Kona Residents Win American Culinary Federation Western Regional Awards

Kona residents Jean Hull and Ken Love were recently recognized by The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Western Region at the ACF conference in Oakland, Calif. Both are members of the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association.

Ken Love and Jean Hull

Ken Love and Jean Hull

Jean Hull, CCE, AAC of Hospitality Consulting by Jean received the President’s Medallion, which is awarded to members who exemplify culinary excellence and leadership and have contributed their expertise to the advancement of the culinary profession. The Kailua-Kona resident is a long-time champion of culinary arts on the Big Island, serving as Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at HawCC-West Hawaii for over 14 years.

Hull spearheads annual Kona Kohala Chefs fundraisers and programs, including the award-winning Chef and Child initiative that teaches West Hawaii second graders how to make nutritious food choices. She has been the driving force behind the continuing Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College (HawCC)-Palamanui campus.

Ken Love, executive director of Master Food Preservers and the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, received the Cutting Edge Award, which taps members who provide exemplarily leadership and service to the culinary profession.

The Captain Cook resident is a long-time, outspoken advocate for the use of locally grown food. He serves as an ongoing educational resource for farmers to create value added products and in 2012-13 spearheaded a statewide exotic fruit series in 16 locations to teach grocers, chefs and consumers the benefits of 11 little-used fruits. His educational outreach went global after appearing in the 2012 feature documentary film, “The Fruit Hunters.”

In addition to Hawaii, regional winners hailed from the West Coast, Arizona, Nevada and the Philippines. The ACF Western Region has 29 chapters and named five Cutting Edge and six President’s Medallions recipients this year. The ACF is the industry leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and accreditation to enhance the professional growth of all chefs.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association

ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts. Membership is open and the group meets the first week of the month during lunch at changing restaurants.  www.konakohalachefs.org.

 

Limited Space Available for 23rd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference

The 23rd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 27-October 4 starting at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu. Titled “Best of Both Worlds,” the week-long gathering is in partnership with the California Rare Fruit Growers Fall Festival of Fruit. More than 150 people have registered to the week-long event.

Best of Both WorldsPresented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG), the event is geared to farmers, chefs, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture. Since 2011, the confab includes stops on four Hawaiian Islands to reach out to more growers and take tours of existing agricultural operations.

Guest speakers include Chris Rollins, director of Florida’s Miami Fruit and Spice Park; Joe West, farmer of 600 unusual fruit species in Ecuador; Joe Sabol, master grafter and retired agriculture instructor at California Polytechnic State University and Roger Meyer, nurseryman for unusual species in San Diego County.

Tours on Oahu visit Frankie’s Nursery and Lyon Arboretum. The confab moves to Maui on Sept. 29 and continues to Hilo, Kona and Kauai October 1-3. Attendees will visit Ono Farms, Maui Gold Co. Ltd and the National Botanical Garden on Maui. Hawaii Island stops include the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository in Hilo and Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park in Kona. On Kauai, attendees will tour Kauai Coffee, plus the National Tropical Botanical and Allerton Gardens.

Ken Love, HTFG president, says the conference will have breakout sessions on propagation methods, hands-on grafting, using unusual local fruit by Chef Grant Sato, jujubes and other exotics, plus fruits of Florida and Ecuador.

The conference is open to the public. Registration forms and fee schedule are available at here or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.

 

Free Value-Added Guide for Hawai’i Producers Released

A free 58-page guide entitled, Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawai‘i: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation is now available. Because of the high cost of labor, land, and materials in Hawai‘i, family farms are only economically sustainable if they can produce high-quality products that are valued above cheap imports.

Front cover: Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawai‘i: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation

Front cover: Adding Value to Locally Grown Crops in Hawai‘i: A Guide for Small Farm Enterprise Innovation

This guide helps growers add value to all aspects of their farm enterprise and offers resources for further developing their strategies. “If you cherish the farming lifestyle and want to keep farming, you have to make your farm profitable. This guide goes a long way towards showing how to escape from the fatal trap of commoditization by adding value for the consumer,” observes Dr. Kent Fleming, an extension economist who has developed numerous cost-of-production spreadsheets for the University of Hawai’i and other organizations worldwide.

