Public can hike, explore, protect Kahuku
Three free programs offered by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will introduce the captivating landscape, biodiversity and history of the park’s southernmost section to hikers.
Guided hikes of the new Palm Trail are offered Sept. 15 and 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The easy 2.6 mile loop traverses through pastureland along a cinder cone. Along the way are relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and volcanic features of the 1868 eruption.
People and Land of Kahuku is a two-mile, three-hour expedition through pastures, a quarry and 1868 lava fields. Rangers will explain how people lived on the vast Kahuku lands, from the earliest Hawaiians through today. The hike is offered Sunday, Sept. 9, Sept. 22, Oct. 14 and Nov. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Kipuka Akihi is a challenging 1.5 mile, five-hour adventure to see some of the area’s rare plants and wildlife. Participants must be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock and slippery, wet terrain. This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rain forest by pulling invasive plants throughout the kipuka. This expedition is offered today, Sept. 23, Oct. 21 and Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Advance registration is not required for these programs. Drive through the Kahuku gate on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Park and meet at the visitor contact tent. Boots, rain gear, long pants, water and a snack are recommended. In addition, garden gloves, sunscreen, a day pack, insect repellent and lunch are recommended for the Kipuka Akihi event.
Bilimbi demonstration scheduled today
Bilimbi is the star at a free, ultraexotic fruit tasting and culinary demonstration 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at ChoiceMart. Chef Paul Heerlein, assistant professor and coordinator of the Culinary Arts Program at Hawaii Community College at the University Center West Hawaii, will demonstrate how to prepare hot and sour bilimbi soup.
The fruity fun is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, whose members are growing bilimbi and other ultraexotic tropical fruits. These not-so-well-known edibles — like Surinam cherry, jackfruit, ulu, abiu, durian, white sapote, soursop, tropical apricot and jaboticaba — are among a growing number of fruits intriguing island chefs and shoppers.
Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, bilimbi is cultivated in tropical regions worldwide and bears several names. The fruit resembles small cucumbers and the English call it the “pickle tree.” The outer skin is thin and glossy and the green flesh is jelly-like and juicy. Bilimbi has a sour taste because of its high acid content and is used raw to make relishes. The juice makes a drink similar to lemonade. Bilimbi is also preserved and employed to concoct chutney or an acid jelly. Half-ripe fruits are salted and pickled. In Hawaii, chefs substitute bilimbi juice for vinegar to make salad dressings and it appears in soup stocks and in stews. Nutritionally, it contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and niacin.
For more information, contact Ken Love at email@example.com or 808-969-7926.