Our community gardens are a place for people of all cultures to reconnect with rich heritages of land stewardship, deep connection to others, cycles of reciprocity, and mindsets of abundance. These gardens, worked by many hands, endeavor to provide organic produce, and knowledge of growing practices, to the people of Kalihi Valley and beyond.
We believe in the ongoing relationship between kanaka and aina. We believe in the health of the whole, rather than only parts. We believe in the wisdom of those who have come before us. For these reasons, our gardening practices are sustainable, organic, and culturally-based.
Join us for our regular workdays, or for occasional special workshop, to learn our practices and share your own. Please visit our Calendar for opportunities.
Visit our Volunteer page for workday opportunities.
Hoʻoulu ʻĀina Community Garden
In 2008, an unusual work crew broke ground on the three-acre organic garden at Hoʻoulu ʻĀina. A group of Micronesian elders had been attending classes at the KKV health clinic to learn how to manage their diabetes – a frequent health complication of disrupted traditional foodways. Advised to “exercise,” this medical recommendation failed to resonate with the group of senior women. Finally one woman spoke up: their language and culture lacked a concept for “exercise” – the practice of repeated physical gestures simply for the sake of motion. But, the medical staff learned, they knew how to do the difficult labor of gardening: clearing dense brush, breaking soil, lifting and digging and planting and reaping. These elders cleared an acre of forest doing some of the hardest work possible, removing thick, choking bamboo, creating space on the land for the cultivation of food.
Since then, the garden has grown to three acres, and in its nearly ten years, thousands of hands have worked the soil, and thousands of pounds of food have been distributed to Kalihi residents.
Visit www.hoouluaina.com for more information
We offer workshops and different ways of expanding your knowledge through growing food..
Mala O Kaluaopalena Community Garden
Established in 2013, the Mala O Kaluaopalena Communtiy Garden is a cooperative project between the Roots Program and the Towers at Kuhio Park public housing community. Located on a quarter-acre plot on the property of the largest public housing community in the state of Hawai'i, Kaluaopalena Garden provides a space for community members of all ethnicities and backgrounds to gather, practice and share traditional food growing practices, and learn about one another. In this space, community members can cultivate banana, cassava, hibiscus, and other Pacific crops, generating abundance that can be shared throughout the community.
This location is a popular hang-out for community youth searching for a fun after-school experience, but we also host families looking for an activity to do together, kupuna with rich knowledge to share, community residents seeking a rewarding way to fulfill First-to-Work requirements, school excursion groups, and anyone who values fresh air, sunshine, meeting neighbors, and building positive space in the Kalihi community.