I am spreading awareness of your lives over in Hawaii. I hope my friend has made contact. He needs as many minds telling him "yes you can!" . . . There are many things Diga, Mayag, Kaika, and Tim have probably been telling me already that are just now starting to ferment in my thoughts. What I might like to call failures on my part to conform to your life, I justify as steps to better understand why It was so difficult. It was beautiful being in a place where I was challenged and pushed into feeling strong genuine emotions. I don't feel those feelings as much when i am home. I know for certain you guys made me feel more real than I ever had. Its shocking being immersed and aware or your mannerisms away from the guise of medications and the therapists, let alone realizing the isolated self culture i created.  I am very gracious of the experience, my faith in humanity is alive. I know deep down I cannot be satisfied until I do more to feel those strong emotions about the world. I'd like to fall to my knees and cry in frustration or anger or joy. Just to feel that more would be incredibly rewarding to me. Some day I might want to come back to dragons eye farm. If I did I would Want to already be a hard working seasoned wwoofer. I want to be broken into work, my defenses  can get in the way of that. Until that day comes, it could be years before i truly acclimate to it, I promise you whatever my actions will be, I want to lay my present self in the grave and emerge out of that hole a servant to my enlightenment.

That was a mouthful.. Phew.  --Ben Perlis, 2012

Hi Everyone!

just wanted to send a quick note to let you know we made it! We so enjoyed our time, and learned so much!

Thank you for everything. The cutting boards and stool are absolutely stunning. Today I'll assemble the stool. Sophie's pillowcase is so sweet! We'll put it on tonight for her. I'm anxious to run off and get some yogurt for cheese making....... or I could just make some (smile). (thanks, Diga). I'm not feeling the food "deer in the headlights," that was a common feeling before I left --> this was one of main goals! it can be easier - I have lots of options! My Egoscue and Wheat Belly books were waiting for me here, so maybe I'll devise some blocks today.

The friendships we made with all of you are precious. Thanks for your generosity, kindness, including us in your endeavors, and for all the teaching. Thank you all for the loving care especially given to Sophie, interns included! We learned a lot -  I believe that our visit to Dragon's Eye will make a long-term positive impact on our lives.

I do hope we will meet again. Please do not hesitate to call/ write if you'd like to visit, or even just chat. Let's keep in touch.

Much love,

Lynne, Jerry and Sophie, Samuel Merritt University, 2013

Hi Kaika,

I was really surprised and happy to see your email . . .Thanks for sharing updates. It feels so familiar and warm and clear to think of you guys in the big house. It's hard to believe, in some ways, that 3 years have passed since we last saw you. I'm so happy to hear that you are all progressing on the path I remember you on. And that the NF coop has progressed even into a book! Congrats! . . .

. . . Living with you all in 2010 holds a really special place with us, and we think of you guys often.  . . .spending the time that we did with you all stands up there on a short list of the greatest/luckiest things that have happened to us, like ending up at SVS as teenagers....

Kurt is still way into NF. He has a closet of brews and he's constantly making IMO piles and collecting things to ferment. He finally made his own FAA (salmon) a few months ago, and I hear him mumbling, "I wonder how that FAA turned out in Hawaii...." He's experimenting a lot using local products.

We have become pretty hardcore Weston Price people... We take our cod liver and butter oil everyday for years now, eat a strict WAP diet, and go to monthly WAPF meetings. Thank you so so much for exposing me to that world, I am forever grateful . . .

. . .I'm happy to hear there are new people looking to share life with you guys, although I'm not surprised. It's a special place and you guys are fine, inspiring folks!

Emma, Lund University, 2010

My internship at Dragon's Eye was a time of intense learning and personal growth. They showed me the joys and challenges of a permaculture lifestyle, in a beautiful and supportive community environment. As a result, I learned a better way of living and how to grow and prepare healthy and delicious food.

--Grace Lyon, SUNY Cobleskill, 2011

Our “Dragon's Eye Farm” Adventure!

When our friends heard we were going to the big island of Hawaii, they were envious! In their minds of course was hot sandy beaches! Bikini weather! Well our experience was very different than what others imagine and I'll explain why, it was nothing less than an adventure!

About 6 months ago, I received an email from the "Weston A Price Foundation" a nutrition foundation that I am a member of, telling about an organic farm on the big island of Hawaii that you could go visit and learn from them. They are a learning center and at one time had a learning school for children in 4H. It was mandatory to fill out an application telling about yourself and they in turn sent information about themselves to see if we would be compatible or if it was really a place one would like to spend time. My husband and I filled it out and they accepted us but we still had not made up our minds whether we could really afford to go. As time went on, we decided to go for it. Certainly the weather would be nicer than winter in Minnesota and we would be learning about the things we are most interested in, organic, non GMO, raw and fermented foods!  

Upon our arrival at the airport at 9:30PM in Hilo, on the east side of the big island of Hawaii,  we saw our host, Diga, wandering somewhat aimlessly with a sign in his hands, "Dragon's Eye Farm". We instantly realized that we had neglected to send a picture of us and that he had no idea who he was looking for! He was so kind to offer to pick us up at the airport since it was late at night. Now, we realize that there is no way that a taxi could have gotten us to where the farm is, because the last 1/2 mile was rough terrain in which we could only travel about 5 mph that brought us to a clearing in the middle of a jungle. When we finally reached our destination, I asked Diga what kind of bird was making that loud,high pitched screaming noise. "That's not a bird, it's a small frog about the size of the end of your thumb." There are thousands of them! We were led to the kitchen, given a fantastic meal of left overs, and then led to our sleeping quarters by flashlight, which was a small screen porch that allowed the wind to blow through and did not block out any of the loud noise of the frogs. By the way, at night, it gets down into high 50"s to low 60's! (Now we have learned that the month of March is Hawaii's winter).The outhouse was a little less than a town block away so they gave us a bucket to use during the night if needed and told us in the morning to dump the contents on the banana trees since it's good fertilizer for them.  We had plenty of blankets, so we huddled together, put our ear plugs in and went fast asleep. 

