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Our purpose at Kupa ʻAina is in our name, which translates roughly to Indigenous foods for the people of Hawaiʻi. We seek to restore thriving island resiliency by working towards transforming Hawaiʻi's food systems through teaching about the benefits of natural and Indigenous methods of food production that are healthy, sustainable, and ʻāina-enhancing.

Since the blessing of the project in July 2018, Kupa ‘Aina has transformed five acres of pasture land into a natural productive farm featuring native and Indigenous plants. In 2023 we introduced more traditional Native Hawaiian kalo varieties, added a variety of other locally grown crops to bring more balance and options to our community, and have implemented Indigenous farming practices also known today as agroforestry. 

Our other focus at Kupa ‘Aina is to support and mentor Hawaiʻi’s most at-risk and vulnerable youth by providing opportunities for mentorship and low barrier work training at the farm. Youth learn to connect with the ʻāina, so they can heal and reflect in a safe space. Some of our partnerships for youth support and mentorship include PIDF’s Ke Kama Pono (KKP) Safehouse serving adjudicated male teens, homeless youth at Residential Youth Services and Empowerment (RYSE), incarcerated youth from Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF), Kinai ‘Eha, Accountability Program (The Judiciary Family Court of First Circuit), and under-resourced youth from Kupu’s Community Program. 

In 2022, the farm created the Hoʻokahua workforce development program, which means “to lay a foundation.” It was created to serve the incarcerated youth at the Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility (located adjacent to Kupa ʻAina), as a culture and ʻāina-based program that teaches job readiness and professional development skills. The farm assists youth with building vocational and leadership skills as they engage in low-barrier work at the farm for 8-20 hours/week. Through these partnerships, we identify, train, and employ youth into paid work positions at the farm wherever possible, and assist others for broader employment.

Natural and Indigenous Farming

Natural and Indigenous Farming

At Kupa ‘Aina we practice many sustainable ways of farming that benefit our land and the people we feed. We practice natural farming which is farming without the use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and fungicides. We also practice Indigenous farming, using traditional ecological knowledge, agroforestry, and other practices. This type of farming practice incorporates trees and shrubs into agriculture lands and in return it benefits wildlife diversity and ecosystem health, and is a practice that has been around for a very long time and used by the Indigenous people of Hawaiʻi. At Kupa ‘Aina we have implemented agroforestry by planting windbreaks, hedgerows and alley cropping.


  • No chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers are used.
  • Healthier soil; thus healthier plants and livestock
  • No waste, runoff, or foul odor
  • Reduced water use (40 to 50% less)
  • No groundwater or ocean contamination
  • Increases effective irrigation
  • Helps control soil erosion due to wind
  • Increase crop yields and bee pollination


  • Indigenous kalo culture and Indigenous agriculture
  • Farming methods according to the moon phases 
  • Composting practices and soil nutrient techniques
  • Co-planting to repel pests and improve soil fertility  
  • Engage in team-building activities to reinforce the purpose of collaboration
  • Build caring relationships between kānaka (people) and ʻāina (land)
  • Share time and talent while giving back to the community
  • Hoʻokahua "to lay a foundation" Program for workforce development 
  • Teach transferable work readiness knowledge, skills, dispositions, mindsets
  • Provide stipends for restitution or income
  • Complete community service hours 



42-470 Kalaniana'ole Hwy., Kailua, HI 96734

Contact Kupa ʻAina Farm

Mahalo for your interest. Send a message to Kupa ʻAina for more information about the farm, crop requests, work days, volunteer opportunities, Hoʻokahua program, and more!

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Recent News

Recent News

PIDF Staff Mālama ʻĀina Workday

February 27, 2023

PIDF administration staff step out of the office and help the Kupa ʻAina team to mālama ʻāina.

Hawaiʻi Project to End Youth Incarceration Receives $20 Million Award From Kellogg Foundation’s Global Challenge to Advance Racial Equity

October 11, 2022

After nearly two years of planning, PIDF and OYAH partners are honored to receive $20 million to end youth incarceration in Hawaiʻi.

PIDF Board Connects Their “Why” During Retreat

September 19, 2022

The PIDF Board connected with each other during the retreat and heard about direct impact from programs.

Hawaii has no girls in juvenile detention. Here’s how it got there.

July 25, 2022

Nationwide, there have been efforts to lower youth incarceration rates and close youth prisons. Efforts made by OYAH at Kawailoa are shared.