Macadamia Nuts From the Big Island Being Recalled

Mahina Mele Farms is recalling the following products after FDA testing found Salmonella in macadamia nuts.

Mahina Mele Mac Nuts

Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with these products. In the interest of public health and safety, we are recalling all products processed from this batch of macadamia nuts.

The following products are involved in the recall. They were distributed to retail stores from May 26-29, 2015 primarily on the East Coast and in Hawaii.

PRODUCT UPC LOT # SIZE
Izzie Macs! Macadamia Nuts 689076792677 016 6oz (salted)
Izzie Macs! Macadamia Nuts 689076793575 016 6oz (unsalted)
Izzie Macs! Macadamia Nuts 689076792776 016 16oz (unsalted)
Izzie Macs! Macadamia Nuts 689076792974 016 16oz (salted)
Bulk Macadamia nuts (salted and unsalted; wholes and pieces) 016 5lb bag
Baby Bruddah’s Mac Nut Buttah 753182242019 016 12oz
Baby Bruddah’s Chocolate Mac Nut Buttah 735182242040 016 12oz

Customers who have purchased the above products should not consume them and should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund or replacement. Mahina Mele Farm will reimburse the wholesaler for any returned product.

These products were shipped May 26-29th, 2015 and are from LOT #016.

If you have any questions, call Jason or Kollette Stith at 808 328 8987.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration.

Act Now – Discounts Available for Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference

The 25th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 25-27 at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. All attendees registering before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of up to $50; visit hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org to register online with paypal; conference forms can be found at htfg.org.  Open to the public, the event includes mini-conferences on Kauai and in Hilo.

HTFG2015Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the Thursday-Tuesday event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

The anniversary conference is titled “Back to Our Roots” and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts. Yaz Dixzbalis of Queensland will give the keynote address, “Cacao, Jackfruit, Hot-Water, Trellis Wires and Their Relevance to Tropical Horticulture in Australia.” Dixzbalis is an agronomist, serving as a tropical fruit horticulturist with Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. His recent research efforts involve trellising tropical fruits for improved cyclone resilience.

Other speakers and their topics include “The Fruit Explorer” Joseph Simcox, who travels the globe searching, tasting and documenting thousands of edibles. Peter Salleras will discuss a grower’s prospective of “Striving for Sustainable Tropical Tree Fruit Production in the 21st Century and Bob Shaffer presents “Soil Culture in Hawaii.”  Shaffer, agronomist for Honaunau-based Soil Culture Consulting, offers assistance to transition farms, orchards and pastures to biologically integrated farming systems using sustainable farming strategies.

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says the conference will include USDA updates, Sunday tours with Tom Baldwin, networking and fruit tasting. In addition, Diczbalis will present a “Photo Journal of Fruitful Visits to SE Asia.”

Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.htfg.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 26th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.htfg.org.

Hemp Harvested Legally in Hawaii for First Time

The first stalk of legal hemp in Hawaii was harvested today.
Hemp in HawaiiHawaii Representative Chris Lee tweeted, “Harvesting the very first stalk of hemp in Hawaii. Uses less water, 100% organic, tremendous economic commodity

Orchid Show Preview Party Held in Memory of Sandy Song

This year, the benefit Preview Party that kicks off the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd anniversary Orchid Show and Sale is being held in memory of Sandy Song.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.  The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging. The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The party is dedicated to the late Song as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.

“It’s Ku‘ikahi’s way of honoring Sandy,” said party chair Cody Frenz.  “She did so much every year to make the preview party a success.  She donated orchids and wine, sold tickets, and garnered the loyalty of party volunteers.”

Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, the gala features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.  Please note that the location for this year’s party and show has changed to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives a souvenir glass, in order to enjoy a selection of fine wines, plus beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co.  Non-alcoholic beverages and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are also served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets are compliments of Island Naturals and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

“This truly is a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for magnificent and rare orchid plants,” Frenz said, “And proceeds from the party benefit two non-profits: Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center and Hilo Orchid Society.”

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party.  Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party. Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Hilo Coffee Mill, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  Or call Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 5.  For more information, visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org/preview-party or www.hawaiimediation.org.

