Aloha!  E komo mai!  Greetings and welcome to the Makamaka community at The Shire.  Say “Hoa” (“Friend”) and enter the world of Middle Earth:

Levels of Participation

Po‘e (Public):

This level of participation in Makamaka open to all people is free, and expresses your awareness, interest, and support of our mission.  Maka means eye in Hawaiian.  Makamaka is two eyes, yours and mine, seeing eye to eye.  Makamaka means those who are accustomed to giving to each other.  You can connect with our mission and support us at the open level by liking our Makamaka page and joining our page for The Shire.  

The Shire farm stand is open to all people who show support and respect to our mission.  Produce left after hours on our farm stand display by the roadside is available for use by all who need it.  Donations are always welcome to support our mission, of course, but the beauty of the sacred gift economy is that the restraint of contingency is released.  

On occasion, The Shire will also organize or host a free or paid entry agricultural event or festival open to the public.  Tickets to paid events will be available for sale at select locations around the island.

Pono‘ī (Private): 

Bag End, as used in the Lord of the Rings films.

Bag End, as used in the Lord of the Rings films. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bag End, as used in the Lord of the Rings films.

Participation in the private functions of the Makamaka is accessible for 21 lawful silver dollars per individual Life Membership.  Your membership entitles you to participate in private Makamaka (member only) and Makamaka a me Hoaloha (member plus beloved friend) guest events of the Makamaka community.  Being invited to a private event at The Shire as a Hoaloha is typically one’s first introduction to the community, and a natural entry point for those who may feel called to participate as a member.

As a member, in addition to regularly scheduled community functions and activities, your opportunities for higher orders of participation also include:

Malihini (Visitor):

Farm stay opportunities may be made available to members by invitation (e.g. artist in residence), or with contribution of productive assistance, local Makamaka Hours or other token value.  The typical contribution is a few hours of help with farm projects, plus 10 or 20 dollars per day depending upon accommodations and resources utilized as well as individual budget.

Mahi ‘ai (Farming): 

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

A single week’s fruits and vegetables from community-supported agriculture share: peppers, okra, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, garlic, eggplant, squash. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mahi ‘ai means farming.  Participation in our Community Supported Agriculture program provides participation in the access, caretaking, fruits and celebration of the aina (land), plus the opportunity for active participation in the process of planting, cultivating, and harvesting your own food.  CSA shares are available in increments of 20 dollars per month, and can also be obtained with local farmers market scrip or Makamaka Hours currency.  Produce can be picked up by appointment at the Hilo Oasis, at The Shire farm stand in Pahoa, or can be harvested fresh personally at The Shire.  CSA participants gain priority access to a broader array of produce that may not be in sufficient supply to be available at the farm stand, or may not be a commercially viable crop, such as our tonic mamaki berries, tasty thimbleberries and other delicate produce with a minimal shelf life, or the tiny medicinal popolo berries (#2 Hawaiian herbal medicine: good for all stomach issues), due to the amount of handling required to collect a small volume.

Haumāna (Student Intern):

With funding of just 150 dollars per month, you can be fully engaged in community while actively learning by caretaking your own slice of heaven on earth, and benefit with the opportunity to participate full or part time in ongoing community projects, such as design, planting, cultivating, harvesting, farm market, crafts, construction with local and recycled materials, interactive arts, public education, research, while having your own personal, private retreat space for rest and relaxation.  

Students typically self fund the cost of their own internship at The Shire, but those with demonstrated financial hardship can apply for scholarship grant funding through Makamaka University, and once approved can maintain scholar status through successful completion of related scholarly pursuits including academic studies, practical research, and publishing of findings.

Alaka‘i (Leader) & Kumu (Teacher):

By funding 300 dollars per month, you can you can stay available for onsite leadership, helping orient and guide visitors and interns in learning the who, what, when, where and how of farm life.   You can best perform these crucial tasks by sustaining and supporting your own energy so you have more to give, leading by example, and sustain your efforts by keeping dry and comfortable with your own space at the same time!  An example of a leader is Lennon, who coordinates WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) at The Shire.

