WE ARE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR October 2018 AND BEYOND:
Travel and discover a little-known enclave of the Real Hawaii; learn Eco-tourism, land respect, sustainable living, independence, important things that may change your life…
Work hard and get your hands dirty on a sustainable tropical flower farm. Travel and connect with others from around the world!
Ask yourself a life-altering question. Are you honestly committed to intense learning, seriously hard work and the joys of DIRT in a tropical setting? If so, perhaps this place is for you.
At its core, this place is in the business of producing and selling tropical flowers of the highest quality. As supporting pillars of this structure, we provide: 1) a learning program for those who are interested in gaining knowledge about orchids, tropical flowers and the actual running of a farm, 2) an Eco-tour that opens up the world of flowers to visitors to the Islands, and 3) a chance to grow some of your own food and 4) to practice living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Before you read this place has a strict drug policy. The use of medical marijuana, street cannabis, or any illegal drugs on the farm is absolutely prohibited. If you are caught with it in your possession, you will leave immediately.
We also have a minimum age requirement of 20. We have found through experience that a certain level of maturity and experience is required for a successful and fulfilling experience on the farm and within the community.
We have space for up to eight work exchangers at any one time. We request a commitment of at least 3 months; with 2 months being the very minimum, and 6 months being possible if it suits all parties. There is so much to learn. We estimate that it takes about a month and a half to be fully proficient, and so a longer commitment is both for your benefit and ours as both parties expend valuable time and resources towards your training. People staying for 2 months and under should expect to be doing mostly manual labor and field jobs, unless you arrive with prior expertise in farm and maintenance jobs. The longer you stay the more specialized you can be, focusing on main areas of interest, taking on projects, etc. We do understand however that internationals and Uni students have limited time due to VISA restrictions and/or classroom requirements, and we strive to accommodate these time constraints.
We encourage both international and US applicants. An integral part of our learning program centers on being exposed to different cultures, different perspectives and different experiences.
The application process: We review your letter of inquiry and your profile very carefully. This is the initial portal on which we determine whether or not you sound like a good fit for our farm.
If your initial inquiry is successful, we will send you a set of questions to answer, which will help give us a bit more insight into your intentions for coming and the skills set you might bring to the farm.
If your responses to the questions meet our criteria, we will contact you and organize a skype interview with the Managers, AJ and Tessa, in which they get to know you a little better and can make the final decision about your place here in our farm family.
If you successfully get through the skype interview stage, we will let you know. Should you accept the parameters of our program, we will happily talk arrival dates! We will not officially add you to our schedule until you send us your flight details; we require a lot of help and we get a lot of applications, so it is important to us that we know for sure whether or not to allow more applications for a certain time frame. No matter what, we deeply appreciate your time and your interest in this place.
Please note, experience in farming is not essential. However because of the manual nature of much of the work, you will have a better experience if you are physically fit.
We are situated on the East side of Maui just 1.5 miles before the idyllic town of Hana.
Getting to Hana is spectacular. It is a 2 hour drive from Hana to the airport each way, and the Hana Highway is everything people say it is! On the route you will pass waterfalls, little one-way bridges, jungle, tropical flowers and you will feel as though you have taken a ‘step-back-in-time’. Bring dramamine in case of car sickness!
The landscape is amazingly beautiful out here and is traditionally Hawaiian. Living in Hana, you will have the opportunity to experience a special side of these Islands that very few people are lucky enough to experience.
Located on the East side of Maui, situated on 426 acres of land (mostly jungle) varying from 175ft to 1170ft in elevation.
What we do on the farm:
In the thirteen years we’ve lived here, we have pushed back about 12 acres on which we grow tropical flowers, orchids and some food.
We grow orchids inside our covered nursery and tropical flowers on the land outside in various fields scattered around the jungle. We also grow fruit and vegetables for our own consumption.
We are certified to ship cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements and potted orchids as gifts all over the USA.
We provide Eco-farm/flower tours to the general public
Your role on the farm:
On the farm you will be expected to fulfill various responsibilities some of which will be in a group and some of which will be completed individually. Additionally, you will have assigned chores.