The guide was authored by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love with input from agricultural professionals statewide. Elevitch is an agroforestry educator whose most recent book Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011) provides insights into sustainable cultivation and processing techniques for local and export markets with an emphasis on production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing. Love, widely known as a passionate advocate for the innovative small farm, is co-owner of Love Family Farms in Kona, Hawai’i, which produces a range of value-added products including jams, jellies, dried fruits, and coffee.

“Adding value is an essential component of small farm sustainability,” says Love, who has extensive experience working with farm enterprises. “There are many different ways to add value in growing, processing, and marketing products. This guide is about finding ways of adding value to your operation that are best suited for you and that are ultimately profitable.”

The publication was produced with funds from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Incubator Program of the University of Hawai‘i, and the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development. The guide is available as a free download and a limited number of free hard copies will be available throughout Hawai’i. Distribution locations and a link to download the free guide are listed at www.valueadded.info.

 

‘The Fruit Hunters’ Debuts During HIFF Spring Showcase

Partially filmed in Hawai’i, “The Fruit Hunters” move premieres at the 2013 Spring Showcase of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF). Appearing in the award-winning film is the Big Island’s Ken Love, executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

Fruit Hunters Poster

The Hawai‘i premiere is 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium Theatres. As part of a fundraiser for HTFG programs, members will offer a fresh fruit display and sell HTFG videos and posters showing Hawai‘i’s many varieties of mangos, bananas and avocado, plus a poster featuring more than 160 unusual types of fruit grown in Hawai‘i.

“In ‘The Fruit Hunters’ the characters travel across culture, history and geography to illustrate how people are intertwined with the fruits they grow and eat,” says Love.

Directed by Yung Chang in 2012, the 95-minute film received the Grand Prix at the 30th edition of the Festival International du Film de l’Environnement in Paris. A cinematic odyssey through nature and commerce, “The Fruit Hunters” changes not only the way we look at what we eat, but how we view our relationship to the natural world.

Inspired by Adam Gollner’s 2008 book of the same name, the film is a documentary about exotic fruit cultivators and preservationists. It uses performers and fruit enthusiasts to stage real and imagined moments in the history of fruit.

“The Fruit Hunters” follows actor Bill Pullman’s crusade to create a community orchard near his Hollywood Hills home. Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell of Florida’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden “scour the jungle for rare mangos, hoping to intervene before the plants are steamrolled by industrialization,” according to the film synopsis. Other plots include a scientist racing to breed bananas resistant to a fungus that threatens the worldwide crop and fruit detective Isabella Ragione investigating paintings for clues to rediscover lost fruits.

Love appears in the film introducing Pullman to some of Hawai‘i’s finest fruits and later appears in Pullman’s dream sequence. Hawai‘i filming was done on the Big Island, at the Keauhou Farmers Market, Manago Hotel and a number of private farms in South Kona.

Before coming to Hawai’i, the film is being featured at film festivals in Canada, Amsterdam, Berlin and Turin. It will be released in 15 U.S. cities in May and later this year in Japan. A TV version, with different footage, appeared on the Canadian TV show, “The Nature of Things.”

HIFF’s 2013 Spring Showcase offers 33 films from 15 countries April 5-11. For more info, visit http://www.hiff.org.

 

 

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Tap Members and Students

Patti Kimball, owner of Kimball Catering and retired Konawaena High School Culinary instructor, was recently tapped Chef of the Year and Member of the Year by the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Assn. (ACFKKCA).

Ken Love, KK Chefs vice president, presented Patti Kimball with the Chef/Member of the Year Award. Photo by Robin Barrett

Ken Love, KK Chefs vice president, presented Patti Kimball with the Chef/Member of the Year Award. Photo by Robin Barrett

Cited for her continuing dedication to high school culinary activities, exemplary volunteerism, event facilitation and record keeping, the Kailua-Kona resident received her awards at the organization’s annual President’s Ball January 28 at Rays on the Bay restaurant. It is the first time a KK Chefs member has simultaneously received both awards.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from my colleagues and indebted to them for my culinary education and their support of continuing community service events,” said Kimball of Kailua-Kona.

