Welcome to our “Aina Momona.” “Aina” means land in Hawaiian and “Momona” means abundant. As you are entering this garden, listen to the sacred land itself. There is wisdom in each step you take. This wisdom lives in the trees, the soil, the plants and the many insects that inhabited the land long before our human footprints arrived to build here.
Permaculture supports the vision that all people can live in mutually enhancing relations with the Earth, and it is upon this principle that our retreat was created. You can apply permaculture techniques to farming, energy and water systems, green building, and healthy communities. Take a stroll through the garden and if you feel called to, dig your hand into the precious soil. Pluck some weeds or smell some of the herbs. Dance or celebrate with a song for the plants.
What makes this an Eco-Retreat?
Our land was built and designed with ecologically friendly concepts in mind. Kutira and Raphael are firm believers in living harmoniously with higher beliefs, and using the best and cleanest technologies available today.
“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the
environment and improve the well-being of local people.”
Eco-tourism is about connecting conservation, community, and sustainable travel.
This means that those who implement and participate in responsible tourism activities will follow the following eco-tourism principles:
- minimize impact
- build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
- provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
- provide direct financial benefits toward further conservation efforts
- provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- raise sensitivity to the host country’s political, environmental, and social climate
“Eco-tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host
regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future.”
Solar Panels and Wells
We are “off the grid” because our electricity comes entirely from solar panels. Our water is pumped up from 460-foot wells connected to an underground aquifer.
Sometimes the sky is cloudy for days on end, and our solar powered system runs too low. We then run our generator using bio-diesel, which is fuel made from vegetable oil. Bio-diesel is now becoming a popular fuel for diesel cars around the island. Some bio-diesel engines run on specially converted vegetable oil, and some run on filtered cooking oil (think huge vats of french fry oil from the local fast food joint). Bio-diesel runs much cleaner than petroleum and comes from fast-growing sources such as corn, sunflower, and hemp oil.[half]
Organic Land & Compost
We do not use any chemicals in maintaining our beautiful grounds. All organic yard and kitchen wastes are disposed of in a compost bin where it slowly breaks down into rich, fertile compost.
We put an emphasis on recycling and make sure to recycle cardboard, glass, and plastic containers. We offer these environmental services and ask your support of our Planet Earth by washing out recyclable material BEFORE placing them in the appropriate containers.
All our extra office paper is shredded and put into a vermiculture system where it is fed to worms, which convert it into extremely rich worm castings perfect for fertilizing the gardens.
What is permaculture?
“Permaculture integrates people into Nature’s design. A permaculture design provides us with shelter, food, water, income, community and aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment within a balanced and healthy biological community.”
“Permaculture is a holistic approach to landscape design and human culture. It is an attempt to integrate several disciplines, including biology, ecology, geography, agriculture, architecture, appropriate technology, gardening and community building.”
We have a bee hive with one queen bee and about 10,000 worker bees. The females are all the worker bees. The main purpose of the male drones is to mate with the queen. The bees pollinate all the fruit trees on the property. They are not dangerous and enhance fruit production for our pleasure. Their honey is pure and organic and is collected twice a year.
Chickens are a staple of permaculture. Whether urban or rural, these helpful animals provide a variety of services. In our case, they produce wholesome, organic, hormone-free eggs that we harvest. They also help till the land in preparation for planting. The jungle is dense here in Maui, and our chickens are adept at weeding! As one area becomes ready for planting, we move their large fenced area to another location where they have fresh land to roam and thus continue the process of soil building and compost production.