School Description

Kumu Aina (Land as Teacher) is a Kipahulu Valley two-year sustainable agriculture training program. Graduates earn a Permaculture Diploma, creating a portfolio with ten designs, including one they incubate to become their new business that is ready to launch. The school is itself designed according to permaculture principles – reutilizing the existing farms and community resources for decentralized housing and “classrooms”.  The school will have two annual cohorts each with one dozen students, plus a few staff/mentors. Half the students will be at the Central Farms Campus –  Lokahi and Ola Hanua,.  The other twelve would be at a half dozen Satellite Farms throughout Kipahulu Valley.  This situation is similar to typical current work-trade arrangements – only it will be students doing the farm work instead of WOOFers.  They will be screened, accepted, and  housed at the Central Farms Campus for their first three month training. These students will be more trained and committed than typical transient work-traders.   A typical week includes sufficient time for meeting the host farm’s operation needs along with on-site project-based learning.  A weekly Group Learning day occurs at the Central Farm Campus. 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 one day per week for rest.  The school integrates new entrepreneurial projects, including edible landscaping design, installation and management services – available to land-owners throughout the Valley. Kumu Aina is a non-profit 501-c-3. Until it achieves tax-exempt status it will be under the auspices of an umbrella organization, so that its financial needs and scholarship fund can be augmented by donations from Kipahulu residents, grants and income-producing activities.