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  • May 23, 2018

    Talking Story with Ed Kenney

    On O‘ahu, just about everybody knows Restauranteur and Chef Ed Kenney (or at least know of him). While Ed prefers the solitude of the kitchen over the attention and visibility he receives in the front of the house, his humble and quiet demeanor has not kept him from leading a conscious community of local food and sustainability advocates. He can tell you the best seasonal produce stocked at the farmers’ market or how to process a wild boar caught in the local mountains, but he won’t mention that he was integral in bringing Hawai‘i’s farm-to-table movement into the public eye. With a mission for supporting local farmers and reestablishing food security in Hawai‘i, Ed is one of those people whose actions, as well as his cooking, speak louder than his words.

    When Ed opened his first restaurant, Town, in Kaimukī, he coined “Local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always.” The catchphrase coalesced a conscious community, people who care about the story behind their food. Sea to table, farm to fork, butcher to bar, however you say it, Ed Kenney serves it up everyday at Town, Mud Hen Water, Kaimuki Superette, and Mahina & Sun’s.

    Where did your passion for cooking and sustainability come from? Who first shared their love of cooking with you?
    It’s my mom, definitely—single mom, raised two boys. Out of economics she cooked everything from scratch. We had one of those houses where the door was always open and she was always feeding a bunch of us; it was an open-door policy and we were all about sharing food with friends.

    How did you come to incorporate a sustainable, local-first element to your cooking?
    There was a revelation at some point. As a chef you’re looking for best ingredients, and the best dishes start with best ingredients. Something that’s closer to the source and hasn’t traveled thousands of miles, been refrigerated, picked green, and artificially ripened like the tomatoes they ship in.

    When you grow up in Hawai‘i, there’s an unspoken attachment to this place. You want to preserve it. Then you have kids and it changes even more so because you’re not doing things just for self or your customers, but for the next generation. The emotional level of doing the right thing drives me.

    I think chefs are in unique position to move a cause forward. Between our four restaurants we feed 350 to 400 people a day. Each one of those people can be exposed to the stories we tell through food.

    What is your perspective on local food culture and farm-to-table cooking? And to take it a step further, how has it evolved?
    Traditionally, restaurants are profitable based on set menus and consistency. Working with small farms, we knew we had to turn that model upside down. We had to change the menu every day, buy whatever came in the back door, and use it up as best we can. The reviews were mixed at first, but by year three we were busting at the seams and our vision was realized. We got in at right time and were the first ones to democratize local food. At that time the menu was twice as long as it had to be because every item had a place name in front of it—Waimānalo, Mokule‘ia, Waialua. Now, we don’t do that anymore because it’s almost expected.

    What type of relationship do you have with MA‘O Farms?
    We refer to ourselves as co-producers. It’s not just a farmer and chef relationship; our overall success is a result of each other’s success. There’s no better beet, root vegetables, or arugula on the island, and it’s organic. MA‘O Farms is unique because it’s a nonprofit social enterprise. It provides leadership opportunities to at-risk or underserved youth from the Wai‘anae community, known for its economic indicators of poverty. The farm provides them with the opportunity to get a university degree in community sustainable food systems for free, while at same time reconnecting with the ‘āina, which in native Hawaiian culture is the focus of everything.

    How important are farmers’ markets in steering local residents back to locally grown food and making connections with farmers?
    Michael Pollan, in his book, In Defense Of Food, said that 11-times more interactions take place at a farmers’ market than at a supermarket. That’s part of the sustainability equation that is overlooked. You’ve got the environmental aspect and the economic, but that social leg of three-leg stool is often not talked about. That’s where restaurants and farmers’ markets really shine. It gives you the opportunity to meet those people, know your farmer, and know where the food comes from.

    When you put your heart into every dish you cook, how important is sharing that food around the table and bringing people together?
    It’s synonymous. In order to be in this business and stick with it you have to be a sharing, giving person. Otherwise you could work a lot less hours and make a lot more money. It may be a self-defeating prophecy, but it would be wonderful if more people stayed home, cooked and ate together as a family. It would help make the world a better place.

