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A little taro green is delicious when love is present. Or, even the plainest food is ‘ono when there is love.
This website is based on the work of kalo farmers. In 1939, three faculty from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), set out to meet these farmers and document the varieties before they disappeared. Credit goes to CTAHR faculty F. A. I. Bowers, M. Takahashi and Leo. D. Whitney, and to the Hawaiian farmers they interviewed across the Islands. The taro research led to the publication of Taro Varieties in Hawaii (Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station - Bulletin 84).
If history could be re-written, the authors of Bulletin 84 ought to have included the names of all the kupuna they interviewed, so credit and respect could be paid to the mahi 'ai who perpetuated kalo in the fields. It is our responsibility to carry the 'ike forward.
This site’s kalo photos were taken at botanical collections across Hawaii. On O‘ahu: at Waimea Valley Botanical Garden, Waimanalo Agricultural Station, Kanewai Garden, Hui Kū Maoli Ola Native Hawaiian Plant Specialists, and Kaipo‘i Kelling’s hale. On Maui: at Kahanu Gardens and Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and Penny Levin's lo‘i and māla. On Hawai'i Island: UH CTAHR Agriculture Experiment Station - Puna and Jerry Konanui's māla. On Kaua‘i: at Limahuli Garden. On Moloka‘i: UH CTAHR Agriculture Experiment Station - Alton Arakaki's collection.
Special thanks to Jerry Konanui, Penny Levin, Dale Evans and Kaipo‘i Kelling. Respect goes to Uncle Eddie Ka‘anānā, Kupuna Mary Kawena Pukui, and Coach David Eldredge. As educators, their lessons about Hawaiian culture, our community, science and the environment offer a path to improve our lives here and now. Mahalo to Janice Yap for bringing the mea‘ai of the world to the table.
Thanks and credit goes to these people for their influence and inspiration. It is their work and ideas that motivate:
Kēhaunani Abad, PhD
Aunty Valerie Baldovi
Father Damien of Moloka
‘iJonathan & Malia Deenik
Kealoha & Claire Domingo
Jon Duarte Design Group (JDDG)
Dr. Lois Englberger
Treebeard the Ent
Dr. Carl Evensen
John 21:15-17, “Feed my lambs.”
KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance
Kaipo‘i & Ivy Kelling
Dr. Angela Kay Kepler
Jerry & Gladys Konanui
Aunty Ah Jook Ku
Marion Lyman Mersereau, author of Eddie Wen' Go
Dr. Kenneth Otagaki
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Chef Philippe Padovani
Troop 10 - Kaimuki, Boy Scouts of America
Dr. Nicolai Vavilov
Lory Walker - Peroff
Trisha Kehaulani Watson