We have the privilege of being part of an amazing transformation of land in the ahupua'a of Honouliuli. Once an area farmed for sugar, then pineapple, then laid fallow, this roughly 1;.4 acre property now owned by DuPont Pioneer, is turning into a Hawaiian cultural garden, which we call the Mālaola, the living garden. We share some highlights here of our ongoing work with core partners. But for more current information, please follow our blog at http://malamamalaola.blogspot.com/ to watch the garden grow!
Mālaola – Looking back one full year Mālaola means living garden; true to its name, our garden is living and thriving! Who can believe that already a year has gone by since the ground breaking of our garden? Keiki from Hālau 'O Kaululaua'e visit each month with their families to weed, plant, move mulch, any and all things that the Mālaola needs.
A row of four ti plants was the first of the plants to be put into the Mālaola and in June, their leaves were the first to be gathered to make skirts for their summer performances. Now most of the plants are as tall as adult people! A once barren acre of land now is home to over 500 luscious native Hawaiian and culturally important plants. Students are astonished that the plants they planted and nurtured are now providing leaves and flowers for them.
The spindly crown flowers planted in January have developed into tall gorgeous bushes, attracting butterflies as well as our keikiʻs tiny fingers to gather flowers to make lei. In October 2015, the Hālau began to gather 'uki 'uki berries to make a deep blue-purple dye for their pāʻū. Soon they will be able to gather other flowers and plants to construct skirts, lei and other hula implements.
As you can tell, we are not only growing plants, but we are also growing keiki. As the garden lives and thrives, so do our they. When they look back on this year, they will remember their how much the garden has grown and they will know that their Mālaola is a result their hard work.
A special MAHALO to our Friends at Dupont Pioneer, without whom our Mālaola would not be possible!
After nearly a year from opening the garden, it is starting to flourish, thanks to many helping hands. Here is a picture from our most recent volunteer work trip with help from St. Louis High football players. You can see more from our blog.
On November 2, 2014, a new garden was born. Mālaola (living garden) broke ground on a misty-turned-sunny morning on a farm that will welcome plants important to the Hawaiian culture. In a ceremony officiated by Kahu Samuel ʻOhukaniʻōhia Gon of Hālau Mele, students of Hālau ʻO Kaululauaʻe shared 'oli and a hula honoring fresh water and growth.
Students softened the rich soil and began planting what will become a verdant garden that will provide materials for lei and other cultural uses for years to come
The hālau, which is based at Kapolei High School and led by Kumu Hula Mikiala Kanekoa, will volunteer, under our guidance, to plant more than 600 plants and care for them. These plants are grown in Kapolei High's nursery with the help of students and volunteers.
Mahalo to all involved in making this project come to fruition, especially DuPont Pioneer and Hālau 'O Kaululaua'e.
And blessings to Mikiala and Sam for their wisdom, guidance, and exuberance!