Based in the Makaweli Valley on the Westside of Kauaʻi, Aloha Aina Poi Company is a farmer owned enterprise centered on ʻāina-based community enrichment, empowerment and economic development. Our goal is to provide the highest quality kalo products in order to reinvigorate and support a thriving mahi ʻai kalo (kalo farming) complex in West Kauaʻi.
The term “Aloha ʻĀina” means “love for the land.” It is a timeless phrase that has been used by poʻe Hawaii (Hawaiian People) for thousands of years to express one of our deeply held values, the love for and commitment to caring for our land. The land is the ultimate provider, without the fruits of the land we cannot survive. Thus, as stewards of the land, we must express Aloha for it and Mālama (care for) it in order to survive. It was a term used during political movements in the 19th century to express national pride for the Hawaiian Kingdom and was re-ignited by the leaders of the struggle to stop the bombing of the island of Kaho`olawe in the 1970’s. It quickly caught on as a slogan for the Hawaiian Renaissance that ensued to express cultural pride and the necessity to protect Hawaiian resources.
Today, Aloha ʻĀina has once again taken on new life as it has become synonymous with the calls to address the issues of our diminishing natural resources. The need for greater food security in our islands and sustainable practices in resource management have lead to calls for all of Hawaii’s residents to Aloha ʻĀina and truly act as stewards of the land. It is our belief that small-scale farmers hold the answers to many of our sustainability issues. Although those problems often seem very complex, we feel the answer is quite simple… Farm our own food… and start with Hawaiian Kalo. The crop that sustained the population of these islands long before the ships began to come.
The inspiration for the Aloha ʻĀina logo comes from the Nūpepa Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language newspapers) that ran from the 1830’s through the 1940’s, and it is why you may notice our name does not use the Hawaiian diacritical marks. There were dozens of Hawaiian language newspapers, and they were invaluable resources of news and history, preserving many of the stories of traditional Hawaii. Today, there are over one million pages of these newspapers archived, and they have again become a valuable educational tool as the stories of our kūpuna (ancestors) are enlightening the new generations. Similarly, we hope that by bringing focus back to ʻĀina… Aloha ʻĀina… We will help the next generations get back to our most valuable resource…. our land.
Please visit the website awaiaulu.org to learn more about the revival of the Nūpepa Hawaiʻi.
Aloha Aina Poi Co. is a community based social impact organization. The founders of this enterprise are heavily committed to community enrichment and empowerment work focused on West Kauaʻi. Our sister organization, Kumano I Ke Ala (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) shares a common vision and mission to rebuild a sustainable West Kauaʻi for future generations. Our partnership with Kumano I Ke Ala is heavily focused on engaging youth and growing the next generation of farmers.
Kumano I Ke Ala projects that we support are the Mālama Waimea River Project (Community Volunteer Program), Aloha ʻĀina Afterschool Program (Middle and High School), ʻIke Outreach program (K-12), and the Noke Mau Mentorship Program (At-Risk Youth and Adults.) The Kilohana Canoe Club is also a community partner that provides youth activities and mentorship