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Maui Master Gardeners and Noa Lincoln (Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences) participated in the first-ever La ‘Ulu, or Breadfruit Day, held at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens this past weekend. The festival included traditional Hawaiian games, a native plant sale, demonstrations and informational booths, Hawaiian music, and, of course, lots and lots of ‘ono and healthy food made from this underutilized but very important staple food crop.
Noa (pictured) described his research into breadfruit, including the native cropping systems utilizing the hardy trees, and invited festival-goers to take part in a newly created citizen science project that allows members of the community to record life-cycle events such as flowering and fruiting of ‘ulu trees as a way to learn more about them.
The Master Gardeners helped those who wanted to purchase and cultivate ‘ulu trees to pick the right varieties for their areas and advised them on growing tips.