10th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

Hawai‘i Forest and Trail Presents A Grow Hawaiian Weekend

The 10th Annual Grow Hawaiian Weekend on Friday and Saturday,  February 21 and 22, is a celebration of Hawaiian cultural and natural history at Amy Greenwell Garden in Captain Cook.  Admission to the Garden will be free on those two days, and all of the activities are free.

Kai'uhane Morton

Ka’uhane Morton demonstrates how to make nose flutes

On Friday, February 21, between 1 p.m. and 4 pm., the public is invited to the Garden Visitor Center to join Greenwell Garden staff, taro experts Jerry Konanui and Keahi Tomas, and local school children in ku‘i kalo—poi pounding.  Boards and stones and cooked taro will be available for everyone from beginners to experts to try their hand at this traditional culinary art.  Also on Friday at 1 p.m., the Guided Hawaiian Plant Walk is a docent led tour of the Garden landscape of the plants of Hawai‘i in the 1600s.

The Grow Hawaiian festival takes place at the Garden on Saturday, February 22 from 9:00-2:30 pm.  Speakers will make presentations on taro cultivation, conservation, horticulture, and lauhala weaving, and artisans will demonstrate ipu gourd decorating, kapa making, weaving, woodworking, lei making, taro cultivation, and Hawaiian dyes.  There will be hands-on activities for the keiki and adults, plant and insect identification booths, displays, live entertainment, Hawaiian food, and much more!

Visitors can learn about the movement to provision Hawaiian voyaging canoes by using food grown in Hawai‘i so that the crews of the long distant canoes can eat healthy, sustainable, traditional foods as they travel across the Pacific and around the world.  There will also be a presentation on olonā cordage.  The bark of olonā has strong, durable fiber that was made into fishing line, nets, and other items for traditional life.

Some of the foremost experts in native plants and Hawaiian ethnobotany will lead tours of the Garden, and authors will be on hand to sign their books.  A silent auction will be held where visitors will have a chance to bid on poi boards, poi stones, and other traditional objects.

For more information call 323-3318, visit www.bishopmuseum.org/greenwell,  or email agg@bishopmuseum.org.  Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is Bishop Museum’s native plant arboretum, located 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Highway 11, just south of mile marker 110.

The 10th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival is, presented by Hawai‘i Forest and Trail.   Support for this event  is also provided by Kūki‘o,  and Kealakekua Ranch, Ltd.  An award from the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority funds the Guided Native Plant Walks.  Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in the Hawaiian Plant Walks should contact Peter Van Dyke at 808-323-3318 at least two weeks before their planned visit.

Puna Ulu (Breadfruit) Festival Goes Nuts – Ulu a Niu

The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9 am – 3 pm at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The event is free and open to the public. The Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will celebrate ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut) with a cooking contest, breadfruit trees and coconut palm trees for sale, presentations, keiki activities, cultural demonstrations, music all day with Diane Aki, Bruddah Cuz and Ili Wai, and local food featuring breadfruit and coconut.

The day will begin at 9 am with an opening pule by Kumu Hula Auli‘i Mitchell followed by a message from Governor Neil Abercrombie delivered by his representative Wendy Botelho-Cortez.

The buffet lunch will feature gourmet dishes by Casey Halpren of Café Pesto, Kanoa Miura of Aloha Mondays, and Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawaii and Taste. The tentative menu includes Fried ‘Ulu Croquettes, Braised Big Island Beef, Vegetable Curry, Heart of Palm Slaw with Coconut Mayo and ‘Ulu Chocolate Cookies.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Cultural activities include ‘ulu and kalo poi pounding with Uncle Jerry Konanui and ‘Anakala Isaiah Kealoha, kapa making with ‘ulu bark by experts Wesley and Lehua Sen, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. Keiki activities include games, face painting and block printing. Micronesians United will present traditional Micronesian preparations of ‘ulu with coconut milk. Demonstrations of how to make coconut milk will be held throughout the day. Local coconut water, fresh out of the coconut, will be for sale.

