Meet The Farm Community

The Honaunau Farm ‘Ohana is a diverse collective of individuals who have contributed to the vision and daily mission of the farm as a regenerative living model and retreat.

Steve at Honaunau Farm

Steve Sakala

Steve has been a leading voice in the community with his passion for permaculture and regenerative agriculture.

Rachel Matias

Rachel Matias brings an open heart and a welcoming smile to the farm, greeting guests from all around the world to share the fruits of the farm.

Melissa at Honaunau Farm

Melinda Goossen

Melinda has been a strong lead in supporting community wellness, guest infrastructure, retreat programs, and networking with other hubs.

Jesse Parker

Jesse brings a bright smile, a wealth of agricultural know how, and a grounded infectious enthusiasm to the land at Honaunau Farm.

Dana Marie Mitchell

Dana Marie Mitchell, a founding member, has brought her passion for food, hospitality, and farm-to-table chef skills to the community.


More farm folks coming this fall!


Community from a Distance



Alison and Michael were brought to Honaunau Farm by beautiful synchronicity, an answer to inquiry and prayer about where they would bring their son, Ember, into the world. Gracefully and graciously he was born in their tiny farm cabin on a peaceful new moon night in January 2022. Together they embrace community life as a foundation and nest in which to raise their little one. Ember spends his days walking-in-loving-arms through the macadamia nut trees, smelling gardenia blossoms, giggling at the many faces that wander through his farm-based awareness, and learning and growing with every interaction within the web of life.

After growing up in Southern California, in her early adulthood, a desire to find a more fulfilling way of being alive led her to explore many diverse communities and more communal ways of organizing one’s life. From a contemplative spiritual community in rural France, to a homestead/natural building education center in Southern Oregon, to Amma’s ashram in Southern India, Alison has chosen to devote her energies to connection and healing. She loves to uplift the well-being of those near to her through meal sharing, event organizing, abundance management, and meaningful connection. A massage therapist of nearly 10 years, she loves to set aside the spoken word and bring soothing touch and caring presence to the bodies, minds and spirits of friends and clients. Alison’s love of gathering together for upliftment and connection has led her to the community sInging (Singing Alive) community in Oregon, from which she draws inspiration to lead bi-weekly song circles on the Farm. The newest chapter of Alison’s life as a mother invites ever-new levels and layers of healing, connection and listening, as she and her husband Michael strive to raise their son Ember with the utmost care and attentiveness.

Michael considers himself a playful participant in the web of life. Through his years walking the Earth, he has fit in a number of widely different roles. From Texas-based truck driver, to self-driving car tester and operator, to roaming laughter yoga teacher, to massage and craniosacral therapist, to his current practice as farm-working family man. Michael has a passion for music and movement, having curated and facilitated an ecstatic dance in Northwest Arkansas for over two years, as well as DJed for a number of events across Arkansas, Texas, and Oregon. Whatever the occasion, Michael loves to share his joy through heady systems thinking conversations, unconditional belly laughter, coming together in cuddle puddles or contact improv swirls, and always seeking understanding through every arising phenomena.


Shimyrre at Honaunau Farm

Shimyrre came to the farm to explore living a more healthy lifestyle, to expand her knowledge of growing medicinal plants, and to cultivate connections and community. She has a love for getting people excited about plant medicine. After receiving her degree as a Holistic Health Practitioner at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, she worked alongside Naturopathic physicians and wellness consultants in a variety of settings. She has since found her niche in medicine making and guiding others to make more educated choices in incorporating botanicals into their lifestyle. Shimyrre is now based in Phoenix, AZ, and holds a special place on the farm as a past Head Herbalist and Director of Product for Mana Artisan Botanics.


