Malama Kauai to host tree propagation

  • Jessica Else/The Garden Island file photo

    Megan Fox adjusts a sweet potato plant at the Malama Kauai community garden.

KALIHIWAI — Malama Kauai is gearing up to move off of the eight acers that currently house the Kalihiwai Community Farm, but before they do, they’re hoping to spread a little love around the island in the form of tree propagation.

July 12, the organization’s executive director Megan Fox received a notice to vacate the land that hosts the 42-plot community farm on Wai Koa Plantation land because Wai Koa Plantation has been put on the market.

Owned by Bill and Joan Porter, Wai Koa Plantation is a 520-acre legacy property split into two parcels between Kawaihau Ridge, Anaina Hou and Common Ground near Kilauea.

It hosts Stone Dam — currently under repair from the April 2018 floods — and the Wai Koa Loop Trail, which are both under a conservation easement with Hawaii Islands Lands Trust.

And while the Wai Koa Loop Trail will stay open and Stone Dam will open when it’s repaired, other tenants on the Wai Koa Plantation land have to move, at least temporarily.

Fox told The Garden Island in July that the notice to vacate and to relocate the community farm was a push in the right direction for Malama Kauai, which has been looking for ways to move and expand the community farm but hasn’t yet made the steps.

They’ve found a parcel on Kauai’s east side, actually, and are working to raise the money to buy the land for a new agriculture park — organizers are meeting on Maui today to do a grant presentation for a $1 million to buy the property.

They’ll know within a week if Malama Kauai was selected to be recommended for the award.

And while they’re working to raise money and relocate the community farm, they’re continuing on their mission to make fresh, local produce accessible to everyone on Kauai.

Every Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. they’re calling all volunteers to their “Tree Propagation Days”, which will lead to more food-producing trees in the community.

“It’s an opportunity to turn all of the food trees we have at the Kalihiwai Community Farm into more trees by air-layering and seeding them into new trees for distribution into the community,” Fox said.

As they are gathering volunteers to do propagation and other chores around the Community Farm, and are gathering letters of support for the organization and financial commitments toward the matching part of the grant, Fox said members of Malama Kauai have been inspired by the community.

“We are incredibly humbled and grateful for everyone’s help,” she said. “We want to make sure that all of the work that was put into the property by the community is shared back out, ensuring food resources are redistributed and don’t go to waste.”

More info: call Malama Kauai at 828-0685

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