Eco-Retreat & Permaculture Center on the Big Island


Plant Aloha 2017 Logo

Hawaiian Sanctuary is proud to present: Plant Aloha, a FREE educational series of sustainable farming classes. Every Thursday morning, from 9:00am until 12:30pm, with special Saturday monthly offerings, led by local and visiting experts.

The Plant Aloha project is supported, in part, by the County of Hawaii, Research & Development. We are looking for support to complete and enhance this amazing FREE program. Please give what you can.

We are part of the Hawai’i Farmers Union United (HFUU) who represents and advocates for family farmers and ranchers on all of the Hawaiian Islands, among other things. Learn more about HFUU in this presentation and join by sending in this membership application form.


The goal of this series is to teach Hawaii residents how to efficiently grow their own food at home to provide a fresh organic balanced diet. From field or backyard to table all the crops necessary are covered including their: propagation, cultivation, harvest, preservation, and use. The permaculture tools and techniques we teach focus on easy and practical ways to create food abundance at home. Every class is a blend of practical theory and hands on projects.

Occasionally, free plant starts will be available. Locally, this series will help increase food security and resiliency to natural disaster in Hawaii by relocalizing and diversifying our food supply. Globally, this series also helps reduce the required transportation of food, which will decrease carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

Culturally, these classes cover polynesian and pacific island crops and farming methods, which help preserve traditional Hawaiian horticultural practices.  Plants from around the world that are already in use in Hawaii, will be highlighted, showcasing the multicultural heritage that makes present day Hawaii and our grinds unique and ono-licious.

2017 Class Schedule

August Flyer

Each class starts promptly with a lecture and Q&A before a hands-on farm experience. Come prepared with notepad and writing utensil, closed toed shoes, sun hat, and gloves.

Thursday, August 3rd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Sustainable Farming with “Ginger” John Caverly
John’s years of experience in farming, diet, body movement, and more will be shared.

Thursday, August 10th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Perennial Greens & Vegetables with Wade Bauer
Learn all about the many excellent perennial leaf crops such as edible hibiscus, Okinawa and Brazilian spinach, chayote, 7 year lima beans, and more. These allow us to easily grow all of our cooking greens and many of our vegetables.

Thursday, August 17th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Locally Adapted Annuals with Wade Bauer

Start with plants that are already well adapted to our climate and save your own seed for future success! Pumpkin, amaranth, sweet pepper, eggplant, beans, greens, and more.

Saturday, August 19th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Applied Permaculture Principles with Scott Laabeck
Explore Permaculture philosophy and learn about its practical application in order to better understand how you can create a more sustainable future for yourself, others, and the Earth.

Thursday, August 24th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Spices: Turmeric, Ginger & More with Wade Bauer

Learn how to grow and use ginger, turmeric, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamon and more.

Thursday, August 31st 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pmworkshop-crop Perennial Culinary Herbs with Wade Bauer
Many culinary herbs require frequent replanting, while perennial herbs with the same flavors can grow for many years with little care! Work where it counts with perennial basil, Cuban oregano, culantro, mitsuba, and more.

Space is limited, please register by emailing:

View the full Plant Aloha Series schedule on our Calendar.

* Denotes traditional Hawaiian canoe crops

2017 Upcoming Class Topics (dates to be announced)

Perennial Greens & Vegetables with Wade Bauer
Learn all about the many excellent perennial leaf crops such as edible hibiscus, Okinawa and Brazilian spinach, chayote, 7 year lima beans, and more. These allow us to easily grow all of our cooking greens and many of our vegetables.

IMG_4054_14018209577_lLocally Adapted Annuals with Wade Bauer
Start with plants that are already well adapted to our climate and save your own seed for future success! Pumpkin, amaranth, sweet pepper, eggplant, beans, greens, and more!

Spices: Turmeric, Ginger & More with Wade Bauer
Learn how to grow and use ginger, turmeric, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamon and more!

Perennial Culinary Herbs with Wade Bauer
Many culinary herbs require frequent replanting, while perennial herbs with the same flavors can grow for many years with little care! Work where it counts with perennial basil, Cuban oregano, Culantro, mitsuba, and more.

