Thursday | October 19, 2017
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Let’s Talk Food: Happenings around the island

There’s lots going on around our island. Here’s a look at some of the events and places you should check out:

Hamakua Mushrooms Tours: Hamakua Mushrooms in Laupahoehoe has two 80-minute tours — one at 11 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday — at Hawaii’s first and only commercial mushroom farm, with weekends by reservation only. The tour includes informative and interesting facts about mushrooms, along with a video, cooking demonstration and tasting and a visit to the Hamakua Mushroom Boutique.

Local vendors include: Blue Kalo, with mushroom butter cookies; Big Island Candies, with mushroom-shaped chocolate bars; and Filthy Farm Girl of Kalapana, with mushroom almond coconut soap.

The by-product of producing mushrooms, Bokashi EM-1, is a soil booster that does wonders to orchids, fruits and vegetables. The mixture is blended with your soil, 3 percent, as it is potent but promises that your orchids will grow better, last longer and a better yield on your fruits and vegetables. I can’t wait to use Bokashi EM-1 in my garden!

The newest item to Hamakua Mushrooms is a mushroom making kit, which will produce mushrooms at least three times.

To get to Hamakua Mushrooms from Hilo, pass the 25-mile marker on Highway 19, pass the Laupahoehoe Train Museum and turn left on the next road, Manowaiopae Homestead Road. Travel up the road until you see the entrance of Hamakua mushrooms on the left, you can’t miss it. It’s a large metal warehouse, l36-221 Manowaiopae Homestead Road. Email for reservations at or call the office at 962-0017.

Punachicks Farm: Emily and Yoric Taaroa run Punachicks Farm in Keaau, producing organic, farm fresh pastured poultry, and they sell their dressed chickens at the Volcano farmers market on Sunday morning.

If you have never eaten pastured chickens, it is worth the extra price you pay for them because they are tastier than the chickens we buy at the supermarket.

When I met Emily on Sunday in Volcano, she had an overstock of livers and hearts and was selling them at a reduced price. In addition, she made some pate and was selling them for only $3 a container.

Email Emily or Yoric at, or call them at 430-0147 if you want to order online and pick up at the farm.

Umeke Pohaku Stone Bowls by Rick LaMongne: A retired Honolulu police officer of 28 years, Rick LaMontgne moved to Volcano in 2008. He started his business, gathering naturally worn shoreline stones from North Hilo and then carving them into bowls replicating the utilitarian bowls once used by ancient Hawaiians to break open nuts, seeds, sea shells, as well as mix plant matter for medicinal uses and as a stone lamp, probably filled with the insides of a kukui nut for light.

I picked up a mortar and pestle to add to my collection of kitchen equipment and I display it next to my pai‘ai pounder. Rick will have a larger inventory at the Fourth of July market planned after the parade in Volcano Village at Cooper Center.

Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu: On our way home from Kona recently, we stopped off at Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu. Owned by Drake and Patty Fujimoto, it was packed with some locals and a few tourists on a Friday night at 7 p.m. A trio started to play country western music to the surprise of someone on the next table who was visiting from Tennessee!

The menu is varied with local food, burgers and sandwiches, and when you order one of the entrees, they offer a choice of white or brown rice, which always makes me happy.

Fourth of July Activities: The Voice of the Volcano Community Association is again putting together the Fourth of July parade in Volcano Village. The parade starts at 9 a.m. in front of the Volcano post office and will proceed along Old Volcano Highway, turn left on to Wright Road and end at Cooper Center.

Parking is not allowed at Cooper Center. There is limited parking at the Naiulani Campus of Volcano Art Center with some parking between the post office and Volcano Store, True Value Hardware/Thai/Thai Restaurant. Shuttle buses are free and will go up Wright Road, left on Kilauea, down Haunani, left on Old Volcano Road and back to Cooper Center. Look for the white with red striped bus that says “KMC-A Joint Services Recreation Center” on the side.

There will be more than 30 crafters and food booths at Cooper Center, which include hot dogs, chili, Thai food, breakfast sandwiches, grilled Rotary Chicken and pulled pork sandwiches.

Those of you who live in Hilo, come on up to Volcano for a day of fun and food.

If you want to be in the parade, call Mary Brewer at 985-9595. Want a booth, table or want to entertain? Call Linda Ugalde at 985-9508. Want information about keiki games? Call Nancy Lakin at 985-9438. Want to donate to the silent auction? Call 985-7373.


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