Former President George H.W. Bush hated broccoli. But I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t love avocados. Cool and creamy, rich and texturally divine, this native American fruit is a perfect ingredient in, say, a California roll sushi, layered in a sandwich, and mashed into a spicy guacamole to be served with crunchy chips.
I also love to scoop out the buttery meat, slice into eye-appealing thick pieces, and sprinkle with a little cayenne, sea salt and a drizzle of lemon. Perfecto!
Those heading to the Big Island of Hawaii this weekend will find the sixth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival celebrating the versatile fruit.
Today, the festival fun will be centered around Kealakekua Bay Bed and Breakfast for a Farm-to-Fork Hawaii Dinner, according to publicist Fern Gavelek.
”The menu of the five-course, avocado-inspired meal is by Chef Devin Lowder of When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie. Dessert Chef Hector Wong of My Yellow Kitchen in Honolulu will prepare a seven-layer avo dessert. Seating is limited and a portion of the $85 price benefits the festival. For reservations, phone 328-8150.”
”The celebration culminates Saturday, Feb. 18 with the family-friendly 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hawai‘i Avocado Festival at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The free, community event offers a wealth of activities for attendees of all ages sprawling throughout the resort’s grounds.”
”Get tips on growing and grafting avocado trees, plus trees will be on sale for the home orchard. Leading the educational botanical sessions is a team of University of Hawai‘i staff
KAILUA-KONA >> A proposed bill that would eliminate inspection and certification requirements for green coffee beans shipped from Hawaii is pitting farmers against blenders.
West Hawaii Today reports the bill passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday. It would remove provisions put in place after a scandal in the 1990s where coffee grown in other regions outside of Hawaii were labeled and sold as Kona coffee.
Blender Hawaii Coffee Co. President Jim Wayman says there are concerns about delays from waiting for a state inspector to grade and certify the coffee.
Farmer Bruce Corker says the Department of Agriculture should hire more inspectors and that buyers on the mainland and overseas won’t have assurances they are getting genuine Hawaii-grown coffee.
IN YOUR FRIDGE / Farmers’ market managers, Pamela Boyer and Annie Suite have joined hands with local farmers to create Oahu Agri-Tours. There’s no fancy farmhouse or massive farm machinery; what you see is what you get. You’ll experience first-hand how farmers are committed to practicing clean, organic farming.
Poamoho Farms is one of the farms on tour, and guests learn how the fruit orchard uses natural pest management and fertilization methods. Tin Roof Ranch farmers Luann Casey and Gary Gunder butcher their chickens the day before selling them at the market.
Na Mea Kupono wetland taro farm practices old school taro farming methods that most locals don’t even know about. Here you can also watch a traditional poi-pounding demonstration.
At Mohala Farms you’ll see how simple and natural farming is still possible (and still exists).
HONOLULU – Hawaii farmer Paul Uster was on vacation in California when he saw a package of Kona coffee blend in a supermarket that he knew would upset fellow growers back home on the Big Island.
The Safeway brand of Kona blend medium roast coffee didn’t specify what percentage was made from the world-famous bean or whether it was grown in Hawaii – information a law in the Aloha State requires for labels on Hawaii-grown coffee. That law is meant to inform consumers but also protect the integrity of Hawaii’s premier coffee grown on slopes of volcanic rock.
“It degrades the reputation and the quality of Kona coffee. When consumers are not informed it makes it harder for me to make a living,” said Uster, who owns Mokulele Farms and is on the board of directors of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association. “Kona and other Hawaiian coffees are a great treasure to the state.”
Hawaii is the only place in the United States where coffee is grown. Beans grown in the Kau district of the Big Island are also gaining popularity among discerning coffee aficionados.
Safeway’s blend was priced at $8.99 a pound, Uster said, while 8 ounces of pure Kona coffee can sell for $25.
Hawaii’s no different from any other place in the country when it comes to coffee lovers: Step into any Starbucks and you’ll see — we’ve got lots of ’em. And yet, we’re not like everywhere else because we’re the only state in the nation that grows coffee.