Ashley at Honaunau Farm

​Ashley and Jeremiah moved to Hawaii and Hoanunau Farm from New York to further their knowledge and experience in permaculture, wilderness survival and eco-villages. Both having a passion for helping people become resilient, responsible for themselves and the environment, Permaculture was the perfect match. Ashley and Jeremiah completed a Permaculture Design Course in 2017. They strive to have a farm/eco-village one day where they can help strengthen their community and beyond, by demonstrating to people that they can survive economically via non-traditional means. They would like to spend more time traveling to learn more about plant medicine and farming techniques from other cultures.


silvana at Hoanunau Farm

Silvana is thrilled to be part of the Honaunau Farm community. She has worked in the health & wellness field for over 20 years. She holds BAs in Physical Education and in Psychology and certificates in Massage Therapy and Personal Training. Originally from Brazil, she lived in the Bay area, CA for 17 years before moving to Hawaii. One of her main pursuits in life has been cultivating self-awareness and greater understanding about the connection between our general health and our mental, emotional and energetic states.


Zaianna at Hoanunau Farm

Zaianna was drawn to Honaunau Farm by her strong pull to visit Hawaii. As a full time traveler for two years in Asia, Zaianna was a volunteer and member of several intentional communities centered around principles of permaculture and eastern spiritual philosophies including her time spent at The Mindfulness Project, a community organized within a buddhist monastery. She completed a permaculture design course (PDC) at Panya Project in northern Thailand as well.


Greg and Heather at Hoanunau Farm

Greg and Heather came to Hawaii from the northeast hoping to escape the cold, grey winters and to deepen their understanding of Permaculture and Regenerative Living. They bring much agricultural experience to the farm, having worked with the soil in a variety of places including North Carolina, New Mexico, St. Croix, and Belize. They even met on! Both are also massage therapists and enjoy nourishing the body as much as nourishing the land. “We are feeling deeply grateful for the abundant opportunity Hawaii and Honaunau Farm have offered us, as we witness our dreams becoming our reality. Aloha!”


Emily was Honaunau Farms retreat cocreater, yoga instructor and retreat chef.  She is a vibrant soul with a zest for life and a curious mind that loves engaging in creative projects!  She thrives in community and is cultivated deep connections with those around her on the farm and in the local community. 

Emily has been exploring organic farming and natural wellness for several years.  She had a very impactful and transformative time as an organic farming and medicinal herb intern at Innisfree Farm, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  From there she went on to become a certified yoga teacher and was a chef at a raw vegan eco retreat on the Big Island. 


boris at Hoanunau Farm

Boris came to the farm to learn about sustainable living and community. Originally from Russia, Boris served with the US Air Force before attending the widely influential Creative Circus, an advertising/design portfolio school in Atlanta. Currently freelancing as a graphic designer (, his approach is centered on clarity and objectives-based construction. He has a love for all things sustainable, mobile, and highly functional and is often experimenting with building and woodworking. Boris believes that travel and exploration are amongst the best ways to learn about ourselves and enhance our ability to relate to one another, that’s what being human is all about.


Jed and Leanna at Hoanunau Farm

Jed and Leanna came to Honaunau Farm in the summer of 2015 from Austin Texas to work as caretakers. With intentions of setting down roots in Hawaii, they felt incredibly blessed to have landed on such an amazing farm and into a thriving and loving community.  Jed and Leanna are both passionate about sustainability and preserving the land and its resources for the next generations. Living close to nature was a big draw for them in their move to Hawaii – a land rich in food, medicine, and beauty.  Jed is an adventure seeker who loves to swim and run, keep bees, climb coconut trees, fix and create things. Leanna is passionate about holistic natural medicine, education and empowerment for youth, cooking delicious meals, and connecting with the hearts of others. Both Jed and Leanna are Certified Medical Biomagnetism Practitioners.


Teo at Honaunau Farm

Teo is an eclectic artist, builder, gardener, stoneworker, and instructor using natural materials.  He has studied with master artisans from around the world.  He designs and builds structures and creates spaces that are in synergy with nature and promote life and beauty.  Teo did an artisan exchange on the farm, consulting on future designs and building an organic lava rock wall in front of the Community house.


Hannah at Honaunau Farm

Hannah was an intern and then renter on the farm.  She was born in upstate NY and moved to the Big Island several years ago.  Since arriving she has flourished and catalyzed her photography business.  Since the creation of Hannah C’s Photography’s, her love of photography has only grown as she learns more about different techniques and styles, as well as more about herself. Something she continues to notice that sets her a part from other photographers is her ability to find the interesting in what most would find ordinary. She has an eye for beauty and composition that most people would just pass by.