Taro Inspired Benefit Luncheon in Waipio Valley

Kalo (taro) is Hawaii’s most elemental food for body and soul. Inspired by kalo, The Feeding Leaf events and catering company (TFL) will present a five-course benefit luncheon for the nonprofit Pōhāhā I ka Lani, on Sunday, July 26 at 12 p.m. at the secluded Waipi‘o Tea House.

Taro Picture

Waipi’o Valley Kalo. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Diners will take a culinary “huaka‘i,” a journey that begins with Moloka‘i venison, ‘uala (purple sweet potato) and pa‘akai (Hawaiian salt), and travels through Kona for Kamana‘o Farm pumpkin and Living Aquaponics lettuce. Mauka-to-makai entreés feature whole roasted pig and ‘ōpelu, followed by a trio of poni (purple) desserts: Punalu‘u Taro Sweet Bread Pudding with Kalo Vanilla Bean Sauce, ‘Uala Custard Flan Tart and Koele Pālau (sweet potato pudding).

Each course will be paired with a different type of kalo, selected by Pōhāhā I ka Lani founder Kūlia Kauhi Tolentino-Potter, to complement the specific foods being served. For example ‘ōpelu kalo will accompany the whole roasted ‘ōpelu entree to enhance both flavors.

“What makes this event so special is absolutely the Valley, Waipi‘o itself,” said TFL President Tracey Apoliona. “We are bringing the guests right there, right to the source. And we are making and serving the kinds of Hawaiian foods that have ancient roots, in modern, elegant preparations. That is how the menu is, and we as a business are, aligned with Pōhāhā—honoring the kalo, from those rich roots up to the green leaves that grow in abundance, reaching higher and higher.”

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi.  Photo by Anna Pacheco

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Emceed by TFL’s new Director of Shared Services Paris DeCambra, lunch is accompanied by the Hawaiian music of Aliʻi Keanaʻaina, in the scenic setting of Waipiʻo Tea House, overlooking Hi‘ilawe falls. And, an exclusive silent auction will supplement fundraising efforts for future educational programs promoting stewardship, leadership and guidance.

Founded in 2009, Pōhāhā I ka Lani is a hands-on, place-based educational resource, dedicated to restoring and preserving indigenous Hawaiian culture. Numerous schools, clubs and community groups participate in their Kāhuli program, focused on traditional kalo farming and centuries-old food culture in the Napo‘opo‘o area of Waipi‘o Valley. http://www.pohahaikalani.com/

A limited number of tickets are available at $100 for this one-of-a-kind, alcohol-free food experience in Waipi‘o Valley. Price includes five course plated lunch, fresh brewed Māmaki and Ko‘oko‘olau teas, and shuttle transportation from Waipi‘o Shuttle Tour Company. To purchase tickets, please call 325-3803, or visit waipioteahouse.brownpapertickets.com.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and Sale

The 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and Sale: ORCHIDS AVANT-GARDE takes place August 7th (9am-6pm), 8th  (9am-5pm) and 9th  (10am-2pm).

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 61st Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

Thousands of orchids in displays created by top notch growers and amateurs entice audiences in this three day spectacle at the Afook-Chinen Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaii. Visitors can expect to see exotic species, beautifully grown specimen plants and the latest hybrids, many created by Big Island orchid breeders.

Judging of plants will be conducted on Thursday August 6th by certified American Orchid Society judges with dozens of trophies and ribbons awarded.  There will also be a preview party Thursday night.  Information about orchids and their cultivation will be offered in free mini-classes conducted by experts during the show.  Orchids Avant-Garde will feature a refreshment area with a silent auction, and entertainment each afternoon.  Sales areas offer orchid and plant related products plus, of course, magnificent orchids for purchase, including many you won’t find in your typical retail garden store or nursery.  Purchases may be shipped to the mainland.  For more information, call (808)756-8145 or go to www.hiloorchidsociety.org.

