Holding Hands

Ka Hana No`eau’s “Ka Ulu Ana” February 28, 2010

Ka Hana No`eau’s “Ka Ulu Ana” February 28, 2010

Our event entitled, “Ka Ulu Ana: Securing our Future,” is a food resilience project featuring a chicken cooking challenge: The Chicken Wok-out and the Best Salad Contest. Chickens and salad greens were raised by Ka Hana No`eau students as part of the Animal Husbandry and Sustainable gardening mentorship programs. The Chicken Wok-out featured five teams and was a great success. Participants included Mayor Billy Kenoi, Senator Russell Kokubon, Senator Dwight Takamine, Representative Jerry Chang, Representative Clift Tsuji, Councilman Dennis Onishi, David Shiigi, David Fuertes, Chef Alan Awana, and Kaleo Iwasaki. All the chicken dishes turned out fabulous! The salad dressing contest had many tasty entries but the winner was Sarah Kobayashi’s “Balsamic Vinaigrette”. The agricultural demonstrations and workshops were also a big hit.

Lani Eugenio who wrote an article for the Kohala Mountain News posed the question; “What do you think about Today?” see the comments below…

Dave Fuertes:

This only happens because it’s a concerted effort of everyone. The focus is on the children… that’s the biggest investment!

Lei Kihoi – Kona – census worker:

My grandfather is (famed cowboy) Ikua Purdy. Uncle Tommy Solomon (lapa’au, bone setter) is my father’s cousin. It’s important that children learn from the kupuna. In the regular school system, that’s not allowed. I’m glad that Superintendent Souza is here to support the kids and this program.

Debbie Manantan – Kohala:

It’s a wonderful program. Young kids today don’t take sustainability seriously because many don’t realize how expensive our local foods are, like poi. We try to eat poi every day, but it’s expensive. My son is a graduate of the program. He has become a great adult through working with this program and with Papa Fuertes.

Robert Lindsey – Waimea – OHA Trustee:

Nice to see saddle-making carried on. Otherwise, this art form would be lost. Paniolo is a strong part of our legacy. Nice to see that folks like David is keeping these things alive.

Terry Murai – Kohala:

Today is good. I learned lots of stuff about taro. I came last year, but more people this year. The food I tasted was good!

Dennis “Fresh” Onishi – Hilo – Councilman:

More communities should get involved in this project (sustainable food, youth program). But you need someone strong like in Kohala to organize and coordinate it in other communities.

Ka’aihue Brothers: Patrick, Chad, Maikai (boys):

Awesome! Cool! The music is great, the chicken is good, and the people are nice. It’s a perfect day for this. Was good fun pounding poi.

Mike Hudson – Waimea – farmer:

This is awesome! The community involvement…wow! This program is a necessity. It shows that Hawaiians still can grow taro.

Ann Botticelli – Honolulu – journalist:

Fabulous! The students have done wonderful things and they are willing to share this with the community. David’s programs are terrific! The kids show what they are learning, they understand the history of the paniolo…what an education the kids are getting! The whole community is celebrating with the kids in food and music, and people are volunteering!

Punahele Svendsen – Kohala:

I see the kids being exposed to poi-pounding. This is good for the community. I’m learning about organic ways of planting, and how to make natural fertilizer, which is great because fertilizer is getting more expensive.

Chelle Pahinui – Hilo – professor:

Wonderful! It’s really great to have all these activities for kids of all ages. I’ve never seen anyone make a saddle before. The food was great, and the cook-off was a great idea! The politicians preparing food for the people put them in a different light, and symbolically it is what their role should be… to serve the community. Yet people could go up to them and get personal while interacting with food. Having the politicians here reinforces their support for sustainability while helping to raise funds for the community.

Casey Utemei – student, participant:

The program is good. It’s fun. This is my 3rd year in the program, and they have more stuff. This is the first year of the wok-out. Ka Hana No`eau is a good mentoring program, and the mentors are good, encouraging and they teach us well.

Janine Mattos – Kohala – Sr. Citizen Coordinator:

I’m very impressed! The chili was ono and I got 2 earth bags. My husband was talking to someone here about raising pigs without smell. Amazing! It’s very festive and upbeat here.

Marc Kinoshita – Kohala – Ag Park:

Excellent program for Kohala’s community. David is continuing to do a great job, and this program has a great future.

Having Kohala’s kids immersed in something so relevant today is awesome. People talk about it, but these kids are doing it… planting food, raising chickens and fish.

Jerry Chang – Hilo:

It’s great! It’s for the kids. They’re enthusiastic about learning and they are very respectful of everyone. This activity brought legislators from the outside this district to come and see this community. It brings the community closer together.

Kiki & Marissa Kihoi – Waimea:

Awesome! It would be so great if more communities would have these things for the kids. The mentorship program is important for all communities.

Chez Fernandez – Kohala – participant:

I’ve been in for 5 years. Today I got to show the community of what we do. This keeps me busy, out of trouble, and it keeps my grades up. My mentors teach me of the land and of being more sustainabl

Kapoe Lewis – Kohala – participant:

Good fun. I learn a lot about gardening and about animals. There are lots of people today. We had good workshops, good food and good entertainment.

Bronson Fuertes – Kohala – mentor:

Today’s activity promotes our program. People get to learn agricultural stuff and kids get to show what they know. The food was good.

Nani Svendsen – Kohala:

It’s inspiring to see all the little children wanting to pound poi, then see the smiles on their faces when they ate their own product.

Jean Matsuda – Kohala:

Should do this more often. Very educational, especially for young people.

Lani Bowman – Kohala:

Incredible! Students learned through their efforts that they can make money and become entrepreneurs. Hard work shows a profit when supported by nurturing adults.

Raeanne Tolentino, Royce Pasalo – Kohala Alumni:

It’s nice for us alumni to see the next generation come up and participate in Ka Hana No`eau. More people are coming out!

Jim Cain – Waipio – Taro farmer:

Every community should have this program. It’s for the kids, the next generation. Good to see politicians come out. This effort comes from the grassroots, but it needs people with resources to make it happen. There seems to be a hunger to get back to the land, to take care of the land.


This brought the community together. Some people didn’t know what this place is about. Now they know. Nice to see a lot of children.

Kato Sisters – Kohala:

Good, very educational. I went to the taro part to learn how to take care of taro, but nobody was there to teach. But we made poi.

It’s good for children and adults. This is the first time for us. We enjoyed the poi… eating this for dinner tonight. I learned about making fertilizer, interesting.

Janette Snelling – Kohala:

The program represents a true community-school partnership. We can only do so much, but with the 21st Century grant and by partnering with the community, we can do a lot more.

Ron Atwater – Waikoloa musician:

Wonderful! Beautiful! Great! I support these kinds of things because I’m trying to keep music going, keep the arts alive. Today’s event is great because for Hawaii, the island, the community. Lots of community support. Lots of fun. I had a great time! Good people, good food, fantastic music… all styles of music, all types, even Japanese! A wide variety. Loved it!