PUNA ‘ULU FESTIVAL REVIVES THE RICH CULTURE OF BREADFRUIT

PUNA ‘ULU FESTIVAL REVIVES THE RICH CULTURE OF BREADFRUIT

The Puna ‘Ulu Festival will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 9
am – 3 pm at Ho‘oulu Lahui, the site of Kua O Ka La Public Charter
School at Pu‘ala‘a, adjacent to the ‘Ahalanui County Park warm ponds
in Puna. The event is free and open to the public. The Puna ‘Ulu
Festival will feature a cooking contest, breadfruit trees for sale,
presentations on the cultivation and care of ‘ulu trees, poi pounding,
tapa making, activities for the keiki, music all day and local food
featuring breadfruit.

Without a landscape that was conducive to abundant taro production,
Hawaiians in Puna relied heavily upon the breadfruit. Due to the young
lava lands in Puna, the planting styles are different and the primary
staple food for Native Hawaiians was always ‘ulu, not taro. Puna was
uniquely known for its breadfruit trees that were planted in deep
holes so that the leaves and fruits grew at ground level. Hence the
breadfruit groves were often referred to as “hidden” because they
couldn’t be seen from afar. Kua O Ka La Public Charter School (PCS) is
located at Pu‘ala‘a in Puna, a 600-acre ancient Hawaiian village site.
The revitalization of ‘ulu in this region is a key initiative for
Ho‘oulu Lahui and Kua O Ka Lā PCS.

The day will include a Breadfruit Cooking Contest in which the public
can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and
Dessert. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of
these categories and for Healthiest Choice and Best in Show.
Breadfruit Cooking Contest rules and entry forms can be found at
www.breadfruit.info. Cooking demonstrations will be held throughout
the day featuring Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto, Shirley
Kauhaihao, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner from Kona and the students
of Kua O Ka La PCS.

There will be a locally sourced buffet lunch which features breadfruit
and Kua O Ka La PCS students will be selling their award winning ‘Ulu
Tamales.
Presenters include: Ryan McCormack of Kua O Ka La PCS speaking on
“‘Ulu, A Hawaiian Perspective,” Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the
Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden
speaking about “An Overview of Pacific Breadfruit” and “Care and
Maintenance of ‘Ulu” and Craig Elevitch of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food
Network presenting on “Food Security—Pasifika Style.”

Cultural activities will be ongoing throughout the day including
traditional ‘ulu poi pounding, making poi boards from ‘ulu wood, tapa
from ‘ulu bark and Hawaiian quilting. Keiki activities include games
and an art booth with local artists.

Uncle Keikialoha Keikipi will be planting an ‘ulu tree to commemorate
the 10-year anniversary of Kua O Ka La PCS.
The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is sponsored by Ho‘oulu Lahui, Kua O Ka La
Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit
Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kamehameha
Schools. The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is a part of a larger statewide effort
to revitalize breadfruit for food security called Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.
Learn more about the Puna ‘Ulu Festival by visiting
www.breadfruit.info or call 965-5098.

Photo Caption
Puna ‘Ulu Festival Poster: Poster of the Puna ‘Ulu Festival being held
on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 9 am – 3 pm at Ho‘oulu Lahui, the site
of Kua O Ka La Public Charter School at Pu‘ala‘a, adjacent to the
‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna.

Andrea Dean, MBA
Sustainable Initiatives LLC
Twitter – Blog – Facebook
808-960-3727

Press Release-Puna Ulu Festival-final.doc

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One Response

  1. […] Did you know that the Ulu instead of the Taro was the staple of choice for the people of Puna on Hawaii Island.  Because of the type of land found in the area it was the ulu tree that was easier to grow in abundance.  The Puna natives were also able to plant the Ulu in deep holes so that the leaves and fruit grew at ground level to make harvesting easier. Read more about this amazing  Ulu from Puna.  Puna Online […]

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