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Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

RAW KALO

Raw Kalo Just Harvested

Raw kalo is available daily for $3 per pound. Each order is harvested fresh Tuesday through Saturday. A few days notice is required.

To Order raw kalo

text the kalo hotline
808-351-1666

PLEASE INCLUDE
Your Name

Total Pounds For Your Order

Desired Pick-up Date

Our crew will confirm via text message with you

POI AND KALO PAʻA

Bagged Poi

Poi and kalo paʻa are produced on a biweekly basis.

Visit our store to place an online order. Choose your desired production day and pickup location. You'll receive an email confirmation of your order. Bulk orders are available upon request.

Pick-Up Locations

  • Kapalai (916E Auloa Rd, Kailua) between 2-5 pm. Please drive all the way back to the green container processing area.
  • Hālau Kū Māna PCS at 3:30 pm. (during the school year)

why kalo?

A highly nutritious staple food considered sacred by Hawaiians, kalo was arguably the foundation of Hawaiian society and enabled a culture isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to thrive. Until the early 19th Century, Maunawili Valley was considered the breadbasket of the whole Koʻolaupoko region of O‘ahu because of the prolific amount kalo that was cultivated there. Now with 23 kalo patches in production, Hoʻokuaʻāina is bringing this nutritious resource back to the community and helping to restore traditional agricultural systems in Kailua.

what is kalo?

Kalo, also know as Taro (Colocasia Esculenta), is a root vegetable and one of the most complex carbohydrates on the planet. It is the sixteenth most cultivated plant being grown globally in more than 60 countries. From early times, kalo was the primary food of the Hawai`i people, supplemented by other principal and traditional foods such as ulu (breadfruit), uala (sweet potato), fish, ferns, limu (seaweed) and fruits. In ancient times there were more than 300 varieties of taro. Approximately 87 of these varieties are still recognized today. The variety primarily grown at Kapalai is Moi.

Poi, the most common preparation of kalo in Hawai`i, is often fed to babies as their first whole and naturally healthy food, as well as to the elderly for its ease of digestion and high vitamin content. Poi can be eaten fresh or allowed to ferment for a few days, often for longer, creating a sour taste considered pleasant. In the old days, a person might consume up to five pounds of poi per day.

Today with a resurgence of families pounding their own poi (kuʻi ʻai), small kalo farms are emerging across the state as it is a desire of many to grow their own kalo. The arduous task to open up lo’i (taro field) in wetland conditions and create irrigation systems off of streams or springs to prepare for planting is something that draws a community together. When we started our journey in 2007 and began to clear 7 acres that hadn’t been touched in over 100 years, the Hui Kalo gang showed up in force to help us clear much of the vegetation needed to get started. Since then, thousands of volunteers continue to come annually to help us maintain the 23 patches we have in production. ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia - No task is too large when done together.

Kalo Diagram

POI

There are several ways to incorporate kalo or taro into one's diet. Poi is the preferred way in which Hawaiians eat kalo. It was traditionally prepared by pounding it with a pohaku kuʻi ʻai (stone) on a papa kuʻi ʻai (board).

OUR JOURNEY TO KALO

Written By: Dean Wilhelm

Since getting married over twenty years ago, my wife Michele and I have always had some type of garden. At one point we started growing kalo in our backyard for the luau leaf to make laulau and luau stew. It felt so empowering to grow our own and not have to rely on buying it.

Shortly after, we met a man who was clearing and opening loʻi mauka of our home in Kailua. Once we visited and helped him pull, cook, clean and pound his kalo into poi. When we ate it my first thought was “I feel so deceived having grown up eating Taro Brand poi my whole life.” Not that Taro Brand poi is bad, but never had poi tasted so good. From that moment on, I was on a quest to grow wetland kalo for poi.

Ke Akua then sent us on a voyage to sell our house, find land and create a place to gather people together to interact and do life differently than the norm of today. We were led to Kapalai and feel so privileged to have been given stewardship of this beautiful ʻāina. Now thousands of people from all facets of the community come to Kapalai annually for the purpose of helping to grow kalo. Ironically though, it is the kalo that is helping to grow us.

Kalo was the staple of the Hawaiian people and from the story of Hāloa, we know the reverence and high regard our ancestors had for kalo. In my journey, I soon realized that building a relationship with our ʻāina at Kapalai and caring for it was fundamental to being able to cultivate kalo well. The one-time esoteric statements like “the land will speak to you and guide you” became real and it became apparent that the concept of mālama ʻāina is far more than a beach cleanup.

While beach clean-ups, recycling, and other such things are indeed good, the Hawaiian concept of mālama ʻāina is much deeper. I believe it is a reciprocal relationship based on Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi or love from one to another. It is an interdependent relationship based on interaction, care, giving and receiving. Caring for our planet as a whole can only take place when one is in a true relationship with a specific place on the planet. Kapalai is our place and kalo has given us the opportunity to grow in this regard. Now we simply want to share this opportunity to grow with others.

Growing kalo for me is physical and helps to keep my body going. Farming this particular crop is scientific and requires much of my mental capacity. And perhaps most importantly for me, growing kalo is spiritual. I connect to creation and my Creator. I nurture the kalo and help it to grow and it in turn nurtures and gives sustenance to my whole family.

Our Journey to Kalo

OUR JOURNEY TO KALO

Written By: Dean Wilhelm

Since getting married over twenty years ago, my wife Michele and I have always had some type of garden. At one point we started growing kalo in our backyard for the luau leaf to make laulau and luau stew. It felt so empowering to grow our own and not have to rely on buying it.

