Kalo to be harvested at Honolulu Community College

Ho'olaule'a to celebrate the first year of Ka Mala o Niuhelewai

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Apr 17, 2012

Hawaiian Studies Instructor Alapaki Luke with Chancellor Mike Rota at Ka Mala o Niuhelewai.
Hawaiian Studies Instructor Alapaki Luke with Chancellor Mike Rota at Ka Mala o Niuhelewai.
Pounding kalo from the mala.
Pounding kalo from the mala.
It has been just over a year since the start of Ka Māla o Niuhelewai (The garden of Niuhelewai) and the kalo (taro) is ready for harvest. Honolulu Community College is planning a hoʻolauleʻa to celebrate the first year of the māla and enjoy the first crop of kalo. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration to learn how to pound his or her own poi, and enjoy the food (until it runs out).
Wednesday, April 18
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Honolulu Community College, behind the Children’s Center (874 Dillingham Blvd.)
At 10:30 a.m., a pig that will be cooked in the imu will be uncovered with a pule to follow at 11 a.m.  There will be Hawaiian music and participants will have the opportunity to pound poi using poi boards and poi stones made by students under the guidance of Makanani Attwood of Kaho‘olawe, a Native Hawaiian agricultural practitioner, until 2 p.m. that afternoon.
In keeping with the sustainability theme, reusable plates or containers, beverage cups or bottles, and utensils are encouraged to limit the usage of paper goods to alleviate excess trash in the landfill as a part of Honolulu’s sustainability efforts to care for the land.
Since July 2011, 20 Hawaiian varieties of kalo have been planted. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, students, campus groups, faculty, staff and community groups have cared for the māla.  On April 18, the fruits of their labor will come full circle. 
Honolulu Community College received a $25,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to plant Hawaiian varieties of kalo in a dry land māla.  The māla serves as an educational platform to teach students using a traditional Native Hawaiian holistic approach.
The historical land use of the Honolulu Community College campus is thoroughly documented in the Land Court Awards and old maps of the Kalihi-Kapālama area. The campus area alone was home to 45 documented lo‘i (taro patches), fed by Niuhelewai Stream and two springs, all of which were diverted and filled in after 1900. The idea of the project is to return a small portion to Hāloanakalaukapalili (first kalo, ancestor) to this ‘aina (land), blending the old with the new with the understanding of mālama ‘āina, or caring for the land.
For more than 90 years, Honolulu Community College has been serving the community as a comprehensive community college in the heart of Honolulu meeting the post-secondary educational needs of individuals, businesses, and the community. A member of the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, Honolulu Community College has been continuously and fully accredited since 1970 by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.