$28K grant helps Kona Coffee Living History Farm ramp up in 2nd year

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KAILUA-KONA — The Kona Historical Society’s Hands On History Program at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm has been green lit for a second year, with a couple of upgrades.


KAILUA-KONA — The Kona Historical Society’s Hands On History Program at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm has been green lit for a second year, with a couple of upgrades.

The society announced last month it had received a grant of $28,000 from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) not just to keep the program running, but to improve what it offers. That amount is up from $12,500 the society received in 2016 via a joint grant from HTA and Hawaii County.

“It’s unique experiences like the farm that allow visitors to truly experience Hawaii in a real way, a tangible way, in a hands-on way that’s different than anywhere else in the world,” said Kalani Kaanaana, director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs at the HTA, who participated in activities at the farm last year as part of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Kona Historical Society Assistant Program Director and Farm Museum Manager Gavin Miculka said the extra money from the HTA will allow the Hands on History Program to operate two days per week instead of one — on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The increased funds will also aid in the creation of two new activities to supplement the eight standard activities offered last year.

“One of the goals from the granter is to help create venues where tourists and local residents can have shared experiences,” Miculka said. “With the grant, we’re able to help make the coffee farm this really unique venue for visitors and for local residents to have shared experiences related to traditional practices of Kona coffee farms.”

Activities offered at the farm range from medicinal herb gardening to lauhala weaving to Japanese calligraphy. The two new activities added in 2017 are Japanese embroidery and Japanese floral arrangement.

Miculka said another benefit of the increased funding is it will allow activities to function as interactively as possible. To that end, the Kona Historical Society will bring in kupuna — cultural practitioners like Miki Izu, who roasts coffee at the farm — to host more interactive demonstrations.

“It’s really great having actual cultural practitioners come to the farm and share those experiences with visitors who are not necessarily well aware of (them),” Miculka said. “The same goes for local residents who come to the farm and who learn about things maybe their families did on local coffee farms decades ago.”

The Kona Coffee Living History Farm includes other attractions as well, including access to its coffee and macadamia nut orchards, tours of its farmhouse, and interactions with costumed interpreters as well as Charlie, the farm’s famous donkey, and other animals that are daily staples of the goings on there.

The farm is open to the public every weekday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and is located near mile marker 110 in Captain Cook at 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway.

The schedule for the Hands on History Program through the rest of the month of February is as follows:

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Balanced Bento: Pickling as a Mainstay of the Japanese Table

Friday, Feb. 10 – Art &Language: Learning Japanese with Calligraphy

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Backyard Groceries: Sustainability in the Kitchen Garden

Friday, Feb. 17 – Beans in the Skillet: Coffee Roasting at Home


Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Fresh Off the Press: Making Tofu in the Family Kitchen

Friday, Feb. 24 – Weaving Tools &Treasures: Lauhala on a Kona Coffee Farm

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