Kalo (Colocasia esculenta; taro) is a nutrient-dense staple crop with deep cultural, spiritual and genealogical ties to the Hawaiian people. Māhuahua ʻAi o Hoi (“Regrowing the Fruit of Hoi”) is a community-driven vision for restoring agricultural and ecological productivity to the 405-acre area locally referred to as “Hoi” situated in the Heʻeia wetlands (meadowlands). Between 2009 and 2010, Kākoʻo convened a series of meetings and interviews with local area kūpuna (elders) and community members to gain insights into the community’s vision for the area:
- “He‘eia as an abundant food-producing land”
- “Agricultural production serves to educate, feed, and sustain the community”
- “Families gather for celebration, learning, and healing”
- “Traditional and modern arts and sciences strengthen the He‘eia community”
- “Hoi is restored as a native wetland. Koloa, ‘alae ‘ula, and ae‘o have returned and the splashing of ‘ama‘ama sounds like rain falling on He‘eia Stream. Clean, clear water feeds the fishpond and native limu and other marine life are once again abundant.”
The Heʻeia Wetlands
The Heʻeia Wetlands is a marshland area formed by the waters of Haʻikū and Iolekaʻa valleys where wetland kalo was traditionally grown. The Heʻeia Wetlands are situated within the alluvial plains of the Heʻeia ahupuaʻa, in the moku (district) of Koʻolaupoko on the Island of Oʻahu.
In January of 2010, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi acquired a 38-year lease to the 405-acre wetland property from the Hawaii Community Development Authority to promote educational programs, cultural use, ecological restoration and sustainable agriculture.
Consistent with traditional and historic land use of the property, and based on the vision for Hoi articulated by our Kūpuna and the community, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi created Māhuahua ʻAi o Hoi or “re-planting the fruit of Hoi” a community-driven project aimed at restoring the once thriving natural, cultural, social and economic values of Hoi for the benefit of the community.
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Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.