Salt harvest near end at historic Hanapepe ponds
HANAPEPE, Kauai—Autumn rains soon will signal the close of the salt-making season at Hanapepe’s historic Salt Pond area.
The harvest has been fairly light, for summer started late, and heavy showers damaged the salt beds earlier this year.
Westside showers last week extended into the Hanapepe area and slowed the drying process. The salt makers will have to stop their activity any day now.
The salt makers, Joe Chu and the other members of his “Hui Hana Paakai o Hanapepe,” are preserving the ancient Hawaiian art.
“Nowhere else do they have this kind of ‘sugar brown salt,’ and nowhere do they make it our way,” Chu said.
Harold Ching, the Star-Bulletin correspondent on Kauai, went to the Salt Ponds to photograph the process.
DRYING PROCESS—Benny Nakanishi of Kekaha rakes his salt beds, spreading the fast-forming crystals of salt as the water evaporates under the hot summer sun.
DIPPING BRINE—Mrs. Christina Kali learned to make salt from her grandmother in 1923 and is now teaching her own grandchildren the art. She dips brine from the deep well, called the “puna,” and transfers the salty water into a waiku or curing basin.
Scooping Operation—Mrs. Kali rakes the crystals.
FIRST WASHING—Mrs. Kali washes salt crystals in a collander until they are white and clean.
THE HARVEST—Tada Hashimoto of Hanapepe, left, and Fat Ando of Kekaha build up a mound of salt. It took about two weeks to produce the mound, which will net about eight bags of salt after it dries out.
(Star-Bulletin, 10/9/1967, p. D6)