Mahiʻai, organic farmer, Anthony Deluze has been restoring loʻi in the ʻili of Kaʻōnohi. He can tell you the discrete markings and colorations that differentiate one kalo variety from another, how the water is flowing from one week to the next and how that affects growth…but he will also tell you how these important details fit into a larger vision for Kalauao, the ahupuaʻa, where Kaʻōnohi is. Kalauao is a narrow valley in the ʻEwa district of Oʻahu. It is often overlooked or mistakenly lumped with ʻAiea or Pearl Ridge.
Anthony’s loʻi are fed by springs. The Pearl Ridge mall is between Kalauao stream and Anthonyʻs plot. In fact, his plot lies smack dab between what today is called Pearl Ridge “Uptown” and “Downtown” malls. If you look up towards the mountain from the loʻi, you can wave to the monorail cruising back and forth transporting shoppers between their favorite stores. It is the second largest shopping center in Hawaiʻi!
In this urban environment, Kaʻōnohi can be called a kīpuka* (literally a calm place in high seas, an oasis of vegetation in a lava bed), and even a puʻuhonua (place of peace and refuge). Knowing this, Anthony earned a grant from the Hawaiʻi’s People Fund to support community workdays and return a Hawaiian identity back to Kalauao. Rightfully so, the project name is “Hoʻōla Hou Iā Kalauao”.
All are invited to experience this place…to get dirty, sweat, and lend a hand in saving what once flourished and should still flourish in Kaʻōnohi and Kalauao. Join us on 4/5/15 to clear brush, plant natives, and participate in the restoration process! If you RSVP, lunch and fresh ʻawa will await you.
To RSVP, call or e-mail Anthony: (808) 397-8685 // firstname.lastname@example.org
* To learn more about kīpuka, read this chapter from Davianna McGreggorʻs book Nā Kuaʻāina: https://kuahawaii.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/McGregor-Chapter-1.pdf
Mahalo to Dr. McGreggor for graciously sharing this chapter with us.