Oct. 24 Festival Covers Everything Taro

Rasa Fournier
Wednesday - October 13, 2010
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Haleiwa Farmer’s Market hosts a Taro Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24, when many of its 60-plus vendors will incorporate the native root crop into their offerings.

Expect taro tortillas, taro french fries, poi smoothies, poi crepes, taro bread, chefs’ demonstrations and two competitions with prizes.

The Taro Recipe Contest welcomes the use of all parts of the taro plant in an entree, dessert or traditional dish. To apply, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 388-9696.

The Heaviest Taro Contest aims to beat the Guinness World Record of 7.5 pounds (grown in China). Only Hawaiian varieties will be considered, and presenters are asked not to remove the ha, or stalk.

“The (January) cacao festival brought in 5,000 visitors and I think the taro festival will draw even more people,” said market co-owner Pam Boyar, noting that grants from U.S.D.A. and Hawaii Tourism Authority make it all possible - and free.

“We’re going to have a big tent with Tutu’s Backyard where North Shore kupuna will be talking story with people,” added Boyar. “That will be a lot of fun, and (North Shore resident) Aunty Betty Jenkins is really looking forward to that.”

Also on tap are lomi lomi massages, keiki activities, kanikapila with Ernie Cruz Jr., the Au Sisters, slam poet Kealoha, Hawaiian games, traditional arts and crafts.

A bus will shuttle guests to free, hourlong tours of nearby lo’i. Keiki taro will be on sale, and authors Jim Hollyer and Dale Evans will sign copies of Taro Mauka to Makai, A Taro Production and Business Guide for Hawaii Growers.

The Haleiwa Farmer’s Market is located near Haleiwa Beach Park, where Kamehameha Highway meets Joseph Leong Highway, and there’s free parking.

“We’ll have chairs, but people can bring their own mats,” she said. “We also want to make it sustainable, so we’re inviting people to bring their own plates and forks.”

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