  • May 23, 2018

    Fun With Fermentation

    Ed Kenney shares the popular Kaimuki Superette Kombucha recipe

    Ed Kenney’s second establishment on Waialae Avenue, Kaimuki Superette, is well known as Kaimukī’s favorite sandwich shop and coffee house. Beyond the cold brew, hot sandwiches, and ever-changing antipasti—made with fresh, seasonal veggies—Ed’s evolution of the neighborhood deli also features a bevy of flavored kombucha. For Ed, kombucha is an amazing beverage in so many ways. It’s rich in probiotic and gut-healthy bacteria. It provides a means to utilize fruit and vegetable trimmings, which cut down on kitchen waste. Above all, it’s fantastically delicious. If you’re not able to drop into the Superette, as the locals call it, then give Ed’s Kaimuki Superette Kombucha recipe a try at home. Cheers!

    Kaimuki Superette Kombucha


    First Ferment – This step develops the beneficial bacteria and tangy acidity.
    2 gallons water
    2 cups raw sugar
    10 grams organic black tea leaves (wrapped in cheesecloth)
    The Scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) – This is a one-time purchase from your natural foods store. It is rolled over from each batch of Kombucha to the next. As it grows, it can be split to make larger batches or shared with friends that also want to make Kombucha at home.

    Bring water to boil. Allow to cool to 180° F. Add the tea wrapped in cheesecloth and steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea and cool the liquid to room temperature. Place the tea and scoby in a clean container (preferably glass) and cover with cheesecloth to allow it to de-gas. Store in cool dark place for 2 weeks. The first fermentation is complete!

    Strain out the scoby and 1 cup of kombucha to be used in your next batch of Kombucha. If you are not ready to immediately roll into another batch, the scoby will live for two months in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

    Second Ferment – This step infuses flavor into the beverage and bubbles (effervescence) form. Split the Kombucha into four (4) half-gallon mason jars. To each jar add approximately 1 cup of fruit scraps, herbs, or spices. Get creative with the ingredients or stick with a few of my suggestions. Cover the mason jars tightly with lids. Leave the jars out in cool dark place for two to three days, burping (loosen lid to release gas) each day. This completes the second fermentation.

    Strain the kombucha and enjoy over ice or in your favorite cocktail. Keep refrigerated.

    Ed’s Kombucha Flavoring ideas – Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some batches will come out better than others, but all are delicious.
    Pineapple Cores
    Mango Pits
    Guava Skins
    Citrus Pulp and Rinds
    Overripe Berries
    Wilting Herbs
    Apple/Pear Cores
    Scraped Vanilla Pods
    Coffee Beans
    Ginger or Turmeric Trim
    Melon Rinds
    Spices
    Celery Trim
    Carrot Peels
    Cucumber Seeds
    Corn Cobs
    Fennel Fronds
    Whatever you can think of, try it!

  • May 23, 2018

    Talking Story with Kimi Werner

    Whether you cast a line from shore or hold your breath and slowly descend into the depths to the reef below with speargun in hand, it’s not easy to catch a fish. Kimi Werner can attest to that. After culinary school and a foray into a career in the arts, professional spearfisher Kimi Werner tapped into lessons she learned from her father in her early youth and returned to the sea, putting her heart and soul into the solitary endeavor of spearfishing. In 2008, she became a national champion.

    On land, Kimi is anything but solitary. Through her advocacy supporting local food and healthy reefs and oceans, she inadvertently created a community of sharing that has grown beyond trading fish for avocados. Today, as an OluKai Ambassador, Kimi is spreading her penchant for eating local and fresh foods, protecting the ocean, and sharing its bounty to encourage others to do the same.

    How did you get started freediving and spearfishing?
    I grew up on Maui. At the age of five I first tagged along with my dad when he would go spearfishing and freediving, just to put food on the table for our family. The minute I got introduced to that underwater world I fell in love with it.

    When I was 24 years old, living on O‘ahu—I had graduated college with a culinary arts degree and I had a job in the restaurant industry. The more I questioned what was missing, the more that my mind kept throwing at me memories of diving with my dad and getting food. So I started seeking out anybody who could spearfish. No one took me seriously, so I went out and got a three-prong spear. I went out on my own on the North Shore of O‘ahu.

    After trying all day on that reef I was able to spear six different fish and bring them home for dinner. When I cleaned those fish, cooked that dinner and shared it with my roommates, I realized that meal tasted and felt more valuable to me than anything I made in my entire culinary career. I knew I needed to hold on to this with both hands. Soon, I starting showing up to barbeques with my own fish. Then people started inviting me diving and I became obsessed with it.