HS-Newsletter-HeaderPest & Disease Management with Wade Bauer
Come learn organic and nontoxic solutions to deal with some of the worst pests in East Hawaii. This class will be focusing on slugs, pigs, banana bunchy top virus, and more.

Home Orchard & Food Forest Design with Wade Bauer
Bringing all we have learned together to design a diverse, productive and low maintenance home orchard. From selecting fruit trees, shrubs, and ground- covers, to their placement, installation and maintenance.

Cooking With Local Grown Food with Wade Bauer
Adopting a local diet and figuring out how to use new food plants is often more challenging than growing most of the food! Bring your favorite local grown food recipes to share!

Space is limited, please register by emailing:

Permaculture Facilitator
Wade BowerWade has taught Permaculture for over 13 years, with 10 years in Hawaii. He has a B.S. in Environmental Biology and is the founder of Malama Aina Permaculture: Edible Landscape Design, Education, and Nursery. Wade’s farm in Kapoho is focused on being a demonstration site modeling a locally appropriate sustainable homestead.

Contact Information:
Wade Bauer
Malama Aina Permaculture: Edible Landscape Design, Education & Nursery

Beekeeping Facilitators

Jen Rasmussen is the founder of Paradise Nectar Apiaries, a truly sustainable family business that offers pollination, pure hive products, honey bees, hives, education, and more. Over the past 5 years Jen has offered educational workshops, apprenticeships, hive maintenance, and has taught at HAAS & the University of Hawaii, Hilo. It is her passion to share her love for bees and show the kind & gentle side of caring for them. She teaches what she loves and loves to teach. For more information about Paradise Nectar Apiaries visit:

Shane “bee charmer” Lee has always had a special connection with bees as long as he can remember. His deep connection began in Arizona with the African “killer” bee. Hearing of colony collapse disorder prompted the charming to begin. As he came to understand all that bees are responsible for, he started a non-profit, The Gentle Hive Foundation.

BioChar Facilitator

Josiah graduated from UH Hilo in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Agroecology and Environmental Quality. From his rural home farm on the Big Island of Hawaii he has helped to pioneer methods for biochar production, processing, and application in farming systems using organic and biological approaches. He is the founder of Pacific Biochar and has been working with plants and soil professionally for 20 years. – 808-936-3484

Seed Facilitator

Gabriel Howearth, BLA, MLA – Master Horticulturalist & Permaculturist has over 35 years’ experience teaching and practicing permaculture, seed saving, biodynamic and organic agriculture. As one of the most respected and knowledgeable pioneers in the Organic Farming movement, he has traveled to 87 countries around the world and worked with many indigenous people to develop and increase diversity in organic farming and gardening.

In the 1970’s, he studied with Alan Chadwick, creator of French Intensive Gardening and with Peter Dukish, recognized master of the Biodynamic farming principles of Rudolph Steiner. Gabriel was the original founder of Seeds of Change, one of the initial certifiers for Oregon Tilth, and a core consultant to the Herb Pharm. His work with seeds, plants, Mayan, Quecha, Hopi and Pueblo farmers is documented in “Secrets of the Soil” and “The Secret Life of Plants” by Christopher Byrd and Peter Tompkins, as well as several other books.

Seeds of Change came to be as a direct result of Gabriel’s personal seed bank collection of a living genealogy of plants containing many rare, endangered and exotic species of forgotten and little known food sources of great nutritional, cultural and genetic value. Additionally, Gabriel is the founder of Buena Fortuna Botanical Garden, in Baja Mexico which plays an enormous role in protecting the world’s biodiversity, with over 3,700 cultivated plant species of the tropical and dry tropical regions of the world.



The Plant Aloha project is supported, in part,
by the County of Hawaii, Research & Development.



September 8 – Hawaiian Vegetable Gardening.
Learn some the most productive and easy to grow vegetables for your garden. Perennial collards, long bean, sweet pepper, eggplant, pumpkin and more!

September 15 – Growing Cacao
See the established Cacao orchard and the new section of orchard we are planting. This and next two classes we will be planting Cacao, NFTS and companions for them.

