Food is powerful. Through preparing and sharing food, we strengthen the roots that connect us to the land, the sea, our cultures, our community, our family, and to each other. The Roots Project strives to improve the social, physical, and mental health of the people of Kalihi Valley, and that of its visitors, through three key means:
At Hoʻoulu ʻĀina Nature Preserve in the back of Kalihi Valley, community volunteers and visitors can become
mahi ʻāina, farmers of the land, by working in our community garden. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in all phases of land stewardship, from agroforestry to growing and maintaining a garden organically. Working side by side, community members can forge an intimate relationship with the land, their food, and each other as they care for growing things all the way from ʻāina to table.
Roots supports the community coming together to work with food and medicinal plants. Whether in the garden-side kitchen at Hoʻoulu ʻĀina, the community kitchen at the KKV Health Center, at Kalihi schools and partner sites, on Third Saturday community workdays, or any other day of the week, diverse people of all ages and backgrounds can harvest and prepare food as a group. A happy, full kitchen creates a happy, connected community.
With so many rich traditions to draw upon, Kalihi Valley and its visitors have an abundance of cultural knowledge to share. Roots know that, by sharing dishes and meals, people are able to express important parts of their heritage and life experiences, even as they learn about the experiences of others. People come away from eating together with expanded minds and satisfied bellies. These social connections help to strengthen the health of our community. As we celebrate difference through experiencing a bright array of traditions, we better understand the things that we share in common.