    At what point did you transition from fishing to becoming a competitive spearfisher?
    Eventually I fell into the hands of these elite divers, these past national champions who heard about this enthusiastic girl, and they trained me. I dove with them for about three years. I learned so much and am so grateful. They taught me how to take the skills and go into the unknown and do so much more with them. In 2008, I realized I wanted to try my hand at competing to see how I hold up next to the best in the nation, and I wanted to win and then turn around and thank these guys that taught me.

    When did you realize that the ocean could provide you with more than just fish?
    As far as lifetime opportunities to make a livelihood, I had no clue until I was about 28 years old. In 2008, I won the United States National Spearfishing Championships and started to get public recognition. When I quit competition, I thought I would lose those career opportunities. I realized that I wanted to dive, spearfish, travel, and learn about other cultures, how other places manage their natural resources and practice sustainable hunting. That became my passion. To my surprise, the more I was able to pursue that and share what I was learning, the more that my following grew and more opportunity came my way. It became clear that this is going to be something I can do full time.

    What have you learned from your time underwater?
    The biggest thing I learned from the ocean is when you feel the need to speed up, slow down. It’s about being comfortable in the water and learning how to relax under pressure. Anytime I felt the need to rush, panic or speed up, that became my indicator to move more slowly and relax. That totally improved my freediving, but personally it has helped me in my life, in society.

    What does fishing mean to you now?
    Fishing is a way to immerse myself in this environment and truly connect with it, to study, learn, and know the environment. Being a provider happened inadvertently. Sometimes I’ll catch enough fish to share. It took a lot of work, and it’s a life that I took. Out of respect for my catch, I want to share with people that will appreciate it as much as I do, even if it means going to great lengths like driving across the island to get this fish into the hands of somebody I can tell will really appreciate it.

    In your eyes, how does the simple act of sharing fish create a community?
    What ended up happening without realizing it, I was choosing people like Ed Kenney, like Hiilei Kawelo, like Paula Fuga— people with the same interest of getting to know their own environment and how to use their resources responsibly with love. In the weeks after sharing that fish, I’d wake up and have avocados at my door, or venison from local hunter, or I would have kale or beautiful garden greens, or chicken eggs.

    Today, I barely go spearfishing once a week and yet I feed myself about 80 percent of my food from someone that grew, caught, or foraged, because this sharing community has been created in Hawai‘i. We found a way to take care of each other. It’s really harmonious. Sharing is a huge part of sustainability.

  • May 23, 2018

    This is How Kimi ’Qs

    Kimi Werner’s ultimately easy and savory fish marinade

    Whether Kimi Werner is hosting a barbeque at home or stopping by a friend’s house for a low-key grill out, she knows she can always turn to her favorite quick and savory seafood marinade to get everyone’s belly grumbling. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it’s her go-to fish preparation.

    While Kimi doesn’t use exact measurements for her marinade, she suggests doing some experimenting with the quantities of each ingredient to find the perfect balance to suit your personal taste buds. Because this marinade works equally well with red or white meat fish,—essentially any fish that’s big enough to filet—it’s the perfect solution to adding bold flavor for on-the-fly cookouts.

     

    Ingredients
    Olive oil
    Soy sauce
    Lemon juice
    Garlic, finely chopped
    Ginger root, finely chopped
    Thai basil, chiffonade or whole leaf

     

    Method to the Madness
    In a bowl, combine olive oil, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Kimi uses two lemons. Add the garlic, ginger, and Thai basil leaves to the marinade and whisk together. Add fish filets to the marinade and let them soak for about 45 minutes. Cook on a medium to medium-high heat grill until cooked through, usually until the filet easily breaks apart with a fork.

  • May 4, 2018

    Kaua'i Relief Update

    On Friday April 13th, 2018 torrential rains began falling on Kaua’i, by the end of the weekend, the Garden Isle endured more than 50” of rainfall, bringing down hillsides, collapsing roads and washing away homes. The flood damage so significant that Governor David Ige and Mayor Bernard Carvalho declared a state of emergency as several feet of flood waters remained in several parts of the island. The National Guard was sent in to aid local rescue officials and so far there are over 400 people were evacuated by helicopters and many by sea. As the island continues to focus on its long-term rebuilding efforts, residents on the North Shore past Hanalei are still cut off from access with the only road in to town closed for rebuilding.

