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Fun education was had at ag festival

LIHU‘E — Gina Duarte of Gina’s Anykine Grinds assembled her ‘ohana, including Chef Carla Dusenberry, to “cross da bridge,” and Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Executive Director Brian Miyamoto returned to Honolulu overnight because it was less expensive to fly instead of paying for a hotel room during the two-day Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Agricultural Festival that opened Saturday afternoon at the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields.

The KCFB Agricultural Festival, celebrating the agricultural diversity of the island, opened Saturday under hot, clear weather.

“They wanted good weather,” said Pastor Darryl Kua of the Westside Christian Center, who performed the short and to-the-point blessing. “I guess they cooperated, upstairs. But it’s hotter in Kekaha.”

“Plant a seed,” GoFarm volunteer Pomai Weigeret told guests who stopped by her table to make Soil Blocks utilizing special planting mix enhanced with binding aids and a special pot-making machine to germinate seedlings at the first major agricultural gathering since the traditional and annual Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair was shut down by the COVID-19 virus three years ago.

Bridget Orsatelli and the 4-H Livestock Club also took advantage of the festival to bring back the popular petting zoo that was enhanced on Sunday with the Kaua‘i All Girl Rodeo Association offering horseback rides in the spacious field with ample free parking.

“We had a lot of action here on Saturday,” said Misty Mcelyea, an inspector with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine. “We had more than 300 people coming through to see the live specimens of the Cuban knight anole, the tarantula spider and the bearded dragon.”

Laurie Ho, president of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, said there was a little guy who stayed a long time with the spider.

“He wouldn’t leave,” Ho said. “He was there so long he came up with a name for the spider that is considered illegal in Hawai‘i. You can’t bring ‘em in, and if you find one, you need to call the USDA.”

Daphne McClure of Moloa‘a Bay Coffee was surprised when she learned her jabong earned a blue ribbon in the Fruit and Vegetable Judging, where the Kaimana lychee reared by Ueunten Farms garnered Best in Show honors in the Fruit category, and Glenn Texas variety tomates reared by Kawailehua Tavares garnered Best in Show honors in the Vegetable category.

Guests could also learn a lot from the constant flow of guest speakers and presenters who discussed a variety of topics, from cooking with kalo, to the more specialized banana bunchy top virus management.

Appetites and thirst-quenching needs were taken care of by Gina’s Anykine Grinds Cafe, which made the trek from Waimea; Mom’s Filipino Comfort Foods, which also serves the weekly Pau Hana Market at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e; Friendly Waves that opened about six months ago in the Koloa Village Shopping Center; Shakti Indian Cuisine; Haole Girl Island Sweets; Wirat Family Farm with their pineapple smoothies and sugar cane water; and Menehune Water.

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

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