A row of four ti plants was the first of the plants to be put into the Mālaola and in June, their leaves were the first to be gathered to make skirts for their summer performances. Now most of the plants are as tall as adult people! A once barren acre of land now is home to over 500 luscious native Hawaiian and culturally important plants. Students are astonished that the plants they planted and nurtured are now providing leaves and flowers for them.
The spindly crown flowers planted in January have developed into tall gorgeous bushes, attracting butterflies as well as our keikiʻs tiny fingers to gather flowers to make lei. In October 2015, the Hālau began to gather 'uki 'uki berries to make a deep blue-purple dye for their pāʻū. Soon they will be able to gather other flowers and plants to construct skirts, lei and other hula implements.
As you can tell, we are not only growing plants, but we are also growing keiki. As the garden lives and thrives, so do our they. When they look back on this year, they will remember their how much the garden has grown and they will know that their Mālaola is a result their hard work.
A special MAHALO to our Friends at Dupont Pioneer, without whom our Mālaola would not be possible!