Our farming practices combine indigenous wisdom and modern knowledge. It’s our way of honoring the past while growing for the future.
The ancient mahiʻai (Hawaiian farmer) did more than just cultivate food. These masters fostered an intimate relationship with their natural environment—from the soil and plants to the weather patterns and lunar cycles. This deep connection not only affected the way they grew food, but also how they made sense of the world around them.
We are growing several endemic and native species, along with many traditional Hawaiian foods known as “canoe crops” because they were carried in the voyaging canoes of the early Polynesians who populated these islands.
Practices include growing in loʻi kalo (flooded terraces for growing taro), planting according to the kaulana mahina (Hawaiian moon calendar), and other cultural protocols.
For centuries, Pacific Islanders sustained themselves through agroforestry. This growing style mimics natural forests, integrating trees and multi-level crops into a single ecosystem.
While "agroforestry” is a new term, mahiʻai have long proven the value of these systems. Benefits include healthier soil, hardier crops, and higher yields.
Our agroforest packs in a variety of plants that support each other as they grow, including ʻulu (breadfruit), maiʻa (bananas), kalo (taro), niu (coconuts), kō (sugarcane), and māmaki (nettle family).
“Regenerative" is the latest buzzword in the farming world. But again, it’s nothing new.
Ancient mahiʻai were experts at regenerative practices, which focus on improving soil health, and ultimately plant and human health as a result. Hawaiians knew that farming in this way was a matter of survival—not just for themselves, but for the following generations.
Here at Polipoli Farms, we improve our soil through planting cover crops, composting, rotational grazing, and agroforestry.