Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Costco Promotes Hawaii in it's July Issue of "The Costco Connection"

Cudos to Costco for giving all the Hawaiian Islands a big “thumbs up” in it’s latest issue of their membership magazine (“The Costco Connection”) under a headline entitled “Play it as it leis The Hawaiian Islands beckon”

On page 53 they devote 3/4 of the page to the article which states “Hawaii is an almost flawless destination...”

About the Big Island they continue: “Hawaii contains nearly every one of the earth’s ecological zones,...”

Yes indeed, we have 10 of the thirteen climates right here on the Big Island that are just within a six hour drive if you go all the way around the Island in a day!

We are happy to see this promotion, and hope you pick up your own copy or borrow a friend’s to look it over yourself!

Our local Costco now extends its hours all the way to 8:30PM during the week (6PM on weekends) and we have been there at 8PM ourselves and the place was still rather busy. Don’t forget if you come to visit that we have the same inexpensive hot dogs with a refillable soda specials that are featured all over the U.S. -- the only difference in price between here and anywhere else would be the tax structures (our GE tax is 4.166% which is less expensive than many places on the mainland)...

And don’t forget if you come to this side of the Big Island (the “West side”) Costco is your best bargain for gasoline.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pig Damage -- Nothing too new on a big farm

We had the great pleasure a few months back of accessing and archiving a bunch of family movies. The below shot is from an actual real preparation of a pig to go go into the pit for a luau, this picture is from abut 1962-1963. These relatives were on this actual Island and are related to Ric who is on this farm today. They were not so much coffee farmers as fishermen, although most everyone back then picked coffee and some had their hands into coffee farming from time to time. (We hear stories of such things as pulping the coffee by stepping on it like you would think of Lucy stepping on the grapes in her old I Love Lucy episodes.)

Yes this is “the real thing” authentic local people actually preparing a pig that the family and friends really ate, probably at a luau.

These days we think a luau is like you go to a hotel, get your picture taken (so they can peddle to sell it back to you later for $25 a pop), go thru a waiting line and then arrive at tables and tables of people. Sit thru a show that has various incarnations of dancers performing. And during most of this you are going back and forth to a smorgasbord of food.

That’s not exactly how it was at the homes of local people. They did eat much of the same thing, except these days they substitute and omit (the last “luau” we went to they did not have rice for example!). Also, you are not very likely to get pig right out of the ground at a hotel like in the old days -- they pretend they dig it up but those big platters with aluminum foil give it away if you think to notice (but all the same it is good theatre).

A luau in “the good old days” was more likely a gathering of relatives and friends who all sat around and sang playing their local instruments. I doubt there was much spear throwing or fire eating, but nevertheless lots of good music and songs everyone knew by heart.


We have pigs up here on the farm, but we have not yet caught and ate one. There are hunters that do come up and kill pigs and take them back home to slaughter and eat them.

We do have pigs that visit and make some mess in the fields...
Here are a couple of shots of what that looks like, maybe from a distance it would look like brown patches in a yard but we have acres of land with many different terrains so these are harder to detect. Sometimes you can see taller grass where it has a section pressed down where we assume the pigs stayed for the night!


And when I asked Ric to go out and take pictures, he took a self portrait -- look at those nice big juicy oranges we had to eat. They make really yummy fresh squeezed orange juice!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Typical Discourse with a "New Kona Coffee Customer"

I was actually in email and realised I send these sort of things out all the time to new or potential customers that don’t know much about Kona Coffee.

I thought this might be something of general interest so with a bit of surgery (getting rid of specific names, etc.) here is what you might have received had you emailed me asking questions about our Kona Comfort Kona Coffee:

Hello ______,

Nice to hear from you again and glad to see you are curious about our Kona Comfort Coffee.

Well if you can remember Kona Comfort (think Southern Comfort), you can find the coffee on our website and we also have a vacation rental website. It has been very slow economy wise and we are not sure how long we can hold out but hope to still have vacation rentals next year. We live on the coffee farm so believe we will be producing Kona Coffee for quite some time into the future.

coffee: http://www.KonaComfortCoffee.com
vacation rental: http://www.KonaComfortRental.com

But you can always just type in the http://www.KonaComfort.com and it will direct you to one or the other destinations.

The shopping cart at the coffee site has various sales from time to time. When you actually sign up (register in the cart) and make an order, we set your account to get discounts off what newcomers would see; the motive is to reward our faithful returning customers. We have our fair share of customers who come back and order again all year around so it seems to be a system that is accepted and so far works very well. What many people may not realize is that with a natural product like Kona Coffee it would be counter productive to order a massive amount as it would not keep in its prime if not consumed. So we do have places that need large quantities and the cart gives them a break for ordering in volume, but for the home consumer, we give them a returning customer discount to help them out as well.

