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Celebrate Maui agriculture at ‘Ulupalakua Cares’

By Staff | Sep 2, 2010

At “Ulupalakua Cares,” Maui’s own paniolo entertainer, Bradda Francis Koahou, will demonstrate his slack key mastery from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ranch store.

ULUPALAKUA — Maui’s Winery and Ulupalakua Ranch Store invite the public to come on up to Upcountry Maui for “Ulupalakua Cares” on Sunday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As the air gets cooler as fall approaches, it’s a perfect time to celebrate the long-standing commitment to agriculture and open space that makes Ulupalakua such a special place.    

“Ulupalakua Cares” is a free, community event featuring live music by local entertainers, walking tours by environmental leaders and informational exhibits by local conservation groups, all set against the idyllic backdrop of the winery’s historic grounds and the ranch’s pastoral beauty.

It’s Maui meets Lanai when the performers take the stage to share their musical talents. The dynamic combination of ukulele virtuoso Derick Sebastian and singer/musician Joshua Kahula will stir things up on the winery grounds from noon to 3 p.m. Sebastian, one of Maui’s rising stars, was just nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for his first full-length album, “From His Heart.” Kahula is known as the musical leader of the popular local band NuffSedd.

Next up will be Polihua, one of Lanai’s favorite bands, bringing Hawaiian-style music — from kiho‘alu to contemporary to the classics — from 3 to 4 p.m.

The full day of live entertainment is produced by Jazz Alley TV and MauiFEST Hawai‘i.

A talk entitled “A Voyage Back in Time: The Natural Treasures of Ulupalakua Ranch” will be presented from noon to 12:30 p.m. by one of Maui’s leading experts in Hawaiian ecosystems, Dr. Art Medeiros.

Medeiros is a research scientist with the Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey and head of the Auwahi reforestation project, the state’s most successful restoration of native dryland forest on Ulupalakua Ranch land. His ambitious work extends to the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, a coalition with the ranch and ten other landowners that aims to restore 43,175 acres of koa forest on Haleakala. Working together with the Erdmans, owners of the ranch, Medeiros has set a statewide standard for how endangered biological and cultural resources can be protected.

The unique, 150-year-old trees of Maui’s Winery will be explored in a special Walking Tour of Trees led by Ernest H. Rezents, Professor Emeritus of Agriculture at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

Rezents will give a talk entitled “How to Determine the Value of a Tree” and share his mana‘o (wisdom) as an ISA Certified Arborist and ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, former gardening columnist for The Maui News and the 2006 Honorary Chair of Arbor Week. The tour and talk will take place from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

Notable Maui conservation groups will have informational exhibits and representatives on hand from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featured groups include Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui Coastal Land Trust, Maui Invasive Species Committee and Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership.

Ulupalakua Ranch has a long history of conservation — a value recently lauded by the public with the ranch’s amazing donation of more than 11,000 acres of ranch land to Maui Coastal Land Trust, permanently protecting the area from development. Currently, over 50 species of endangered or rare native trees are being nurtured on the ranch with the help of dedicated volunteers and partner organizations.

According to Sumner Erdman, Ulupalakua Ranch president, the goal is to restore the remains of what was once a vast and biologically diverse ecosystem found only in the Hawaiian Islands.

Erdman describes “Ulupalakua Cares” as “a chance to share the work that we do, and that these outstanding organizations do throughout the year, to ensure the health of the environment for many years to come.”

The day-long event also includes free wine tasting in the winery’s historic King’s Cottage Tasting Room and lunch specials at Ulupalakua Ranch Store Deli & Grill from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 878-6058 or visit www.mauiwine.com or www.ulupalakuaranch.com.