Three Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii students received ACF Jr. Chef Awards. Sam Varron was named Student Chef of the Year while Danielle Drye and Kennocha Berhane were voted Student Members of the Year.

Student of the Year Sam Varron with Ken Love.  Photo by Robin Barrett

Student of the Year Sam Varron with Ken Love. Photo by Robin Barrett

Earning Presidential Medallion service awards were Chefs Paul Heerlein, Betty Saiki, Viktor Schmidt and Daniel Thiebaut, plus Jean Hull, Dan Cody, Ken Love, James Lightner and Greg Anderson.

Founded in 1929, the ACF is comprised of 24,000 culinarians, food service professionals, purveyors and culinary enthusiasts.

The West Hawaii organization is one of ACF’s 230 national chapters and is committed to culinary sustainability and fostering farmer-chef relationships. With a focus on offering scholarship and support for members and local student culinarians, the Kona Kohala Chefs also provides West Hawaii keiki with comprehensive nutrition awareness programs. These community activities include Cooking for Kids instruction to 1,200 second graders annually and Hit a Homerun for Nutrition breakfasts for youth.

The organization raises funds through two community events: the annual ‘Q’uisine of Hearts brunch in February and Christmas at the Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs in December.

Membership is open to chefs (which can include national ACF certification), dieticians, food and beverage professionals, purveyors, student culinarians and culinary enthusiasts. The KK Chefs meet the first Thursday of the month during lunch at changing restaurants.” For information on joining, visit www.KonaKohalaChefs.org.

 

Big Island Figs Featured at Culinary Demo

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII – High in fiber, potassium and vitamin B6, figs also contain iron, calcium and Vitamin A. Shaped like a hot air balloon, the small fruit is steeped in the history and ritual of ancient cultures with archeological remnants dating back to 5000 BC.

Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese (See Recipe Below)

Taste test figs and learn how to use them at a free demonstration 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Island Naturals Market and Deli. Chef Rob Love of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel will offer free fruit samples and use Maui Gold pineapple to prepare Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese. Ken Love, president of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), will be on hand to answer horticulture questions.

The fruity fig fun is presented by the statewide HTFG, whose members are growing ultra-exotic tropical fruits. These not-so-well-known edibles—like figs, Surinam cherry, jackfruit, ulu, abiu, durian, white sapote, soursop and jaboticaba—are among a growing number of odd fruits that are intriguing island chefs and shoppers.

“Figs are drought tolerant and many varieties can be grown in Hawaii’s microclimates,” says Love. “They can be enjoyed fresh, poached or as a component in recipes. Figs lend themselves to a wide variety of value-added products.”

HTFG is working to build markets for these juicy rarities through a series of free public taste tests and culinary demonstrations at stores on four Hawaiian Islands throughout 2012. A dozen educational demonstrations are planned and participating stores will stock the fruit in their produce sections, accompanied by recipes and additional fruit information to take home.

“At Island Naturals, we strive to continually increase our local food offerings,” says Russell Ruderman, president and founder of Island Naturals and Puna District state senator.  “We work with farmers and food producers to develop new offerings, and support new local products with our best prices, signage, shelf placement and demos. Local food keeps money in our local economy, supports agriculture in Hawaii, reduces the carbon footprint, and moves us toward a sustainable society. It also supports your friends and neighbors, and puts healthier food on your table.”

Titled “New Markets for Ultra-Exotic Fruits,” the event series is funded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture through a USDA competitive grant program to foster small farm sustainability.

For more information, contact Love at ken@mycoffee.net or 808 (969-7926). Find detailed fig info at http://www.hawaiifruit.net/figs.htm.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; http://www.htfg.org.

Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese, By Rob Love, chef Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Ingredients:

  • 1 Maui Gold pineapple
  • 1lb. local goat cheese or cheve
  • 1lb. figs local figs
  • 1/4cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch green onion

Procedure:

Cook figs, vinegar and sugar to a boil and let cool and mix to make compote.

Peel pineapple and slice in very, very thin circles. Cut onions the length of pineapple circle.

On a flat slice of pineapple, add a tablespoon of cheese and pinch of salt. Place 1 pc green onion and teaspoon of compote. Wrap and let set before slicing.

Garnish with additional compote and mint or basil leaves.

Ken Love Surprised with Lifetime Achievement Award at One Island’s Fruit Lover’s Festival

Fruit growers in Hawaii and around the globe are familiar with the valuable contributions Captain Cook resident Ken Love has made towards promoting economic sustainability for small fruit farmers. He was caught by surprise at the recent Fruit Lovers Fest when he rose to introduce a guest speaker, but unexpectedly found himself the center of attention.

Ken Love was awarded the Same Canoe Lifetime Achievement Award from the One Island Sustainable Living Center

Love received “much-deserved recognition for his passionate support of Hawaii fruit production and value-added product development” with a Same Canoe Lifetime Achievement Award from the One Island Sustainable Living Center. He was lauded for his efforts in championing new farmer-to-consumer connections and “touching many lives” through his promotion of grown-in-Hawaii products, both here and abroad.

Currently serving as the long-time president of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, Love co-chairs annual fruit conferences, works with chefs to bring locally grown products to restaurants, has produced a variety of fruit posters identifying Hawaii varieties and currently is organizing statewide ultra-exotic fruit tastings at retail grocery stores, such as Whole Foods on Oahu.

Love says the goal of his efforts is for Hawaii to grow more of its food. He explained, ”In 1960, Hawaii grew 90 percent of its own produce; by 2000, we were importing 90 percent. Change is happening. We are now at about 85 percent imported produce but that is still only 15 percent locally grown. The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers wants to change that.”

Love was presented with a Hawaii-made koa wood “We’re all in the Same Canoe” paddle at the festival held at the One Island Sustainable Living Center. The event was funded in part by the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program and hosted through One Island’s ‘Reclaiming our Local Food System’ project.

“I am very humbled and honored to receive a lifetime achievement award from One Island Sustainable Living Center for my work with tropical fruit and developing systems and diversification programs for small family farms,” Love shared.

Learn more about Love’s work at http://www.facebook.com/Kenlovekona and his library of resources at http://www.hawaiifruit.net/ .

One Island is a local, non-profit program that hosts sustainability education activities on agriculture, local food system and zero-mile home gardening, renewable energy and solar grants, health and wellness, plus arts and culture.  The One Island Sustainable Living Center operates a 10-acre organic farm in Honaunau and includes 7,000 square feet in organic greenhouse and agriculture structures, a farm-based outdoor learning center, educational gardens and orchards, and is partnering with fellow non-profits and schools to host a variety of empowering, life-long learning programs for all ages. For info,  http://www.oneisland.org/hawaii/.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Names Recipients of Appreciation Awards

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) names the recipients of its appreciation awards, given annually to supporters of the state’s tropical fruit industry.

They are Dr. Robert Paull of UH-Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR); Dr. Roberto Coronel of the RC Fruit Conservation Farm in the Philippines; Frank and Lynn Sekiya of Frankie’s Nursery on Oahu; Bob and Susi Hamilton, founding members of HTFG and owners of Plant it Hawaii on the Big Isle; and Lelan Nishek of Kauai Nursery and Landscaping.

Frank and Lynn Sekiya

Recipients were recognized at the recent 22nd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference that opened on Oahu and continued in Maui, Kauai, Hilo and Kona.

Dr. Robert Paull

Dr. Paull is credited for his research in fruit ripening, storage, packaging and transport, plus the growth and development of fruit.

“Each of our award recipients have gone out of their way to help Hawaii’s fruit industry prosper,” notes Ken Love, HTFG president. “The Sekiyas have been responsible for hundreds of plant introductions into Hawaii that help growers become more sustainable.”

