About The Kuleana Curriculum
He aliʻi ka ʻāina; He kauā ke kanaka.
The land is chief; People are its servant.
-Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau No. 531
The Kuleana Curriculum is a set of 7 courses for beginner homesteaders and those seeking more self sufficiency by living off the land. This effort is dedicated to the kūpuna, educators, cultural practitioners and mahi‘ai who have come before us - those who have passed down their stories and knowledge throughout time, so that next generations might understand the importance of fulfilling kuleana.
Very few homesteading resources centralize Hawai‘i's home culture and its historical Polynesian roots. Yet new generations, born and raised in Hawai‘i, are looking for the kūpuna stories, hana no‘eau, traditional skills and insights to achieve greater self sufficiency through a deeply Hawaiian approach and understanding of kuleana. The Kuleana Curriculum helps to fill that need.
Kuleana-based homesteading is not only about growing food and increasing food security. It is also about honoring a cultural legacy of caring for the ʻāina as a cherished ‘ohana member, defending water as a public trust, restoring balance to native ecosystems and community healing. The Kuleana Curriculum emphasizes responsibility and stewardship through this specific cultural lens.
In 7 stepwise Courses, The Kuleana Curriculum assists beginner homesteaders in planning and starting a homestead at any scale. Its resource links will help you regardless of whether you are starting a small patio container garden or building a home farm complete with chickens, bees and forested areas. The only requirement of The Kuleana Curriculum is that you have an intent to becoming more self reliant through growing food and deepening your understanding of your kuleana on the land.
ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi.
All knowledge is not taught in the same school.
[One can learn from many sources.]
-Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau No. 203
The 7 Courses celebrate the commitment and highlight the efforts of hundreds of practitioners, educators and homesteaders across Hawai‘i, past and present. Through suggested links related to each Course theme (all which are freely available online and accessible to the public), a broad range of knowledge may be more widely passed down to new, interested generations. The Kuleana Curriculum saves much time for the enthusiastic beginner by pointing out these Useful Links, all reviewed for clarity, presentation length and cultural voice when possible, and organized under 7 key themes.
Whether any particular Useful Link is Hawaiian-specific or not, all resources of The Kuleana Curriculum provide well delivered, concise information, effective messengers and humble generosity in their tone and approach.
Browse the 7 Courses
of The Kuleana Curriculum:
Learn how to integrate the values of kuleana into your homestead planning and site design. Learn about ahupua‘a and ola i ka wai. Hear from kūpuna as they fulfill kuleana.
Planning Your Homestead
Basic practical tools to help you assess and plan your homestead site, prioritize activities, build a tool starter tool set, and more.
Healthy soil is important to your success.
These resources teach you how and why to identify soil types, test and improve your soil naturally, without expensive inputs.
The heart of your homestead will be your kitchen garden. Grow vegetables, trees and flowers. Learn regenerative principles. Hear from experienced growers as well as kūpuna.
Raising Birds & Bees
Learn the basics of integrating chickens and bees into your homestead. Eggs and honey will be your reward.
What to do with all the abundance of your homestead? Preserve your harvests by pickling and drying! Instructions and recipes for local ono favorites here!
Pastures & Forests
Work with trees, forests and native plant restoration as part of your kuleana. Learn the basics of silvopasturing, basic agroforestry principles and food forests.
The 7 Courses
Whether you have a small garden patio or a multi-acre site, The Kuleana Curriculum can help you to:
First, become grounded in the cultural values that express the Hawaiian meaning of kuleana.
Learn how to evaluate a homestead site or garden area by observing its natural characteristics.
Understand the vital importance of healthy, living soil as you care for land.
Build your starter toolset. Start your garden. Plant trees. Raise chickens and bees.
Learn how to extend your harvests by preserving food simply.
Create a homestead as a legacy for future generations.
Learning is endless. So use the 7 Courses as your starting point to deepen your understanding on the topics that interest you. Follow the resource links as far, wide or specific as your interests guide you.
Course materials are selected for beginner level homesteaders, but even advanced homesteaders will benefit from the many resource guides and tools linked through this site.
Ready to start?