Papaya Field Restoration and Canoe Projects

Sustainable Agriculture, outrigger canoe culture and community building  are Ama’s main endeavors.  Ama is an educational, experiential non-profit organization whose members nurture a consciousness of “Aloha Lokahi” (love and unity) while teaching, learning and practicing the skills needed to accomplish our goals.  Ama is the Hawaiian name for the stabilizing outrigger of a Polynesian canoe.   Ama’s mission is to foster stability in our community by creating programs that help to connect people with nature, and enhance their ability to live in harmony with others.


Apono   = acceptance

Mahalo  = appreciation

Aloha     = allowance

Sustainable Agriculture

We are developing methods of plant and animal management that raise the fertility of land to the maximum level and keep it there without using fertilizer from off the farm. Ama operates a twenty-acre farm where a variety of tropical food crops are grown, with the focus on Polynesian staples, especially Taro.   We offer farm tours, educational classes and consultations.  We have several taro patches where volunteers come together one afternoon each week to work, share food and take home taro.  By bringing people together to grow food we help create stability in our island community.  

Canoe Culture

An immediate priority project is to create canoe launching and landing sites in Puna, Hawaii Island, in order to re-establish the canoe as an often-used means of travel between communities with sites suitable for ocean access. Our canoe-building program is currently focused on using locally available materials to create various types of dugout canoes to be used for different purposes. Most of the canoes will be well equipped for paddling or sailing. Using canoes requires teamwork, therefore is ideal for creating a cohesive community. Interacting with the ocean in this way provides adventure and will help attract people to Ama.

Here is a video showing the basic system for harvesting mulch used in taro culture. Elephant grass grows vigorously as a pioneer on recently fallowed papaya fields.