Ka Maha ʻUlu o Koholālele – The Breadfruit Grove of Koholālele

Ka Maha ʻUlu o Koholālele, literally translated as “the breadfruit grove of Koholālele,” is a community-led food system project transforming approximately 80 acres of former sugar plantation and current eucalyptus plantation lands in Koholālele, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi, into Hawaiʻi’s largest regenerative ʻulu (breadfruit) agroforestry system.

Accordingly, we wanted to be very intentional about who we invited into the process of planning and planting this space. Between September – October 2021, we worked with Ola Design Group to draft a baseplan for the Kilohana section of Ka Maha ʻUlu (Figure 5), which we would utilize in November to lay out and plant our first 65 ʻulu trees.

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Keawanui Updates from ‘Aina Momona

Keawanui soil work

As we work to bring regenerative practices to the Kaʻamola ahupuaʻa, we try to be as innovative as possible and explore solutions to cross-cutting issues on the land and in the sea. Along the south shore of the island we have seen huge blooms of the invasive limu known as gorilla ogo. This seaweed suffocates the reef system below and kills off native limu in the area. Additionally, native fish species tend not to eat this limu.

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Agricultural Updates from ‘Aina Momona

Keawanui Fishpond photo by M Pauole

With several acres cleared at our land base Keawanui, ‘Āina Momona has been working with our partners at Māla Kaluʻulu Cooperative to develop an agricultural plan for the site that will guide our food production and land restoration efforts for the coming years. We are currently in the design phase, looking at possible concepts that will work best for our goals and landscape.

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FAO Recognition for ‘Aina Momona Program Director

Jane Au

This month our program director Jane Au was highlighted by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Indingeous People’s Unit for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Indigenous women are keepers of traditional knowledge that will play a crucial role in bettering the conservation and environmental movements of our time.

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COVID-19 Action in Molokai

molokai airport protest

When COVID-19 first hit Hawaiʻi in early March, our team immediately took steps to prepare for the virus to hit Molokai’s shores, foreseeing that it would negatively impact the island’s access to essential items. Noting that the virus disproportionately affects elderly, indigenous and Pacific Island communities, and that Molokai has few medical resources on island, we saw the need to take action early and help prevent the spread here.

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Maka’aka Farm, Waihe’e, Maui

Maka'aka Farm, Waihe'e, Maui

The farm at Mākaʻaka continues to serve as a distribution point for taro huli, a food source for local families, Hawaiian cultural and taro events, a repository for unverified varieties, a monitored reverification site for in vitro plants, a field lab for recording morphological characteristics and traditional planting practices, and a classroom for high school and at-risk youth, college students and teachers, as well as the Halau o Hāloa cohort.

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Aloha ‘Āina Fellows Program

‘Āina Momona created an Aloha ‘Āina Fellows Program, a land-based initiative on Molokai that works to engage emerging professionals and grow leadership capacity-building on the Island. Fellows worked with the community to collect data on the potential sale of Molokai Ranch, held informational meetings, gave professional presentations, attended weekly classes, and ran community work days at important, damaged sites in the natural environment.

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‘Onipa‘a Kākou Event

‘Onipa‘a Kākou event

‘Āina Momona organized the ‘Onipa‘a Kākou event on January 17, 2018, bringing the broader Hawaiian community together for this event, which raised awareness for several Native Hawaiian issues happening across the state. The day culminated in thousands of people joining in a day of unity to recognize the day of solemn injustice against the Native Hawaiian people 125 years ago.

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Seed Festival

Hawaii Seed Festival

After attending the 2017 Seed Festival, an attendee was enthusiastic in becoming involved in growing adapted seed and was excited we would soon be making it available through the Hawai`i Seed Growers Network and Hawai`i Public Seed Initiative.

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