Arts and Culture

Preserving Hawaiian Traditions, Sustainable Agriculture, Ecology, and Ohana

kalo taro field in hawaii

Preserving Hawaiian traditions, sustainable agriculture, ecology, and Ohana.

Kākoʻo ‘Ōiwi graciously sits tucked between the magnificent Ko’olau mountains and the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Residing in the ahupua’a of He’eia on the island of Oahu, this non-profit organization restores the vital cultural connection of unique Hawaiian horticulture while healing the land and community.

This 405-acre farm provides restoration for agricultural practices, natural habitats for native birds, propagation of local plants, and the chance to do it all with your bare hands and heart. Their main crop offered: Kalo (taro root) grows earnestly within cultivated wetland plots of mud, and is known as one of the world’s oldest crops. Kalo is an intrinsically very special and transfiguring plant, not only for its nutrient richness or healing properties, but for its inherent connection to Hawaii and its people.

woman plucks weeds amonst the taro plants

When you nurture a native ecosystem, the plants, animals, and community thrive.

Since 2010 50,000 pounds of kalo and poi has been cultivated from Kākoʻo ‘Ōiwi. Not only have they provided educational workshops/field trips for schools and volunteers, but has strengthened and supported its communal relationship with the Hawaiian economy through restaurants and direct-to-consumer sales. There’s no mistake, as to why the Kalo leaves are shaped as hearts on top, and its roots hold with a tight grip to its very special home. Nurture the land, and the community follows.

women in front of kalo patch

Harvesting kalo (along with weeding and planting) is no easy feat. It requires daily hands on work that cannot be supplemented by a machine. You’re muddy, dirty, and feeling like a kid again. Like you finally get to play in that little chunk of mud your parents always told you to stay out of to not get your clothes dirty. Kākoʻo ‘Ōiwi gives us all a chance to not only do something that strengthens Hawaii and its culture, but gives an opportunity to connect and heal with the childlike spirit we all still have within us.

Click here to find out more information about Kākoʻo ‘Ōiwi and how to volunteer:

kim soares and daughter

Photos are of Kim & Alyssa Soares – A special “mom & daughter” time together! Photos by Kim & Alyssa Soares

Comments (4) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

August 10, 2022

Love this post! And would love to visit when I am over on Oʻahu one of these times.

Cherie Tsukamoto

August 10, 2022

I absolutely love this post! We should do a company-wide excursion 🙂


August 11, 2022

Awesome post for all to read, learn and respect, for our unique culture here in the Islands.
Thank you for sharing!

Rich Moser

August 11, 2022

Very cool way for a realtor to give back to the community!

More Articles from Hawaii Life