Earth Day Sunflower Farm Music Fest to support food security in Hawaiʻi, April 22
Pacific Biodiesel founders, Bob and Kelly King, announced today they will partner for a second consecutive year to present a benefit farm tour and festival event, this time supporting the critical issue of food security in Hawaiʻi. The “Sunflower Farm Music Fest” will take place in a blooming field of sunflowers at the Kings’ family farm in Maui’s Central Valley on Earth Day – Saturday, April 22, 2023 – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event is presented in partnership with Mana‘o Radio 91.7FM KMNO.
Funds raised will support the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Good Food Alliance for its Hawaiʻi Food Hub Hui, a collaboration of 14 food hubs across five Hawaiian islands that provides support to small- and medium- sized local farms by working to aggregate, store, process and distribute locally grown, culturally preferred foods to Hawaiʻi’s residents. The event will also raise funds for nonprofit Manaʻo Radio.
Focused on helping local farmers produce and earn more, Hawaiʻi Food Hub Hui has a goal to triple the output of Hawaiʻi’s food hubs by 2025 – an increase of local production and sales for Hawaiʻi’s food system that generates more revenue for local farmers.
This daylong festival will directly support the Hawaiʻi Food Hub Hui’s 2023 target to raise $3 million to fund high priority needs identified by Hawaiʻi’s food hubs, including supply chain logistics such as refrigerated delivery trucks, construction of walk-in freezers and other storage at food hub warehouses, and processing equipment for value-added food products that help farmers expand their revenue potential and minimize food waste.
The Sunflower Farm Music Fest is inspired by last year’s “A Concert for Ukraine in the Maui Sunflowers” presented by Pacific Biodiesel and Manaʻo Radio, an all-day event featuring Maui musicians which raised $72,000 for UNICEF USA to support children in Ukraine during the wartime crisis. The event – which sold out in less than two weeks – was held at the Kings’ Maui farm where 35 acres of sunflowers – the national flower of Ukraine – were in full bloom.
“In early 2022, we already had sunflower seeds in the ground when Russia invaded Ukraine. The concert event at our farm was a way for the community to come together to stand up against the tyrannic attacks on innocent civilians,” said Kelly King. “This time, the urgent and important cause is right here at home: food security. Hawaiʻi is the most isolated population on the planet, making our food supply extraordinarily vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, natural disasters and other emergencies. It is critical to support our local farmers and local food producers,” King added. “We hope our event helps put the spotlight on Hawaiʻi’s food hubs and accelerates the fundraising movement by Hawaiʻi Food Hub Hui to make a significant impact on our island state’s food security.”
Maui musicians scheduled to perform at this event include George Kahumoku Jr., Drew Martin, Benny Uyetake, Sting Kong, Soul Kitchen, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, The Lonely Hearts – Beatles and Beyond, and Marty Dread with Gretchen Rhodes & The House Shakers.
Following a blessing by Leiʻohu Ryder, Manaʻo Radio DJs will emcee the event. Sponsors Hawaiian Electric, Maui Tropical Planation, Fairmont Kea Lani, King Power, Michael and Deborah Rybak, Pacific Current, Gay & Robinson and Maui Screen Printing are covering event expenses, allowing 100% of ticket sales and other event proceeds to benefit the participating nonprofits.
During this event, attendees will be able to view the sunflowers, take part in farm tours and visit the on-site Farm Stand to purchase products manufactured from local sustainable farming operations, including Maiden Hawaiʻi Naturals culinary oils and Kuleana® cosmetic (including CBD) products.
Scheduled farm tours during the event will be provided by Hawaiʻi Tours, whose team will drive guests around the blooming sunflower field in biodiesel-fueled vans. Booths will be hosted by participating nonprofits to share information about their organizations.
Food partners, including Moku Roots and ʻĀina Tacos, will sell menu items prepared with Maiden Hawaiʻi Naturals culinary oils and other local ingredients; unique food experiences during the event will showcase the food hub model. Custom festival T-shirts will be sold online in advance and at the event. Event proceeds will benefit the cause.
“Our partnership with Pacific Biodiesel for last year’s Concert for Ukraine was a gamechanger for Manaʻo Radio,” said Michael Elam, Board President of Manaʻo Radio. “We rallied in just over a month’s time to coordinate the entire lineup of musicians, sound engineers and other volunteers. Shortly thereafter we were asked by St. John’s Episcopal Church to do the same thing for their Kula Festival. That’s when we realized, we’re good at this – and it fits squarely in Manaʻo Radio’s mission as a community radio station: to bring people together in a shared love of music to benefit our Maui community.”
“This year, we’re honored to partner again with Pacific Biodiesel to support this important food security cause as we mark our station’s 21st anniversary,” Elam said.
Also participating in the event will be volunteers from the American Red Cross Maui chapter, who will help staff the event, host the medic tent and provide information for the general public about disaster preparedness in Hawaiʻi, an island state uniquely vulnerable to food supply disruptions.
Only ticket holders will be admitted to the event. Parking is a $5/car cash donation at the gate and will benefit the Red Cross. A complimentary cut sunflower bloom will be given with each parking donation. Due to limited parking at the farm, carpooling is encouraged. Vehicles must enter the farm through the main gate located on Honoapiʻilani Highway just north of the Kūihelani Highway intersection. As a reminder, the State has posted no parking signs on both highways along the perimeter of the farm.
Seating under the event tent will be provided. To minimize waste, visitors are requested to bring their own water bottle to refill at complimentary water stations on site; no alcohol or coolers. This Zero Waste event will be supported by Maui Huliau Foundation. Due to the outdoor farm environment, visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes, a hat and reef-safe sunscreen. No pets or strollers please.
For more information, go to www.Biodiesel.com or call 808-866-5101.