The majority of our time is spent tending to our fields of tropical flowers and looking after the plants in our orchid nursery. You will learn about the Tropical Flowers and Orchids of Hawaii as this is our main business. This includes harvesting, washing and boxing the flowers for shipment.
Here in Hana the weather can vary from scorching sunshine to torrential rain in a matter of minutes and so applicants must be willing and capable to work in any weather conditions. It rains a lot! Be prepared.
Make no mistake, this is the jungle and we choose NOT to use herbicides or heavy machinery, so our days are always filled with lots (LOTS) of weeding, pruning, propagation, planting, harvesting and of course, clearing more land.
The work is demanding, and we all work hard physically. This helps us appreciate the efforts that farmers throughout the centuries have made in order to keep us all fed as we live our lives doing other things.
We ask that you contribute a minimum of 25 hours of work a week, with voluntary time spent in our veggie gardens, and about 10-20 minutes a day on assigned chores.
The work is hard but there is always plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of Hana and the surrounding landscape.
We ask that you be available five days a week from 7am to 1pm with a 30 minute break from 9:30 to 10:00.
you will receive two days off per week, which is typically going to be a Thursday/Friday or a Friday/Saturday
Every Wednesday afternoon we drive the farm family to the beach for “beach meeting”, in which we have some drinks and a snack, talk about anything relevant to the group and the future schedule of events, and just generally have a good ol’ time. Can consist of snorkeling, spear fishing, trying your hand at surfing, running around with Frank and Rey, the farm dogs, or just lounging about.
Growing our own food:
We are serious about creating self-sustaining lifestyles and one step towards this is the planting and growing of our own food.
Right now we are in the beginning stages, so everyone’s input is needed and composting and recycling are important projects towards this end. We try to plant by the Hawaiian calendar, but we are open to experimenting with new ideas and we are constantly learning. We all spend time together, as an o’hana working on our food sources; vegetables, fruit and animals. Your presence here will help attain our end goal of complete food sustainability on the farm.
currently available in the gardens (as of 9/22/18)
herbs: rosemary, 5 types of basil, 2 types of oregano, catnip, garlic chives, galangal ginger, turmeric, lavender, verbena, lemongrass, sugar cane
greens: pink amaranth, wild arugula, purple sweet potato greens, katuk greens, daikon radish, borage, chayote greens, moringa, chard
veggies: chayote squash, daikon and breakfast radish, cucumber, green beans, eggplant, sweet potato, katuk
peppers: hawaiian chile pepper, habanero, chocolate habanero, pepperoncini, green pepper
fruit: star fruit, avocado, coconut, lemons/limes, guava, passionfruit, banana, noni
Does it sound like this place may be the right fit for you and your dreams?
And how about you; do you have a strong work ethic?
Are you responsible towards the work you do, the people who surround you and the land on which you live?
Will you add to the sense of closely knit community that every one of us is striving to create?
If so, we look forward to hearing from you. HOWEVER, please understand, we work very hard and don’t spend much time in front of the computer so if we do not reply immediately, please be patient.
We also book out early, so if you are interested in this place, we suggest that you contact us at least 3 months in advance.
Sometimes, there are openings that pop up, so please contact us….you never know.
We respectfully applaud your commitment to help create a better world through sustainable living practices, by giving back to the earth and by helping the small farmer.
We will do everything we can to help enhance the learning process for those few who have the opportunity to join us here.
Wishing you joy and a wealth of knowledge on your journey,
Ian & Krista, Owners
AJ & Tessa, Managers
Any animals or pets?
6 cats, 2 dogs, 25 chickens & 2 roosters, 2 South African Gray geese, 20 ducks, 4 pesky but adorable goats; all friendly & outside/inside (sometimes even the chickens and once, even the goats!)
Activities for your guests to do on their free time
Zillions of local activities. Please see "About Our Farm".
What kind of tasks will you require them to do?
Harvesting, washing and boxing tropical flowers; weeding, pruning, propagation, planting and clearing more land; orchid care; individual project management; work in our food gardens; care of your own and communal living spaces.
What is the food that you provide for them?
