Savor ono kine grinds at Keokea Ho‘olaule‘a

The first Keokea Ho’olaule’a will unfold from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday Upcountry at the Keokea Homestead. You’ll find it on Kula Highway at the 16.9 mile marker, two-tenths of a mile past Grandma’s Coffeehouse in Keokea town.

Some five dozen booths will offer isle-produced food, and you know it’s going to be ono kine, when it’s coming from the homestead.

Dig into Hawaiian plate with all of the fixings, Keanae poi, chicken hekka, barbecue steak, deep-fried shrimp, fat chow fun, smoked meat and lots of garlic fried noodles. Sip Rafael Escobar’s award-wining Keokea Coffee, grown nearby.

“The day of entertainment will reflect homelands talent, as in the Oahu musical group Na Hoku Pa, whose members’ parents are Keokea farmers,” says event publicist Karen Park.

“Other performers include Miss Keiki Hula 2014 Keaolani Hosino of Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi; Maui Community Band; Wes Furumoto; Richard Dancil, Tommy Bucauto and more homestead musical entertainment. We’ll also have a couple of hours of fun with emcee Alaka’i Paleka of KPOA.”

The fun continues with lots of local arts and crafts. Peruse the Palapala block prints and arty items from Island Time, Native Nursery, Island Home Accents, Revelation Woodwork, Pilialoha Keiki, DG’s Taxidermy; Huakani Handcrafted Ukulele, Enomoto Design, Wai-O-Huli Farms and Kuulei of Maui, just to name a few. Visit community booths, such as the Hui No Keola Pono; the UH Master Gardner Project and Waihee Limu Restoration.

Keokea is Maui’s only agricultural homestead. Lot selection started in 1986 and infrastructure by 2009. Now it’s launching a phase of sustainable, subsistence farming coupled with economic self-sufficiency. Its organizers envision Keokea Ho’olaule’ea evolving into a twice-monthly marketplace, which can mirror the successful Maku’u Farmers Market operated by East Hawaii homesteaders.