

This training will give a sampling of some of the ways we relate to the land and each other, all led by our members.  Also join us on the land as we plant trees and work in the garden, process food, cook meals together and other hands on projects.

This is a great time to come meet our members, ask questions about living in community and get a peek into our daily life.  We will all be sharing in the tasks of cooking and cleaning for the group, as part of community service.

We have a few openings for farm supporters who stay with us for at least a month.  See our Application page.

Tour at Ann Kobsa'sAbout Permaculture

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is a term created by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren to describe a land use system that draws on the knowledge of natural ecosystems, traditional indigenous practices, and modern scientific and farming techniques.

Mollison defines permaculture as “the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, shelter, energy and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.”

Group with kupuna and taro

A permaculture approach is one of working with rather than against nature, of looking at systems in all their functions rather than asking only one yield of them.

Permaculture is applicable in urban, suburban, and rural environments and offers a proactive approach to meeting human needs in ways that are sustainable for future generations.

Permaculture design is a “whole systems” approach to land use planning based on patterns of symbiotic relationships between land, water, wind, sun, soil, animals, and people inherent in living systems.

About the Location

This event is hosted by La’akea Permaculture Community, nestled into a tropical rainforest and near a natural volcanic steam vent. The ocean is a 20 minute drive and offers warm pools and black sand beaches. 

La’akea has been exploring permaculture and integrating their systems since 2004.   The 23-acre La’akea site is full of the results of creative hands-on design projects.

The community offers a wide variety of real-life examples of sustainable living techniques including; 

  • extensive gardening beds, orchards,
  • small livestock management of poultry,
  • nursery and planting systems,
  • composting toilets, tropical edible landscaping, mulching, 
  • examples of natural building and much more.


Prices are for the full two week immersion. No part time tickets. We want you to have the full experience of living in community.

Tuition includes and all instruction and other course activities. 3 home cooked delicious meals and overnight lodging in dorms or private tents is included. Cabins and private spaces are available at an additional cost.

Residential tickets: 

Regular full two week residential: $1200-1600 Sliding scale includes 3 organic meals/day. 

Offsite tickets:

Offsite Full two week training with meals $995

Extra nights beforehand or after- Price varies depending on housing $85- 100

For more information see our registration page.

 e-mail:  Or call: 808-443-4076

Detailed Program and Facilitators

For bios of our facilitators, see our Members Page

Tour of La’akea Land and our Permaculture Systems – with Tracy Matfin

Learn about how we work with nature in our permaculture community, to create a beautiful and functional environment on our farm. We will walk along our paths and find lots of berries, flowers and leaves to nibble on the way.

Morning Check ins Meetings: Daily

We start each morning with a time to check in about your experiences at the training. We start each morning with a circle to re-connect and learn about what’s happening that day. We offer appreciation to each other. This is a time to express any concerns or needs of a logistical nature. Announcements are made about community service duties, the day’s schedule, and descriptions of the workshops.

Coming Home to Yourself

with Tracy Matfin

Learn to look inside and find the actions aligned with your heart.

Community Living Skills – Facilitating Meetings

with Biko Long

Getting along is the main challenge for human beings in working toward positive goals together.  Emotional conflicts are often the cause of groups breaking up or giving up their dreams.  But there are ways to keep the connections clear and strong if everyone is informed and willing to do them.

We will describe the meetings and formats that we use in our group, including check-ins, retreats, play retreats, business meetings. We will demonstrate some of these and other processes, and give a handout with them listed, and have reference books.

Public Seed Exchange for the local community on Oct 26th

Enjoy sharing seeds, knowledge and friendly local community in this day of workshops and presentations.

Welcoming Emotions, Listening Well

with Amara Karuna and others

This class will teach basic skills for holding space for emotions with excellent attention, so you can then use them with family and friends.  These skills can improve health, relationships, inner peace and can be used to help your friends, children and family throughout life.  These are essential skills for living in community. 

Permaculture projects/class –  with Tracy, Teo Jerge & Michael Holwell

Every morning we will join in the gardens and orchards for learning and working together on the land.

We will be planting a new fruit orchard during our event!

Is Community for You?  The Pros and Cons of the Lifestyle

with a panel of La’akea members

One might think that finding the right community is the perfect solution for many of life’s ills.  What exactly is it that community can or cannot offer?  Let’s explore this together with folks who have lived in and out of community.

Natural Building-  with Sundog

Get a tour of our buildings and the uses of local bamboo, ohia, rocks, cordwood, guava and other materials for building homes. Sundog has experience working with Bamboo especially.

Good Communication Skills with Aniko

How can you express yourself effectively, especially in difficult conversations, where emotions are running high? What happens when you need to interrupt someone and how to do it gracefully? Come practice some essential life skills, based on Non-Violent Communication.

Exploring Syntropic Agroforestry – with Teo Jerge

Syntropic design is a phrase coined by Ernst Grosch. These areas are very productive, easy to care for, diverse food forests with ease of care being a big part of the design. We currently have one such area that includes our main garden, the nursery and the chicken yard. It covers at least an acre and a half. We have over 40 chickens.

HeartshareProcesses for working with relationships and emotions- led by Community members

What holds a group together when issues come up?  The feeling of closeness, bonding, respect and trust.  How can that be cultivated?  We will explore the kinds of activities and processes we do at Laakea Community that make our group continue to work well together.  Experiential and fun!

Wild Crafting Herbs and Foods- with Serra

Learn what yummy delights are growing at your feet! So many plants that grow in our tropical environment have multiple uses!

Authentic Relating Games 

with Aniko

AR games involve leaning into an edge of vulnerability (with consent) and maybe sharing that which we are disinclined to speak about. It’s not uncommon for a new awareness to arise during the course of a game. Awareness is the start.  From there, the healing is to transform, transmute, and let go.  AR games are fun, dynamic, smile-inducing, and both light hearted and potentially encompassing deeper work!

ZEGG Forum – with Tracy and others

The Forum is a group process developed at the German community ZEGG to provide a stage for whatever is happening inside the person: one’s true motivations, deep feelings, ideas and emotions. The Forum helps facilitate transparency, sharing and clarifying unsolved situations of daily life, and it can be a catalyst for one’s own personal growth.

Animal Husbandry: Raising Chickens – with JJ

Tour our chicken yard and the processes needed for raising happy chickens.

Bring questions and ideas for sharing.

Dances of Universal Peace. Amara Karuna

These simple, participatory dances get everyone singing and moving together, creating a feeling of fellowship and warmth, and adding a deep bodily experience of the Divine. These are easily learned, with gentle movements that even “non-dancers” can greatly enjoy. Each dance will be fully taught, no experience needed.

Home Solar Systems – with Ananda

Get an introduction to our small solar systems and ideas about how you might use solar in your home.

Harvesting and preparing local foods with Various members.

Enjoy foraging in our garden and learning to prepare crops like taro, edible hybiscus, cassava and more!

Cabaret/ Creativity Sharing-

Featuring us all!  One of the highlights of the event!  Come one, come all, and show us more about you! No talent is required – “if you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing!”  Sing, dance, read poetry, share art, do a skit…

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