Molokai used to be known as “Molokai `Aina Momona,” or the abundant land, for its plentiful food supply that fed a population many times its current size. Like much of the state, Molokai now imports most of the food found in its stores and restaurants — 98 percent, in fact.
But the food served on Molokai’s dinner tables is a different story. About 40 percent of food consumed comes from subsistence sources such as hunting, fishing, gathering and home grown fruits and vegetables, according to a 2012 study conducted by Sust `aina ble Molokai.
“[The high level of subsistence] means that if disaster hits, Molokai is actually better off than other islands even though food production is less [than other islands],” said Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust `aina ble Molokai.…
Opinion by Kawika Duvauchelle, Kanoelani Davis, and Hawaiiloa Mowat
The Kawela Moku lies roughly between Kalamaula to Kamalo. It is rich in natural resources, from stunning waterfalls in the mountains to countless loko ia along its shoreline and from the many culturally significant sites that are scared to Hawaiians to one of the largest fringing reefs in the state. The Kawela Moku is the source of water for many families on Molokai and provides us with fish from the ocean and pig and deer from the mountains. Our hope is that these gifts will last for many, many generations.…
Opinion by members of the Kawela Moku
This represents individual mana`o from members of the Kawela Moku, and is not intended to speak for the Aha Kiole as a whole.
Hawaii Mowat on historical perspective
In the past century, the health of Hawaii’s ecosystem has severely declined. With the change of powers, came the change of the way we did things in Hawaii. Agriculture, development, invasive species, etc. has wreaked havoc on Hawaii’s natural resources and it seems as if the western way of land management does not work for Hawaii so the ancient yet sophisticated system must be revived.…
Gunsmith Mel Chung displays his historic firearms. Photo by Catherine Cluett
“Kung Hee Fat Choy,” meaning “congratulate you with prosperity,” is how you say Happy New Year, said Mrs. Chung with outstretched arms, cheerfully handing festive treats and gifts to visitors.
“It is a very inspiring saying,” she said. “It reminds us how lucky we are to be Chinese and to have this tradition to observe.”
For Mrs. Chung and her husband Mel, this time of the season means good food, good company and a time to celebrate their heritage. Red and gold lanterns, banners and decorative firecrackers adorned their business, Shop 2 & Beauty Salon.…
By Paul Fischer
“Aquaponics” is a combination of “aquaculture,” or the farming of fish, and “hydroponics,” which refers to growing plants in water. The crops help each other; the plants remove waste from the water, while fish fertilize the plants. After some research, I decided to try this for myself.
I used an oval livestock trough for my fish tank, and a lined wooden tray filled with gravel on top to hold the plants. A very small fountain pump on a timer periodically floods the tray with water from the fish tank, keeping the plants wet and filtering the water through the gravel medium. …
Tournament participants showcase their catches at the Ulua Tournament Sunday, Sept. 8 hosted by Molokai Fish and Dive. Photo by Laura Pilz
An impressive crowd gathered at Molokai Fish and Dive on Sunday, Sept. 8 as fishermen hoping to win the shop’s first-ever Ulua Fishing Tournament unloaded trucks, bags and coolers carrying their biggest catch.
At 3 p.m. the three-day tournament officially came to a close and each team or participant came forward to weigh their best fish. Many teams revealed more than one ulua to bolster their chance of taking home the grand prize. Ulua were caught island-wide, following state fishing regulations.…
Native plants making a comeback
Editorial by Catherine Cluett
We’re bumping along a rocky track, ascending steeply through a landscape some would call lunar. Ahead of us is mostly gray—Kawela’s barren, stony slopes and gulches, topped by a thin line of green where the mountaintops meet the sky. But I can’t help turning in my seat of our all-terrain vehicle toward the view behind us—each bump expands a breathtaking panorama of Maui to the east, Lanai’s slender back, the turquoise fingers of Molokai’s south shore reef, and the slopes of Pu`u Nana to Molokai’s west.
Panorama from about 3,000 ft. elevation showing Maui on the left, Kaho`olawe, Lanai in the center, and Molokai’s south shore reef.…
Protecting Molokai’s Watersheds
An understanding of the connections between mountains and ocean — mauka and makai — is rooted in ancient Hawaiian culture. Today, invasive species and human impacts are threatening to clog Molokai’s reef — the most extensive coral reef in the Main Hawaiian Islands — with sediment washed down from the mountain slopes. Today, scientists are doing studies to provide proof of this evidence and offer their data to help find solutions. And today, Molokai residents are meeting together to discuss those solutions and taking action to protect the island’s most valuable resources — both the mountains and the ocean.…
At Ka Honua Momona (KHM) Ali`i fishpond, workers take breaks in the shade of a large traditional thatched hale, where it is cool even on the hottest days. Office workers can look out at the hale and 30-acre pond from the windows of the sustainable office building where administrative work supports KHM’s mission of sustainability.
KHM hasn’t always had these amenities. The office and hale are the newest addition to the Ali`i fishpond, which nine years ago was overgrown with mangrove and knee-deep in mud. Today, because of the efforts of staff and volunteers eager to preserve the site’s ancient heritage, the Ali`i and Kalakoeli fishponds serve as a place for learning, sharing and restoring.…
Papohaku sand dunes protect the water from runoff and nearby homes from high tide swells. Now the system that guards so much could receive some protection from human threats. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) proposed increased protection for the Papohaku dune system. While the changes will not likely bring enforcement of stricter development rules, officials said they hope the protection would raise awareness of the dunes’ value.
Red dirt flows into the ocean where dunes were demolished on the west end of Molokai.
Photo contributed by Arleone Dibben-Young
A 500-page document dedicated solely to the preservation of the dune system at Papohaku stresses the environmental and cultural value of the system.…