    Immediately, OluKai met with local ambassadors to better understand the situation and formulate a plan to help. One of the highest priorities was to equip local community members with the gear needed to dig out of the flood debris, footwear was in demand and OluKai responded by sending 450 pairs of water proof boots and training shoes to be distributed to the local community. In addition, we heard of three lifeguards who’d lost or had their homes damaged, yet tirelessly continued to serve those in need. OluKai redirected some of their race registration fees of the 2018 Ho’olaule’a in Maui to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association to directly support the guards’ rebuilding efforts.

    At OluKai’s annual Ho’olaule’a event, the Monday following the races is always dedicated to a work day. This year several team members traveled to Kaua’i to directly help the rebuilding efforts. On Monday, April 30th, the OluKai team met with local aid teams, as well as members of O’ahu’s Pili Group (locally sourced catering group led by Chef Gooch), and traveled by truck and off-road vehicles from Hanalei into the heart of the flood’s impact zone on Kauai’s North Shore. During the 12-mile journey, much of which inside the landslide riddled section of Kuhio Highway, currently off by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the team saw Mother Nature’s raw power first hand. Houses torn off their foundations, 1-ton trucks upside down, deep craters in the sides of Kauai’s majestic cliff sides- a result of thousands of tons of earth matter that all came crashing down on the valleys below.

    The team met with the caretakers of Limahuli Garden and Preserve, a 1000-acre of raw beauty in one of the last functioning ahupua’a, Hāʻena. Limahuli is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, home to dozens of endangered plants and first found nowhere else. It is also arguably one of the most physically beautiful places in the world with a magnificently lush garden, featuring ancient agricultral terracing and a traditional thatched community hale, only to be outdone by the sharp cliffs jutting upwards from each side of the garden, it is clear these are the protectors of the place.

    Kawika Winter, Director of Limahuli Garden, briefed the team of 30 volunteers, that the immediate goal is to repair 1500 feet of irrigation line that was displaced during the flood. The dismantled pipe currently lay in the bottom of the creek bed, it was to be elevated 50-to-100 feet up the steep, muddy and tree lined valley walls and repositioned at the upstream put in. The ravine is so steep and geologically sensitive that no machines are allowed inside, so the work was to be done by hand. Much of the crew had met for the first time earlier that morning, but quickly learned to work together as a team, necessary to leverage the many hands required to safely move the long and heavy pipe in these rugged conditions. The chants of “I kū mau mau!” enabled the team to move in harmony, yet also nurtured the ancestral ties to Limahuli. By the afternoon, the team had successfully repositioned the entire irrigation line and used an 'ō'ō (digging stick) to secure the water input. As the water once again quenched the thirst of the garden, the valley was adorned with the sounds of “chee-hoo” and the celebratory splashes of a cooling dip into the cold pools of the creek.

    The team hiked back to Limahuli Gardens home office and were greeted by a traditional feast prepared by Chef Gooch of Pili Group. Each item on the menu featured a modern take on a traditional meal, all of the ingredients locally sourced. The team found themselves reflecting on the work completed today, but couldn’t avoid the nearly consuming thoughts of the rebuilding work that remains for many communities in Kaua’i. If you would like to help in Limahuli’s recovery visit their website at https://ntbg.org/gardens/limahuli/flood, and to support general relief efforts on Kauaʻi visit Hawaiian Community Foundation at https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/kauairelief. #KokuaKauai

  • March 13, 2018

    OluKai 2018 Events Lineup

    OluKai is hitting the road to share aloha with our friends across the mainland. Subscribe to our email list below to be notified of new events in your area! #AnywhereAloha

     

    Lineup:
    SXSW Marketplace / Austin, TX / March 15-17
    RBC Heritage Golf Classic / Hilton Head, SC / April 9-15
    Tuck Fest / Charlotte, NC / April 19-22
    Bay to Breakers / San Francisco, CA / May 18-20
    BottleRock / Napa, CA / May 25-27
    GoPro Mountain Games / Vail, CO / June 7-10
    Kaaboo / Del Mar, CA / Sept. 14-16
    Ohana Fest / Dana Point, CA / Sept 29-30

     