Hawaii Farm Bureau Launches Publication

The Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) announces the launch of a new four-color, glossy magazine, Hawai‘i Farm & Food. The print and online publication is a media partnership between the statewide Farm Bureau and Pacific Basin Communications-the renowned publisher of Hawai‘i’s largest magazine group, whose portfolio includes Hawaii Business, HONOLULU Magazine and HAWAII Magazine.

Catherine Toth Fox will serve as the editor

Catherine Toth Fox will serve as the editor

“Hawai‘i Farm & Food will delve into issues facing Hawai‘i’s agricultural industries, unique specialty crops and commodity groups”, says HFBF president Chris Manfredi of Ka’u Farm and Ranch on the Big Island. “This new magazine will bring the challenges of Hawai‘i’s farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists to the forefront to help people better understand how food is produced and brought to store shelves. Think of it as a farm tour you can hold in your hand. We’re particularly excited that the publication’s app will be available for free on iTunes – and we’re thrilled to be working with the professionals at Pacific Basin Communications,” notes Manfredi.

Hawai‘i Farm and Food will feature farmers and their stories from across the state, updates on legislative issues, chef highlights of Hawai‘i-grown products, recipes and events supporting local agriculture.

Freelance journalist and blogger Catherine Toth Fox of O‘ahu will serve as Editor. The inaugural issue will premiere with a circulation of 5,000 printed copies and unlimited digital access for the mainstream audience.

The magazine will be direct-mailed to all HFBF members, available for free pick-up at the Farm Bureau Farmers’ Markets and various other outlets, and digital download on iTunes. Visit hfbf.org for a current listing. For advertising and sponsorship opportunities please contact Sharon Spear, publisher at 808-534-7528 or sharons@pacificbasin.net.

The Hawaii Farm Bureau is comprised of nearly 2,000 member families in 11 county chapters located across the state: East O’ahu, Hamakua, Hilo, Ka‘u, Kaua’i, Kohala, Kona, Maui, Moloka‘i, South O‘ahu and West O‘ahu. HFB serves as Hawai‘i’s “Voice of Agriculture,” to protect, advocate and advance the social, economic and educational interest of the state’s diverse agricultural community. To learn more, visit www.hfbf.org or phone 808-848-2074.

Hawaii Cannabis Business Expo and Kou Calabash Challenge

The state of Hawaii’s first and only medical cannabis magazine – Kaulana Na Pua, is pleased to announce that the Hawaii Convention Center will serve as the site for the inaugural Hawaii Cannabis Business Expo and Kou Calabash Challenge on July 17, 18, and 19, 2015.

See more here:

Hawaiian Cannabis Expo

Click to enlarge

33rd Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

Find out how “You Can Grow Orchids” at the 33rd annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 19 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. In conjunction with this year’s theme, find informative displays illustrating what is needed to successfully nurture orchids.

Orchid Show

The free event offers attendees complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  Time is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with the Daifukuji Taiko Drummers performing at 10 a.m.

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome. In addition this year’s show will have a display of orchids appearing on “Plates, Platters and Plaques.”

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at least 30 years at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and Big Isle commercial growers.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.kdoc.us, get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise or phone 808-325-3261.

 

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Final Reading – Dispensaries in Hawaii Next Step

On the last day of the 2015 regular session, the House passed on final reading HB321, CD1, which creates a statewide distribution system for medical marijuana and establishes the parameters for individuals and entities to apply to set up the dispensaries. Medical Marijuana

“There are an estimated 13,000 qualifying patients throughout the state who are desperately looking to find a safe, reliable and convenient access to medical marijuana.  This bill is a reasonable and compassionate response to the needs of our citizens,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully Pawaa, Manoa), who co-introduced the bill along with House Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Waikapu).  Both are long-time supporters of medical marijuana dispensaries.

“While the Legislature made legal the medical use of marijuana on June 14, 2000, the law has remained silent for 15 years on how patients can obtain medical marijuana if they or their caregivers are unable to grow their own supply,” Souki added.  “There has been a desperate need for a safe and reliable dispensary system statewide for medical marijuana for a long time.  This bill finally answers that need.”

