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Avocados Needed for Crop Industry Research and Preservation

Media Release:

Are you growing a good avocado? Inquiring minds want to know.

The University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resource (UH CTAHR), the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association (HTFG) and the Kona Kohala Chefs Association are asking farmers and backyard growers to submit avocado samples for possible crop industry research and preservation. The statewide collection period is through December 31.

“We’re looking for a few great avocados from seedlings and unknown grafted trees to be evaluated by horticulturists and chefs,’” explains Ken Love, HTFG executive director. “Chosen fruit will be propagated and planted at the UH experiment station in Kainaliu and protected so future generations will have access to it.”

Criteria for the avocado evaluation include good seed-to-meat ratio, high oil content (buttery), smooth taste with no strings, appearance of skin and edible portion, plus overall flavor. Growers should consider if suggested avocado “is worth growing more of and marketing commercially.”

Avocados can be submitted for evaluation by drop off or mailed to the UH Extension Office in Kainaliu. Mail two or three “almost ripe” fruit samples to Marc Meisner, UH Extension Office, 7-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kealakekua, HI 96750.

Entries should include the approximate height and age of tree, if fruit is from a grafted tree or seedling, any indicators used to harvest the fruit, farm elevation and any farm history. “Knowing any previous farm owners may help determine the history of the fruit,” detailed Love.

In addition, ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assoc. members will do a culinary evaluation of many unusual avocado varieties on June 2. Any grower wishing to have fruit tested by chefs should get “perfectly ripe fruit” to the Kainaliu extension office or to Ken Love by June 1.

For more info, contact Dr. Ted Radovich on Oahu at 808-956-7909 or theodore@hawaii.edu; Ken Love in Kona at 808-323-2417 or kenlove@kona.net or Marc Meisner in Kona at 808-322-4896. The 20th annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 24-26 at the Aston Aloha Beach Resort on Kauai.

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