From Intern to Work Trade
Alycia Grace, Living Farm Internship Alumna
The farm doesn’t run its self. Nor does it shut down between Living Farm Internships. The daily grind continues with the help of varying work traders. Some travelers, others alumni, a few experienced farmers, all seeking a place to eat well and lay their head at night. All for the price of their mana, Hawaiian for life force and spiritual energy. The decision to continue my time with HiP Agriculture came down to five simple reasons.
1. Community is at the base. With in the duration of my time at the farm, I’ve met four (maybe 5) generations of HiP Ag Alumni. They’re ether returning to lend a hand or “casually” swinging by, from all over the US, to make sure the farm still has its unique charm. There’s a sense of belonging when you’re apart of the HiP Ag community. This farm draws together motivated humans and creates space for them to live, work, learn, play, and grow together. It’s kept alive every morning and evening spent gathered under the Mango Kitchen’s tin roof. The farm tends to draw those seeking to explore their mind as well as a unique life style, creating a community.
2. Farm Upkeep until the next group of interns arrives. Mac nuts need to be processed, cover crops planted, calfs to be birthed, turmeric to wash, and the list goes on. There’s something to learn from earthy work. It might be dirty, tedious, or seem unending. But, I’d rather wrangle chickens than sit in an office.
3. Organic Coco Yams, Ulu, Papaya, bananas, Taro, Beats, Cassava, Mac Nuts, Honey, Eggs, Egg Plant, Lilikoi, Basil, Curry, Thyme, and Sugar Cane.
4. North Kohala has a familiar feeling to it. The coffee shop barista knew my name the second time I came in for an iced caramel latte. And just last Saturday, at the Farmers Market, I had a short conversation with a lady who greeted me with a warm hug the following Thursday. There’s also a rich history to the area. King Kameamea, known for uniting the Hawaiian islands, used to reside here. This is royalties home. The land is lusciously green and the air is noticeably clean. Trees, trees, trees everywhere.
5. Self-Care is easier here. I’m not talking about getting the dirt out from under my nails or washing my clothes weekly. My image is the least of my worries. I’m talking about the surrounding silence that enables me to hear myself think. I’m talking about the lacking cell service that encourages me to explore the unknown. I’m talking about the opportunity to care for myself by caring for the land. Farming has shaped me into the best version of myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Why would I give that up?