Friends and Favorites

Links to Our Favorite Sites

Alicia Bay Laurel, author of the classic 1970’s book Living on the Earth, has an active and interesting site with her music, art, tales of her travels and lots of other good things.

Diane Renchler is one of my favorite Big Island artists. Visit her gallery on the Onomea Bay Road, on the way to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, north of Hilo.

Sonia Martinez is a Big Island cooking teacher, food/culinary columnist/writer and cookbook author who loves to garden. She has a great blog that includes tons of yummy recipes.

Rashani Rea leads retreats at Earthsong, in the southern area of the Big Island. Her intention is to steward the land by honoring its natural beauty and to provide a sanctuary to those seeking sacred simplicity and a more authentic connection with themselves and the earth, for the benefit of all beings.

Momi Subiono is an expert on native Hawaiian plants who makes great herbal products.

Barefoot Doctors’ Academy, in North Kohala: The purpose of the Barefoot Doctors’ Academy is to further humanitarian ideals by promoting informed health awareness and wholisticeducation.  We focus on fostering the realization of the human potential on an individual basis.  These services are administered under a nondiscriminatory policy to a diversity of cultural backgrounds. Their goal is to enhance world peace and well being.

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WWOOF Hawaii is the starting point for volunteer vacations in Hawaii.

Hawaii Ecosystems at Risk is working hard to preserve and protect our fragile environment and teach about invasive species and other threats to our beautiful islands. Lots of great public domain photo images are available.

Hawaii Rainbow Worms is busily spreading the good news about worm composting.

Andrea Dean is a Big Island writer and researcher who ate island-grown and produced products exclusively for 3 months.

Psyllium is a brazilian web page where you can find anything about this wonderful natural cleanser.

Hawai`i SEED is a statewide, grassroots coalition of farmers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, activists, and Native Hawaiians from 5 Hawaiian islands working to educate the public about the risks of genetically engineered organisms. Check out their latest book, “Facing Hawaii’s Future,” available as a free download.

Hawaii Island Wellness Travel offers a directory to find services that can address all your interests: body, mind and spirit. Discover the island’s power-spots and sacred sites, enroll in a retreat that will change your life, learn about complementary medicine, detoxification and cleansing, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and find the island’s healthiest foods – it’s all here.Whether you are a traveler or a resident, we invite you to join HIWTA to help guide and direct the sustainable development of wellness travel on Hawaii’s Big Island.


Activities and Places To Visit and Stay on the Big Island:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has a great site with current eruption updates.

Paradise Vacation Rentals has comfortable, affordable cottages, a pool and tennis court in the same neighborhood as Hi`iaka’s Garden.

The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, on the Kona side, is doing great work to conserve and educate about native Hawaiian plants and culture.

Yoga Oasis is a fabulous place to take yoga and have a wonderful vacation.

La`akea Permaculture Community is doing great work in the area of sustainable living.

Gaia Yoga is a nursery, WWOOF destination and many other things relating to sustainable living.

Josanna’s Organic Garden is a popular WWOOF host site and commercial ginger farm with a great little fruit stand.


My favorite hotels on the Kona side are:


Herb Seed Sources:

The Thyme Garden, in Oregon, produces and sells hundreds of varieties of organic herb seeds. Rolfe and Janet are wonderful folks who are also Friends of Hi`iaka’s Garden.

Horizon Herbs is also in Oregon and is one of my favorite sources for organic herb seeds. Richo Cech and his family are renowned herbalists and he is a popular speaker at conferences and other herbal events. Check out the books he has written, such as Making Plant Medicine–one of my stand-by favorites.

Seeds of Change, now a big company, offers many varieties of organic, open-pollinated seeds, from herbs to tomatoes to flowers. Strong advocates of biodiversity, they are doing a great job of spreading the word about heirloom and traditional varieties of many plants. And their seeds are great and always grow well!


Herbal Information Sources:

American Botanical Council: This is the official site for HerbalGram magazine, which is the Journal of the American Botanical Council. It often serves as my “Bible” for the definitive source of information. Established in 1988, the ABC is the leading independent, nonprofit, international member-based organization providing education using science-based and traditional information to promote the responsible use of herbal medicine. It’s a bit technical, however: if you’re looking for a recipe for echinacea muffins, you won’t find it here! Try or Herb Companion magazine for lighter, more fun information.

Christopher Hobbs: Includes a wonderful herbal database, where you can search for over 440 ailments and symptoms and over 200 herbs. It also includes the dates and locations of Christopher’s conference schedule and information about his internship program and practice.

Michael Tierra: Michael is one of the major herbalists in the country and his web site is chock-full of valuable information. Included are a chat room, dates and locations of Michael’s classes and seminars, articles and an herb store where you can buy items in his line of herbal formulas.

The American Herb promotes the understanding and ecological use of medicinal herbs and aromatherapy. Membership is open to anyone interested in herbalism and includes a 20-page quarterly newsletter written by well-known, professional herbalists. Herbalist and aromatherapist Kathi Keville is the Director of the American Herb Association, editor of the AHA Quarterly Newsletter and author of 11 herb and aromatherapy books.

Rosemary Gladstar: Sage Mountain Retreat Center and Native Plant Preserve in Vermont is a foremost learning center for herbs and earth awareness. Rosemary holds a yearly workshop on the Big Island that includes meetings with local herbalists and traditional healers, pilgrimages to sacred sites, and participation in the traditional culture of Hawai`i. For more information, write her at

Mrs. Grieve’s Modern Herbal: Although Mrs. Grieve’s “modern” herbal was written in 1931, it is still one of the most thorough resources I have found, giving extensive information on the history and legends, medicinal uses and growing requirements of each plant. It includes an index of 800 herbs and other indexes of recipes and poisonous plants. You can even order herbs online through this site.