Food Powered by ‘Āina

Native Hawaiian self-reliance provides a template for imagining a future of innovative stewardship of our natural resources in part two of Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow, a six-part series presented by Hawaiian Electric.
2022 Hb Hawaii Of Tomorrow Aina
Illustrations by Wooden Wave (Matthew Kawika Ortiz and Roxanne Ortiz)
Umeke Hot

ʻUmeke: Photosynthetic
algaes light night paths.

As the designated konohiki walks upstream from fishpond to farm, his field tablet pings at regular intervals. ‘O‘opu populations in Zone 6, it tells him, have officially tripled since the return of the ahupua‘a’s natural water flows. 

Community scientists from seven countries, participating in the university’s prestigious climate resilience fellowship, follow along with mud under their fingernails, eager to learn more from the ecosystem manager. 

Lupe Hot

Lupe: Solar kites collect and correlate wind, rain, solar, and lunar crop data to inform when and where to plant.

He tells them how the sluice gates separating the ‘auwai, arterial valves in the vast circulatory system of agricultural waterways, revolutionized Hawai‘i in the 13th century, an innovation by the chief Mā‘ilikūkahi to cordon waterborne plant diseases and even grow fish within the irrigation system. In 2050, these mākāhā are now solar-automated, he says, and regulate water usage to exactly what each plant needs, no more.

Kahili Hot

Kāhili: Vertical axis wind
turbines catch the valley breeze without harming birds and pollinators.

The valley, in turn, bursts with food. Patches of kabocha, sweet potatoes, carrots and lettuce radiate from the banks of the lo‘i kalo. A multicolored canopy of fruit crowns the agroforest, pulling clouds towards the hillside with their leaves and healing abused soil with their nitrogen-fixing roots.

Smart solar panels dotting the variegated fields adjust their opacity along the sun’s path, optimizing shade to what the plants beneath them liked best. Any excess power is sold to the island’s power grid. The extra income is reinvested into crop innovation and productivity.

The same technology panels the facades of the farm’s kauhale — greenhouses that nurture vast solar-powered aquaponic systems of delicate plants and seedlings. Inside, the konohiki observes the farmed fish that enrich the closed water loop within. He nets a 4-pound adult to cook for his visitors, plucks enough green onions and fern shoots for lunch, and gives thanks to his kūpuna. 

About the Artists: Matthew Kawika Ortiz and Roxanne Ortiz

2022 Hb Hawaii Of Tomorrow Wooden Wave 600x600Matthew Kawika Ortiz and Roxanne Ortiz are a husband-and-wife creative duo who paint under the name Wooden Wave. They draw upon Hawaiian values and concepts to present them in a contemporary context. With conscious attention to detail, their work invites viewers to imagine alternative realities to our current society and environment. They meld elements of the natural world with technology (both, modern and ancestral) to create narratives around mālama ‘āina values. Best known for their large-scale murals depicting sustainable treehouses, Wooden Wave presents a playful perspective that brings hope and joy to those who view their art. | @wooden_wave | Contact

2022 Hb Hawaii Of Tomorrow General Hero

Explore the Series: Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow

Hawaii Business Magazine, in partnership with Hawaiian Electric, summons the optimistic spirit of practical imagination to think about what Hawai‘i would look like in 2050, with special consideration on the challenges of the coming decades in this six-part series titled Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow. Click any title below to explore this series!

2022 Hb Hawaii Of Tomorrow Transportation 560x770Part 1: The Tranquility of Transportation

Join Hawaiian Electric in imagining a future when nights are filled only with the sounds of leaves rustled by tradewinds… read more.




2022 Hb Hawaii Of Tomorrow Aina 560x770

Part 2: Food Powered by ʻĀina

Native Hawaiian self-reliance provides a template for imagining a future of innovative stewardship of our natural resources in part two of Hawaiʻi of Tomorrow, a six-part series presented by Hawaiian Electric… read more.




Categories: Hawaii of Tomorrow