September 22 – NFTs Nitrogen Fixing Trees
Learn how to grow mulch (plant food) close where it will be used. We will cover Gliricidia and Ice Cream Bean in detail.

September 29 – Nurse Crops & Companion Planting
How and what to plant around young fruit trees to help them get established, and get additional yields before they bear.

October 6 – Root Down w/ Taro & Sweet Potato
The taro we planted months ago in class is starting to be ready to harvest, we will be harvesting, replanting and planting sweet potato in the root garden. Learn to grow and use both!

October 13 – Spice It Up!
Learn how to grow and use turmeric, ginger, chili pepper, black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon.

October 20 –  Compost 101
How to make compost from kitchen and or yard “waste”, vermi~compost, composting in place vs pile, buying compost, storage and use. How to top~dress  amend holes & more.

October 27 – Coconut “The Tree of Life”
Come learn all about this amazing tree, how to plant, space, mulch (feed), harvest, open, and use. Learn to identify and use drinkers, spoonmeat, noodle meat, and sprouters PLUS make coconut cream.

November 3 – Vegetable Gardening in East Hawaii.
Learn which vegetables thrive here and how to grow them. Focusing on best harvest for least work!  Take home free seeds.

November 10 – Root Down w/ Uhi, Yacon +Taro.
Uhi is like a potato but it’s a locally adapted vine. Yacon is a sweet root that can be eaten raw like an apple. Learn everything you need to know to grow these and many more.

November 17 – Food Forest + Home Orchard Design
Find out how to plan, layout and plant fruit trees, edible shrubs, groundcovers and nitrogen fixers. Work with nature and grow your own!

November 24 – Thanksgiving no class

December 1 – Perennial Greens
Low maintenance, long lived and highly productive!  Perennial greens are the easiest greens to grow in Hawaii. Bele, chaya, katuk, sissou, brazillian spinach and more.

December 8 – Soil Health for East Hawaii
Learn how to amend, fertilize, mulch, and care for our unique soils in East Hawaii.

December 15 – Plantains + Bananas
From yard to plate, learn how to grow and use this amazingly productive staple crop.

December 22 – Organic Weed Control + Sheet Mulching
Learn how to deal with some of the most common weeds without using toxic herbicides.

December 29 – Vermicomposting + Compost Tea
Learn how to build a simple worm bin at home that will turn your kitchen scraps to black gold. Then learn how to use that compost to make a nutritious tea for your plants.

Thursday, January 5th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Introduction to Permaculture with Wade Bauer. Working with nature, indigenous practices, and modern science to create sustainable human systems. Principles, zones, sectors, site assessment, observation, and more.

Thursday, January 12th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Growing a Complete Diet Primer with Wade Bauer. What is a “complete diet”? Discover the myriad benefits of eating a locally grown diet and how to eat more locally.

Saturday January 14th 2017 – 9:00am-1:00pm
Special Saturday Class: Intuitive Treatment-free Beekeeping. Starting New Top Bar Hives with Jen Rasmussen.

Thursday, January 19th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Guilds, Companion Planting & Polycultures with Wade Bauer. How to group plants together to fill all available niches, overstory, understory, shrubs, emergent herbs, ground-covers and vines, obtain extra yields and promote synergy.

Thursday, January 26th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Building Soil with Mulch & Nitrogen Fixers with Wade Bauer. Learn how to turn the “weed trees” and plants around you into food for the plants you want to grow using “chop and drop”. Nitrogen fixing coppice crops including, pigeon pea, crotolaria, ice cream bean, and gliricidia, will be covered.

Thursday, February 2nd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Organic Soil Amendments & Fertilizers for Hawaii with Wade Bauer. Learn how to correct the most common local ph, mineral, and nutrient imbalances to enhance plant growth. Learn how and where to get a soil test.

Thursday, February 9th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Composting, Vermicomposting & Compost Teas with Wade Bauer. How to make compost from kitchen and yard “waste.” How to build & manage a worm bin and how to use vermicompost to make compost tea.

Thursday, February 16th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Plant Propagation and Home Nursery Maintenance with Wade Bauer. Learn how to grow all kinds of food plants from seed, cuttings, division, and more. Learn which trees are “true to seed” and which need grafting to produce.

