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
In 2013, nearly a hundred people stood gathered on a concrete pad covering much of a quarter-acre of land, a chain link fence encircling the property. The gathered assembly linked hands and listened as the new garden manager raised his voice, chanting a Hawaiian oli into the hot August wind. At the end, those assembled broke, setting to work to remind the neglected soil how to produce abundance.
From those humble beginnings, something great has taken root. The concrete pad is now covered with brightly-painted garden boxes overflowing with lettuce, chard, and other greens. Ti plants, cucumber, eggplant and more cover the grass. At the back, under the shade of a coconut, Hawaiian natives grow. Hundreds of hands have come to work the land and share in the bounty.