The measure follows closely the recommendations of the Task Force commissioned by the Legislature in 2013 to study the implementation of medical marijuana dispensaries.  It also provides for opportunities to improve the system and correct any shortcomings on a go-forward basis.

The bill, which also passed the Senate, now goes to the Governor for his signature, veto or passage without his signature.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BILL:

  • Allows for eight (8) dispensary licensees in the state: three (3) on Oahu, two (2) on Big Island and two (2) on Maui County; one (1) on Kauai;
  • Each licensee may own, operate or subcontract up to two production centers and up to two retail dispensing locations; prohibits dispensary from being located in same place as production center;
  • Requires the Department of Health to engage in public education and training regarding medical marijuana;
  • Requires the Department of Health to adopt interim rules by Jan. 4, 2016, for the establishment and management of the medical marijuana dispensary system;
  • Tasks the Department of Health with accepting applications for dispensary licenses from Jan. 12, 2016, to Jan. 29, 2016, and announcing licensees by April 15, 2016;
  • Tasks the Department of Health to select licensees based on minimum requirements and merit based factors including: the capacity to meet the needs of patients; ability to comply with criminal background checks, inventory controls, and security requirements; ability to operate a business; and financial stability and access to financial resources;
  • Allows the Department of Health to license additional operators after Oct. 1, 2017, based on qualifying patient need;
  • Dispensaries must comply with all zoning regulations and will not be permitted within 750 ft. of a playground, public housing or school;
  • Licensees may begin dispensing marijuana and manufactured marijuana products on July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department of Health;
  • Licensed applicants must pay (a) $5,000 non-refundable application fee, (b) an additional $75,000 fee for each license approved, and (c) a $50,000 annual renewal fee;
  • Establishes the criteria for license applications to require that an individual applicant: be a legal resident of the State for not less than five years, be over the age of 21, and have no felony convictions;
  • Establishes the minimum criteria for license applications to require that an entity applicant: be organized under the laws of the state and have a Hawaii tax ID number, have a 51 percent or greater Hawaii based ownership stake, have at least $1,000,000 under its control for each license applied for with an additional $100,000 available for each retail dispensing location;
  • Imposes regular general excise taxes onto the sale of marijuana and manufactured products within the dispensary system and does not include any additional taxes;
  • Allows qualifying patients to obtain medical marijuana from primary caregivers who cultivate or by personally cultivating marijuana until Dec. 31, 2018;
  • Allows a primary caregiver or legal guardian to cultivate marijuana after Dec. 31, 2018, if qualifying patient is a minor or adult lacking legal capacity or who is located on any island with no dispensary;
  • Expands the definition of “debilitating medical condition” for the purpose of authorizing use to include post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Expands the Department of Health’s authority to conduct criminal background checks;
  • Requires dispensaries to allow announced and unlimited unannounced inspections and to conduct annual financial audits; and
  • Requires the Department of Health to file annual report to Governor and Legislature on dispensaries.

Additional details of the measure can be found in the bill text and the committee report at the links below:

Big Island Chocolate Festival NEXT WEEKEND!

Show the gal in your life how much you care Mother’s Day weekend with tickets to the decadent Big Island Chocolate Festival gala 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

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Indulge in both savory and sweet chocolate creations by top chefs complemented by the harp and violin duo String Beings, fine wines and handcrafted ales, Bacardi cocktails, chocolate sculpting, chocolate body painting and dancing.

Among the culinary offerings, festival host The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is serving savory cocoa nib-crusted beef long rib with white corn and pickled roots, plus Waialua Estate chocolate pate with caramelized pineapple for dessert.

In addition, Hawai‘i Community College students offer an all-you-can-eat cuisine bar with a Chicken Mole Rice Bowl, make-your-own spinach/strawberry salad and tasty tofu and fish poke. Big Island Candies joins this year’s festival sharing buttery shortbread cookies topped with luscious Amoretti cookie spreads.

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Fun includes voting for your favorite culinary station while chefs, chocolatiers and cacao growers also vie in a variety of contests judged by a stable of celebrity chefs: Internationally acclaimed Derek Poirier of Valrhona, Donald Wressell of Guittard. Top 10 Pastry Chef in America Stanton Ho and Kona’s own Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine founder Sam Choy.

