Today I went to Māʻona Community Garden after about a month hiatus. I was delayed by road resurfacing and loading perforated cardboard so instead of the usual two hours, today I had 45 minutes to work on the puhala. In the following pictures one can see the "before" and "45 minutes after" of the puhala I worked on today. I will chip away at it until it's cleaned and has good ventilation around it.
The blue arrow points to barely visible hala leaves. The next picture is 45 minutes later in the same area.
As I was leaving, I heard a puhala (that I had cleaned a couple months prior) say "psst psst hui Cherie, try come... I get some lau." After I harvested about 15 dried leaves, the puhala next to it said "eh, I get lau too." So I gathered another 20 or so leaves. I de-thorned them right there and returned the trimmings to their bases for compost. I gathered enough lau to be able to make a small, although kalakoa, pāpale.
Māʻona does community shredding once a month and the cardboard is available to local farmers and gardeners and used at the garden as weed block. This is the first time I'm taking advantage of this resource. My bundle of "first harvest" lauhala is tied down on the pile in the truck. Tomorrow I will be spreading the cardboard weed block around our property.