Pioneer Farm: Eco Hostel Hawaii
Our farm is located on the big island of Hawaii. We are a permaculture minded organization that is actively engaged in at least 6 methods of compost production. We are in the process of constructing a 3000 square foot green house. We are 100% solar powered, producing over 20 kw/hr of electricity each day. Currently, we are completing our initial infrastructure projects which include a 10,000 gallon water catchment and filtration system, composting toilets, flush toilets, eco shower, 21 kw/hrs of Solar electricity produced daily, a 3000 square foot commons greenhouse, three 400 square foot cabins, two 750 square foot round house studio yurts, dozens of non yielding fruit trees and tropical plants. We are only a short drive from many of the island's most famous locations. We offer volunteer opportunities for people who want to come and grow food with us. We are excited to open our doors to our first guests as we are finishing up our construction. Our property features a large common space, community kitchen, flush toilets, compost toilet, camping shelters, huts, and yurts. We have many different crops in production on our farm: Tomatoes, Banana, Sweet Potato, Sweat pea, aloe vera, Ti, Bamboo, kale, perennial peanut, pineapples, lemons, limes, cacao and much more. Additionally, we have access to other properties in our network that more mature vegetation. We can provide our guest with the experience of the larger sustainable community on Hawaii. We are solar powered. We collect and filter our own water supply with a water catchment system. We create our own soil by braking down the natural green waste on our lands and mixing it with manures. All of our housing is low impact. When I think back on it, it seems as though we have always been moving toward the place we find us selves in. As kids growing up on the outskirts of Chicago, we could often be found in the near by corn fields or not yet suburbanized wooded areas. The creeks and open fields were an escape from the sea of tract housing, teachers, rules, police, and otherwise unpleasant aspects of our reality. From 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. everyday, my time was spoken for by the school system, but after 3 o clock, it was tree fort building time! There was always a ready supply of building materials in the dumpsters of the newest subdivision's construction site, and with three or four guys, it didn't take much to turn those materials into three story tree shacks with sky bridged and rope latters. Gathering up discarded furniture was no issue either, definitely enough on the curbside of the neighborhood to equip a 16 year old's fort. It was always only a matter of time before either the park district, a construction company, or other kids came and smashed what ever we had built. There were numerous sites of operation for us over the years out there in the creek, and we would always joke about how one day when we grew up we would figure out a way to turn the building of our temporary places of refuge into a permanent oasis. Of course, it wasn't until years later while backpacking across The Big Island, Hawaii, that we figured out how to do it. I had been selling cars and travelling across the western portion of the United States mainland when I found a website for a sustainable community in the Puna district of Hawaii. I bought a ticket and soon found myself taking care of tropical plants and exploring the most beautiful place I had ever seen. When my internship at the farm came to a conclusion, I was able to find a job at the hostel in the near by city of Hilo. One of my buddies from back in the tree fort building days, Derek, was just returning from the army and we decided to make good on our childhood plans by organizing and founding The Backpacker Farming Network. Our goal is "to have sustainable growth and balance in a permaculture setting with our ohana and guests. Our first project is Eco Hostel Hawaii. An off-of-the-grid organic farm designed for hosting international travelers interested in permaculture. We provide an environment based in community and the aloha spirit that you are not soon to forget! Eco Hostel Hawaii is only a 15 minute drive from the Hilo International Airport. We are centrally located in relation to all of the east side's travel destinations and provide adventure tours, agritours, shore line excursions and shuttle service. We look forward to hosting our first guests in June of 2013.