Weaving, kapa making, poi pounding and wood carving were some of the fun demonstrations attendees could participate in at the 2023 Grow Hawaiian Festival on February 25. Hosted by the friends of Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, hundreds of people gathered at the garden in Captain Cook on Hawaiʻi Island to celebrate Hawaiian culture and natural history with a variety of activities and speakers. This event was the first the garden has held in more than three years.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) contributed to the festival with three educational booths.
- The West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners shared information about the two-lined spittlebug, avocado lace bug, little fire ants and methods for ʻōhiʻa seed collection.
- Noa Lincoln and his students from the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences presented a display showcasing traditional sugarcane varieties, samples of fresh-squeezed cane juice and copies of Lincoln’s book, Ko on traditional Hawaiian cultivators and uses of sugarcane.
- Extension forester J.B. Friday from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management and education specialist Charlotte Godfrey-Romo discussed Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, a fungal pathogen presenting a major issue for Hawaiʻi’s endemic ʻōhiʻa trees.
“Despite the unusually wet weather for the leeward side of the island, hundreds of festival goers enjoyed the first public event at the garden since the COVID epidemic,” said Friday.
The Grow Hawaiian Festival aims to foster public understanding, enjoyment and conservation of Hawaiʻi’s natural resources and provide a space for the appreciation of Hawaiian culture and flora.