DETAILS AND UPDATES for the Mai’a ‘Ho’olaule’a/Banana Festival 2022.
On Sunday, November 13, 2022, from 11 am – 4 pm, Hawai’i Banana Source, Slow Food Oahu, and Hawai’i SEED, with our partner Hi’ipaka LLC, will host the free inaugural Mai’a ‘Ho’olaule’a/Banana Festival in Waimea Valley, O’ahu.
While most of us are familiar with local apple bananas and the ubiquitous Central American Chiquita, few of us have ever eaten a Hawaiian banana or enjoyed a savory banana dish. We hope to remedy that at Ka Mai’a ‘Ho’olaule’a!
This free Festival was created to expand our notions of what a banana is and can be. We’ve put together a program to help island residents successfully grow and use bananas in a number of ways.
FOOD BOOTHS AND SAMPLES A number of noted island chefs will be on hand to provide samples and recipes for banana dishes. Banana-based lunches and desserts will be available for purchase.
Chef Robynne Maii of Fête will prepare banana tartlet samples. Chef Kealoha Domingo will prepare Piele, a traditional dish of bananas and coconut milk samples. Emma Bello of Sweetland Goat Dairy will have goat milk banana gelato samples. Chef Kathy Maddux of Mohala Farms will be doing a green banana cooking demonstration. Chef Ignacio Fleishour of Kokua Market will prepare two banana plate lunches for sale, one featuring Puerto Rican pasteles and another with banana curry. Chef Thomas Naylor of Waimea Valley will be selling chocolate-covered bananas.
MAI’A LECTURES 12:00 pm, Gabe Sachter-Smith of Hawai’i Banana Source will give a talk and slideshow presentation on best-growing practices and botanical & culinary history.
2:00 pm, Ken Love, Executive Director of Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers, will speak on banana preservation and cookery. He will also be available to answer any questions on the cultivation and use of tropical fruits.
BANANA T-SHIRT DYES All banana growers have experienced the impressive ability of banana plants to stain clothing. We’ll put those qualities to good use, letting fairgoers, both old and young, dye their own t-shirts or buy a t-shirt on-site to dye with banana stalks, stems, and flowers. Babs Miyano-Young will supervise several booths and provide the materials necessary for dyeing.
BANANA FIBER DEMONSTRATIONS Mahina and Cheryl Pukahi will show off their talents as lauhala weavers, using black banana fibers to highlight their work. Wesley Sen will demonstrate Kapa making using banana dyes.
MAI’A ‘HO’OLAULEl’A T-SHIRTS & BANANA BOOKS Organic cotton shirts sporting the beautiful botanical illustration of the event will be for sale at a cost of $20. The ultimate guide to all things banana is Angela Kepler’s The World of Bananas in Hawai’i: Then and Now. This hard-to-find book will entertain and educate you about Mai’a history, best gardening practices, pests identification, and how best to prepare, cook and eat bananas. A few copies will be available for $80, $36 less than its Amazon price.
BANANA FRUITS & PLANTS FOR SALE Gabe Sachter-Smith of Hawai’i Banana Source, Pu’u o Hoku Ranch, Ho’okua’aina, and other growers and farms will provide plants and fruits for sale. Some unusual types will be available, including a few Hawaiian mai’a. Samples will be offered so that attendees can learn about the flavors and features of numerous varieties of bananas.
AND MORE… In addition to the above activities, fairgoers will find opportunities to taste different kinds of honey, learn about pollinators at the Hanai Hives booth, find out how to support the Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers and what they offer to both farmers and backyard fruit fans, and other community groups.