Ka ʻUmeke ʻAi is the name we have chosen for our restoration initiative. Since 2015, restoring Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa to itʻs initial intentions have been our biggest kuleana. Our mission is to create a space for kānaka in our community to reconnect to ʻāina and offer the opportunity to learn traditional Hawaiian knowledge and practices, with hopes to eventually restore/normalize traditional ʻai.
"ʻO kēia nō nā hana maikaʻi e kipaku ʻia aku ai ka wī mai ka ʻumeke aku a ke kanaka." - Stephen Desha, Moʻolelo Kaao no Kuhaupio ke koa kaulana o ke au o Kamehameha ka Nui
Ka ʻUmeke ʻAi is the name of our traditional sustenance and regenerative agriculture initiative. The name, "Ka ʻUmeke ʻAi" can literally translate to a bowl (ʻumeke) for food (ʻai). However figuratively this term can be broken down into the words "ʻai" which represents sustenance in the form of crops such as kalo, ʻuala, ʻulu, etc. and "ka ʻumeke" as a reference to ʻāina as it is the container which holds the ʻai. A traditionally Hawaiian concept of life is realizing that the sea and the land when maintained and stewarded properly, can contain all the food that we need to survive and sustain ourselves. In a modern sense, the sea and the land are like our refrigerators, when we need food we go to them and collect what we need. Just as how we work to keep our refrigerators well stocked, Ka ʻUmeke ʻAi works to create that same concept, however the ʻāina is where we stock our food, and our food is continually growing and maintained.
As we continue to grow in our intentions of restoring Kahaluʻu Kūāhewa, some of our future goals include:
Hosting workshops, including making ʻumeke, papa/pōhaku kuʻi ʻai, and ʻōʻō
Outplanting traditional starches such as ʻulu, kalo, ʻuala, and uhi