Viewed from that perspective, those long lines at chain coffee bars with their non-Hawaii coffees seem nonsensical. Shouldn’t Hawaii people be drinking Hawaii coffee?
Thankfully, a host of venues in Hawaii do offer locally grown coffees.
But there’s a new shop, just 4 months old, that is taking Hawaii coffee to a whole new level on Oahu.
Beach Bum Café, run by owner Dennis McQuoid out of a storefront in the Executive Centre on Bishop Street, is cutting-edge in what it offers: a selection of 100 percent Hawaii coffees and a choice of five brewing methods.
He calls his place a “microbrew” coffee house, meaning he grinds beans upon order and brews one cup at a time. This ensures the freshest cup possible.
McQuoid offers eight single-estate coffees at any given time, and he keeps just a two-week supply to ensure freshness.
McQuoid also offers a generous helping of customer service. He starts by helping patrons make selections based on their preferences.
In case you needed one, here’s another possible reason to have that cup of coffee in the morning: Men who regularly drink coffee appear to be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially the most lethal kind, according to new research.
Lorelei Mucci of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues analyzed data collected from 47,911 U.S. men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a large, ongoing examination of a variety of health issues for men. As part of the study, the men reported their coffee consumption every four years between 1986 and 2008. During that period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal cases.
The men who consumed the most coffee, which was defined as six or more cups every day, were nearly 20 percent less likely to develop any form of prostate cancer, the researchers reported in the May 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
But, most strikingly, the heavy coffee drinkers were also 60 percent less likely to be diagnosed with a lethal prostate tumor. Those who drank between one and three cups a day were 30 percent less likely to develop a lethal case.
The risk was cut regardless of whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, the researchers reported.
The first infestation of the coffee berry borer in the Kau district of the Big Island has been detected at a farm in Pahala, state agricultural officials announced today.
Infestations of the beetle, which threaten Hawaii’s $27 million coffee-growing industry, have been concentrated in West Hawaii.
The coffee berry borer, a small beetle native to Central Africa, bores into coffee beans and lays its eggs, its larvae feeding inside the bean.
State officials said they’re still assessing the extent of the infestation in Pahala and that farmers in the region are asked to inspect their fields and report any suspected coffee berry borers.
The state in February approved the use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana to control the spread of the coffee berry borer.
A Big Island coffee farm is among 10 in the world to win the distinction of “Coffees of the Year.”
Kailiawa Farm was the only coffee producer in the nation to get that title from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Roasters Guild competition in Houston, West Hawaii Today reported Friday.
The farm is on the Big Island’s southern tip known as the Kau district, which in recent years has been gaining recognition among coffee aficionados. Coffee in neighboring Kona has long been well-known.
Bull Kailiawa of Pahala told the newspaper he believes his family farm’s location in an area called “Cloud Rest” is key to producing quality coffee.
“The rain plays a big part,” he said. “It brings energy and we’re thankful for being on that belt line.”
This is the second time the farm received the honor.
Federal authorities have filed a civil lawsuit accusing six Hawaii farms of “unlawful employment practices” in association with federally indicted farm labor contractor Global Horizons Manpower Inc.
Global Horizons’ owner and employees are already facing several forced labor criminal charges in what’s been called the most sweeping labor prosecution in U.S. history, but no farms were implicated in the crimes.
However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges that supervisors from the six island farms and two others in Washington state were “engaged in, and more importantly knew of, or should have known that this was going on, and took no action to remedy it.”
The Hawaii farms are Captain Cook Coffee Co., Del Monte Fresh Produce, Kauai Coffee Co. Inc., Kelena Farms Inc., Mac Farms of Hawaii LLC and Maui Pineapple Co. The lawsuits were filed Tuesday in Hawaii and Washington.
Global Horizons is also named in the lawsuit. In Washington state, the two farms charged are Green Acre Farms and Valley Fruit Orchards.
Aloun Farms, named in the federal indictment against Global Horizons, was not implicated in the EEOC lawsuit. Aloun Farms owners Alec and Mike Sou still face separate federal forced labor charges in a case unrelated to Global Horizons.