Awards will also be presented to statewide college culinary students competing in a chocolate food competition earlier that day.

The festive gala caps three days of choc-licious fun and hands-on learning opportunities presented by the Kona Cacao Association. All activities are open to the public and benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

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Gala admission is $75 with VIP tickets for $100. Find gala and festival seminars details, plus tix info at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Get updates on facebook and #BIChocoFest. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Special room rates of $299 including breakfast for two are offered by The Fairmont Orchid. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

‘Chocolate Soirée’ Dinner a Prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival

As a prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival, local event planning and catering company The Feeding Leaf presents the premier “Chocolate Soirée” dinner on Thursday, May 7, 5-8 p.m. at Kokoleka Lani Farms.

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

The seven-course feast features Original Hawaiian Chocolate, savory and sweet, in dishes created by notable chefs like Stanton Ho (Amoretti), Clayton Arakawa (Mauna Lani Resort), Angela Smith (Sweet Eatz), and Scott Hiraishi (The Feeding Leaf), assisted by culinary students from University of Hawai‘i Center—West Hawai‘i Campus.

Also providing chocolate for the Soirée, Kokoleka Lani Farms is a working cacao farm in Keauhou, run by Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, owner-operators of Kona Natural Soap Company. By special arrangement, the exclusive Chocolate Soirée event begins in their retail shop, with passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary students. Dinner will be served family-style in their adjacent home.

Chocolate cocktail concoctions will be provided by mixologist and general manager Keith Malini of Ray’s on the Bay, the oceanfront restaurant at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Ray’s on the Bay has also selected fine wines to serve with the elegant farm-to-fork feast, and the restaurant will feature one of the signature chocolate entrees on their dinner menu in the days leading up to the event.

“The Chocolate Soirée is a fun way for us to do some education. It gives the students a chance to work with top chefs in a unique environment, and to work with the more unusual Hawai‘i Island ingredients they don’t see or use every day,” said The Feeding Leaf General Manager Les Apoliona.

“It gives our guests a chance to learn about new and different aspects of local chocolate while they enjoy a beautiful, exclusive dinner at the source,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Greg and Marty for opening their home and their cacao farm for us. And, with two more days of chocolate indulgence Friday and Saturday, we think this will be and outstanding pre-event for Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Tickets for Chocolate Soirée are limited to 100 at $125 per person, including cocktails and wines, available at Kona Wine Market and Westside Wines, online at wew.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-soiree-tickets-16328176014, or by calling 808-325-3803. Big Island Chocolate Festival takes place May 8-9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, with Chocolate Gala, Seminars, Chocolate Competition and more. Part of the proceeds benefit American Culinary Federation/Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarships.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

Increased Vigilance for Bird Flu Encouraged for Hawaii Poultry and Bird Owners

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is encouraging Hawaii commercial and backyard poultry and bird owners to be vigilant due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 along the Pacific flyway (migratory bird path). Hawaii bird and poultry owners are encouraged to institute and maintain good biosecurity measures, which include good sanitation practices and making sure that their birds do not come in contact with other wild and migratory birds.

Flyways

“Hawaii may be geographically far from other land masses, but some migratory birds do fly to Hawaii,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Bird owners, particularly those who keep their birds outdoors should take precautions, be vigilant and report any symptoms of diseased or dead birds in their flocks.”

Since December 2014, there have been several confirmed outbreaks of HPAI H5 in the Pacific flyway (California, Utah, Nevada and Idaho). In March, new infected premises were also detected along the Central and Mississippi flyways (Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas). The strain that is circulating is a mix of the highly pathogenic Asian and low pathogenic North American strains and has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from the current strains of HPAI to be low. No human cases of these strains have been detected in the United State, Canada, or internationally.

Fortunately, HDOA already has established strict bird import laws that require permits, inspections, health certificates, and in some cases, isolation periods prior to arrival and physical identification. There is also an embargo on importing birds through the mail.

