Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Coffee Industry Experts Share

Coffee industry experts from near and far joined us on Sunday, May 6, for our annual Ka‘ū Coffee College event. The educational day wrapped up our 10th Annual Ka‘ū Coffee Festival and was one of the best attended to date.

Getting the Most Out of Your Coffee Moisture Meter - a presentation by Fred Seeber of Shore Systems, a leading manufacturer of coffee moisture meters, explained how testers work and why they are important. Attendees were invited to bring their testers for Seeber to check them for calibration.

Pruning Techniques to Maximize Yields - offered by University of Hawai‘i’s Andrea Kawabata, an assistant extension agent for coffee and orchard crops with UH's CTAHR cooperative extension service, and Tom Greenwell, president and long-time coffee farmer of Greenwell Farms - explained how proper pruning can promote tree health, which improves yield efficiency, profit margins, coffee quality, and sustainability for growers. 

Photos by Julia Neal
Quality Control in Roasting - a workshop by Brian Webb of Pacific Coffee Research of South Kona, a specialty coffee association training campus, coffee lab, roastery, and community education center - discussed the importance of profile roasting. He did an on-site, sample roasting, and then demonstrated data logging software to keep detailed records for future analysis.

Royal Fuji demonstrated its small scale, professional roaster to the Ka‘ū Coffee College crowd.

For more about the Ka‘ū Coffee Festival and the events planned for 2019, see kaucoffeefestival.com.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Night Skies of Ka‘ū

Photo by Andrew Hara

Photo by Fern Gavelek
Ka‘ū Coffee Mill's Ka‘ū Star Gazing event on Friday, May 4, brought attendees to the summit of Makanau, a place of historical and cultural significance in Hawai‘i. From this vantage point, a vast open view of agricultural ranch lands of grassy fields and brush filled lava plains, along with a glistening coastline in its raw natural beauty can be appreciated. Mauka (towards the mountain), further up the slopes of Mauna Loa, one can see an extensive stretch of dark green native rainforest. Pāhala and the surrounding coffee and macadamia nut orchards can also be seen in the distance.

An hour into their experience, attendees are welcomed to sit and observe the skies make a glorious shift in color as sunset falls. As one might imagine, the wild landscapes below create a night sky unmarred by city lights, making every star clear and bright on a cloudless night. The milky way can be explored and absorbed in its full glory from this grassy hilltop in Ka‘ū.

In addition to stories about the land and star gazing information, the event offers telescopes and laser pointers to help navigate the night skies. Light refreshments and beverages are also provided.

For more about Ka‘ū Coffee Mill, visit kaucoffeemill.com. For more about the Ka‘ū Coffee Festival and our events planned for 2019, visit kaucoffeefestival.com.

A Taste of Hawai‘i Ranch Life

Photo by Lee Neal
Aikane Plantation Coffee Company's Coffee and Cattle Day drew much appreciation for Kaʻū Coffee growing and ranch life during the tenth Kaʻū Coffee Festival on Friday, May 4.

Owners Merle and Phil Becker Merle and Phil Becker spoke of the history of their coffee growing journey that dates back to 1894, when Merle’s great grandfather “Papa” J.C. Searle planted his first crop of coffee in Ka’ū. Searle’s coffee “became very popular and received many favorable comments from the local media,” however due to the competing sugar industry he was unable to continue his efforts.

Over 100 years later, Aikane Plantation Coffee Company was established by his great-granddaughter. The Beckers believe that this combined with the fact that their coffee is grown exclusively in Ka’ū, creates the perfect blend of richness and flavor.

During the event, attendees took a tractor driven hay bale ride through the ranch and investigated the coffee plantation. They also enjoyed a large BBQ buffet, complete with Ka‘ū Coffee.

Photos by Fern Gavelek
Aikane Plantation often represents Kaʻū at Ag Day at the Hawaiʻi Legislature and the annual Made in Hawai‘i Show in Honolulu. The coffee farm supports two families who sell the Aikane brand at farmers markets and other locales on O‘ahu. The brand also has a strong market in Japan, the Beckers said.