We don’t flavor our coffee, but we do sell it green (unroasted), roasted from very light to very dark and either whole or ground. A “medium roast” is what most people associate with the flavor profile of “Kona Coffee” -- past the first crack and just nicely into the second crack. A lot of people who are really particular buy our green and that way they roast it at home in small batches and that is the absolute freshest you can get. We used to do that as well before we got the farm — make small batches at home that would last a few days, then make another roast. Lots of smoke when you roast coffee! Now with selling coffee we always have some fresh at home from leftover batches. It makes so much smoke that we are covered with the roasted coffee smell but I don’t mind it at all it is pleasant to us, sort of like when you grind your beans in the morning for that first pot of coffee -- nothing quite like that wonderful smell!

Most folks get 8 oz. or 16 oz. bags for their own use. If they are giving as favors or at parties or corporate gifts sometimes they will order the 4 oz. Rarely does anyone want 2 oz. but we will send those as samples or when there is room in a box we are sending out...

Unless you are a big household or celebrating a holiday or get together with a house full of coffee drinkers, probably the wisest way to order would be 8 oz. bags, that way you can open one and use it, keep the others in the freezer. Once you open coffee and the air gets to the inside of the bag it WILL be progressively less flavorful each day. The bags are sealed when the coffee is still warm, it degasses and forces out oxygen thru the one-way valves leaving only carbon dioxide inside which does not age the beans like outside air with oxygen in it. Once the bags are opened, they resume aging and won’t keep as prime. Whole beans will remain much fresher longer than ground beans.

With green bean it can be many different volumes people ask for — but usually in pounds, one, two, three, five, sometimes even 10 pounds at a time. Green bean does not require a sealed pouch bag we can just put them into zip lock bags or if the order is big into food grade plastic storage bags -- and it is really amazing what will fit into the flat rate boxes when it is just a green bean order!

Well, I got to get to some stuff, it was nice to hear from you and nice to answer some of your questions,


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Check out the Union of Concerned Scientists Website

I recently got an email referral from a friend I’ve known for about 8 or 9 years who knows we are an Organic Coffee Farm (he even buys our coffee!)... Genetically Engineered Crops is something most of us has heard about.

Part of the email he forwarded to me read:

USDA Caves to Pressure: Second Chance to Protect Our Food
Dear UCS Activist,

Last fall the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tried to rush through new regulations, including those relating to pharma crops--crops genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. After thousands of letters from UCS activists and others, the USDA has been forced to reopen the public comment period.

UCS scientists and independent experts agree that if food crops such as corn and rice are engineered to produce drugs and other chemicals and grown outdoors, these substances are very likely to contaminate the food supply and pose serious human health and environmental risks for years to come.

This is your chance to tell the new administration that the USDA’s proposal will significantly weaken restrictions on pharma crops and threaten our nation’s food supply. We need stronger—not weaker—regulations for these dangerous crops!

I have clicked on the email link and was pleasantly surprised at what I found, and wanted to let the readers of this blog know about this resource as well.

At the website of Union of Concerned Scientists you will find easy to navigate topics that should concern most anyone, but is especially relevant to those of us in organic farming in Hawaii.


You can sign up for various newletters and alert feeds...


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coffee Can Be Good Medicine for Asthma, Bronchitis and Allergies!

According to the book Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper:

“To dilate bronchial tubes, try caffeine...For one thing, coffee drinkers appear to have less asthma. A major study of 72,284 Italians over age fifteen concluded that regular long-term use of coffee, presumably because of caffeine, both reduced the intensity of bronchial attacks and prevented their occurrence. In regular one-cup-a-day consumers, asthma odds dropped 5 percent; for two-cup-a-day drinkers, the odds fell 23 percent, and for drinkers of three or more cups, the risk went down 28 percent...The doctors said the caffeine in three cups of coffee had about the same bronchodilating effect as a standard dose of theophulline.”

The book continues to quote a study in the US by Harvard researcher Scott T. Weiss, M.D., that looked at over 20,000 Americans and found that:
“regular coffee drinkers had about one-third fewer asthma symptoms than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee drinkers were particularly less likely to suffer attacks of wheezing, as well as bronchitis and allergies.”

“One of the commonest and best reputed remedies of asthma is strong coffee” -- Dr. Hyde Salter, Edinburgh Medical Journal, 1859

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So Where Are We Way Up on the Mountain??

This “aerial” photo is a set of several layers from some tax key maps and screenshots from Google Maps.
Way above us are the Rainforest Preserves. Right above us is the Sanctuary of Mana Ke’a Gardens
We outlined our plot in a light orange-yellow to help you find us.
The light squiggy yellow line curving its way down is our dirt road or coffee land road. It currently has no official name, that’s right we don’t have an official street address or rural route!

Way under us in a direct line is the City of Refuge.

When we give directions for people to visit, it is based on Mile Markers (along the main highway) and watching your odometer for tenths of miles.

First time visitors often get lost unless they will set their odometers at the bottom of our road and watch it carefully. Then a few correct turns and you are there. But as you can see from the map -- it is a fur stretch -- a bit more than 2 miles up from the bottom of the highway!