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Learning how to cook ‘ulu and niu in new and traditional ways is one of the highlights of the festival. Cooking demonstrations will be given by local favorite Chef Mark Noguchi aka “Chef Gooch”; Shirley Kauhaihao will show how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit; Dr. Nat Bletter, Chocolate Flavormeister of Madre Chocolate will be demonstrating how to make exquisite deserts from ‘ulu and niu; the Kua O Ka Lā students culinary arts class will present their award-winning spicy ‘ulu poke and raw foods experts Laura Dawn and Noah Dan will demonstrate how to make ‘ulu tortillas with a variety of sauces.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest in which the public can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Entries must include both ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut), but the main ingredient must be ‘ulu. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of these categories and for Healthiest Choice and Best in Show. Breadfruit Cooking Contest rules and entry forms can be found at www.breadfruit.info.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert.  Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Educational presentations about the cultural and horticultural aspects of breadfruit and coconut round out the event. Kua O Ka Lā students will present a need assessment of the importance of ‘ulu and niu in the community. Kumu Ryan McCormack will give two cultural presentations: ‘Ulu: A Hawaiian Perspective and Niuolahiki—The Life Giving Coconut. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln of Stanford University will present his original research on Kaluulu—the Ancient Kona Breadfruit Grove. Agroforestry expert Craig Elevitch of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network will speak about Home Gardens—Pasifika Style. Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be on hand to answer questions and will give presentations on Breadfruit and Sustainability and ‘Ulu from Root to Fruit: Tree Planting, Care and Maintenance. A tree planting with Leila Kealoha will commemorate the event.

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Doc Buyers Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Suisan, Aloha Mondays, Madre Chocolate and Café Pesto. The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu is a part of a larger statewide effort to revitalize breadfruit for food security called Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu. Learn more about the Puna ‘Ulu Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info or call 965-5098.

Harvesting and Processing Fresh Awa

Last week, my father-in-law Jerry Konanui and some of his friends, got together to harvest and process two Awa plants.  They started early in the morning out at Jerry’s friend Ed’s farm where Ed talked to them a bit about the plant and culture of growing it over six years.

Some plants in his yard

They then dug up the plants by being very careful not to cut into the roots of the plants.

After digging up the plants they hosed excess dirt and soil from the plant before taking it back to where it would be processed.

“Preliminary wash so we can see what needs to be done.” said Adil “Pono” Ghiasi

Once the root was transported back home…  dad busted out the power washer for the initial cleaning of the dirt off the surface of the roots and corm.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/GbdfSE-vk5A]

Once the roots and corm get power washed, they are then meticulously hand cleaned.

Even my son got into it!

After it’s cleaned outside of the house, the roots are moved inside the house where they are then cleaned even more thoroughly.

After it has been thoroughly cleaned, it then gets chopped up into smaller pieces for the final quality control inspection as well as prepping for the high capacity grinder.

Primo and Dad have bionic arms!

The Awa is then put into large bags and then put into large freezers so that the root can freeze for a few days before grinding it.

Getting ready to put the Awa in the freezer

After freezing in the freezer for a few days, the awa is ready to be ground in high capacity grinder.

After it has been ground to a very smooth consistent texture the awa is removed from the grinder and ready for packaging.

It’s then weighed into one pound packages and flattened and sealed to get out any remaining air that may be in the package.

The frozen Awa remains very cold throughout the grinding, bagging and refreeze process… this is to prevent fermentation (souring).

.

It’s very important to have space between the racks of Awa so that the freezer air can get an even circulation and that the packages all freeze at the same time.

Some folks often ask why the price of fresh frozen ground Awa is so high/expensive… well I can tell you that it’s due to the  hard work and lots of loving care that goes into it.

.

The coconut shells used for drinking awa are called “apu” and the bowl is called a “tanoa”

Dad used to sell his Awa all over the State of Hawaii and at the time on the mainland too, but has now cut back to just helping to educate others on being able to provide for themselves and to have a little stock on hand for himself, his friends and family.

If you are interested in purchasing Awa, I recommend Adil “Pono” Ghiasi’s company “Paradise Kava” if you are interested in picking some up online.

“Last cups are poured and the tanoa is drained. And that is how kava is harvested, processed and enjoyed” says Adil Ghiasi

Dad would like to thank all those that have helped him with this Awa harvest and would like to especially thank Ed J. for providing the plants and the opportunity.

The Hawaii Breadfruit Festival Coming Up Next Month

Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden are presenting the Breadfruit Festival

Breadfruit Festival

Dr. Diane Ragone of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be one of the expert speakers at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Jim Wiseman

Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Breadfruit Festival celebrates the rich culture of breadfruit (‘ulu) in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, raises awareness about the importance of breadfruit for food security and gives the people an opportunity to taste many delicious ways that breadfruit can be prepared. On the day of the Festival, the Garden will also be dedicating its new visitor center at 12:00 noon. The Festival and dedication are free and open to the public.

