This project was conducted by Graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi Urban and Regional Planning Department. Through these classes, students worked to support; the farmer, Anthony DeLuze, the landowner, Kamehameha Schools, the farmʻs neighbors, Pearlridge shopping center and the community.
Though this process, students learned; how to approach community, how to listen and how to apply their gifts. The students' multidisciplinary backgrounds contributed support by means of scientific research, data collection and database management and oral history documentation. Long lasting relationships were built and catalyzed by attending and sweating along side each other at the community workdays.
Kaʻōnohi Farm is located on the south side of Oʻahu. It is located adjacent to Pearlridge Mall and Sumida watercress farm. The 2.5 acre farm was mapped using ArcGIS and polygons helped the farmer track and manage farm production. The students used Google forms to create a "Farm Tracker" to record observations in specific patches.
This figure is an analysis of the inputs and outputs of Kaʻōnohi Farms based on conversations with key stakeholders such as Kaʻōnohi Farms mahiʻai and Kamehameha Schools- Innovations. Many of these were also through graduate student observations and understanding of the place. This asset map depicts what Kaʻōnohi farms takes in and what it provides in return.
From this Map we can see that Kaʻōnohi Farms reduces the areas temperature by roughly 3 degrees on average. The farm is able to reduce the thermal pollution of the surround mall area.
Students were able to interview the farmer and use modern hydrology instrumentation to record; water quality, flow and freshwater springs around the farm. The map above shows traditional ʻauwai (water irrigation ditches), as well as proposed loko wai. Below, the students show how Kaʻōnohi farm serves as a sink for run-offs due to it's location in relation to the topography.
Multiple Springs Averages:
Temperature: ~71 Fo
Dissolved Oxygen: ~90%
Flowing at 8.83 Gal/Min
Natural Spring Water
The land is owned by Kamehameha Schools and is currently being leased to the farmer. The farmer brings over 30 types of Hawaiian Kalo (taro) but the planting knowledge that was passed on to him by his teacher Uncle Jerry Konanui.
“Committed for the long term to cultivating food… that would enhance our independence from the importation of life-supporting goods and services.” -Kamehameha Schools
As result of this work we show the great importance of a traditional taro farmer to our island but more specifically to our urban spaces. Impacts of the farm such as water filtration, heat retention and native habitat restored provides the broader community with tangible benefits. However, the intangibles such as traditional knowledge transferred, spiritual connections made provide our urban populations the ability to help give identity back to this important unique spring fed taro patch.
Currently, the Kaʻōnohi is building their traditional hale. This past weekend was a day of debarking mangrove, planting posts and lashing of the olokea (scaffolding). Over 30 people, from 5 months to 80 years old shared in the work and had the opportunity to connect to place. We appreciate the farm so much for holding this space for so many ohana to create stories and memories. The farm truly exemplifies the importance of ʻĀina to the community.