This morning I got up early to work, learn and play at Noho’ana Farm. This taro farm is located in Waikapu in Central Maui. Hōkūao Pellegrino and his family have been living on their kuleana land in Waikapū, the first ahupua’a of Na Wai ‘Eha, for over 150 years. I know Hōkūao and his wife Alana through our work with the school gardens. Alana was the first teacher who wanted help in starting a school garden and Hōkūao has come out to teach kids in harvesting the kalo and other traditional Hawaiian practices on several occasions. This made it especially fun to work and be part of this piece of history being restored.
The farm is just minutes from Wailuku where the Maui County government offices are in the small town of Waikapū. The event was sponsored by Slow Food Maui. The easiest way to explain Slow Food is that it is the opposite of “fast food”‘; eat fresh and local food made from scratch where possible.
Here are some photos showing the team working to clear a lo’i (taro field), harvesting the kalo (Hawaiian word for taro), enjoying a locavore lunch and pounding poi. Of course we also ate the paʻi ʻai which is the freshly pounded taro before it has been watered down to eat as poi. I know many people don’t like poi but the paʻi ʻai was ONO! And at the end, we took off our shoes and planted the huli’s.
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In this short video, Hōkūao demonstrates the art of pounding poi.
Here’s a big Mahalo to Hōkūao and his o’hana for sharing the farm with us.