Conversations

Eddie Clark  |  Malamaki Farm School  |  Kea'au

Subject: Information Please!

I am a lifelong organic farmer who comes from a family tradition of land stewardship. I have been farming and teaching regenerative farming on the Island of Hawaii for the last forty years. Thirty years ago, I established Malamaki Farm School for the specific purpose of sponsoring/mentoring people who choose to save our planet by means of right livelihood; specifically regenerative farming and associated trades. The post you are reading is a plea for suggestions as to how we can connect with folks who have the appropriate motivation and experience to benefit from what we offer. You might think it preposterous but our biggest challenge is finding qualified beneficiaries for the program.

Apprentices pay no tuition and their room & board is provided. The program also connects apprentices with well-paying work so they have income during their apprenticeship.

Hawaii is rife with agrotourism, permaculture internships and every other sort of groovy "farm experience". What we lack is any viable means for serious young farmers to get started. Everyone wants to come to Hawaii to pursue their utopian organic fantasies; however, in the forty years that I have fostered apprentices, I have had few opportunities to teach anyone who could endure the daily rigors of the profession for more than a few months. A lifetime commitment is something beyond the imagination of most folks. We are not teaching people and sending them on their way. When someone completes our apprenticeship program, they are given a stake in the farming enterprise.

Perhaps you know of networks/websites/organizations where we can connect with people who have spent enough years engaged in daily farm toil to know that they cannot imagine doing anything else with their lives. In my experience, these are the only people worth teaching.

Please do not share details of this opportunity directly with anyone you think might be interested. Over the years, we have been inundated with people who heard about it and came thinking they were going to "get" something. There is no limit to the deceit in which humans will engage when they believe they can acquire wealth without working. When such people infect the school, everyone suffers. We have an extremely rigorous application process which all applicants must pass. Please do not share any details except our email address. We will take it from there.

We are not limited to sponsoring folks whose focus is regenerative farming. We welcome anyone who is committed to doing whatever is necessary to save our only planet. That could entail anything from regenerative energy to sustainable building, farm mechanics, whatever.

We also welcome skilled people in any relevant trade who would like to teach. Be aware, 90% of our instruction is experiential, in the field. You will not be giving lectures in an air-conditioned classroom. You will be teaching/leading by example. Also, we are non-hierarchical. Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student. You would have no authority beyond what you establish by demonstration of your competence.

Eddie Clark

Malamaki Farm School / Stewardship Services

Cell: 808-938-4844

eddie@stewardshipincorporated.org

P.O. Box 1929

Kea'au, HI 96749

In Topics Funding Opportunities, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change, News & Events, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community, Hawaii

Comment 0
06/02/19