Sunday | August 28, 2016
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Hawaii’s plants, culture focus of annual festival

Hawaiian cultural and natural history was celebrated Saturday at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Enthobotanical Garden in Captain Cook.

The ninth annual Grow Hawaiian Festival offered free hands-on activities for keiki and adults. Demonstrations included ipu gourd decorating, kapa making, weaving, woodworking, lei making, taro cultivation, bamboo stamps, nose flutes, lomilomi, and Hawaiian dyes. Some residents also brought mystery plants and insects to booths run by top botanists and Bishop Museum for identification.

Also offered were tours of the 15-acre botanical garden, which has more than 200 species of plants that grew in traditional farms and native forests of Kona before Captain Cook arrived in the late 18th century.

Numerous presentations occurred throughout the day. For instance, updates were given from representatives of botanical gardens around the state. Local taro growers discussed their experiences growing Hawaiian taro for today’s consumers while young conservation professionals shared the challenges and opportunities they are facing.

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