Both Beckers are frequent volunteers at the Kaʻū Coffee Festival Hoʻoaluleʻa information booth. Phil is President of Kaʻū Farm Bureau.

For more about Aikane Plantation Coffee Company, see aikaneplantation.com. For more information about the Ka‘ū Coffee Festival and a calendar of our events planned for 2019, visit kaucoffeefestival.com.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

10th Annual Festival, Tons of Fun

Photos by Geneveve Fyvie
Our 10th Annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, May 5, drew record attendance with Ka‘u coffee sales higher than previous events. Miss Kaʻu Coffee Queen Reishalyn Kekoa Jara and her court reigned over the event. Baristas and experts in brewing presented free local coffee tastings, prepared using a variety of methods, to enthusiasts. Many visited coffee farms and Kaʻu Coffee Mill. 

Attendees also enjoyed free tastings of award winning coffee from the farmers themselves at their booths and bought other locally grown and sourced produce, such as roasted macadamia nuts, raw honey, oolong and black tea, fresh salad greens, free range eggs, and grass fed beef from local small businesses.

Vendors also offered an assortment of crafts and homemade items such as jewelry, clothing, hats and bags. Various non-profit organizations from the community hosted booths and shared information and spread their missions of community health and conservation.

Over a dozen community groups and businesses vended food and drinks - from lemonade and blended beverages to sweet treats and plate lunches. Innovators in coffee production, from milling to roasting, reached out to the farm community. 

Under skies cooled by the haze from nearby Kilauea Volcano, headliner band Hoʻaikane inspired the crowd to dance. Music ranged from Jawaiian and Hawaiian to Puerto Rican and Rock N' Roll.

The entertainment lineup was emcee Makana Kamahele, Ho‘aikane, Hands of Time, Hannah's Makana ‘Ohana Halau, Shootz, Halau Hula O Leionalani, Keaiwa & Demetrius, El Leo - The Jarican Express, The Lucky Lizard Band, Backyahd Braddahs, and Bolo.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Touring Diversified Agriculture in Ka‘u

Hydroponic lettuce in a greenhouse ready for eating. Photos by Lee Neal

Guests help out with the tea planting.

John Cross, Kaʻu Valley Farms Land Manager,
points to nursery specimens.
Photos by Lee Neal 
Our first Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ka‘u Valley Farms Tour yesterday, Thursday, May 3, showed participants the diversified agricultural endeavors taking place on 1,500 acres that climb the slopes of Kahilipali Ahuapua‘a, the hill behind Naʻalehu. The tour featured coffee, tea, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables. 

Lee Segawa, Kaʻu Valley Farms Farm Manager, 
shows attendees which part of the plant is used 
to make tea, the new growth.
Guests visited green houses where young plants are started, some hydroponically, and the fields where many grow out. The owners are in the process of planting a large tea farm as well as growing food to be sold locally.

A trip to a water tunnel, lunch from a local restaurant, including locally sourced vegetables, were on the itinerary. Farm Manager Lee Segawa explained how crops are grown. Land Manager John Cross told the history of the plantation water system and the land itself. 

Kaʻu Valley Farms grows sweet potatoes below
the hillside, looking out to Naʻalehu and the Pacific.
A brief walk into the 85-acre Native Forest upon the lands - a forest area that was never converted into sugarcane provided a glimpse into original, pristine native Hawaiian forest. 

Visitors also received some hands-on experience, helping to plant Camelia sinensis tea plants and sampling hydroponic lettuces.