Nishek is cited for continually supporting HTFG and its mission with generous donations of time, product and funding. Love says the Hamiltons are being lauded for “their dedication in producing quality trees and marketing quality fruit.”

Dr. Roberto Coronel

Dr. Coronel, a keynote speaker at the recent HTFG conference, is an award-winning supporter of the Philippine fruit industry and has done multiple research projects on tropical fruit. At his RC Farm, he has planted 220 edible fruit and nut species from the tropical regions of the world, plus 136 registered fruit varieties.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; http://www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.

 

Sample Delicious Bilimbi at Ultra-Exotic Fruit Event

Bilimbi is the star at a free, ultra-exotic fruit tasting and culinary demonstration 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, August 25 at Choice Mart.

The Bilimbi Fruit

Chef Paul Heerlein, assistant professor and coordinator of the Culinary Arts Program at Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii, will demonstrate how to prepare Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup. (Recipe below).

The fruity fun is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), whose members are growing bilimbi and other ultra-exotic tropical fruits. These not-so-well-known edibles—like Surinam cherry, jackfruit, ulu, abiu, durian, white sapote, soursop, tropical apricot and jaboticaba—are among a growing number of odd fruits that are intriguing island chefs and shoppers.

Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, bilimbi is cultivated in tropical regions worldwide and bears several names. The fruit resembles small cucumbers and the English call it the “pickle tree.” The outer skin is thin and glossy and the green flesh is jelly-like and juicy.

Bilimbi has a sour taste, due to its high acid content and is used raw to make relishes. The juice makes a drink similar to lemonade. Bilimbi is also preserved and employed to concoct chutney or an acid jelly. Half-ripe fruits are salted and pickled. In Hawaii, chefs substitute bilimbi juice for vinegar to make salad dressings and it appears in soup stocks and in stews. Nutritionally, it contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and niacin.

HTFG is working to build markets for these juicy rarities via free public taste tests and culinary demonstrations at stores on four Hawaiian Islands throughout 2012. Titled “New Markets for Ultra-Exotic Fruits,” the event series is funded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture through a USDA competitive grant program to foster small farm sustainability.

“Besides offering unique flavors, shapes and colors, these ultra-exotic fruits bring novelty to the table and can delight the senses,” says Ken Love, president of HTFG.

A total of eight educational demonstrations are planned and participating stores will stock the fruit in their produce sections, accompanied by recipes and additional fruit information to take home.

For more information, contact Love at ken@mycoffee.net or 808-969-7926.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; http://www.htfg.org.

_____________

Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup with Hamakua Mushrooms

RECIPE

Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup with Hamakua Mushrooms 

By Chef Paul Heerlein

Yield: 5 servings

Portion size: 5 oz.

INGREDIENTS

4 oz Hamakua Mushrooms Pioppini, Alii or your favorite mushroom, diced

1 piece shallot finely minced

1 clove of garlic thinly sliced

½ tsp. 6-Pepper salt

25 oz Organic Chicken Broth

2 oz Bilimbi Juice

1 TB Yamasa or Kikkoman soy sauce

1 tsp. Sesame oil

1 egg whipped with 1 tablespoon of water

PROCEDURE:  In a pot sauté the mushrooms with a little vegetable oil for about 4 minute while stirring. Add the shallots and garlic and continue to cook over moderate heat for another 1 minute. Add the 6-Pepper, broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and add the bilimbi, soy and sesame oil. Stir in the egg and adjust the seasoning to taste, if needed.

Dates Set for the Fourth Annual Mango Festival

Mango mania returns to Kona for the fourth annual Mango Festival with activities on three days.

First up is the Mango Tango Dance and Desserts FUNdraiser July 21 in Kealakekua at the New Thought Center in Pualani Terrace on Hwy. 11. Admission is a $10 donation and fun includes a dramatic show of tango dancing, dessert bar and silent auction from 6:30-9 p.m. For ticket info, phone 887-1292.