Off the Land,Weekly Stipend
Cooking / shopping
Help with Computers / internet
The place strives to help you gain the knowledge you came for. Whether it's composting, orchid care, flower arranging, growing vegetables, maintenance and production of our super food, Moringa, animal husbandry, tourism, operating power tools, etc. we truly take an interest in your goals while you are staying with us. Especially for the long-term (4-6 months), as there is more time after your training to take on more independent projects.
We are a learning farm, which we believe every good farm to be. We are constantly working on a trial and error, research, and observational mode of operating. We welcome your ideas, and hope to leave you with fresh thoughts and knowledge that you can take with you wherever you go.
Not only will you be living in a town that is boasted to be one of the last truly Hawaiian towns left, but you will also be joining a group of hard-working individuals, some of which will become lifetime friends. There are often parts in the work day where we are working together and engage in in-depth conversations about various topics, being open to new ideas and perspectives. You will be challenged here to work towards your best-self, as we are a family, and try to be open and honest with each other.
Depending on the time of year, you may get to be involved in cultural festivals and events in Hana town. Such events include, Festivals of Aloha, Limu Fest, Bon Dance, Taro Fest, and more.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
Other possible responsibilities:
We are looking for those of you who would like to take on individual projects (especially if you are here long-term) as well as be a part of the communal process.
As well as your main work responsibilities, we encourage you to take the initiative and work on projects that will benefit the farm as well as play up your own strengths.
If you enjoy the company of animals your time with us may include the care and feeding of our seriously sweet working chickens, ducks, geese, goats and cats. Except for the cats, our animals are extremely good at weed-eating, fertilizing and at ‘bug eradication.’ The cats, of course, work on varmint control.
We also open our farm to visitors, so you will have the opportunity to learn more about the positive effects of agri-tourism and of spreading ‘aloha’ through the beauty of flowers.
Through various farming practices we use and through exposure to the local culture, you will have the opportunity to learn about the land and how the Hawaiians show their respect for this Island.
You will also be involved in helping to clear the area for our food sources, planting seeds and nurturing them as they are transplanted into the ground.
We normally utilize worm compost tea and Soldier Fly compost as the fertilizer for our food. We have our own worms and you may be involved in their care. We do various other forms of composting and mulching and we are also beginning to experiment with the Korean method of farming and fertilization.
What we provide:
We provide a small individual grocery stipend and some of your food staples (rice, salt, pepper, and a communal weekly stipend where you decide together what else you would like) and the fruit and vegetables grown on the land are shared.
You will be expected to provide the rest of your own food, and you share a communal kitchen.
The accommodations here are clean and neat and dry, but not the Ritz. You will share a room with one and sometimes two other people. There are two dorm style rooms in the warehouse with bunk beds. There is also a bus and a shipping container, each of which have been refurbished into two rooms with wood flooring.
We provide the laundry detergent, sheets, towels, blanket and a pillow.
You share a bathroom with your fellow workers that includes a hot water shower. There are three toilets on the premises and one shower.
There is a washer/dryer for your use, and wireless internet access for your own computer.
Hitch hiking in and around Hana is commonplace and has always been safe.
Activities in Hana:
NOTE: you must be willing to be independent and go with the flow of things! Step out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself.
Hana is a very quiet town, so we encourage you to bring your computer and a couple of books for entertainment. There is a library just a short walk away that volunteers can use to borrow books and DVD’s. Other activities in town include the Hana Canoe Club and Hana Arts which offers a number of fitness, dance, and art classes.
It is an easy 40 minute walk to the town center, which consists of a hotel, 2 grocery stores and a few gift shops. There are also a few food trucks for you to sample.
Some of the best beaches in the USA (Wainapanapa and Red Sands) are only 1.5 miles away which are great for swimming, relaxing, snorkeling, body boarding and surfing.
We have over 6 miles of trails up the mountain which provide a great venue for hiking and close by, you can hike parts of the old, Hawaiian King’s trail.
Hana is the perfect place to experience a disappearing Hawai’ian lifestyle; that of respect for the land and your ‘family’.
Perhaps one of the few requirements is that you enjoy being independent. We encourage volunteers to be adventurous and to explore on their own as you will not be chaperoned. Even though you have a built-in o’hana (family) on the farm, you must also be able to occupy yourself.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week (max 25 hours/week)