• What we'll do
When is the last time you had an excuse to play in the mud? Well, we've found one for you - and it is for a good cause. E kūpaku ka 'āina (EKKA) is recovering, perpetuating and studying the diversity of traditional Hawaiian kalo (taro) cultivars once found in Hawai’i at Maka’aka Lo’i. Join us as Penny Levin, EKKA’s Coordinator, teaches us about kalo, the lo`i (wetland taro fields) and the whole ecosystem that kalo supports. EKKA really benefits from volunteer support to keep Maka’aka Lo’i going. So.... as part of this event you are invited to learn by doing and actually experience what it takes to keep a lo'i going.
• What to bring
We will be getting muddy. Penny suggests bringing clothes you don't mind getting _permanently_ dyed by the lo'i mud. As in you washing machine will _not_ get the stains out. You may wish to bring tabis (dive/snorkel booties) or other boots/shoes that are mud friendly. If you'd like to go barefoot, there will be a waiver to sign. Water, hats, sunscreen and snacks are all recommended as we will be outdoors the entire time. ... and now that I think about it - you may want a change of clothes for after!
• Important to know
*Please be on time - or early. We will meet across from Waihee Elementary School (please park perpendicular to the road so that there will be enough parking space for all) and there is a short hike to get to the lo'i. You are not likely to find it on your own! The farm isn’t open to the public so this is a special opportunity.
*You don't have to enter the lo'i to participate in this meetup, but it makes it much more fun! Please be aware that Leptospirosis bacteria is potentially present in any body of fresh water in Hawaii. While it is not known to be present at Maka’aka Lo'i, we recommend wearing some form of footwear when working with the kalo and avoiding the water if you have open cuts or sores. There will be a waiver if you choose to go barefoot. If you've not heard about 'lepto' before, we suggest you learn a little bit about this pesky bit of Maui's natural history here: https://www.cdc.gov/features/leptospirosis/index.html