Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Ka Piko o Kapalai

November 20, 2021 Aloha mai kākou, Itʻs amazing that 2021 is already coming to a close! Like everyone, we have done our best to navigate through this year and hope you all are doing well during these most challenging of times. In spite of the difficulties, we are grateful for the many highlights. Here are...

A Letter From Our Director – Oct. 2021

ASA Cohort 2 and 3 at Kapalai

It’s been a long time and so much has happened since our last newsletter back in March 2020! Like everyone on the planet, we have done our best to navigate through the pandemic and hope each one of you are doing the best you can through these most challenging of times. I would like to share a few of Hoʻokuaʻāinaʻs highlights during this period as well as discuss what I believe to be the mindset of health and well-being from the perspective of our kūpuna to encourage us all.

We invite you to join us in uplifting our community.

December 4th, 2020 Aloha mai kākou, As we all know, 2020 has indeed been a year full of challenges and adversity for many. Like everyone, we at Hoʻokuaʻāina are trying our hardest to pivot and adapt to the times to best meet the needs of our surrounding communities while continuing to fulfill the mission close...

Letter from the Director – July 21st, 2020

Aloha Mai Kākou, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! My last newsletter over three months ago was quite dire regarding the need for us all to be socially responsible in the face of mitigating COVID 19 with the mindset of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. I think it safe to...

Makaluhi: Our Story

2020 marks the year we take a step back as an ʻohana and makaluhi. Literally translated makaluhi means tired eyes but in this case, we use it as an adjective to describe “a period of rest or feasting which follows a prolonged season of toil” ( We have certainly toiled and there is much more that lies ahead, but we are purposefully taking this year to makaluhi – to sit back a bit and gaze with satisfaction at how far we have come.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Flattening The Curve

Every time I get up the day after a big flood like what happened yesterday, things seem to be a little surreal. But this morning was not surreal for me because of the flooding. It was surreal because of our experience of just returning home yesterday from Spain.

Annual Appeals Letter from our Directors, Dean & Michele Wilhelm

Growth Chart for 2013 to 2018 for Hookuaaina

November 24th, 2019 Aloha mai kākou, Another year of connection, cultivation, and healing has flown by at Ho‘okua‘āina.  We often challenge the young people we work with to reflect on their year as a tool for self-assessment and a basis for future goal setting and growth.  The challenge now is ours to share highlights of...

A Message From Our Executive Director

Community Day

Aloha mai kākou, A few days after Thanksgiving, I sat overlooking the loʻi reflecting on all the things I am thankful for. My marriage to Michele, our four children, and our collective health and well being jumped out first. Included with this is the life we live, the work we do with Hoʻokuaʻāina, and the...

The Luxury of Boredom

Here we are, already at the end of the first month of what promises to be another fantastic year. 2017 was a booming year for Hoʻokuaʻāina. During Christmas break, as a staff, we took a much-needed rest for 2 weeks from groups, harvest, production, and just all the normal day to day operations of our...

Confessions of a Recovering Fundraiser Coordinator

Hoʻokuaʻāina Fundraiser

Life “after the fundraiser” fondly became referred to as ATF during the chaos of planning over the last couple months. Our staff could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel as our 10th anniversary first annual fundraiser approached and all of us, although excited, couldn’t wait for the preparations to be over and for our lives to return back to normal. Normal at Hookuaaina is a pace that I used to think of as crazy busy. Next to pulling off a fundraiser, it feels like a piece of cake! Hosting groups 5 days out of the week, managing a farm, producing poi, writing grants, having random people pop in all the time, raising a family, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, no problem! I even heard the words come out of my mouth “I would much rather write 10 grants than coordinate a fundraiser!” Never in a million years did I ever imagine myself saying those words.

Summer Time Blues

Collage of Hookuaaina Interns

It’s that time of year again…. Dusting off backpacks, gathering supplies, haircuts, alarms, uniforms. It all begins to settle in that this short season of fun is about to end and everyone in my household walks around with their heads hanging low. I have to admit, Dean and I do it too. I often wonder...


Wilhelm Family

Since getting married over twenty years ago, my wife Michele and I have always had some type of garden. At one point we started growing kalo in our backyard for the luau leaf to make laulau and luau stew. It felt so empowering to grow our own and not have to rely on buying it....

A Season of Momona

raw kalo

I love this time of year. It usually happens around Halloween that we feel a distinct shift in season. The breeze feels different. It’s very olu olu or nice on the skin. It cools down a bit and makes you want to pull out your favorite sweatshirt and snuggle up in a cozy blanket. Okay, it’s still 77 degrees but it’s the notion of the shift that brings excitement in the atmosphere. It’s time to make a favorite soup and start preparing for the holidays. My soup pot has been working overtime lately. I love this!

The 4th Sector

It’s been a busy two weeks for Dean and I. Last week we presented to a room filled with 200 funders, investors, and budding social enterprises. 25 enterprises that have completed the Hawaii Investment Ready cohort shared in panel presentations how our organizations are creating a collaborative movement across the state for social impact and...

One Journey Ends, Another Begins

a new journey

On New Years Eve 2014, I sat down to reflect on the year. With great anticipation, I was ready for the new year to begin but wanted to take a moment to give thanks and grab hold of the treasures that should not be forgotten. My thoughts took me back to the beginning of this...

Core Fitness

core fitness

Where do I begin? I have been extremely remiss in my postings of late. So I guess it is appropriate to start up again with an update on the state of affairs at Kapalai Farms after the wave of storms that we experienced this past week. Hail (the size of golf balls) did not make...

Earthen Ovens 101

woodoven pizza

One of my dreams, as we were developing Kapalai and learning an old style of living, was to build and learn how to cook in a wood-fired earthen oven. We have an abundance of trees many of which are invasive species and need to be removed. Eventually, our plan is to replace them with native...



Webster’s defines self-reliance as reliance on oneself or one’s own powers, resources, etc. In my last installment, I wrote about our family’s attempt towards self-reliance. Writing about it stirred many thoughts that kept tugging at me. In my greatest intentions, I planned to sit down within a few weeks and share these thoughts. Here we...

Self Reliance

self reliance

In my last blog, I shared an article on homesteading. It described, in a nutshell, the adventure that my family has embarked upon. This stirred many questions and I promised that I would elaborate. The goal for many homesteaders today I guess is to become more self-reliant. This was never our mission but in many...

Why We Homestead

why we homestead

The other night hanging out with friends, the conversation led to our recent change in lifestyle. After explaining how we compost our human waste and cook our food in a wood oven, one of Dean’s friends asked with a look of complete confusion, “How did you get into this?” As if to say, “You used...

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu. Get Directions.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734


P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

follow us

Hookuaaina Rebuilding Lives From The Ground Up

Hoʻokuaʻāina is located in the ahupuaʻa of Kailua at Kapalai in Maunawili on the island of Oʻahu.

For more information about our programs or how you can get involved please contact us.

visit us

916E Auloa Rd.

Kailua, HI 96734

mail us

P.O. Box 342146

Kailua, HI 96734

email us

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Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Site By Created By Kaui

Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

© Hoʻokuaʻāina 2020 All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

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