Hannah’s time on the farm was one she will never forget. Her photography continued to be nourished as she had endless photo ops while she milked the goats and sheep, tended the garden, and pulled more weeds than she cares to remember 🙂 the farm work is never done!



Jessica Naudziunas is a video journalist who currently lives in New York and works for ABC News as the Head of Digital Video for Good Morning America. She spent the summer of 2012 on the farm after two years as an agricultural journalist on the Mainland’s Midwest. She wanted to test the theories, stories, and lessons she learned as an ag reporter, in addition to practicing vegetarianism on a working farm. The time on the farm was transformative for Jessica, and she will always remember bonding with the goats and caring for the other beautiful animals on the farm.


Theresa at Honaunau Farm

Theresa moved onto the farm with her family with hopes of helping grow the community.  On the farm she assisted with office work and management of interns as well as caring for guests and other community members. She thrives in community and works to promote more connection and growth through cooking meals and hosting gatherings.  She studied History and Religious Studies in depth throughout her collegiate education in order to gain a broader understanding of people and cultures so that she can more deeply engage with others.


Tony at Honaunau Farm

Tony helped oversea and tend the farm and animals.  He is a plant ecologist from UC Santa Cruz where he focused in agroecology, natural history, land stewardship and community living. He has worked as a core leader in the Kresge Garden Coop, an intern with the Chadwick Garden, a farm hand at Hale Akua, and a member in several intentional communities. As an ecologist, his land management centers around soil building and biomimicry.


He has a deep love of plants and growing and sharing food.  He is a naturalist who is very at home in nature and living close to the land.  He is a lover of community and enjoys exploring the abundance that island life has to offer with friends, community members and travelers.


Chauntelle and Peij at Honaunau Farm

Peij and Chauntelle are from upstate New York and Alabama and interned on the farm for 6 months. Both having interests in sustainable agriculture and gardening.  They met at a permaculture design course and decided to further their education by moving to Hawaii and exchanging on the farm. They are both travelers and adventures passionate about improving the soil wherever they go. Their interests include mycology mulching herbalism and edible land design.


Bethann at Honaunau Farm

Anjani is a vibrational health practitioner. She is a body therapist and offers specialized body therapy and healings. She shares various modalities including Chi Nei Tsang, Karsai, Jin Shin Jyutsu Acupressure, Hawaiian Lomilomi, Hawaiian Breathwork, A’e and Thai Massage. These forms are deeply corrective and therapeutic. She works intuitively and integratively. Over the past 15 years, She has taken many classes and is honored and humbled to share the lineages that have been passed down to her, with you.


Sasha and olena at Honaunau Farm

Sasha is a talented cook, herbalist, wildcrafter, medicine woman and mother.  She has lived on Hawaii for the last 8 years working on several farms, growing food and cooking for several communities.  She is a retreat chef and loves growing, harvesting, preparing and using herbal medicines.  Her beautiful and sassy daughter Olena was a bright light on the farm and in the larger community.  She is curious, talkative, creative and silly.  She loved playing with the ducks and baby goats and just tagging along for any farm adventures.


Suzie at Honaunau Farm

Susie is a licensed master esthetician and that brings 15 years of organic and vegan skincare training to Hawaii. She creates farm fresh skincare products and facials that are tailored and created fresh for each client using herbs, fruits, and veggies from the garden. Her joy and passion is creating a relaxing one of a kind experience that clients never forget. She is also a vegan chef and holistic health counselor.


Stephen at Honaunau Farm

Stephen is a self trained chef, and was blessed to work at The Curious Palate a farm-to-table kitchen in LA where they pursued the muse of curious food with only the most delicious, fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients sourced from local, year-round farmer’s.  He was one of the resident chef’s on the farm and worked at Holuakoa, a local award winning slow food movement restaurant sourcing only local meats.  Stephen raised ducks and chickens as part of the Holuakoa supply here on the farm.


