Maui County Agricultural Festival On The Way April 2nd

Maui County Agricultural Festival on the way

March 24, 2011
Article from: The Maui News

WAIKAPU – Maui farmers, chefs and locavores will gather next month to celebrate island agriculture at the fourth annual Maui County Agricultural Festival.

The event – which includes keiki activities, food booths, animal and farm exhibits and cooking demonstrations – highlights local farms and produce in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture on Maui. This year’s festival will feature the “cole” family of vegetables, including cabbages, kale and broccoli, which make up a key crop for local farmers.

The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 2 on the luau grounds of the Maui Tropical Plantation. The Maui County Farm Bureau and the county Office of Economic Development organize the event, which is expected to draw more than 5,000 people, according to a release.

Farm Bureau Executive Director Warren Watanabe said cabbages and other coles are “often overlooked” by local consumers but are an essential crop for Maui farmers.

“Head cabbage in particular thrives on the cool volcanic slopes of Kula,” farmer Ralph Inouye said. “Because it’s a fairly stable and transportable plant, it’s a key crop in Maui’s agricultural viability.”

Cabbage also is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber, a release said. Coles will be featured in the festival’s “Taste Education” segment, which will include cooking demonstrations by local chefs and a tasting of the dishes they prepare. Tickets for “Taste Education” are $25 for adults or $15 for children under 12; tickets will be $30 for adults or $20 for children if purchased after Wednesday.

Home cooks also can compete in contests for banana bread and pickled vegetable recipes.

Other highlights of the festival include:

* A “Victory Farm” display of local crops.

* Farm animal exhibit by Maui Cattle Co.

* “Grown on Maui” farmers market.

* Food booths.

* Keiki activities.

* Healthy cooking demonstrations by Down to Earth, Susan Campbell and kumu hula Kapono’ai Molitau.

* A “Farm Doctor” booth with agricultural experts providing advice to gardeners.

* Storytelling.

* Bookstore.

For more information on the event or the recipe contests, or to order tickets for “Taste Education,” visit http://www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org.