The ninth annual Grow Hawaiian Weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-24, is a celebration of Hawaiian cultural and natural history at Amy Greenwell Garden in Captain Cook. All of the activities are free.
On Feb. 22, between noon and 4 p.m., 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.
On Feb. 23, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., there will be presentations on botanical gardens, taro cultivation, storytelling sessions, conservation, horticulture and lauhala weaving, and demonstrations of 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. Festival-goers will hear updates from representatives of botanical gardens around the state.
Local taro growers will discuss their experiences growing Hawaiian taro for today’s consumers. Betty Kam and Marques Marzan will talk about their Bishop Museum project on lauhala hats.
Festival-goers are invited to bring mystery plants to the plant identification booth to find out what they are growing. Two of the top botanists in the state, Clyde Imada and Marie Bruegmann, will be able to identify the plants.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy hands-on activities. They can print with traditional ‘ohe kapala, bamboo stamps. They can make plumeria leis and make ‘ohe hano ihu, bamboo nose flutes.
For more information call 323-3318, visit www.bishopmuseum.org/greenwell, or email firstname.lastname@example.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.
Heidi Bornhorst is coming from Oahu to talk native plants and gardening, and around lunchtime, Tom Cummings will be telling traditional stories. Storytelling will be followed by a presentation by Gary Eoff on growing ‘olona, the famous native cordage plant. A roundtable of young conservation professionals will finish the program with a discussion of the challenges and opportunities they are facing.
. Any mystery insects can be handled by David Preston of Bishop Museum. Taro expert Jerry Konanui will be happy to discuss taro growing or identify taro varieties. Bernice Akamine has just returned from a training session at the Smithsonian Institution in conserving kapa, and she can help with advice on how to store and handle old kapa. Ski Kwiatkowski will bring part of his fabulous shell collection, and Roy Santana will be on hand to answer questions about opihi.
Many of the state’s foremost practitioners of Hawaiian arts will be on hand with displays of their work. Marie McDonald, with help from her daughter Roen Hufford, will show how she makes her beautiful lei. Kapa makers Pam Barton, Ka‘uhane Heloca and Moana Eisele will demonstrate their art, and dye experts Lisa Raymond and Bernice Akamine will share their dyes.
Ipu artists Momi Greene and Karen Root-Pulice will show their work at the festival. There will be woodworkers Tommy Hickox and Puaita Pulotu, lauhala weavers such as Ed Kaneko and Lehua Domingo, and cordage makers Flynn Baggs and Gary Eoff.
Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Amy Greenwell Garden with experts in ethnobotany, conservation and horticulture. Bobby Camara, a long-time cultural interpreter for the National Parks Service, will lead an ethnobotany tour of the garden starting at 9:30 a.m. Bill Garnett, who has a long career working in habitat restoration on many Hawaiian Islands, will lead a tour starting at 11 a.m. focusing on conservation and horticulture. David Orr, the curator of Waimea Valley’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden, will lead a tour at 12:30 p.m., discussing the many rare plants at Amy Greenwell Garden.
In addition to all this, there will be book signings by Noa Lincoln (Amy Greenwell Garden’s Ethnobotanical Guide to Native Plants), Caren Loebel-Fried (Naupaka, Legend of the Gourd, and Lono), Craig Elevitch (Specialty Crops of the Pacific), and Heidi Bornhorst (Growing Native Hawaiian Plants). There will also be a silent auction with poi boards and stones and other donated items to benefit the garden.
On Sunday, Feb. 24, natural and cultural interpreter Bobby Camara will lead a tour of the archaeological sites and geological features of Kalaemano. The tour starts at the Ka‘upulehu Cultural Center at 9:30 a.m. and will be finished by noon.
The 9th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festiva, presented by Hawai‘i Forest and Trail, is supported in part by a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, ‘Ahahui Events Program. Support for this event is also provided by Kuki‘o, Kealakekua Ranch Ltd., Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center and Kamehameha Schools.