Breadfruit-inspired food will highlight the festivities. Chefs Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa of Glow Hawaii and Scott Lutey, Executive Chef of the Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Museum will be demonstrating how to make various delicious breadfruit dishes and giving out samples to taste. A local food buffet featuring breadfruit will be presented by Chef Betty Saiki and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program. Members of the public are invited to enter the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own favorite recipes. Open to all Hawai‘i Island residents, Cooking Contest prizes will be awarded in the categories of Appetizer, Soup/Salad/Side Dish, Main Dish/Entrée, Dessert, Best of Show and Healthiest Choice. Celebrity Chefs Mark Tsuchiyama of Hualalai Resort, Jacqueline Lau of Roy’s Restaurants, and Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa will be joined by food writer Sonia R. Martinez and KITV weekend anchor Pamela Young to judge the Cooking Contest.

Jerry Konanui pound breadfruit into "breadfruit poi"

Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui pounds ‘ulu poi at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. ‘Ulumaika, woodworking, quilting, tapa making, 'ulu poi and talks by Hawaiian cultural experts will be some of the cultural activities at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Craig Elevitch

The Breadfruit Festival will feature many Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural activities, including: Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui will lead a hands-on workshop in the art of preparing ‘ulu poi. Hawaiian cultural expert Wesley Sen will be demonstrating how to make tapa from ‘ulu bark. ‘Ohana of the late Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug will share ‘ulu preparation techniques from their home island of Satawal. Master artisan Keoni Turalde will be carving a Hawaiian pahu (drum) from ‘ulu wood. Cultural experts Ryan McCormack of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School and others will be giving talks on the culture, history and mythology of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i. Other cultural activities include ‘ulumaika, lei making, and quilting featuring ‘ulu motifs.

Workshops on breadfruit propagation, tree care and maintenance, economic opportunities and other topics will be given by experts Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute. An art exhibit will feature breadfruit-inspired works from the Festival fine art and youth art contests. ‘Ma‘afala’ (Samoan) and Hawaiian varieties of breadfruit trees will be available for sale.

Dr. Diane Ragone

Learning to cook breadfruit will be one of the Breadfruit Festival activities. Olelo Pa'a Faith Ogawa and other celebrity chefs will be demonstrating how to make gourmet dishes from breadfruit. The public can compete in the Breadfruit Cooking Contest to win prizes. Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

In the week leading up to the Breadfruit Festival, the Keauhou Resort will celebrate the “Taste of ‘Ulu” by featuring gourmet dishes in its resort restaurants and at the Keauhou Farmers Market.

The Breadfruit Festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program. Other sponsors include Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Keauhou Resort, Ke Ola Magazine, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Big Island Resource Conservation and Development, Glow Hawai‘i, Kona ‘Ulu, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers, Sonia R. Martinez, ‘Āpono Hawai‘i and dozens of individual “Breadfruit—Traditional Roots and Modern Fruits” campaign supporters.

Learn more about the Breadfruit Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info.

The Breadfruit Festival is a program of Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit, a project of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden to revitalize ‘ulu as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food that addresses Hawai‘i’s food security issues.

Continue reading

Taro Festival Pictures at the Capital Now Available

Ian Lind made it to the Capital Rotunda the other day and snapped some excellent pictures of the Taro Festival that was happening the other day.

Pahoa Taro Grower Jerry Konanui Pounds Poi at the Capital.  Photo Courtesy of Ian Lind

Pahoa Taro Grower Jerry Konanui Pounds Poi at the Capital. Photo Courtesy of Ian Lind

You can view Mr. Lind’s 6 pages of pictures from the day beginning here.

The Hawaii House Blog also covered the event.

Thelma Dreyer’s recent blog posting  “Poi Pounder’s” described the event as:

…This festival was not just about providing a gathering place for taro lovers and poi pounders , it was also a place to plant the seed of awareness about the importance of taro and the Hawaiian culture as a whole. I hope that this festival was the fertilization needed to stimulate the new crop growth of the education and preservation of the Hawaiian culture.

You can also see a slide show of pictures from the event on the Hawaii House Blog here.