EARTHSONG FOUNDATION LOCATIONS
Earthsong Hawai’i is an eco-retreat and organic farm spread across three acres that has maintained its wild tropical nature. Arriving into the land feels like entering into the forest. We are surrounded by macadamia nut orchards lined with giant pine trees. The rear of the property, which faces southeast, opens to pasture lands with unobstructed views of the Pacific ocean. Located in the magnificently biodiverse Ka’u, this is the largest and least populated district of Hawaii county, located on the island of Hawai’i otherwise known as the Big Island.
Visitors who come here can expect to be blown away by all of the tropical plants, flowers, trees, and creatures that flourish in the Earthsong Forest. Weaved in harmony with its lush landscape are homes for human visitors, each uniquely designed and built sustainably and decorated with lots of aloha. Beyond the three self-contained homes there is a multi-room retreat center with communal kitchen, aquaponics pond, shared bathrooms, and an octagon shaped temple/yoga shala with an exterior wrap around deck. The deck opens up to vegetable gardens and an expansive view of the Ocean. Next to the temple there is a “treehouse” surrounded by ironwood trees overlooking the view. The land is a mature food forest so there are fruit trees and medicinal plants all throughout, some of which are still being discovered along with new ones being planted often.
Ka’u was one of the six original districts of ancient Hawaii on the island, known as moku. Ka’u is a large district with a diverse array of areas and “sub-divisions''. Earthsong is located in the area known as Ka Lae (the point) or “South Point '' which is revered for being the “southernmost point of the United States' ' where there’s nothing but ocean until Antarctica from beyond the area’s infamous cliffs. It is believed that the first Polynesians to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands disembarked here at Ka Lae somewhere between 400 and 800 A.D. There are ruins of heiau (temples), fishing shrines and other cultural vestiges found here. In addition to the heiau, several sacred standing stones are located in the vicinity. On the main platform outside the heiau is the stone called Hina (female), and on the smaller stone terrace to the north is Ku'ulakai (male), associated with Kanaloa, the god of the ocean. It's no wonder why this entire southern tip has been registered as a National Historical Landmark. We are blessed to live at the “end of the earth” (so to speak) in his rural paradise on the island of Hawai’i.
The EarthSong Hawai’i location is located at ~1600 feet (500mts) above sea level, which makes the growing conditions excellent for the soil in our farm, and provides the perfect mix of bright, sunny days and cool evenings. Be prepared with warmer clothes for when the temperature drops at night into the low 60’s, and expect the chance of tropical rain showers. There is almost always a breeze flowing through the land, felt most strongly (on average around 15mph) in the back, south/ocean facing part of the property. We work with the elements to power the land utilizing both solar and wind power. Summer falls between May and October. During summer, daytime maximum temperatures at sea level generally range from between 85–90 °F (29–32 °C). Hawaiian winter falls between October and April, with maximum daytime temperatures between a balmy 79–83 °F (26–28 °C). This stable and pleasant weather is driven by the warm ocean temperature. The surface waters around Hawaii range between 77 °F (25 °C) and 83 °F (28 °C), all year round, which makes sure the air never cools down that much. The wettest months on the Big Island are between November and March, but weather here is very localized, which means that you can always find sunshine somewhere. If it’s a rainy day we can always count on finding the sunshine at the Ka Lae(the point) where the powerful south trade winds keep the rain clouds away.
Author William "Pila'' Chiles talks about the South Point as a doorway where "the density of three dimensional reality seems to be very thin and the energy is very unusual.” -Vortexhunters.com. South Point, known to the locals as Ka Lae is home to a powerful ley line that some consider to be an access point to the astral plane. This ley line is connected to other sacred lands on the World Grid in Egypt and India. There have been reports of UFO sightings in this area and many describe having out of body/other-worldly experiences here. The landscape lends itself to this cosmic energy felt here with its diverse and mythical nature. People from around the world travel here to enter into this cosmic vortex, and it is advisable to prepare yourself for what might come through the portal for you.
We are all partly drawn to Hawai’i to be with the glorious ocean that the islands are surrounded by, and Earthsong’s closest beaches are some of the rarest and most unique in the world. Within 10 miles are the famous South Point Cliffs for the courageous and adventurous to leap into the embrace of Mama Ocean, and both green and black sand beaches! The Green Sand beach known as Papakolea beach gets its sparkly green sand from the semi-precious stone Olivine, which has been extracted out of the base of the Pu'u o Mahana cinder cone and deposited on the sand by the ocean’s waves. It is one of four green sand beaches in the entire world. Punalu’u – is a beautiful black sand beach that is a popular spot for sea turtles (honu), the Hawaiian monk seal, and other native Hawaiian creatures. These are just a few of the popular beaches nearby but there are many others within 1hours drive that are lesser known, each possessing a unique beauty. In addition to the many beach spots we are located about 40 miles from the Hawai’i Volcano National Park where we can hike to see the active volcano, Kiluaea, giving birth to the earth! From Earthsong, Na’alehu and Ocean View are the nearest towns(within 15 minutes) with a few local restaurants and stores. We are 1.25 hours from Kona (KOA airport) and 1.5 hours from Hilo (ITO Airport).