Frank, Shivanni and Julienat Honaunau Farm

Frank, Julien, and Shivanii came to the farm from Colorado to live a more holistic life in supportive community.  They love spending time together. They enjoy time with friends and family sharing good food and experiences. A healthy relationship with nature is extremely important to them, as well as a life filled with exploration, creativity and play.


Gabriella and Matias at Honaunau Farm

Gaberiella & Matias came to the farm to learn about sustainable community living from Argentina.  They brought so much fun, creativity, beauty and depth to the farm, sharing their passion for life, friends and cooking!  They have gone on to do work exchanges at other farms and are now creating their own eco-retreat on the coast in Argentina!


Nick and Cate at Honaunau Farm

Nick and Cate joined us from Washington State as part of an extended year long honeymoon adventure.  They came to learn about permaculture and sustainable living practices.  Nick and Cate brought so much thoughtfulness, hard work and positive energy to the farm.  After their 4 month stay, they went on to travel in South East Asia and to caretake other farms.


Caleb, Ankea and arun at Honaunau Farm

Caleb and Ankea moved to the farm while pregnant with Arun.  They had a home birth on the farm and blessed us all.  Ankea and Caleb are world travelers with incredible visions and vibrant energy.  Caleb is from the Big Island and has a knack for marketing.  He is a Thai massage therapist and instructor as well as a mentor for men’s groups.  Ankea works in the NGO world and has done projects in Vietnam and Cambodia.  She is a strong feminine role model, a wonderful mother and an excellent cook!


Claire and Darragh at Honaunau Farm

Claire and Darragh came to the farm as a young couple exploring the world from Ireland.  They expanded their horizons in many ways during their stay on the farm and have moved out into the world with new skills and a zest for holistic living.  They have gone on to do work exchanges at other farms and to share what they learned with friends and family back home.


Juan and India at Honaunau Farm

Juan & India were a hardworking fun loving addition to the farm during their 6 month stay.  India was an incredible cook and Juan a tireless helping hand.  They had an amazing love for animals and showered all our furry four legged friends with so much warmth and care.  John went on to work for an organic food company and India now shares her passion teaching kids.

Steve Salaka

Founder and Owner

Steve Sakala is founder and owner of Honaunau Farm. He has educated hundreds of students from all over the world at the farm on regenerative agriculture and a wide variety of sustainability issues. Steve has been a sustainability consultant for 19 years including several years in W. Africa where he served in the Peace Corps. He has been living and working in Hawaii for the past 13 years and has worked on a diversity of projects including renewable energy, permaculture, green building, animal husbandry and soil health.

His agriculture experience includes over 20 years of experience working with medical cannabis. The last 7 of those years he has focused on medicinal hemp with high cannabinoid content and its potent and diverse health benefits. He is the founder and CEO of Mana Artisan Botanics and co-founder of Wholistic Research & Education Foundation. Steve, as part of his other company Green Hawaii Genetics, was contracted to grow Hawaii’s first hemp seed varieties for Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture Pilot Hemp Program. He has been working for many years to support sustainable agriculture and hemp legislation in the state of Hawaii both on the ground and at the policy level.

Steve was also the President of the local chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United, which is part of the oldest agriculture organization in the country. In this position he has spent time in Washington D.C. and the Hawaii State Legislature lobbying for a stronger voice in regenerative agriculture. He also served as the Chair of the Democratic Party for much of West Hawaii. Steve graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S in Natural Resources and City Planning with an emphasis in Appropriate Technology. Steve’s priorities are to support, design and help implement thriving social, environmental, cultural and economic models.

Rachel Matias

Event Coordinator & Retreat Manager

Rachel is one of our long-term community members, with over 3 years of experience at Honaunau Farm. She felt the call to move to the Big Island of Hawaii after spending a few magical weeks at the farm as an Airbnb guest. What was scheduled to be a 40-day adventure, evolved into a long-term connection and a growing love for community, and wellness.

Honaunau Farm has become her playground, experiencing herbal medicine, organic regenerative agriculture, authentic relating, and sustainable practices.

