Hawaiian farmers, traditional artists, and conservation professionals share their love for plants with the public through presentations, demonstrations, display tables, and hands-on activities at the 11th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook on Saturday, February 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The event is free and admission to the Garden is waived for the day.

Kapa beatingAt this event in the heart of the rural South Kona district of the Island of Hawaiʻi, festival goers walk through a lineup of cultural practioners working in tents scattered among a landscape of loulu palms, a‘ali‘i bushes, ‘awa plants, and other native plants and Polynesian crops.  At some tents, woodworkers display of their art, at others, kapa makers are beating wauke, and those watching may be invited to sit at a kua and beat along with them. There is a booth where botanists and entomologists wait for people to bring plants or insects to be identified. There are information booths about health care programs and dry forest restoration.  On stage, festival goers can watch a presentation on kalo growing in Kona, hear a short ‘ukulele concert, enjoy a lauhala hat show, and learn about native plant conservation programs in Kona.  This year speakers include National Tropical Botanical Garden director Chipper Wichman, Kona taro farmer Clarence Medieros, Jr., and Bishop Museum archaeologist Mara Mulrooney.   Hawaiian food will be available for purchase.

Hands-on activities that are planned for the Festival day include ‘ohe kāpala stamping with George Place, cordage making with Gary Eoff, nose flutes making and playing with Albert Carbonel and Ka’uhane Morton, lei with Momi Greene, lauhala weaving with the Kona weavers, poi pounding with Jerry Konanui and Keahi Tomas, and lomilomi with Wesley Sen and Maile Napoleon. In addition, there will be many booths and displays set up by agencies, non-profits, school groups, and others involved in native plant conservation give attendees a chance to learn how these people and their groups are working for native plants and the ʻĀina.

The 11th Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival is supported by a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 'Ahahui Events Program.  Amy Greenwell Garden is Bishop Museum's native plant arboretum on Hawaiʻi Island.   For more information call 808-323-3318.

Volunteer Gardening Days

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook on the Island of Hawai‘i has three volunteer gardening days coming up:  May 10, May 24, and June 14.  This is a great way to meet people, learn about native plants, and hone your gardening skills.  The volunteer gardening days start at 9:30 and last until 12 noon. Bring a lunch and stay for the Guided Hawaiian Plant Walk at 1 p.m. 

Volunteers should bring gloves, hat, sunscreen, mosquito lotion, and their favorite hand tools. If you take part in the gardening day, the general admission will be waived for the Walk.  The Walk is funded by an award from the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.  For more information, please call 808.323.3318.

Amy Greenwell Garden is Bishop Museum’s native plant arboretum in Captain Cook on the Island of Hawai‘i.   The Garden is open 9-4 every day except Mondays and holidays.  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.

Guided Hawaiian Plant Walks--Every day, 1:00 p.m.  Free with admission.  The Guided Native Plant Walks are led by staff members and docents, and last about one hour.  Visitors explore three zones of the Garden during their guided walk: kahakai (coastal zone), wao lama (dry forest), and māla (agricultural zone).   The tour does not require reservations, and there is no extra charge for it beyond the reasonable general admission to the Garden. Funded by an award from the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.  Closed Mondays and holidays.   Phone 808.323.3318 or email  No reservation required.

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