Shortly after, we met a man who was clearing and opening loʻi mauka of our home in Kailua. Once we visited and helped him pull, cook, clean and pound his kalo into poi. When we ate it my first thought was “I feel so deceived having grown up eating Taro Brand poi my whole life.” Not that Taro Brand poi is bad, but never had poi tasted so good. From that moment on, I was on a quest to grow wetland kalo for poi.

Kalo was the staple of the Hawaiian people and from the story of Hāloa, we know the reverence and high regard our ancestors had for kalo. In my journey, I soon realized that building a relationship with our ʻāina at Kapalai and caring for it was fundamental to being able to cultivate kalo well. The one-time esoteric statements like “the land will speak to you and guide you” became real and it became apparent that the concept of mālama ʻāina is far more than a beach cleanup.

Ke Akua then sent us on a voyage to sell our house, find land and create a place to gather people together to interact and do life differently than the norm of today. We were led to Kapalai and feel so privileged to have been given stewardship of this beautiful ʻāina. Now thousands of people from all facets of the community come to Kapalai annually for the purpose of helping to grow kalo. Ironically though, it is the kalo that is helping to grow us.

While beach clean-ups, recycling, and other such things are indeed good, the Hawaiian concept of mālama ʻāina is much deeper. I believe it is a reciprocal relationship based on Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi or love from one to another. It is an interdependent relationship based on interaction, care, giving and receiving. Caring for our planet as a whole can only take place when one is in a true relationship with a specific place on the planet. Kapalai is our place and kalo has given us the opportunity to grow in this regard. Now we simply want to share this opportunity to grow with others.

Growing kalo for me is physical and helps to keep my body going. Farming this particular crop is scientific and requires much of my mental capacity. And perhaps most importantly for me, growing kalo is spiritual. I connect to creation and my Creator. I nurture the kalo and help it to grow and it in turn nurtures and gives sustenance to my whole family.

Our Journey to Kalo

nani ke kalo

Our core lesson that sets the tone for everything at Kapalai.

KUʻI Lesson

Hele nō ka ʻalā, hele nō ka lima. The rock goes, the hand goes.

STAGES OF KUʻI

Learn the names and stages of the traditional way to make poi.

THE CREATION STORY OF HĀLOA

Wakea, Father Sky, and Papa, Mother Earth, had a beautiful daughter named Hoʻohōkūkalani. Hoʻohōkūkalani gave birth to a baby boy. Can you imagine her sadness when the child was stillborn? This child, a son, was named Hāloa which means long, eternal breath. The kupuna (elders) whispered, “the child looks like a root.” The family wrapped Hāloa in kapa, placed him in a basket of woven lauhala, and buried him in the ʻāina.

Hoʻohōkūlani grieved the loss of her son, crying and mourning and watering the grave with her tears. Before long, a plant started growing from the same spot where the baby was buried. This plant with itʻs long stalk and heart-shaped leaf was named Hāloanakalaukapalili for its leaves that fluttered in the wind. It was the first kalo plant.

Hoʻohōkūkalani became pregnant again. This time, a healthy, thriving baby boy was born. He was given the name “Hāloa” in honor of his older brother, the kalo. Hāloa was the first Hawaiian person.

Hawaiians trace their roots back to Hāloa, thus stating that we are all “mamo nā Hāloa,” or descendants of Hāloa. This creation story shows Hawaiian’s reverence to this primary food source and speaks to the sacred human relationship to the kalo plant, the ʻāina, and the rest of the natural world.

The story of Hāloa

THE CREATION STORY OF HĀLOA

Wakea, Father Sky, and Papa, Mother Earth, had a beautiful daughter named Hoʻohōkūkalani. Hoʻohōkūkalani gave birth to a baby boy. Can you imagine her sadness when the child was stillborn? This child, a son, was named Hāloa which means long, eternal breath. The kupuna (elders) whispered, “the child looks like a root.” The family wrapped Hāloa in kapa, placed him in a basket of woven lauhala, and buried him in the ʻāina.

Hoʻohōkūlani grieved the loss of her son, crying and mourning and watering the grave with her tears. Before long, a plant started growing from the same spot where the baby was buried. This plant with itʻs long stalk and heart-shaped leaf was named Hāloanakalaukapalili for its leaves that fluttered in the wind. It was the first kalo plant.

Hoʻohōkūkalani became pregnant again. This time, a healthy, thriving baby boy was born. He was given the name “Hāloa” in honor of his older brother, the kalo. Hāloa was the first Hawaiian person.

Hawaiians trace their roots back to Hāloa, thus stating that we are all “mamo nā Hāloa,” or descendants of Hāloa. This creation story shows Hawaiian’s reverence to this primary food source and speaks to the sacred human relationship to the kalo plant, the ʻāina, and the rest of the natural world.

The story of Hāloa

find a program

find a program

Mentoring Program - Uncle Dean mentoring youth

KŪKULUHOU

mentoring

Internship Program - Seasonal Intern Cohort

KŪKULUHOU

Internship

Education Program - Intern working with school group

KUPUOHI

Grade K-12

ASA College Education Program - Cohort Participants with Lead Farm Manager

KUPUOHI

college

Community Program - Family Working in Lo'i Together

KAIĀULU

Community

Kalo Taro

kalo
taro

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

follow us

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail us

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

email us

Reach Us At:

info@hookuaaina.org

follow us

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

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