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Free pumpkins start rolling

KEKAHA — Nearly 800 pumpkins were distributed free Saturday during the Ninth annual Harvest Festival at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center, where a steady stream of patrons from all parts of the island met for pumpkins and an assortment of activities, entertainment and good food.

“We budgeted 800 pumpkins for this event,” said a volunteer from Hartung Brothers, who monitored the line of people entering the tent, where they were greeted by a pumpkin mountain being distributed at a rate of one pumpkin per family. The tent offered not only free pumpkins, but activities surrounding the golden orbs, including a tic-tac-toe statopm with miniature pumpkins, and various photo contests with Halloween pumpkin-themed selfie stations.

“We need to measure how much pumpkins are available, because there are other deliveries for the pumpkins going out,” the pumpkin station monitor said. “These were all grown at Hartung Brothers in Kekaha.”

Pumpkin deliveries are scheduled for The Great Pumpkin Giveaway Friday at the Palm Court of The Shops at Kukui‘ula, where free pumpkins will be distributed at the rate of one pumpkin per family from 4 to 6 p.m., while supplies last.

The Grove Farm Market in Puhi near Grove Farm headquarters is the site of another free pumpkin giveaway Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the supply of pumpkins is gone.

The last pumpkin giveaway will take place Oct. 24 at the Pau Hana Market at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e, where free pumpkins will be available at the rate of one pumpkin per family from 3 p.m. until supplies are exhausted.

The Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association presented the Ninth annual Harvest Festival and the distribution of hundreds of locally grown pumpkins to Kaua‘i families for the keiki, including the Grove Farm Market, the Grove Farm Company said in its newsletter.

“We were sweating bullets,” said Richard Takase of Aloun Farms. “We grew these pumpkins, and other crops, on Hartung Brothers Agribusiness Development Corporation land through an agreement. This is just the first time we’re doing this, and in the future, the pumpkins will only get better.”

Takase said Mayor Derek Kawakami was at the morning preparations, and the organizers of the Harvest Festival even got help from state Senate President Ron Kouchi to make everything happen.

In addition to the pumpkin giveaway, patrons to the Harvest Festival were treated to educational exhibits like the free fitting and sizing of bicycle helmets by the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Kaua‘i Region, free COVID test giveaways, free eggplant seedlings, a book sale, a keiki fun zone featuring Fun and Kwazy Rides combining with water features, and assorted food sales that served as fundraisers for the presenters.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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