PRI USA’s Ho’olehua Permaculture Center, Island of Molokai, Hawaii
Instructor – Andrew Jones
March 30 – April 11, 2009
Be a part of agricultural history in the making as the Permaculture Research Institute USA launches its first PDC at the Ho’olehua Permaculture Center, on the Island of Moloka’i. Hawaii is best known for its endless white sand beaches, lush tropical rainforests and prime surfing opportunities – a place where people go to “get away from it all” and leave the stresses of a modern hectic lifestyle behind. The Island of Moloka’i is the perfect answer.
Arriving on Molokai, also known as ‘the Friendly Isle’, you’ll be greeted with much Aloha. In return, locals expect visitors to respect the island’s much slower lifestyle – “island time”. There are no traffic lights, the highest posted speed anywhere on the island is 45mph (most places less), there are no shopping malls, no building is taller than a palm tree and ‘Aloha’ is a way of life.
Molokai is also blessed with diverse natural and cultural abundance, including lush rainforests, majestic waterfalls, secret swimming holes, deserted beaches, a unique blend of imported and endemic wildlife, spirited grave sites, authentic Polynesian music and food, multi-generational Hawaiian farms, traditional fish ponds, an isolated leper colony and lots of local personality and humor.
Evidenced by the dozens of ancient fishponds found along the southern coast of the island, Moloka’i is the home to the largest population of kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians). There are approximately 25,769 acres of Hawaiian Homelands on the Island, divided into 5 separate homesteads. The Ho’olehua-Pala’au homestead contains approximately 13,820 acres of these homelands. Ho’olehua was one of the first homelands settled after the passage of the Hawaiian Homes commission Act in 1921.
The PRI USA Ho’olehua Permaculture Center
Ho’olehua Permaculture Center is a model Permaculture farm and education center, within the Ho’olehua Homestead. The seeds of Permaculture were first planted on Moloka’i in the 1980’s and 90’s with Bill Mollison’s work on the isolated Kalaupapa Peninsula. The aim of this project is to expand on the original effort by making a replicable model for other Hawaiian Homeland sites to aid Native Hawaiian beneficiaries in the ecological and economical setup of their lands. The traditional Native Hawaiian agricultural practices are highly integrated and sustainable. This project represents a return to this cultural heritage, combined with modern eco-engineering and sustainable design solutions.
This PDC is a rare opportunity to experience the farming culture on Hawaiian Homelands. Because this project is in the beginning stages, it is a great chance to help design and be a part of the initial setup of an education center. This site is not without challenges, however. Much of the island has been experiencing severe drought. And, due to the rural status of the island, coupled with the current state of the economy, jobs are few. It is our hope that applying the tools of Permaculture to create a smart, environmentally and economically sustainable design for the site will help to overcome these obstacles.
We will also be documenting this project for future PRI videos, including one on how to set up an education center.
Course instructor, Andrew Jones, certified Permaculture designer and board member of the Permaculure Research Institute USA, brings a combined set of skills in Permaculture design and implementation, international aid and development, natural health and wellness & sustainable business. He has worked internationally for the past 15 years and combines diverse disciplines.
To register for this course, visit PRI USA’s course listings
Whether you take this course for a vacation, for learning or a little of both – you are sure to go away with an unforgettable experience.
You can also download a course brochure (2mb PDF).
Aloha & Mahalo