Note: this profile was written in 2008 and some information may be outdated. We encourage you to visit gentleworld.org to stay up to date about how Gentle World’s projects are evolving.
Gentle World Community was founded in 1970 and incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization in 1979. Their centers provide demonstrations on modern sustainable living practices, and information about why and how to become vegan.
Gentle World has an education center in Hawaii. Their gardens are fully veganic and are used to teach visitors about the principles of vegan organic gardening. The food grown in the gardens is also used to help feed the community members, volunteers and visitors. The garden produces bananas, papayas, a variety of edible greens and herbs, carrots and beets, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, squash and more.
Shangri-la is a vegan educational center in the Far North of the North Island. 30 minutes south of the town of Kaitaia, the 454-acre property is under the stewardship of Gentle World and surrounded by a native forest reserve. There are large vegan organic vegetable gardens, many fruit trees, and pristine rivers to swim in and drink from.
Shangri-La is home to an orchard of young fruit trees: avocado, persimmon, pear, apple, fig, plum, sapote, cherimoya, mandarin and navel oranges. Nut trees—walnut, almond, and macadamia—have also been planted. From their veganic vegetable garden, they harvest a variety of greens for salads, as well as celery, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, squash and zucchini, beans and peas, carrots and beets, onions, garlic, and more. This feeds the members of their community as well as guests and wwoofers, with the surplus occasionally sold at the local health food store or farmer’s market. Since the produce is primarily intended for their own consumption, they are not planning to become officially certified.
Hay is used as a mulch, and vegetable compost is added to maintain fertility. Lupines are planted at the end of the season to fix nitrogen and are mowed down in the spring to become a green manure. Occasionally seaweed, rock dusts and wood ash are also added.
Get involved and volunteer:
Gentle World welcomes help in developing their projects in either location, whether through talents, skills, or resources. They accept wwoofers (farm volunteers) through an application process found here. They are also open to visitors if contacted in advance. For more information about the work Gentle World is doing to promote veganism and veganic gardening throughout the world, visit gentleworld.org.