Why "Polipoli" Farms

Why "Polipoli" Farms

We’re Polipoli Farms. Nope, not that Polipoli. The other Polipoli.

Those familiar with Maui have probably heard of Polipoli. Perhaps they’ve even visited, hiked or camped at this spot (official name is Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area), located along Waipoli Road in Kula.

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area (pictured above) is located in Upcountry, Maui.

And now we have Polipoli Farms, located in . . . Waiehu . . . more than an hour’s drive from Kula. Wait . . . what?!

Let me explain. When it came time to name our farm, we reached out to a friend and farm mentor Hōkūao Pellegrino of Nohoʻana Farm. Here’s that conversation:

HŌKŪAO: Are you folks willing to incorporate the original ʻili name of your parcel of land?
ME: Yes! In fact, that’s the first thing we thought about. We’re in the ʻili of Polipoli. We’re a bit concerned that it would be confusing, since most people think of the Upcountry Polipoli.
HŌKŪAO: I totally understand, but it is also a teaching tool. For example, there are Waiʻanae in Lahaina and Oʻahu, Lāʻie as well. There’s a Koʻolau pretty much on every island. I think it would be a total learning experience, but just my two cents.
ME: You’re so right about that. (Insert squishy-face emoji.) You must be an educator or something! (He is.)

We’ve spent many hours on Hōkūao’s farm learning about traditional agriculture, and this exchange was a different sort of lesson. I’ll admit, it was pretty embarrassing that our thought was to avoid “Polipoli” because of possible confusion. (Seriously, we should’ve known better.)

The moment Hōkūao shared his mana‘o, though, we knew we had to follow our initial instincts and honor the traditional name of this place. It’s a lesson we won’t forget.

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