We're Coming Back!
Updated: Sep 18, 2018
It has now been more than a month since we've had any substantial volcanic activity in Puna! After over three months of earthquakes and lava, featuring 180 ft tall fissure eight spewing a river of lava 9 miles long, we may be seeing the end of an explosive chapter in Hawaii's history. The permanent residents at Kanekiki are eager to finally bring some stability back into our lives. So, we are now happily beginning the process of getting Kanekiki back to it's manifestation as a fully functioning farm community!
There's good news and 'bad'* news as we look at getting the land into shape...The 'bad' news is, we have a long way to go. Around Puna it takes less than a week for the grass to grow up to your ankles, or more if it rains (and it always rains). We've now gone more than 12 weeks without mowing in some areas of the property, resulting in 8ft cane grass. Not to mention the fast and furious NFT's (nitrogen fixing trees) are growing tall and strong. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us.
As for the good news, Kanekiki is still there. That is something I am infinitely grateful for, as many people have lost their land and homes to this eruption. The lava has been powerful and devastating, and though it sad to see what has been lost, life inevitably moves on. In many ways Kanekiki has a golden opportunity to benefit from all this change. It is a special time for the land, a time full of overgrowth and work to be done yes, but also potential. The eruptive energy is a catalyst to shake things up, clear out the old and make space for something new, perhaps something that we have been deeply needing. With vision, intentional care and action we can make Kanekiki more sustainable and livable than ever. There's is an excitement that comes with all the change, the buzzing of potential yet to be made real.
Additional good news is that we are inviting Work Traders to come contribute to the transformation of our wild land into a sanctuary again! In fact, we are in need of work-experienced hands as soon as possible. Weeding, cutting trees, mowing, moving equipment back in and reassembling systems is just the start of all that needs doing. The work will be full-on and rewarding, with visible daily progress to spur us on. Those who have visited us and worked the land before are especially welcome, as it will be invaluable to have helpers who are familiar with the land and may have some insight into its potential. Thankfully, we have already had some offers and I trust we will have all the help we need. If you would like to apply to Work Trade with us, please be aware that we do require 5 years full-time work experience to be considered for a position.
To visitors, it is a special time for the land and community. We're are coming out of a period of dormancy, and some things will feel a bit like starting all over again. It's part of the magic and discomfort of transition. Just know that coming to Kanekiki now is a special adventure that may be a little more challenging than normal, but also (possibly) more rewarding.
One possibility we, and our potential visitors need to consider is that we may not have seen the last of this eruption. Though we haven't had an activity in 30+ days, there is still the small chance that fissure eight or an entirely new fissure could begin flowing with fresh lava. So far all signs are pointing to the end of this eruption, with ground deformation and seismic activity the lowest it's been since before the activity began. When the time comes and the eruption is officially pronounced 'pau' (finished), we'll be having a long awaited celebration throughout Puna. Still, Pele offers no guarantees, and even the experts don't always know exactly when to call the official end of an eruption. After all, we are living on one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Having experienced and lived through this spectacular and terrible spectacle of nature, we understand the risk of living in the Lower East Rift Zone now more than ever. Still we feel a strong desire to move on with life and continue to grow with Kanekiki, our home.
We are also once again accepting applications to our Internship and Guest Trading Programs, for those wishing to visit us in the coming year. Our hope is to get the property back in shape and make some much needed improvements, with the help of our Work Traders, before hosting any Interns or Guest Traders. That being said, feel free to plan ahead and start your application process as soon as you like!
If you're interested in Work Trading, Internships or Guest Trading, feel free to read the information provided on each page and apply online. (Please help make our job easier by carefully reading the information and requirements of each program.)
So, in short, we're coming back, baby!
There's so much to do and think about as we approach returning to the land that it can be a bit daunting at times. Knowing that we have friends and help all around us makes it all seem possible and enjoyable. I am increasingly grateful for the people who come and make Kanekiki what it is, and so excited to see what comes next for this chapter of the land and community.
Stay tuned for a farm update and some gnarly before and after photos. As always, thank you all for reading, and for your care and support. <3
*The bad news is not so bad... As they say, 'there is no 'good' or 'bad' news, only news'. Credit goes to Kung Fu Panda for that one. ;)