Mango Tango proceeds benefit New Thought Center, a sanctuary for the nourishment, development and evolution of each individual’s unique spiritual path, and the free, two-day community Mango Festival.

Geared for mango lovers of all ages, the Mango Festival returns to the Keauhou Beach Resort 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for a full weekend of juicy jive July 28-29. The free festival celebrates Hawaii’s delicious and diverse mango varieties during the peak of the harvest season.

Ken Love of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers displays varieties of mangos grown in Hawaii.

Ken Love, president of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, says this year’s mango season looks good. “Although there have been limited rains, what we had came at the right time,” notes Love. “Diversifying mango crops by variety has helped to increase the overall quantity as flowering takes place at difference times. Overall, growers do a much better job of field sanitation, which has also helped to increase local production.”

Love is part of the event’s agricultural and educational offerings on Saturday. Attendees can also enjoy culinary demonstrations using mango and a mango-themed recipe contest for non-professional chefs.

Arts and crafts, mango-themed desserts and drinks, plus fresh produce will be offered both days. The focus on Sunday’s fun will be entertainment, with a non-stop medley of music and performing arts, including dramatic hula and a Belly Dance Extravaganza on the scenic, palm-fringed grounds of the resort’s Royal Garden.

Both the Mango Tango FUNdraiser and the free community Festival are presented by the non-profit Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens. The community is invited to collaborate, support and participate. Exhibitor booths for July 28-29 are available for businesses and non-profit organizations. Volunteers are encouraged to help with festival day activities, speaker support and workshops. For info, contact event organizer Randyl Rupar at 808-334-3340.

21st Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference Expands to ALL ISLANDS

The 21st Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference kicks off September 9-11 at the Keauhou Beach Resort and continues with consecutive “After the Conference” gatherings on Oahu, Kauai and Maui.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

With the theme, “The Time for Quality and Profitability,” the four gatherings headline Shree Padre of India. The farmer/journalist is known for his passion for water conservation and rainwater harvesting. He is a specialist in value-added products.

Shree Padre, keynote speaker

Shree Padre, keynote speaker

Other presenters include fig expert Howard Garrison and pomegranate guru Jeff Moresfelder, both of the USDA in Davis, California.

The three-day meeting on the Big Isle includes a report on “Understanding Risk Management and the Cost of Production” by Dr. Kent Fleming of UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. In addition, there are 12 breakout sessions on topics like Selling to Wholesalers and Ag Tourism; a lively Farmer-Chef Roundtable with members of the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn.; and a sweet plantation tour of the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou.

The multi-island conference format debuted in an effort to better serve and engage the members of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), according to Ken Love, president. HTFG’s mailing list is 400 strong.

“We think it’s important to keep our members appraised of the latest research and market trends so we obtained funding to expand our reach,” says Love. “It’s more pricey now to travel interisland and the mini-conferences also offered convenience.”

The Kona gathering is open to the public. Registration forms and fee schedule are available at http://www.Hawaiifruit.net or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; http://www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.

Wordless Wednesday – Before and After (Brachiaria Mutica)

A couple of Mondays ago I asked what this obnoxious weed was that was growing in my yard and according to one of the comments it is Brachiaria Mutica or in my terms… the pain in the ass grass!  Others think it might be California Grass… I still don’t know the exact answer for sure.

Brachiaria Mutica

Brachiaria Mutica - Before

I had a few good answers on how to get rid of the buggah, but the one that I ended up trying, was from the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association, Ken Love.  Here is his suggestion he gave me  on Facebook:

…weed mat with rocks on top for about 3 months-You could cover it with anything — so it does not get light. — It will come back but when it does, its much easier to find and dig out.

So the other day… I started the process:

Brachiaria Mutica

Brachiaria Mutica - After

Ken has another site that he hosts where you can learn all sorts of information on local fruits and vegetables called the HawaiiFruit.Net .  Ken writes “The pictures and data on these pages are from almost 30 years of work on the Big Island….” so it’s definitely a great resource we all can use from time to time.

So check out Hawaii Fruit Growers Association and HawaiiFruitNet for more information on local fruits.