The HDOA veterinarians have been closely monitoring the outbreaks and have implemented pre-entry avian influenza test requirements on imported poultry and birds. In addition, import restrictions have been placed on all poultry, other birds, hatching eggs and day-old chicks from affected zones within states to prevent the importation of infected birds. HDOA also conducts continuous surveillance on poultry within the state for avian influenza.

In Canada and affected states in the U.S., the outbreaks have occurred in domestic turkey farms and some back yard poultry farms that have association with wild waterfowl. There have been no farm-to-farm transmissions and no human illnesses associated with this disease outbreak. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the departments of agriculture in the affected states have quickly quarantined, disposed of infected flocks and set up quarantine and surveillance zones to help insure the disease does not spread.

Poultry and bird owners in Hawaii who notice high mortality in their poultry or birds should contact the HDOA, Division of Animal Industry at (808) 483-7106 to report their losses.

For more information on avian influenza, go to the HDOA website at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/ldc/adconcerns/aiinfo/

Or, USDA website: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=avian_influenza.html

Or, CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h5/index.htm

Big Island Chocolate Festival Expands

Craving chocolate? Who doesn’t? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7-9.
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Most of the chocolatey goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, but three new events take place at Kona farms.

Thursday, May 7: The festival lineup starts 9 a.m.-noon with a hands-on, chocolate-making class Thursday, May 7 by Una Greenaway at her Kuaiwi Farm in Captain Cook. Next up is a 5-9 p.m. farm-to-plate, chocolate-themed dinner at Kokoleka Lani cacao farm in Holualoa.

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Dubbed a “Chocolate Soiree,” the scrumptious, seven-course meal will be prepared by celebrity pastry chef Stanton Ho, Clayton Arakawa of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows and Scott Hiraishi of The Feeding Leaf.

Friday, May 8: Find public culinary demonstrations and agriculture-themed seminars at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i starting at noon with “Cacao Fermentation and Chocolate Micro-Terroir” by Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate. “Hawai‘i Cacao Farming-Tree-to-Bar” is presented 1 p.m. by Tom Menezes of Hawaiian Crown Hilo and Una Greenaway of Kuaiwi Farms.

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Learn “How to Make Your Own Decadent (but Simple) Chocolate Dessert Creation” during demonstrations by Ecole Valrhona Western USA Pastry Chef Derek Poirier at 2 p.m. and Chef Stanton Ho at 3:30 p.m. Geared for home cooks, each culinary seminar offers sampling.

Saturday, May 9: The festival moves 9 a.m. to Kokoleka Lani Farm to see how cacao is grown and used in the production of Kona Natural Soap Company products. Also during this time, statewide college food service students compete in a culinary competition using chocolate at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

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The contest is open to the public for viewing 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; come cheer on these future chefs! Winners of the annual contest will be announced that evening during the gala.

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Chocolate fun culminates 5:30-9 p.m. in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom for the festival gala. Attendees can enjoy both savory and sweet chocolate cuisine by top island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners while voting for their favorite culinary station.

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Diners can also visit the “all you can enjoy” mole and salad bars.

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Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, Bacardi cocktails, chocolate sculpting by Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, chocolate body painting, a photo booth and a silent auction. Culinary tasting will be accompanied by harp and violin duo String Beings, followed by a disc jockey offering dance music from 8-9 p.m.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 082Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

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Find pricing details and ticket locations at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Gala admission is $75 with VIP tickets for $100. Purchase Friday seminars online as four classes for $75 or at the door individually at $30 each. The Kokoleka Lani Farm tour is $25. To book the $50 Kuaiwi Farm chocolate-making class, phone 808-328-8888. Purchase $125 Chocolate Soiree tickets, at http://bit.ly/ChocolateFarmToPlate.

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Special room rates of $299 including breakfast for two are being offering by the Fairmont Orchid. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Kauai Biomass Project Nears Completion

The new biomass-to-energy power plant near Koloa on Kauai has successfully started its hot commissioning and expects to begin selling electricity to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) by the beginning of May 2015.