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  • January 17, 2019

    Kumu Kahi

    Inspiration Stories of 4 Hawaiian Artists

    OluKai proudly partnered with Heath Newsstand in San Francisco to co-host the shop’s inaugural panel discussion event, titled Kumu Kahi. The evening brought four talented creative directors from Hawai‘i to the “City by the Bay” to share their stories of art, inspiration, and how their Hawaiian home has shaped their creative voices. Mark Kushimi (Contrast Magazine), Ara Feducia (Nella Media Group), Dean Song (MŌNO), and Matt Luttrell (trim Hawai‘i) spoke to a packed house with a multi-media presentation that took everyone through their personal stories of inspiration, motivation and design. Matt “Lutty” Luttrell went up first and gave the crowd his personal history, specifically how he fell head over heels for surfing and beach culture after seeing the movie “The Endless Summer”. This led Matt to not only move to Hawai‘i and devote his life to surfing, but to create a magazine devoted to surf history and the culture that surrounds it. Dean Song, the only speaker not directly connected to a specific magazine, shared his vision for design that has both function and beauty. Dean showed the crowd images of his shop on O‘ahu, as well as images and info about the small “design goods to improve your home office and lifestyle” that they carry, many of which are from Hawai‘i and Japan. Ara Feducia, creative director of NGM which publishes many titles including Flux Hawai‘i and Lei magazines, dropped some knowledge about the role of language and rhetoric in design in general and, more specifically, in her work. Walking through her portfolio, Ara showed amazing designs from her earliest works as a musician-designer knocking out music posters and flyers, to her current work leading the charge with the sophisticated and beautiful editorial designs for all of the NMG mags. Mark Kushimi, co-founder and creative director of Contrast magazine, was the only panelist whose work also includes being a full-time, professional photographer. With clients such as Monocle, Nella Media Group, and OluKai, Mark’s skills as a graphic designer are only matched by his skills as an image creator. With his belief that photos are meant “to be seen printed”, and shooting with film whenever he can, Mark’s imagery showed the room what his vision of Hawai‘i really is. It was a portfolio of images that show Hawai‘i through Mark’s eyes – times when the beaches are perfect with stunning blue water, but also when skies (and seas) are stormy and gray. Images of people exploring lesser known parts of the island, and others that show urban scenes that could easily be mistaken for New York or LA. All of them different, all of them beautiful, and all of them Hawai‘i. The standing-room-only crowd stuck around after to get some time with each of the presenters to dig a little deeper, share contact information, and to show gratitude to the artists for sharing their time and personal stories. It’s not a typically Hawaiian trait to stand in front of a crowd of people and say nice things about yourself. It can be uncomfortable and doesn’t always mesh well with humility. But Matt, Dean, Ara, and Mark came to San Francisco because they were asked, not to be honored for their skills or resumés, but to share stories of their home and the incredibly thoughtful and unbelievably beautiful work Hawai'i produces. The guests were inspired because of the speakers’ sincerity, their support for one another, and because of their declarations of love for their origins and how’s it shaped who they are, and what they do, today. Special thanks to Wendy Tsuji and Megan Sanguinetti for all of their hard work in putting on this truly inspiring event.

  • February 18, 2018

    Like Water

    We're proud to announce the release of Like Water, a short film we produced in partnership with The Inertia that pays homage to the bravery of lifeguards in Hawaii. A recent reversal of Senate Bill 462 made Hawaiian lifeguards legally liable for many ocean-related hazards, and their courage deserves our attention.
    Starring Mark Healey, Brian Keaulana, Archie Kalepa, Mark Cunningham, Kamu Davis, Bryan Phillips, and many of the North Shore's elite watermen, Like Water brings awareness to the challenges lifeguards patrolling one of the world’s deadliest stretches of coastline face out of the water.
     "The lifeguards have been consistently attacked by the state," said big wave surfer and former Junior Guard Mark Healey. "Now, they’re liable. They go save somebody, and they go, 'No, I don’t think you saved me good enough, I’m going to sue you.' They’re personally liable."
     Considering the responsibility of keeping civilians safe on the North Shore is already a life-endangering proposition, we felt it was necessary to shine a spotlight on their role as a cornerstone of the community. As it turns out, it’s a big one.
     "Lifeguards in Hawaii are like professors in a college," said Hawaiian water safety expert Archie Kalepa. "They sit on that tower day in and day out. They see the tide change. They see the currents move. That comes from years of knowledge. For the normal person, they see the beauty.

    The lifeguards, they see the beast. Sometimes the beast is sleeping, but the beast is there, and they know that."

     "Everyone who walks on our beach, everyone who swims in our ocean becomes part of our family," said ocean safety pioneer Brian Keaulana. "We’re not divided by land. We’re connected by water."
    Blog written by The Inertia's Zach Weisberg
  • February 17, 2018

    Q&A with Da Rulk

    Elite Functional Training Specialist
     

     

    Q: Hi Rulk, thanks for joining us! Could you please share a bit about yourself, your upbringing, and your passions growing up?

