Kumu Aina

Kumu Aina Permaculture Institute Apprenticeship Description

Kumu Aina Permaculture Institute is a non-profit learning community which has developed over the past four years at One Song Farm, near Kilauea, on the Island of Kauai. Kumu Aina means “land as teacher”, and is an apprenticeship program for those who are committed to learning skills and knowledge of permaculture, focused on the sub-tropics of Hawaii.

Kumu Aina is seeking applicants for our permaculture and market garden apprenticeship. We are looking for long-term apprentices (three month or longer commitments) beginning in September of 2016. We prefer people with farm or permaculture experience who are committed to learning and are capable of hard physical work.

We are working and developing One Song Farm, which is located on the Northshore of Kauai, two miles upland from beautiful beaches and the town of Kilauea. One Song has a successful market garden based on bio-intensive techniques, along with acreage planted as a “food forest” on half of the six-acre leased parcel. This site is four years along in its development, and provides produce for two Farmers’ Markets and much of our own food needs.

We currently have seven residents and are seeking several more apprentices to work and learn in the market garden and the permaculture development acreage. One Song Farm is at the hub of the farming and permaculture community on Kauai, with the Kauai Food Forest, Malama Kauai, and Regenerations Botanicals co-located on the 500 acre Wai Koa plantation where we lease acreage.

Apprentice activities will include some or all of the following:

Market garden – bed preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, market sales. Whole farm design and continued development and maintenance of food forest gardens (fruit and nut and edible understory plants) and staple food production gardens (taro, sweet potato, etc.) water catchment/storage pond, beekeeping, earthworks and additional buildings and other infrastructure improvements. On-site nursery for plant propagation, grafting and seedlings. We also have the possibility of working on off-site permaculture design and landscaping projects, as part of our outreach work.

Participation as a community member – sitting in circle, sharing housekeeping, and interpersonal communication skills. Potentially earning a Permaculture Design Certificate through additional study and mentoring, if the apprentice desires a PDC. We expect apprentices to participate in a full-time immersion experience along with the rest of us. We work about 20-25 hrs a week. We also share cooking and eating meals, sitting in community meetings, learning together, as well as going to local beaches, social events and outings.

We provide healthy food staples, our garden produce, and living quarters. Kumu Aina Farm is located a bicycle ride (2 miles) from beaches and the town of Kilauea, with buses, hitchhiking or ride-sharing available for other destinations. The initial apprenticeship is three months, with the potential for mutually negotiating a longer stay. No pets, children, smoking or illegal drugs.

We will provide mentoring and guidance, and the apprentices are expected to take responsibility for demonstrating initiative, creativity, good personal hygiene and cooperation and respect. Sense of humor is a plus. There is the potential for profit-sharing for apprentices who have been with us for more than three months, depending on the degree of contribution and on Kumu Aina’s ongoing financial status.

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