About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 14, 2012

 Sueki and Satsuki Funai  (center) have grown organic coffee in Ka`u for generations and were honored with a Ka`u Coffee Festival Lifetime Visionary Award trophy, surrounded by award-winning Ka`u Coffee farmers
Lorie Obra, Willie Tabios, Bull Kailiawa and Francis and Trini Marques. Photo by Ralph Gaston
THE FIRST KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL Lifetime Visionary Award was presented last weekend to Sueki and Satsuki Funai, of Pahala, who have grown organic coffee in Ka`u for generations. Sueki has taken care of shade-grown coffee at the Moa`ula coffee plantation well into his 90s. The farm was started generations before the rise of the new Ka`u Coffee industry. The Funais are famous for having sold most of their coffee to a church in Japan.

Starbucks quality manager Anthony Carroll
Photo by Ralph Gaston
THE FUTURE OF KA`U COFFEE and how to improve the industry were topics at Ka`u Coffee College held yesterday at Pahala Community Center. Anthony Carroll, manager of coffee quality for Starbucks, said it’s all about the quality and being able to fill orders. He estimated that Ka`u Coffee will be sold in more than 300 of the 17,000 Starbuck stores worldwide this fall. Under the Starbucks Reserve program, Ka`u Coffee is served by the cup and sold whole bean in bags. 

KEEPING FARMS CLEAN and free of fallen and overripe or dried out coffee beans is the most important preventive for infestation of the coffee berry borer, said Dr. Robert Hollingsworth, a research entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. He told farmers at Ka`u Coffee College on Sunday that coffee berry borers can live only a few days outside the coffee cherry and bean. If farms are clean between harvests, borers have nowhere to live, said the entomologist. He said that some farmers in studies elsewhere task pickers to clean fields every few weeks even when they are not harvesting. The cost of paying pickers to clean up fields could be less than the cost of chemicals and labor to apply chemicals to fend off coffee berry borers, he said. During harvest, he recommended, pickers can carry two containers, one for old and overripe beans that are considered trash and one for beans going to the mill.

Jeff Taylor, of PT's Coffee, talks about picking as one of the most
important aspects of quality coffee. Photo by Julia Neal
INCENTIVIZING PICKERS to refrain from picking green coffee leads to a much better product and higher prices, said Jeff Taylor, of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company in Topeka, Kansas. He was one of the speakers in a Reverse Trade Mission for which coffee experts and buyers were brought to the Ka`u Coffee Festival last weekend. He and his colleague from Finca de Las Planas gave examples of giving prizes like bicycles and chickens for those who pick the best coffee without the green beans. Counting on the floating and separation of green and ripe beans by machinery at the mill “won’t have a good quality.” Said Taylor, “you have to draw the line somewhere. You can’t let your pickers run your business and pick green beans.” Taylor said that farmers can also give orientation classes to pickers before putting them in the field to help them understand why picking the best beans will help everyone become more successful. 
      Taylor, who is a nationally renowned micro-roaster, talked about roasting coffee light, saying that dark coffee is like giving someone a well done steak. He contended that medium light and light roasts bring out the true taste of the coffee.

NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR THE COST OF GAS IS $3.73 a gallon, but in Hawai`i gas averages $4.51 a gallon after falling 1.6 cents over the last week. HawaiiGasPrices.com reports that the cost of gas in the Islands is 12.6 cents a gallon more expensive than a year ago, while mainland prices are 20.3 cents lower than a year ago. This morning, regular gas is $4.72 a gallon at Ka`u Gas in Pahala, the Wiki-Wiki 76 station in Na`alehu, Kahala Gas in Ocean View and at Ocean View Market. Kahuku Country Market is selling regular for $4.66. One of the reasons prices are higher in Ka`u is that wholesalers charge the remote stations a premium for hauling gas out here.

Students have hands-on experience in beekeeping
under the tutelage of research professor Lorna
Tsutsumi at UH-Hilo Farm Lab. Photo from UH-Hilo
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I-HILO highlights research and other scholarly activities at its new website hilo.hawaii.edu/keaohou. The effort comes out of the Office of Research and is called Keaohou - New Consciousness; New Knowledge. The online magazine features photos and profiles of work by faculty, students, and staff with a link to information on seed money grants, intramural programs, travel awards, the new myGRANT system and research. Dr. Daniel Brown, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development, said the website fulfills a longtime dream and credits Susan Enright, who developed the site. According to Brown, “We all talk about how small UH-Hilo is, but we are no longer all that small, and we often don’t know about the interesting work our colleagues are doing. It is really surprising, even to people on campus, the quality and quantity of first-class scholarship that takes place here in Hilo.”

Kumu hula Ab Valencia directs members of his halau.
Photo from NPS
KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER AUDITORIUM in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts an Evening of Hula and Hawaiian Music Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu ma Kilauea, under the direction of kumu hula Ab Kawainohoikala`i Valencia, presents this free program. Park entrance fees apply. 

THIS SATURDAY is National Kids to Parks Day, with activities planned at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Today is the deadline to sign up for Kahuku Junior Ranger Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., activities at the Kahuku Unit include `oli, GPS, compass, pacing, mo`olelo of Ka`u and the string game hei. Open to children of all ages and their `ohana. Call 985-6019.
      A kid- and family-friendly Volunteer Forest Restoration Project takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea summit area near Kilauea Visitor Center. Participants plant native tree seedlings and remove invasive ginger. Volunteers can be any age, and children must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Pre-registration is required. Call 985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org.