The 6.7-megawatt biomass-to-energy facility will burn wood chips from trees grown and harvested on Kauai.  The plant will provide more than 11 percent of the island’s energy needs.  Once in operation, the plant will replace 3.7 million gallons of imported oil a year.

Once in operation, the plant will replace 3.7 million gallons of imported oil a year.

The plant is being constructed by Green Energy Team LLC (GET), a Hawaii limited liability company, and is using a biomass energy generation technology developed by Standardkessel Baumgarte, a German company that is one of the world leaders in energy technology.

The plant will burn wood chips produced from several sources on Kauai, including short-rotation trees grown on about 2,000 acres of land and several locations on Kauai that have been cleared of invasive species.

The plant will have the capacity to generate 7.5-megawatts of renewable energy to be delivered as electricity to KIUC under a power purchase agreement approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in October 2011. Unlike solar and wind energy, the plant will provide firm power—day and night, independent of weather conditions—to KIUC. It will supply about 11 percent of Kauai’s annual electricity needs and will substitute power produced by diesel generators.

The facility will contribute to the State’s renewable energy portfolio goals that presently aim to have 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs from renewable resources. It will also be an addition to KIUC’s renewable energy portfolio, which currently consists of several hydropower projects and the utility co-op’s own two solar farms as well as other solar farms and customer-sited solar photovoltaic systems.

Construction on Green Energy Team’s biomass plant began in January 2013 and is nearly completed. Standardkessel provided the design and equipment for the plant and is providing construction management for the project. Construction was done by Bodell Construction Company; final work shall be completed by Diana Prince Construction, Inc. Financing for construction of the $90 million project is being provided by Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas.

Once completed and operational, Green Energy Team’s plant will create 39 permanent operating jobs and many indirect jobs for local service providers and agricultural operations.

The Kauai-based plant will be the first closed-loop biomass-to-energy plant in the United States and fueled by trees grown on-island. This is also the first commercial biomass project since the period when former sugar companies also sold electricity to Hawaii’s electric utilities.

Expanded Access to Fresh Produce for Low-Income Individuals and Families

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made funds available that enable the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide eligible farmers markets and direct marketing farmers with free electronic benefit transfer (EBT) equipment to process Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

EBT Card

Administered through the Farmer’s Market Coalition (FMC), the Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program expands access to fresh produce for SNAP beneficiaries and expands commerce options for farmers and farmers markets.

The program is available to only to SNAP-authorized farmers markets and direct marketing farmers that were authorized before November 18, 2011. If the applying farmers and famers markets receive approval, the FMC will cover the costs of purchasing or renting SNAP EBT equipment and services (set-up costs, monthly service fees, and wireless fees) for up to three years. Though transaction fees will not be covered, the selected farmers and farmers markets will get to choose their own SNAP EBT service provider from a list of participating companies.

The Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program is a first-come first-serve opportunity, and the program ends when the funds have been distributed.

If a farmers market or direct marketing farmer isn’t yet SNAP-authorized, or became SNAP-authorized on or after November 18, 2011, then they may be eligible for free equipment through MarketLink. Learn more about MarketLink’s application process at www.marketlink.org.

For more information on the Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, including frequently asked questions, an eligibility chart, background information and application instructions, visit http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/programs/freesnapebt/.

Click here for a county-by-county listing of Farmers Markets.

Quarantine Restrictions Extended to All Coffee Grown on Oahu

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture (HBOA) voted Wednesday to place coffee grown on all areas of Oahu under the same quarantine restrictions as was issued earlier for the Waialua area on Oahu and Hawaii Island to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer (CBB).

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

On Dec. 17, 2014, HBOA placed coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and coffee roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill under the same quarantine restrictions as coffee grown on Hawaii Island due to the detection of CBB infestations at the sites. Since the initial detections in Waialua, CBB has been found in Wahiawa and Poamoho in Central Oahu.

Today, the board voted unanimously to expand the designated infested area and extend the interisland quarantine restrictions to all of Oahu beginning tomorrow, Feb. 25, 2015.

