It’s been four years since the start of Honolulu Community College’s Ka Māla o Niuhelewai (the garden of Niuhelewai) and the kalo (taro) is ready for harvest. Every April, the campus celebrates the māla with an annual campus Hoʻolauleʻa:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Ka Māla o Niuhelewai behind the Children’s Center

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“Ka Māla o Niuhelewai, has been an instrumental hands-on venue for students, faculty, staff and the community in supporting the Hawaiian understanding of sustainable mālama ʻāina application for producing food for Hawaiʻi,” shares Mark Alapaki Luke, Hawaiian studies instructor and chair of Kūlana Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Programs Division.

Event participants will enjoy various food items prepared in the imu, kalo (taro) to kuʻiʻai (pound poi), mele (music) and other hands on activities: ‘aha (sennit cordage) making, lei lā‘ī (kī or ti leaf) lei making, and kōnane game (resembling checkers).

More about Ka Māla o Niuhelewai

Ka Māla o Niuhelewai has received the Scenic Hawaiʻi Betty Crocker Landscape Award for Xeriscape in 2012, and most recently, the Honolulu Community College Sustainability Award at the 2014 Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit.

In 2011, 20 Hawaiian varieties of kalo have been planted due to a $25,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to plant Hawaiian varieties of kalo in a dry land māla.

“Students, staff, community groups, and K-12 schools, all have benefited from the experiences at the māla in various ways. The venue has helped participants connect with their lessons, be exposed to traditional Hawaiian ‘ike (knowledge), be introduced to subsistence farming (in an urban setting), gain an understanding of sustainable stewardship, and attain insights for their assignments within diverse course disciplines,” shares Luke.

In keeping with the sustainability theme everyone is encouraged to bring their own reusable plate or container, beverage cup or bottle, and utensils for their lunch. Limited paper goods will be available to maintain mālama ʻāina (caring for the land/earth) and alleviate the trash in the landfill.