Categorized | Agriculture

Hawaii Homegrown Food Network conducting ulu survey


From the Hawaii Homegrown Food Network:

The Hawaii Homegrown Food Network is pleased to announce Hooulu ka Ulu, a project to revitalize ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food. Please help us assess the Hawaii Island community’s interest in reviving ulu by completing a 5-minute survey by Sunday, Sept. 12. Your survey response is important to help us get started in the right direction on this essential work (and you could win a prize).

The beautiful ulu tree once played a major role in the spiritual and cultural life of native Hawaiians and it was a key staple food and a source of wood, craft materials and medicine.

Ulu is easily grown and native Hawaiians had large field systems that integrated ulu with other crops including kalo (taro), uala (sweetpotato), maia (banana), ko (sugarcane) and other important crops.

It is estimated that Hawaiian ulu trees were at one time capable of feeding at least 75,000 people, perhaps several times that many. In mauka Kona there was a band of ulu trees one-half mile wide and 18 miles long called the kalu-ulu zone that produced as much as 36,000 tons of ulu fruit per year.

Other significant ulu groves were located in North Kohala, Hilo, and Puna.

Sadly, the use of the ulu as a primary food source in Hawaii has declined over the years, replaced by rice and other starches. Modern nutritional analysis shows ulu to be a highly nutritious food that can be prepared in a variety of ways compatible with both traditional and modern tastes.

Any serious conversation about food self-sufficiency and nutrition on Hawaii Island should include plans to efficiently utilize the ulu trees that remain and to revitalize ulu field systems by planting more ulu together with their associated food crops.

Please help us kick off this project by completing a 5-minute survey by Sunday, Sept. 12. Each survey respondent is eligible to win one of a number of prizes.

* A copy of Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands, a landmark 816-page book about the important trees of the Pacific, including ulu and its relatives. This $120 book is now out of print.
* A $50 gift certificate to Island Naturals
* A copy of Pathways to Abundant Gardens about Hawaii gardeners and their successes
* A a brand new poster by Ken Love, Hawaiian Mangos

Go to the survey:

Mahalo nui loa,

Craig Elevitch
for the Hawaii Homegrown Food Network
and Hooulu ka Ulu partner organizations

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