Prior to her time at the farm, she was deeply impacted by living at Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh India. It was there that she began to notice the importance and the powerful impact conscious living and community can have on one’s inner and outer worlds. She believes that one can reawaken the soul and tap back into the essence of who they are, by reconnecting with the land, its medicine, its frequency, and the power and freedom that comes with that knowing.

Rachel is a certified Hatha yoga instructor with a focus on meditation and pranayama practices. She is also a certified Sound Alchemist trained by 9th generation Sound Master in Kathmandu Nepal, as well as a Lomilomi Massage Therapist with experience in myofascial release.

When she’s not on the farm she enjoys traveling the world and tapping into ancient healing modalities such as Ayurveda, Kriya, Tantra, Mantra Meditation, and Plant medicine ceremonies. She loves expressing herself through dance and creating sacred spaces for people to share their gifts and aliveness with their community.

She brings an open heart and a welcoming smile to the farm, greeting guests from all around the world to share the fruits of love from this land. She enjoys sharing her voice and vibrational medicine with the farm and local community creating heart-activating experiences with the magic of Kirtan (Devotional call and response Mantra Meditation) to support the releasing of the idea of separation and reconnection with the threads that connect us all to the essence of pure love and bliss.

Honaunau Farm has expanded her edges far beyond what she believed was possible. Living on the apex of the healing triangle with two special Heiaus, at Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau, this potent zone has inspired her to step deeper into her ever-evolving inner journey. Rachel’s mission in this life is to heal, love, experience, and serve. 


Melinda Goossen


Melinda has helped co-create Honaunau Farm over the last 12 years, bringing her love of community, beautiful spaces and wholesome living to the project. She has worked in the health, wellness and environmental fields for over 25 years and intimately understands the inter-connection between the health of our bodies and our environment as well as our mental, emotional and spiritual state of being. She has a BSE in Environmental Engineering with a focus on sustainable systems and green building. She is a certified qigong instructor and spent many years as a massage therapist. She is also a Gene Keys Guide offering mentorship sessions based on a synthesis of astrology, the Gene Keys, and conversational inquiry.

She is a long time student of metaphysics and is dedicated to walking a path of deep awareness, expanded perspective, and personal integrity. Her journey is infused with light hearted humor and a constant desire to spiral things up. She is passionate about creating beautiful spaces, synergizing projects and groups, and inspiring others to their highest potential through playful engagement, deep listening, and at times comic relief.

Jesse Parker

Land Manager

Jesse came to Honaunau Farm looking to experience the aloha spirit while diversifying his farming experiences. With experience in Environmental Science and Agriculture, and a passion for conservation of natural resources, he settled in right away and has been an integral part of the farm crew. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy and has been working in agriculture for over 4 years.

In addition to being a steward of the land, Jesse also enjoys Yoga, meditation, dancing, cooking, exploring the island and connecting with others.

Dana Marie

Founding Member

Dana Marie is an original investor and long-term community member of the land that hosts Honaunau Farm. A private chef for over 15 years now, serving families and communities in Hawai’i and all over the US, she has cultivated a well-respected and loved business and clientele, and brings forth a Farm-to-Fork experience that reflects the land, the seasons, and the region’s finest organic farms and farmers. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area (Marin County) in the 80s and 90s, Dana learned early how some of today’s most iconic chefs have been at the forefront of cultivating the slow and organic food movement as a way to protect our natural resources, sustainability, health, and wellness and our ability to share and experience nourishment. Her culinary work draws from these important principles and values and is deeply intuitive, custom, creative, and prayerful. Dana brings many years of study and practice from varying spiritual traditions and lineages, metaphysical teachings and is also a long-time massage therapist.

Dana’s passions and callings have taken her all around the world from South & Central America, India, Nepal, Africa, and Europe from the age of 15 having engaged in Cultural/Anthropological Studies, Eco-Tourism, Wildlife Management, Yoga, Meditation, and Humanitarian Services in a variety of capacities. After a road well-traversed, she now finds herself deeply grateful and dedicated to the Sant Mat meditation path. She is deep lover and reveler of nature, wildlife, music, the arts, and community and is most proud to be the mother to her 16-year-old son, Eyera. She currently lives in Ashland, Oregon with her family, traveling to the island regularly for work and play.