Saturday, February 18th – 9:00am-1:00pm – Class Handout
BioChar with Josiah Hunt. Carbon, Fire, Soil, Humans: The roles of carbon in soil, of fire in decomposition, and some discussion on how carbon, fire, and soil relate to humans.

Thursday, February 23rd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm – Class Handout
Creating Garden Beds & Holes For Fruit Trees with Wade Bauer. Learn how to build a variety of styles of garden beds and easier methods for planting trees on rocky ground. Obtaining and balancing soil, hugelkulter, and amending included.

Thursday, March 2nd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
How to Raise Happy Healthy Chickens and Other Animals with Shad Qudsi. Class Handout
Explore the various models of healthy and sustainable small-scale animal husbandry, focusing on chicken set-up and care essentials. Learn how natural ecosystems work and what relationships exist between plants and animals and between different types of animals.

Thursday, March 9th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Pruning & Fertilizing Fruit Trees with Wade Bauer. Class Handout
Learn how to prune for increased fruit tree health and ease of harvest. Find out what organic fertilizers you can use and when is the best to apply them.

Thursday, March 16th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Staple Tree Crops (carbs): Bananas & Plantains with Wade BauerClass Handout

Learn to grow and use this super productive food plant from yard to table, including mulching, thinning, disease prevention, and more. Find out how to cook green bananas.

Thursday, March 23rd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Staple Tree Crops (carbs): Ulu/Breadfruit with Wade Bauer. Class Handout
Find out how to propagate, harvest, prune, and cook this amazingly productive Pacific island staple. Ulu is the new potato.

Saturday, March 25th 2017 – 9:00am-1:00pm
Our Konohiki with Nico VanEnglen. Class Handout
Visioning a Sustainable Agriculture Cooperative to Co-create parts of the Modern Ahu pua ‘a System. Addressing local challenges and opportunities with Practical Solutions to serve our Community.

Thursday, March 30th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Water: The Permaculture Way with Tracy Matfin. Class Handout
Come explore, be inspired and learn about sustainable water systems from a permaculture perspective. Applicable Hawaiian as well as other indigenous cultural methodologies will be included along with any social applications.

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Staple Root Crops (carbs): Cassava, Taro, Sweet Potato & Uhi with Wade Bauer. Class Handout
Learn everything you need to know to grow these 4 important root crops for Hawaii. Cassava is underutilized here and extremely drought resistant.

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Staple Tree Crops (carb/protein mix): Peach Palm, Breadnut, Jackfruit & Malabar Chestnut with Wade Bauer Class Handout
Peach palm and bread nut are common staple crops in their homelands and perfectly suited to our environment. They deserve to be more widely grown here.

Saturday, April 15th, 2017 – 9am-1pm
Seedfully Sprouting Diversity with Gabriel Howearth Class Handout
In this class we will discuss the basics of seed saving, wet seeds and dry seeds and climate specific needs. You will learn various harvesting and processing methods as well as effective storage techniques.

Thursday class: April 20th, 2017. 9am-12:30pm
Growing Exotic and Little Known Tropical Fruits in Hawaii with Oscar Jaitt Class Handout
Climate and soil makes it possible for us to grow an incredible assortment of fruits from all over the planet.

Thursday, April 27th, 2017. 9am-12:30pm
Protein Crops: Perennial Greens, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds with Wade Bauer – Class Handout
Come find out about high protein crops including leaf crops: moringa, chaya and katuk, legumes: perennial lima bean, long bean and pigeon pea, pumpkin seeds and more!

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Oil Crops: Avocado, Mac Nut & Pili Nut with Wade Bauer – Class Handout
Avocados are an easy way to get most of the fat we need in our diets in a delicious buttery fruit! Mac nut and pili nut also covered.

Thursday, May 11th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Oil Crops: Coconut with Wade Bauer – Class Handout
Come learn all about this amazing multipurpose “tree of life” including how to make coconut milk, and how to use the nut in various stages of ripeness.

