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Planting kalo in former king’s patch

Namea Hoshino helps Holy Innocents Preschool’s Isla David, 3, plant a stalk of kalo during the opening of a new Lahaina cultural park on the former site of the king’s kalo patch last week. The park, featuring three dryland kalo beds, native Hawaiian plants and grass lawn, is located across from the Baldwin Home Museum on a county-owned lot between Lahaina Public Library and Front Street. The project was spearheaded by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and funded by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. The area was once known as Apuakehau, the royal kalo patch of King Kamehameha. Kalo, also called taro, was a food staple of ancient Hawaii. King Kamehameha III was said to have worked in the patch himself, providing his people with an example of the benefits of hard work while taking joy in growing the plants with starchy tubers and large, heart-shaped leaves. Hoshino is the kalo varieties manager for Maui Nui Botanical Gardens.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

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