Our Mission

Our mission is to create a space of education and experiential learning of how to balance our inner and outer worlds of health and harmony. 

We are committed to research, biodiversity, experimentation and seed saving to support and benefit future generations. We provide vegetables, herbs, and useful trees grown in living soils using beyond organic practices. At our online store, restaurants and markets, we provide food we grow, local artisan produces, and superfoods to New York City, the Hudson Valley Region and surrounding areas.

We are in service to a healthy, sustainable humanity promoting community, love, and peaceful cooperation with all life.

In addition to be a working, sustainable farm, we also educational programming and present informational content to people interested in learning and experimenting with a more wholistic and harmonious lifestyle.

Our History


Flowering Sun Ecology Center is the culmination of many years of studying and searching for a natural way of living. While looking for a place to connect to the earth and community, we landed here in Ellenville, NY and purchased a home with a large open lawn ripe for transformation.

We created Flowering Sun in 2017 to provide fresh, nutrient dense produce to our community. It took a lot of work and many hands  picking rocks, turning soil, adding amendments, and planting the beautiful seedlings to get to where we are today. It is truly inspirational to see the transformation we were able to bring about with the support of our community and families, and a lot of hard work.

Managerial Team

Sara Philkill…


…lives in Ellenville with her husband and two young children, along with community members of Golden Drum. Sara’s love of home grown food began at a young age, playing in her mother’s gardens. Her appreciation for the natural world continued to expand through her studies in biology in college, and her years working on organic farms all over the US and Peru. Sara has expanded her focus on health and food to include a focus on woman’s health especially during the prenatal and postpartum periods of a woman’s childbearing years. Her studies have been strengthened by the growth of her own family and her time shared with her elder and teacher, Maestro Manuel Rufino.

Alexander Hackney (Z)…


…is a member of the Golden Drum community and a student of Maestro Manuel Rufino. He loves designing and creating in harmony with nature. He lives with his wife, Sara, their two children and other community members in Ellenville, New York. Z is the cofounder and managing member of Golden Ratio LLC and Flowering Sun Ecology. He has been living in community and practicing natural healing, natural building and farming for the past eight years.

Aiden D’Aste…


…is the cofounder and managing member of Golden Ratio LLC and Flowering Sun Ecology. He is a community organizer, designer and builder based in the Catskills region of upstate NY. He brings his skills as a craftsman and training in permaculture and ecological design,to co-creating new ways of building community infrastructure from the ground up.

Our Community


We are students and members of the Golden Drum Community studying the sacred traditions of the world. We are dedicated to serving the community by focusing on sharing Amerikua Wisdom (Amerikua is a Mayan word meaning “Land of the Winds” – the original name given by the original people of the continent we now call America), and supports all native traditions of the world. The Golden Drum is in Brooklyn, NY and offers classes, workshops, musical performances and events with the purpose of bridging cultures, sharing knowledge, promoting peace and bringing people back to nature. The vision is to create a place where people can cohabitate with nature, practice yoga and meditation, grow organic food and offer activities to bring people back to nature.

Our Teacher


Maestro Manuel Rufino is a recognized elder in the Taino tradition and World Director of M.A.I.S.C. He is a spiritual guide, gifted ceremonial leader and teacher of sacred initiatic traditions of the world. Maestro Manuel is also an artist, certified iridologist, naturo-therapist, vegetarian chef & the visionary guiding the Golden Drum community and many vegetarian restaurants including Jungle Café in Brooklyn.

Guided by his teacher, Maestro Domingo Dias Porta, Maestro Manuel has been following the trails of indigenous healing arts for over 40 years. Maestro Manuel travels around the world sharing initiatic traditions, leading workshops, lectures, sweat lodges and healing rituals.

In 2010 Maestro Manuel and a number of his students opened Golden Drum as a space for sacred traditions in New York City. Founded to give voice to the worldview of Native Americans, indigenous peoples and the esoteric schools, Golden Drum features living representatives and students of these great traditions.

We love connecting with our community both locally and globally! Please reach out with any questions you have about our products, both retail or wholesale, or about our educational opportunities or offerings.


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