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Discover how poi is made in class

A day-long class at Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden will give students an overview of the whole process of growing, harvesting, cooking, and pounding poi from kalo, or taro, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The class will also cover some of the basic principles of taro identification, and will include a look at the tools and techniques of making poi stones and poi boards. Instructors will be garden staffers Manuel Rego and Kamuela Naihe, and Keahi Tomas will demonstrate poi making and share his expertise at making poi stones and boards.

The cost for the class is $25 ($20 for Bishop Museum or Amy Greenwell Garden members). Students should sign up in advance by calling 323-3318 or emailing The class is supported by a grant from The Ceres Trust. Students should bring lunch to the workshop.

Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is Bishop Museum’s native plant arboretum in Captain Cook, on the Kona side of Hawaii Island. The garden grows over 70 varieties of taro in its Hawaiian cultivar collection. It also has extensive plantings of taro to supply events, school visits and also distribute to farmers and backyard gardeners.

The garden is landscaped with the plants that grew on the farms and forests of Kona in the time before foreign contact. Self-guided visitors are welcome Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can take part in a Guided Native Plant Walk daily at 1 p.m. 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.

For more information about the class or tours, call (808) 323-3318 or email

Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is located at 81-6160 Mamalahoa Hwy in Captain Cook on the island of Hawai‘i. The Garden is open for self-guided visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Mondays and holidays. There is a $7 admission fee for adults and reduced fees for seniors, kamaaina, military and children. For more information call 808 323-3318 or visit 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.

Amy B.H. Greenwell Garden is part of the renowned Bishop Museum in Honolulu and is named for Amy B. H. Greenwell, a Kona resident who did extensive research and writing about Hawaiian botany and ethnobotany as well as important fieldwork. She left the Garden site to Bishop Museum in 1974.


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