Chapter Notes: Commonly referred to as the “West Maui Mountains,” Mauna Kahalawai is in fact a single mountain that spans across Maui’s north, central, and west side communities. Our chapter serves farmers and community members within this district, which also includes the sacred Nā Wai ʻEha (“The Four Waters) that flow on the windward side of Mauna Kahalawai.
Despite a mild climate and year-round growing season, Hawai‘i currently imports an estimated 90 percent of its food. We believe that a multitude of diversified farms that implement regenerative food production techniques will create a resilient, vital, and productive agricultural system to better feed Hawaiʻi’s people.
We are proud to support HFUU initiatives including the Farm Apprentice Mentoring (FAM) program, Regenerative Business Development classes, and volunteer work days on local farms.
In addition, we host monthly locavore potlucks that include chef presentations, educational speakers, and networking opportunities.
You donʻt have to be a farmer to join us! Backyard gardeners, curious community members, and anyone who is concerned about where our food comes from are welcome.
President, Bobby Pahia is the farm manager at Hoaloha Farms. The farm supplies its parent restaurant company Na Hoaloha Ekolu (Star Noodle, Old Lahaina Lūʻau and Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina, as well as Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop in Olowalu, with several varieties of kalo and other crops. Raised in rural O‘ahu, the green-thumbed Hawaiian moved to Maui in the 1980s to work for the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Today Bobby grows two-dozen heirloom kalo varieties on his Waikapū farm, including mana ‘ulu, the popular Maui lehua, and the rare ele‘ele naioea.
Treasurer, Irene Plunkett-Mina has owned and operated Kahanu ʻĀina Greens, LLC with her husband Vincent since 1994. This small urban family farm produces about 500 pounds of greens on 2,000 square-feet in Wailuku. She and Vincent started the first chapter of Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United in Hawaiʻi. Irene is eco-logical farmer who works to increase soil health in Hawaiʻi through education, outreach programs, seminars and conferences. She is cofounder of Maui Aloha ʻĀina Association and a board member from 2001 to 2013, and is a graduate of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaiʻi.
Director, Kepa Hewahewa is Co-Manager for the forestry department at Hōkū Nui Maui and Co-Owner of Kanu Ka ʻlke. Kepa believes “he kanaka hana ʻo ia no ke kaiaulu”, he is a servant for his community. ʻOhana being first, Kepa strives to do the best for his community. What is the meaning of community? Serving not just the people, but strives to serve the microbes, the birds, the land, the ocean, the list can go on. His current kuleana is to Co-Manage a 19.4 acre out-planting site at a project dubbed Hōkū Nui Maui, whose long term goals is to re-establish a native habitat for native flora and fauna, while 4.9 of those acres will be put into a multi-story production agroforestry. Kepa is also working along side Hālau Keʻalaokamaile to out-plant 6 acres, a couple of those acres being planted to enhance cultural practitioner crops. Kepa’s personal goal in life is to help other projects see that we need to value and mālama the things that mālama us.There is no separation between the earth and the humans. “If we can see that we need each other like a child needs his mother then I’ve did my job”.
Vice President, Norman Abihai was born in Happy Valley Maui, and is farming up in Waiohuli, Kula Maui. His Business, EarlingGayle Farms, grows Kalo, Bananas, Mangoes, Avocado, Coconuts, and Assorted Vegetables. Norman has many years of experience in construction, but finds his current passion in farming.
Secretary/Communications-Media Chair, Mālie Colleado was raised in a hard working family, dedicated to Farming and Sustainable Living. While in high school, she grew a passion for Filmmaking and Video Editing. With a world that is currently into visually stimulating content, she found Film a useful tool in telling her story & others. She is currently working together with her family on their Pig Farm in Waikapū, Maui. With an ultimate vision to feed the people of Hawaiʻi.
Director, Hanalei Colleado, is an avid farmer, fisherman, hunter & all that good stuff most locals learn to become proficient in while living on a rock. His luv for 'aina be a weighty matter to him as he understands the principles of sowing & reaping. Feed Good in da now & Reap a Great harvest for generations to come. As a minister of the gospel Hanalei is aware of da principle of No Tell Me You Luv. SHOW! For we all know, talk is cheap! He serves in an aggressive yet luv'ing way & lives to serve Him in you on His terms. After all, He's either Lord of All. Or, Lord of Nutt'in at all!
Director, Valerie Lasciak, was born in Brooklyn, NY, but spent most of her adult life in Northern California. She moved to Maui in 2014, volunteers at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and works for the DOE as a Substitute Teacher. Valerie is a member of the Sierra Club, Maui Live Poetry Society, is a back up singer at Haiku open mic, Shaka Movement activist and Grandma to three beautiful Grand-kids in Hana.
Director, Thomas Allen “Toma” Craig is an engineer/consultant trained in environmental health, permaculture, organic-farm standards, hydrology and efficiency audits for energy-water-farm resource management. He previously supervised the operation of the three Upcountry water treatment systems and continues to advocate for sustainable management of island energy-water-farm (food, fiber, fuel, forest, fauna, fishery and reef) systems modeled on the many-century-long success of the ahupua'a land and water resource management, and on core values so elegantly demonstrated by the islands' indigenous Kanaka Maoli culture. He joined the Mauna Kahalawai board to support efforts to find suitable land for small diversified and regenerative farms with long-term affordable leases.