The Taro Security and Purity Task Force will host the first Neighbor Island Queen's Challenge Taro Contest April 20 at the 21st annual East Maui Taro Festival.
The competition is open to all taro farmers on Maui growing Hawaiian taro varieties in wetland or dryland conditions. Entries must be Hawaiian taro varieties found in "Bulletin 84: Taro Varieties in Hawaii" (1939).
A two-point advantage will go to taro grown organically in honor of Queen Emma's proficiency in growing kalo and caring for the soil.
Maui Lehua and other hybrids will not qualify for this competition category. Consult Bulletin 84 or www.kupunakalo.com to verify varieties prior to entry.
There is no cost to enter.
The whole plant will be judged. The corm must be free of roots and dirt. The stems and leaves should be free of insects and soil.
Entrants or their representatives will need to provide the following information at entry no later than 11 a.m. to the contest table: name of the grower; phone and email contact; place grown; soil inputs and/or fertilizers used to grow the kalo entered in the contest; wetland or dryland; and an answer to the question "why do you grow kalo?"