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Kalo patches thriving at Apuakehau

By Staff | May 28, 2020

Ke’eaumoku Kapu cleans a kalo patch at Apuakehau.

LAHAINA – The three kalo patches are flourishing at Apuakehau, the Hawaiian cultural park across from the Baldwin Home Museum on Front Street. Planted by students from King Kamehameha III School and Holy Innocents Preschool in early February, the kalo plants are now over five feet tall.

Ke’eaumoku Kapu, James Simpliciano and Namea Hoshino harvested luau leaves recently while removing the tattered old leaves from the kalo plants. As the plants continue to grow, there will be additional harvests of luau leaf.

Luau leaf is a nutritious and versatile vegetable that is an important part of the traditional Hawaiian diet. It contains high levels of oxalates, so the leaf must be properly and thoroughly cooked to be palatable.

With many varieties of kalo maturing at different times at Apuakehau, rolling harvests will be scheduled in late summer and early fall.

The students who planted the kalo will be invited back to harvest it, and huli, luau leaf and kalo will be shared with the community.

Lahaina Restoration Foundation reminds everyone to respect the work that the community has put into this cultural park. This is an ongoing project for the historic town of Lahaina and an important cultural learning experience for our students.

The weekly cultural classes and poi pounding recently held at the park were cancelled due to COVID-19. These programs will begin again as soon as it is safe to do so.

For information about the park, contact Lahaina Restoration Foundation at 661-3262.