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Revitalizing Breadfruit

Revitalizing Breadfruit

"The Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu Project.“

Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu is a project to revitalize 'ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai'i's food security issues. It is well known that Hawai'i imports about 90% of its food, making it one of the most food insecure states in the nation. Additionally, since the economic downturn of 2008, many families lack access to affordable and nutritious food. We believe that breadfruit is a key to solving Hawaii's food security problems.

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Breadfruit—An Abundant 2014

IMG 2821Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute demonstrates harvesting and pruning for Kaua'i participants in the workshop Breadfruit—From Tree to Table that took place on January 11, 2014.With the recent sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawai‘i, the production of breadfruit will grow dramatically over the next few years. This new production represents millions of dollars in potential retail sales of breadfruit in the next 5-8 years. In addition, breadfruit will play an increased key role in island food self-sufficiency, as it has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years.

In anticipation of this increase, over the past year the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project decided to forgo a large Breadfruit Festival in Kona in order to focus on smaller workshops where participants could learn in-depth about breadfruit harvesting, processing, food preparation, traditional breadfruit dishes, and marketing through the use of newly developed videos and educational materials. The workshops were sponsored by the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crops Program and Kamehameha Schools.

In November 2013 and January 2014, sold-out crowds participated in the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshops on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i.

IMG 2766Kalapana Kollars presents "‘Ulu and its Relationship to Hawaiian Culture" at the Maui workshop on January 9, 2014. If you missed those workshops, fear not! The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held for the last time this year in Puna on Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The cost is $12 per person and advance registration online is required. The workshop will be followed by a luncheon featuring breadfruit prepared by Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto. Pre-register Here.

You can also download the following educational materials that were produced for the workshops:

  • Breadfruit Production Guide: Recommended practices for growing, harvesting, and handling
  • Brief Breadfruit Basics
  • Breadfruit—Nutritional Value and Versatility
  • Breadfruit—Variety Cards: Ma‘afala, ‘Ulu and Meinpadahk
Breadfruit-production-guide-front-cover-2nd-Edition-200pxBreadfruit-Handling-and-Preparation-Fact-Sheet-200pxBreadfruit-Nutrition-Fact-Sheet-200px

You can also watch our new videos on breadfruit Harvest and Postharvest Handling and Basic Handling and Preparation with Sam Choy and Friends.

The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop series is funded through the Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Program and Kamehameha Schools. The intent is to help build the commercial market for breadfruit by targeting growers, restaurants, markets and consumers. Workshops have been attended by this target group, as well as by backyard growers and home users who are interested in community food security.


Andrea Dean, MBA, of Sustainable Initiatives works with communities, businesses and non-profits on initiatives that enhance island economy, environment and community. Andrea is also the Special Projects Coordinator for the Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network, and is co-coordinator of the Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu--Revitalizing Breadfruit program.

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