“Expanding the coffee quarantine safeguards to cover Oahu is an important step in helping to keep other coffee-growing islands free of the coffee berry borer,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the HBOA. “Oahu is a hub for the state’s coffee trade and we need to make sure that coffee beans that are imported to, as well as exported from Oahu are not spreading this destructive pest.”

So far, CBB has not been detected on Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

The quarantine restrictions imposed today for Oahu are exactly the same as those which have been in effect for coffee from Hawaii Island since December 2010. It requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from CBB-infested islands to other non-infested areas or islands to prevent CBB movement. The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment. The coffee beans must also be roasted at a facility that is at least five miles from any commercial coffee-growing area.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In early December 2014, HDOA confirmed the presence of the CBB (Hypothenemus hampei) on the coffee farm in Waialua, Oahu. This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.

Since its detection in Kona in 2010, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation practices. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii, go to HDOA’s CBB information page at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/

Public Workshops Scheduled For Input On Statewide Water Resource Protection Plan

The Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) is in the process of updating the statewide Water Resource Protection Plan (WRPP) and is seeking the community’s input on water resource issues of importance.

The purpose of the Water Resource Protection Plan is to establish policies and identify actions needed to ensure the long-term protection and sustainability of Hawaii’s precious and limited ground and surface water resources.

Commission staff will be holding seven workshops statewide starting next week, so people on each island may participate. All workshops are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include a short slideshow about the Water Resource Protection Plan. This will be followed by smaller group discussions to talk in more detail about specific water resource issues in each community.

The meeting schedule locations and dates follow.

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For more information, visit the WRPP update website at  http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/cwrm/planning/hiwaterplan/wrpp/wrpp2014/

2015 – Kauluwehi Lei Contest

Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), Hawai‘i Island Natural Area Reserves (NARS), the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA), and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center are proud to present Kauluwehi, a juried lei art contest and exhibition celebrating the native species, Hawaiian culture, and sustainable picking practices on Hawai‘i Island.

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Kauluwehi 2014 features three main categories including Kahiko (traditional style lei), ‘Auana (contemporary lei), and Lei Hulu (feather lei). The Kahiko category features several subcategories, each showcasing a particular material such as the leaves, flowers, or the fruit and seed of a plant. The ‘Auana category moves away from the traditional style of lei making by incorporating recycled materials, synthetic materials, and exotic plant materials. Lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material, and the complexity or effort that is put into it.  We invite amateur and professional lei artist of all ages to take part in the Hawaiian tradition of lei making!

lei making workshop

2015 Lei Hikes:

March 7th: Mauna Kea lei workshop. Spaces are limited.  View flier for registration information – Ka‘ohe Workshop 

More Information:

Lei Submission Form 2015

Kauluwehi Prospectus 2015

CTAHR Article: Hawaiian Ecosystems and Culture – Growing Lei Plants

 

Hawaii Island Spring Bearded Turkey Season Begins March 1st

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaii Island Branch announces the opening of the 2015 Spring Bearded Turkey Hunting Season on Sunday, March 1, 2015.

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The spring season will run 31 consecutive days through Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  The spring season will be for bearded turkeys only in locations identified below.  The season length, bag limits, and hunting areas are those established in Title 13, Chapter 122, “Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting, Field Trials and Commercial Shooting Preserves.”  The appellate court ruling (Tanaka v. State, December 31, 2007) removed the Department’s ability to make any seasonal adjustments.  The following conditions and restrictions will be in effect:

  • The daily bag limit shall be two bearded turkeys per hunter with a season bag limit of two.
  • All hunters are required to have a current unused turkey tag in their possession while hunting.
  • Tags are currently free of charge.
  • Turkey tags are nontransferable and must be fastened with snaps and secured tightly around the neck or tarsus of any bird taken immediately after the kill.
  • Tags may be obtained from any Hawaii Island Division of Forestry and Wildlife office and a number of commercial vendors.
  • Hunters must present current State of Hawaii Hunting License when obtaining tags.
  • Turkey tags are also required on private land.

Information may be obtained by contacting Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices at the following phone numbers:  Hilo: (808) 974-4221; Kamuela: (808) 887-6063 or the main office in Honolulu at (808) 587-0166.