The Kumu represents another form of leadership…  By sharing your manao (mind, thought) and na‘auao (heart, wisdom), the teacher nurtures the community.  As a multigenerational community, we value the know-how of our elders!  They are the founders and backbone of the community…

Leaders and teachers are typically in a position to fund their own costs at The Shire, but for those engaging a vow of poverty or otherwise demonstrating need, application can be made for scholarship support through Makamaka University on a graduate, post-doctoral or other appropriate level.

An example of a Kumu is Dr. Glen (aka Glendalf), who offers practitioner apprenticeship training in accelerated self healing through our Makamaka University (MU), an alternative approach to higher learning.

Hemolele (Angel):

Moss growing in the rainforest at The Shire

Generous gifts by Angel grantors giving to make a better future for us all allow for development of infrastructure as well as site expansion.  Grants and gifts may be unrestricted or may specify use for a particular purpose or project.  Angels may appear by grace when called in by the divine plan through the coconut wireless, or grant writers may identify potential funding sources, such as a private foundation or an individual philanthropist whose goals match the mission of one of our projects seeking funding.

For those seeking a vested interest with their major contribution, the opportunity exists to establish an LLC for ownership of select infrastructure on The Shire property.  The primary purpose is not for financial gain or for eventual sale, but simply to support and be a core participant in community for ourselves and for future generations…

An example of participation at this level is kanaka maoli (native Hawaiian) grant writer Clifford Kapono currently seeking a grant source to fund a Hawaiian Healing Retreat Center at The Shire.  Additional grant writers are welcome to join our team.

We are the ones we have been waiting for… and now our wait is over.  See you at The Shire!


6 responses »

  1. Aloha Hobbits,

    Ken and I, residents at Acorn intentional community in Virginia, would like to visit your farm as Malihini from March 1- March 6 if possible. We both work in Acorn’s seed business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and both have farm experience in other intentional communities as well as at Acorn. We would be happy to help with farm projects and to pay $10-20 per day. If you’d like to host us and order seed from us, we’d also be happy to give you a discount. We will likely have a rental car, but not a tent, though if need be I think we could borrow one from a friend. We would also like to use the aformentioned week to briefly visit a few other farms and/ or communities on the East side of the Island; however, we don’t plan to skimp on helping you out at your place. If you’d like us to contribute a few extra dollars a day in exchange for not being around the whole time, we could do that. Let us know if whether this stay will be possible either by e-mailing me at (you can cc Ken at or by calling us. By phone, you can reach us a) at Acorn at 540-894-0595, before about 7 pm Hawaii time and before this Wednesday, or b) Wednesday or later on Ken’s cell phone at 609-865-2412. Oh, and yes we are a couple. We hope to hear from you soon!

    Irena Hollowell

    • We truly enjoyed your stay, and were most impressed with your botanical knowledge! We will definitely look forward to benefiting from your community’s seed bank – You are just the kind of bankers we love here at The Shire. I highly recommend that others check out your awesome seed catalog!

  2. Hi-I came across your website and I would love to explore the possibility of coming for a month or two this summer as a student intern
    I have been traveling for the past 3 years doing work exchange/ odd jobs which has taught me a lot about myself and helped me acquire a set of weird skills
    I hold a BA in Fine Arts and I am also a certified and experienced yoga Instructor, I worked in an Ashram cooking sattvic diet and i am also volunteering on a farm in the Zen center where I live now ( I am currently in California)
    I am really flexible in what I do and where I stay because I believe every experience is going to teach me something and open me more to fully embrace myself and trust.
    I would be very grateful if you had space for me to serve and learn this summer.
    Much much thanks

    • Aloha Martina,

      Yes, we would welcome you this summer. Are you looking to stay under a roof? Let me know if you want to reserve a room or cabin for your time here, if one is still available…

      Dr. Glen

      • Hi- Thank you for getting back to me, A cabin sounds good but I dont’t mind sleeping outside if you provide a tent?! Also I would like to come probably mid june to mid August and I wanted to know more about the intern program.
        Thank you so much

      • Campers generally provide their own tents, but if there are tents left behind, they are available to use. Usually they will need a pole replaced by a piece of guava or bamboo…

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