Earthsong Panama is a 2 acre homestead that sits atop a beautiful river surrounded by mountains. The sound of the river below is a constant soundtrack for peace. There is a rooftop garden as well as a food forest planted on a slope above the house. Located in the lovely rural village of Santa Fe, spending time in this place gives one a chance to slow down and enjoy the simple life while basking in la gloria – nature’s glory.
Rio Bello, the “pretty river” where the Earthsong Panama homestead resides, exists in a dimension far from the harshness of the lowland environment and chaotic ambience so present in Latin American cities and towns. It has been always maintained as a shaded, fertile forest garden. Prior to 2009, it was a small demonstration plot for the local elementary school to grow coffee, cassava, yams, citrus, bananas, mangos, avocados, and various hardwoods. Since then, much of that cultivation has continued adding cacao, pigeon peas, katuk, plantains, pineapple, taro, breadfruit (ulu), rambutan, coconut, Guadua, and many medicinal herbaceous plants, a fish pond with tilapia, and more common garden vegetables in rooftop wicking beds on the main house that was built in 2011. The rustic and open home was designed and built by Earthsong steward Ryan. It is situated at the treeline surrounded by many large mature trees that create a canopy of shade and protection from the elements plus an incredible view of the river, mountains, and the no longer active volcano Tute.
You may have heard of Panama’s Boquete, another beautiful valley town with similar climate and nature, located in the province of Chriqui that became very popular amongst expats and retirees. Because of its popularity amongst non-locals it has become littered with restaurants and services tailored to tourists and westerners. Santa Fe has long been rumored to be the next Boquete, but so far, it has maintained its campesino culture. You won’t find cafes with WiFi, and the few restaurants offer the local staples with no frill. The district of Santa Fe is authentically Panamanian. The town of Santa Fe is one of the oldest communities in Panama and is home to many indigenous peoples and generations of farmers who have spent their lives learning and working with the native plantlife. The town is known for its coffee as well, being home to the Cafe Tute coffee mill. There is a small community of expats who are drawn to Santa Fe for its excellent agriculture, peaceful energy, and rural location dripping in nature’s beauty.
This area of Panama in the central province of Veraguas, lies along a winding river valley in the foothills of the central mountain range that stretches the length of the country. The district of Santa Fe contains a small town of the same name, and many surrounding villages in areas from 1,000ft-5,000ft above sea level. For that, the climate is often called “eternal spring”, and it is a “warm” spring. 5 hours driving distance from Panama City (PTY Airport), Santa Fe is a mix of rolling hills and sharp forested peaks that straddle the Continental Divide and from which flow several rivers that merge to be called the Santa Maria, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean near the city of Aguadulce, 70 miles to the south. Because of this terrain, the district of Santa Fe maintains some relative isolation and is full of micro-climates suitable for many types of cultivation, with shade grown coffee, bananas and citrus being the most popular, but most fruits and vegetables thrive in the area. Much like Hawaiian eastern tradewinds, there are prevailing winds from the north bringing constant fresh air from over the rainforest in the mountains into the valley of Santa Fe. Because the coffee processing factory is north of town, much of the area smells of roasting coffee during days of the processing season. The general climate is very similar to that experienced at Earthsong Hawaii, with a few distinctions: 1. Nights are not as cold in Panama (low 70’s) 2. Dry(Jan-May) & Rainy(June-Dec) seasons are more pronounced and arguably more intense. 3. The Farm (Rio Bello) sits under large canopy trees on a low cliff above the Santa Maria River, which creates its own breeze, humidity and temperature. A trail gives access to swim in the river, and its song from the rapids is ever-present throughout the property.
In Latin American culture, a campesino has a cowboy sort of lifestyle, living off of the land in the backwoods of countries like Panama. Campesino life starts early in the morning with the chorus of roosters and you might even hear some human yodeling. The yodel is an expressive sound that can mean many things but first thing in the morning it signals the start of a new day. Perhaps the yodel is meant to mimic the vaca, or cows, that also like to express themselves with loud wails. Campesinos often ride caballos, or horses, instead of cars and it is not uncommon to witness them herding large groups of cows from atop their horses. Campesino life is simple, and campesinos are known for being able to make something out of nothing. It’s a type of resilience that comes from not relying on modern conveniences that are not available in the rural countryside of Panama. Campesino life is slow, and if you spend time in our Earthsong Panama homestead you will learn the art of patience. Campesinos will teach you how to smile while you tend to the land, one swipe of the machete at a time.
The Valley has a unique position to be in between 2 oceans, 35miles from the Caribbean Sea and 50miles from the Gulf of Montijo in the Pacific. The new paved road to the Caribbean winds through a climaxed rainforest of Santa Fe National Park (180,000 acres), hosting many waterfalls, abundant bird life, primates and Jungle cats (Jaguars, Ocelots, etc).
The road from Santa Fe downhill to the Pacific ocean passes through various towns and rolling fields mixed with secondary forest and bridges over small rivers. Further on, the landscape flattens out and heats up as you approach the PanAmerican highway which is the primary artery for all the inhabitants of Panama. Depending where one stands, decades and centuries ago the entire region, Panama and beyond, was some form of dense tropical forest. Human habitation has changed that to a large degree and now presents a view of sugarcane, rice and cattle fields, teak or palm oil plantations, and scattered cities along the highway, with mountains visible in the distance.