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Bees: Swarming and Propagation with Bee Charmer, Shane Lee
He will walk the class through, step by step, on how to propagate (turn one hive into two). And, will describe what swarming is and why it is necessary to allow for this.

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 – 9am-1:00pm*
Intercropping to Increase Production and Beat the Weeds with Dave Sansone
Modern science is confirming that the ancient practice of intercropping (companion planting) can increase production, beat the weeds naturally, provide free fertility, till the soil, and much more. Come learn how to “let nature do the work” for you with intercropping. Free seeds and plants.

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 – 9am-12:30pm
Tropical and Neo-tropical fruits with Ecuadorian expert, Jim West
Tropical fruit tree expert and Ecuadorian farmer, Jim West, will not only speak about the 600 or so varieties of fruit trees he grows, but also about the design of sustainable tropical agricultural systems, and the design of orchards using the trellis/tatura trellis system.

Thursday, June 1st 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Sweet Tropical Fruits with Wade Bauer – Class Handout
This class will focus on Papaya, Lilikoi, Citrus, and Pineapple, which are easy to grow and nutritious. Many other more exotic sweet fruits will be covered as well.

Also on June 1st at 5:00pm: Our New Puna Chapter of the HFUU (Hawaii Farmers Union United) will be holding a members meeting, locavore potluck, and movie screening of The Roots of Ulu. See the HFUU Puna Facebook page for more information.

Thursday, June 8th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Starting a Poultry Flock (Part 1) with Chris Hardenbrook, Owner, 13-Mile Farm – Class Handout

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Thursday, June 15th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Sustaining a Poultry Flock (Part 2) with Chris Hardenbrook, Owner, 13-Mile Farm – Class Handout

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Chris has been involved with raising chickens for about ten years. With over 220 chickens on his Kurtistown farm, he integrates alternative practices such as Korean Natural Farming and permaculture principles, in an attempt to get the best/greatest yield while keeping costs (and effort!) low.

Saturday, June 10th 2017 – 9:00am-1:00pm
The Wave Of the Future— Natural Farming Livestock with Mike DuPonte, Livestock and Natural Farming Extension Agent with the University of Hawaii.

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Mike’s purpose is to develop educational programs which improve market share strategies, feed production, herd health and nutrient waste management while transferring technical knowledge from research to industry. He has been involved with Natural Farming for the last seven years and constructed the first Inoculated Deep Litter System (IDLS) piggery in the United States.

Thursday, June 22nd 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Natural Farming Solutions with Eric Drake Weinert (class 1) – Class Handout
Simple formulations that follow the natural growth cycles of a variety of plants. Learn how to spray the right thing at the correct time in this vital introduction.

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Thursday, June 29th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Fermented Plant Juice and Vinegar with Eric Drake Weinert (class 2) – Class Handout
Make a plant extract that can be custom tuned to your situation and forget buying fertilizer or health elixirs ever again.

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Thursday, July 6th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Lactic Acid Bacteria and IMO with Eric Drake Weinert (class 3) – Class Handout 1 – Class Handout 2 – Class Handout 3 – Class Handout 4

Beneficial as well as indigenous micro organisms will make or break your ability to grow. Make sure you are cultivating with the fun guys and gals of the soil.

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Thursday, July 13th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Nitrogens, Calciums and Minerals with Eric Drake Weinert (class 4) – Class Handout 1 – Class Handout 2  Want instant nitrogen, calcium and every single trace mineral? It’s easy. Learn how here.

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Saturday July 15th, 2017 9am-1pm
Title: Designing Habitat for Our Pollinator Allies with Zach Mermel – Class Handout
Join us as we explore simple, DIY (do it yourself) strategies for welcoming these crucial creatures into our gardens, landscapes, and farmscapes.

This is not part of the Korean Natural Farming Class Series.

Thursday, July 20th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Planting the Korean Natural Farming Way with Eric Drake Weinert (class 5) – Class Handout
Avoid spoiling your plants and grow naturally more nutritious food in a thriving soil foundation.

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Thursday, July 27th 2017 – 9:00am-12:30pm
Livestock with Eric Drake Weinert (class 6)
No-smell chickens and pigs are the heart of Korean Natural Farming operation.

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