As of 3-21-2019: We don't have any room until mid March 2019. (Hey, that's today.) This is a great place for couples or good friends. If two or more of you are interested please send us an email.
If you understand electric golf cars (carts) then phone us. Worked on an Isuzu NPR - phone us yesterday. Are competent with google slides - Yup, you too.
If you are travelling on a tourist Visa we can no longer schedule stays for you. US Customs is really cracking down.
Our mission: To establish, maintain and grow a tropical park-like sustainable garden.
The camp is a five acre macadamia nut farm in the Honaunau District just South of Captain Cook, Hawaii.
Grounds that are maintained without the use of harsh chemicals require a lot of hands-on. That's where you come in. Don't for a moment think this is a no-brainer process. Some people want to learn big heavy lifting whilst making grunting sounds while others just want to master nut picking or garden bed beautification. Intellectuals are welcome but expect physical exertion much of the time. Pick nuts or pull weeds for four hours and tell me it isn't meditative. If it isn’t then you’re not doing it right.
We are not a jobs program or a place to work displacing American labor. If you're traveling on a tourist visa you cannot work or have a job. US Customs will cancel your visa at that moment and most likely deport you.
Growth is a personal choice. If you want to learn about landscape machinery, housing maintenance and repair, alternative energy programs or maybe easier gardening we will endeavor to help you become more competent through self study. Our insurance does not allow hands on applications. If you are not interested in the farming / gardening process then we get it but still expect good focused work.
You will have a shared apartment that can accommodate up to two couples. It has two bedrooms (one for each person(s)), shared full bath, wireless network and a limited outside kitchen. It's fairly easy to keep clean (this is a hint) as pests are a reality in the tropics and a bit of a learning challenge in themselves. Meals and groceries are mostly up to you with the exceptions noted below. Joan and I live a private quiet life and just aren't interested in coordinating meals or groceries with others. We do go shopping weekly and you are welcome to ride with us or we'll pick up a few items you may want to purchase. You're welcome to eat most of what we grow on the farm and we keep bags of beans, brown rice, onions, oatmeal and occasionally market bought fruits and vegetables available for your consumption. Macadamia nuts can only carry you so far. Farm products that generate income are mostly reserved to pay for farming practices, utilities, taxes and other such distractions. Some things like papaya, avocado and ginger to mention the most available are shared. We rarely sell the bananas so when a bunch comes in we are sometimes rationed to at least six bananas a day. This last January has given us more tangerines and tangelos than a football team could use.
Stuff we need to share: We regard this farm description and our emails as a contract. If you write that you speak "OK" English and then when you arrive from Russia and we have to do sign language or rely on my sixteen word español vocabulary to get your bags in the back of the truck we just may have a problem. If you write that your English is "OK" and you're coming to the farm to expand your language skills then we'd expect new words each week supported by flash cards or some such study system. If we can't teach you how to use a pick (forwards tool) or a shovel (backwards tool) we won't try to teach you about much of anything. Whether you're a native speaker of English or not you will need to learn some 15 or more plant varieties and their names in the first week.
Farming at our level is not brain science or rocket surgery but it does require strenuous focused physical effort. We offer comfortable amenities with lots of time off to explore and enjoy the big island of Hawaii. Please be ready to give as you receive.
Joan and Casey
Are there places and things to do within walking distance? It is the big island. The beach is two miles away and uphill all the way back. Most other adventures are at least five miles away and mass transit is something they have in Honolulu. (Different island.) The twice a week-day bus stop is about 2.5 miles away. Hitching often works but requires basic skills ~ Nice smile, Clean Clothes, Eye Contact and maybe a Sign.
Oh, there is a pond and patio area as well as many private areas right here on the farm.
We've come to realize that a month is the minimum stay because of training times.
Does everyone have to work? Yes. On farms, everyone contributes.
Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse? Drugs are not welcome on the farm. Tobacco is not welcome inside the buildings.
Who lives at the farm?
Wife, Husband and Volunteers
Any animals or pets?
Dogs, cat, fish, birds, mongoose
Activities for your guests to do on their free time
WiFi, Cable, Pond, It's Hawaii and We're 2 Miles From The Ocean.
How many hours a weeks will you ask guests to help?
What kind of tasks will you require them to do?
Basic Farming and Gardening Tasks. Mechanized Equipment Operation Is restricted to meet insurance policy requirements.
What is the food that you provide for them?
Off the Land. There's usually a bag of beans, brown rice, oatmeal and some vegetables and fruit available but this is as exciting as it gets without you throwing in some stuff of your own.
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We are pretty much Americans. Not so much "Mericans" but rather solid citizens of the United States. The Big Island of Hawaii offers opportunities to explore from the ocean floor to one of the more reliable volcanoes in the world. We regard Hawaii as an entry level tropical experience with a lacing of third world thrown in here and there.
SO what's all this cultural exchange stuff?
Some of the neater stuff that goes on when you visit a place that is not "your own" are the reasons we travel. Working with people that are different in nature, dreams and values is where you come to understand their culture and more importantly, your own. So what are you going to have available to you here. We will share with you what we have learned about this tropical five acres in twenty years and why we left our one acre home back near Seattle, Washington after fifty-five years. We'll want to know about where you're from and why your visiting us here on The Big Island. We'll help you plan on visiting the rest of the island and seeing what a remarkable place it is. And we believe that once you've been here for a month you'll never complain about the prices of "Organic" groceries again.
We are mature and would be totally overwhelmed in a few weeks without the support of people from programs like workaway. Everything starts with weeding and picking up macadamia nuts (about four hours a week) and can progress into project planning and building. We use lots of tools so if you ever wanted to see what's so hypnotic about a chain saw - we are the place.
2019 is the year of the natural pond and coffee. We are going to leave the world of chemically maintained swimming pools and go for natural. We have a few coffee trees but with some organization we plan on having a skinny acre of coffee.
English - American
Volunteers stay in a two bedroom apartment with a shared full bath and outside kitchen. Each bedroom has a queen sized bed and little else. The main room or "Clubhouse" has WiFi and a dedicated computer connected to a 50 inch (125 cm) TV. Room to chat, read and relax.
Google "South Kona" or "Honaunau" for our neighborhood and "Alternative Hawaii" for some idea of our location and the opportunities you'll have available while you're here.
We work at enjoying life. If it were easy - everyone would enjoy our time on earth. Volunteers usually have a great time here. A few don't (Two or three of the 50-60 people in these four years of activity.) You might reread the opening statement and give it some thought.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
15 hours a week done usually 4 hours Monday through Thursday morning. We're open to helping you with your schedules. Yes, Thursday is a shortened day.