    "I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology. I have always been fascinated with strength and conditioning. More specifically how our mind can push our body to exceed that which we believe we can do. I also gravitated toward biomechanics to learn how to deconstruct movement patterns and design efficient sequences to optimize performance. Many people would be fascinated with the 300lbs man that could lift 2000 lbs...where I would be more interested in the 90 year old woman that lifted a car off her trapped grandchildren.  I wanted to understand how that was possible...how people are able to accomplish remarkable feats when they don’t seem possible. Full commitment and conviction to purpose.   In Hawaii there is a saying...”If Can, Can. If No Can, Still Can.”  Always Can. This is my life mantra and something that I preach to my own sons and everyone that I work with."

     

    Q: You have a very unique, very practical approach to exercise. How did you get into training and how did you discover your focus?

    "I designed my own body weight training curriculum called Raw Functional Training or RFT®.  It focuses on our foundational movement patterns and a systematic approach of sequencing these movements together to enhance core stability, joint mobility and overall functional strength and conditioning. When training waterman, first responders or competitive athletes I also integrate the sensory system to help them learn to manage their nervous and adrenal systems."

    Q: You’ve had the honor of training some very honorable clients, can you name some of the individuals and groups you’ve worked with?

    "I have been blessed to work with many elite Olympic and professional athletes in a myriad of sports and genres.  I also have worked with elite military teams, SWAT, Fire, and Search and Rescue units.   I have specifically enjoyed working with many waterman including Big Wave Surf Champion Makua Rothman and members of the North Shore Life Guard Association."

    Q: You’ve had the opportunity to combine your training with the functionality designed into the ‘Eleu Trainer, can you tell us a bit about the trainer and how it worked for you?

    "I love the glove like feel of the ‘Eleu Trainer and it’s responsiveness regardless of the terrain I am training on.  I do a lot of my training outdoors and they allow my feet to feel both secure and comfortable when transitioning from ground work to running."

    Q: Getting a bit more personal, what do you love most about what you do?

    "I love helping people do more than they believe they can do.  Exceeding limitations that we all tend to place on ourselves.  Although I love working with my elite athletes and it is extremely rewarding training our military and first responders, every single person I have the pleasure of working with is a blessing and I am honored to navigate them on their journey.  There are no restrictions to my RFT® training curriculum.  Age, Gender, Level of Fitness, Equipment...do not matter.  The only two things that are required to succeed are focus and effort...and we control both of those things.  My mission is to show everyone that they are unstoppable if they can commit to purpose."

    Q: Lastly, we like to end our Q&A’s by asking our friends of the brand what your 3 favorite OluKai’s are. Other than the trainer what do you like to wear?

    "I like to wear the Kia'i IIKipi, and Kohala Boots"

     

    Thank you to Da Rulk! Check out his training tactics on his Instagram @da_rulk

  • November 26, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Nurture Sustainable Communities

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 6

    Waipā ʻĀina. Culture. Community.

    It’s all too easy in today’s world of modern agriculture and door-delivered groceries to lose the connection to the land that feeds us. The Waipa Foundation of north shore Kaua’i understands this and works hard to foster a strong sense of interdependence with the natural world, using the 1600 acre ahupua’a (traditional land division) of Waipa to bring communities back to the source.

    The foundation encourages an “eat local, live local” mentality, and is a primary grower of kalo, a native island plant of exceptional nutritional value that is central to Hawaiian heritage. The local community can get hands-on with the harvest through the foundation’s weekly poi-making sessions (poi being the end product made when the root of the plant are ground down), and have even built a community kitchen to support local farmers and food vendors. And in an effort to battle the reality that Hawai’i imports nearly all its food, the ahupua’a enables a true farm-to-table vision by providing ingredients directly to the local restaurants in the area.

    You’ll often hear Hawaiians talk about “kuleana” -- or responsibility -- when it comes to taking care of their land and ocean. The Waipa Foundation is no exception, and promotes the idea that all of us share the kuleana and ability to be more sustainable. It utilizes the ahupua’a of Waipa to share, teach, and re-learn how to live in balance with our aina.)

    We, too, believe in restoring the health of the natural environment of Hawai’i and the native ecosystems of the ahupua’a, and support the Waipa Foundation through our Ama OluKai Foundation.

     

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