Mālama: nvt. To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain; to keep or observe, as a taboo; to conduct, as a service; to serve, honor, as God; care, preservation, support, fidelity, loyalty; custodian, caretaker, keeper. [https://wehewehe.org]
"After" two cleaning visits.
Once the vines were cleared one could see its "feet." The person who planted this puhala made a little rock "wall" around the base. There was probably more space between the puhala keiki and the rocks at that time. I do this when I plant things in my yard to create a protective boundary in case of weed whacking. Chantal said the rocks help retain moisture around the tree and eventually the roots will reach for the moisture there.
I forgot to take "before" pictures. The rock wall in the background and the whole area was covered in vines and weeds.
Same area but panned back. The green hala in foreground is a fallen branch from another tree. That branch had become too heavy and broke off during a big rain.
This is a view from the rock wall in the above pics. Chantal brought over several (like 10?) big bags of shredded paper that I spread around as weed barrier.
Chantal took the last two pics for me. I had to make a quick exit as Dougie and Leo, Māʻona resident rams, escaped their enclosure and had a "conversation" about who was the alpha... spoiler alert, it was still Dougie.
In the few months I've been going to Māʻona Community Garden I've come to understand differences between "cleaning," "harvesting," and "mālama." I thought I "cleaned" my trees when I gathered the dried leaves, but I was harvesting leaves. Pulling overgrown vines off and weeds from buried puhala is now my definition of "cleaning." I now think cleaning, pruning, and advocating for Hala constitutes "mālama."