The east side of the island is rain forest with beautiful foliage! It has the largest amount of yearly rainfall in all the United States. The sun can be shining and just like that, it'll change to rain. There was fencing around the farm since the animals, mainly cows and sheep with their lambs, were allowed to roam freely.   

The first day there, we helped Diga pick coconuts. He climbed the tall tree, wrapped a rope around a tree limb and  the bunch of coconuts and then chopped it off with a machete.  My husband then lowered the bunch down by the rope. We did that a few times until we had enough coconut to last us several days. Yummy coconut water every morning! 

A favorite of ours is fresh raw milk! Kaika and I made butter, yogurt, cheese and homemade ice cream from the fresh raw milk and cream. It was easy to tell that she had been doing this for quite some time since it was all done without recipe. The taste of the milk was interestingly unique with a hint of a chocolate flavor! The only thing we can contribute that flavor to is the fresh fruit they fed their cows. Every day they received pieces of fresh jack fruit, oranges, bananas and whatever fruit was fresh and ripe on the farm. The cows received this treat at milking time and had no problem standing still for them in the stanchion because they loved the fruit so much!  

Another treat was their lamb! This lamb is a short hair breed who's look reminded one of a goat. I have to say that my favorite meat in the world has always been beef.


Not anymore! We butchered lamb while there and the flavor of this meat was the most delicious I have ever experienced! They leave their babies nurse for 6 months on the Mom. The meat was succulent!

Years ago some domestic pigs got loose on the island, reproduced without restraint and have become a type of wild breed that are a menace to the islanders. They root up peoples yards and are a bugger to capture. People set up traps for them. We ended up shooting some that weighed around 30 pounds and feasting on the very delicious meat. Those black pigs were the most beautiful clean beasts. You could have laid on them and used them for a pillow!

One of the most unique meals we tried and really loved was the internal organs of the different animals we butchered. We sauteed, in butter, the heart and liver which isn't all that uncommon, but also the spleen, testicles, ovaries and lung and kidney. They were actually delicious! The day we butchered some of the laying hens, I had what looked like the fallopian tube with an egg going through it whose shell had not hardened yet!  The owners called it the ovary of the chicken.

Another area of the farm has a homemade built aquaponic system. They have a tank of fish in which the water gets pumped out into tanks of veggies such as lettuce, onions, tomatoes to name a few. The manure from the fish acts as a fertilizer for the plants. The root system of these plants goes down into the water and filters it and is then recycled back into the fish tank. One day, another one of our host, Ma'ayag, shared that he was going to fix fresh Tilapia from the aquaponics for dinner. Well, I had to inform him that my experience of Tilapia from the local store in our area was enough for me, it being the most horrible tasting fish I had ever had! "Just wait until you taste our Tilapia!" was his reply. He continued with his endeavor and boy am I glad he did! It was like fresh Walleye from Canada if you've ever had that! Thankfully he fixed it once more before we left. It was delicious!

We also made other fermented food from their garden produce. A couple I remember was sauerkraut and banana vinegar. I'm afraid I can't remember the names of others. All in all it was fun to do and uniquely delicious! We of course had fresh eggs everyday. Reluctantly they had to have their chickens enclosed in a screened building because of the mongoose that would eat their eggs. Years ago the mongoose was brought to the island to help control the rat and mice population. It turned out the the mongoose are out during the day and the rats and mice come out during the night, so hats off to another one of man's vain attempts to control things! Does this sound familiar? Now you see mongoose all over and they are a nuisance! Anyway the most unique part of their raising chickens is the type of flooring they had for the chicken pen. It is a "Korean Natural Farming Indigenous Microorganism" (IMO) flooring in which the micro-organisms would eat up the manure. The pen did not have to be cleaned out and there was no stink to it! We walked into the pen and no manure stuck to our shoes after checking them. Feel free to look it up on google and read about it. Very interesting and the best part is that it really works if done correctly.

I believe I've covered the food we had quite thoroughly. Now for the recreation! They had a good sized non enclosed building with many fun things for children to do including gymnastics mats, punching bag, numerous games and books, a piano and best of all 7 homemade xylophones. The keys were made from hardwood flooring with different sized PVC pipes underneath which made the different sounds. The xylophones with the large PVC pipes were lower pitched and the smaller pipes had the high pitched sounds. Every Monday night, some people from the community came over to practice in the Marimba band and boy could they play! From 3 years old up to 50 years old. They added in the maracas and the 3 year old played the block and actually kept time! It was great! 

I guess I've went on long enough about our adventure. It was certainly worth it. We had fun and learned allot. The people there include 3 adults and 2 children (Kanoa and Ilianthi)who are very kind, respectful and considerate people. We would love to go back and visit someday because we feel like we have made some very special new friends in our life. They welcome visitors that love to learn and respect them in return. Feel free to google Dragon's Eye Farm on the big island of Hawaii to meet this wonderful community!

--Steve and Rhonda Becker, Minnesota, 2013

Made on a Mac