Kipahulu Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
HC1 Box 201
Hana, Hawaii , 96713

Primary Contact: Chuck Estin
Primary Phone:
    Number: 206-551-8496


Internship information
General Farm Description: We are accepting apprentice applications for the Kumu Aina two-year Permaculture Diploma Program, for February 2019. We are located in rural Kipahulu Valley, on the SE coast of Maui. Kumu Aina is Hawaiian for “Land as Teacher”;

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 2/1/2020
Internship Ends: 2/1/2022
Number of Internship Available: 5
Application Deadline: 12/31/2019
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

Permaculture is a design method for healthy systems based on principles of nature. The Permaculture Diploma process was created originally by permaculture’s founder, Bill Mollison, as a formalized means to document advanced learning competency. Our school utilizes farms in Kipahulu Valley to serve as “classroom laboratories” to augment our learning curriculum at the Central Farm. Currently we have two Satellite locations. We are expanding to a third location which will be the base for our new Kumu Aina Edible Landscape business we are launching to serve Kipahulu Valley. This will augment our current Kumu Aina market garden business. Students share the profits of these businesses along with the supporting farms.

Entering students may stay for the entire two-year program, or for shorter periods of time. We do ask that people commit to at least 3 months. During the two years, for those who choose stay for the full program, each student creates a portfolio with ten designs, demonstrating competency in seven domains of permaculture: Stewardship, Health, Learning, Structures, Technology, Community, and Economics. One of the 10 designs becomes the student’s future business design – created in our Business Incubator, ready to launch after graduation. Portfolios are evaluated by panels of peers, mentors and farmers. The farm work is negotiated between the host farmer, and the students living at that farm (with the support of the school staff) to meet the mutual needs of the farm and the learning needs of the students. The farms get their necessary work done, while students also design project-based work that benefits the farm and becomes integrated into their learning Portfolios. The participating farms commit to supporting student learning, to ensure a fair exchange of labor for learning.

A typical week includes sufficient work time for meeting the host farm’s needs along with the student needs for project-based learning. Two weekly Group Learning half days occurs at the Central Farm. A weekly Group Service Project occurs at one of the participating farms, along with a workshop/seminar provided by that farmer. The remainder of the week is for individual learning, portfolio and design work, with a day of rest. Daily personal well-being care is an aspect of the Health domain.

Entrepreneurial ventures are integrated into the schedule, including edible landscape design/installation, value-added production, etc. Income is cooperatively distributed among the students as a form of stipend. Pilot ventures may end up becoming future student businesses for graduation.

Applicants are expected to arrive with relevant skills and experiences in permaculture, farming, building, and living in community. Selection is competitive. Applicants can receive more information and application materials by submitting a letter of inquiry, detailing their motivations and relevant experiences. See Website for more info.

Educational Opportunities: Permaculture Diploma

Skills Desired: farm/gardening/landscape experience

Meals: Staples provided; vegetables and fruits harvest onsite

Stipend: Possible profit sharing

Housing: Separate rooms within large farmhouse

Preferred method of Contact: Email