For more, visit kauvalley.com. To see if this event will be offered next year, visit our website at kaucoffeefestival.com.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Exploring A Pristine Rainforest and Sugar Cane Era Flumes

Photos by Lee Neal

Yesterday's sold out Ka‘u Mountain Water Systems Hike was led by Kaʻu's new Planning Commissioner John Replogle, The Nature Conservancy's Shalan Crysdale, and Kaʻū Coffee Mill's Manager Lou Danielle.
They explained how the old sugar plantation around Pahala created a water system, now used for irrigating different crops from coffee to macadamia. In the future, the water running down the mountain could provide the energy to run a hydroelectric plant being developed by the Edmund C. Olson Trust, which owns Kaʻu Coffee Mill. That electricity could potentially run the mill and manufacture other value added farm products.
     All the while, the area remains as one of the most pristine native Hawaiian rainforests. It is also a place where local hunters catch pigs and cultural practitioners gather native foliage used in ceremonies and in hula, including maile woven into lei.
     The hikers left from Kaʻu Coffee Mill, riding through the coffee orchards, up the mountain and into the rainforest. They walked along trails from sugar plantation days.
     Features of the hike included the sugar cane-era wooden flume system that used to carry cane to the mill. Also along the way were pipes carrying the water for irrigation and toward the hydroelectric plant.
     The hikers had a chance to observe the natural area, with the sights, smells, and sounds of a mostly undisturbed rainforest.

Learn more about our upcoming events at kaucoffeefestival.com.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Coffee Industry Experts Visit Ka‘u

Leaders in the specialty coffee industry will join us at the Pahala Community Center on Sunday, May 6, to present a host of educational opportunities for island coffee farmers at our annual Ka‘u Coffee College, 9 a.m. to pau. Part of the 10th annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival, our final event for 2018 marks the anniversary by offering a new Shore 920 C moisture meter to a lucky college attendee.
     The annual educational series has proven to be a place of learning, sharing and networking—featuring the coffee's leading professionals from around the globe. A reverse trade mission, it brings industry experts to Ka‘u to interface with local growers and make valuable connections.
     "This year's college again stages notable coffee professionals to help farmers with their challenges," notes long-time festival organizer Chris Manfredi. "These talks will certainly reinforce the exceptionally high quality for which Ka‘u coffee has become famous, but also ensure there is a steady supply of it. As we reach more markets, we need a solid supply of quality coffees to meet the increasing demand while ensuring growers remain profitable." 
     The college opens with Getting the Most Out of Your Coffee Moisture Meter, a presentation by Fred Seeber of Shore Measuring Systems, a leading manufacturer of coffee moisture meters used throughout the world's major coffee producing regions. Manfredi said Seeber's talk "will go into great depth about how testers work and why they are important." Attendees are invited to bring their testers to "class" and Seeber will check them for calibration.
Andrea Kawabata
   Pruning Techniques to Maximize Yields
is offered by University of Hawai‘i's Andrea Kawabata and Tom Greenwell, president and long-time coffee farmer of Greenwell Farms. Based in Kona, Kawabata is an assistant extension agent for coffee and orchard crops with UH's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources cooperative extension service. This second segment explains how proper pruning can promote tree health, which improves yield efficiency, profit margins, coffee quality and sustainability for growers.
Brian Webb
     Quality Control in Roasting will be explored in a workshop by Brian Webb of Pacific Coffee Research. Located in South Kona, PCB is a specialty coffee association training campus, coffee lab, roastery and community education center. With experience as both a barista and Kona roaster, Webb discusses the importance of profile roasting. He will do an on-site, sample roasting and then demonstrate data logging software to keep detailed records for future analysis.
     Admission to the Ka‘u Coffee College is free, though donations are appreciated.

The Ka‘u Coffee Festival is underway and all activities are open to the general public; some require a fee. Find details at www.kaucoffeefestival.com

Monday, April 30, 2018

Recipe Contest Winners for 2018

Miss Ka‘ū Coffee and members of her Court attended the Ka‘ū Coffee Recipe Contest on Sunday, April 29, at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. From left: Miss Kaʻū Coffee Reishalyn Kekoa Jara, First Flower Kysha Kaʻupu-Manini, First Miss Kaʻū Coffee Princess Helena Nihipali-Sesson, Second Flower Lilianna Marques, Jr. Miss Kaʻū Coffee Cristina Kawewehi, and Miss Kaʻū Coffee Peaberry Jacelyn Kekoa Jara. 
Photo by Denise Laitinen/ Kaʻū Coffee Festival
Peggy Kilkenny's Huli BBQ Chicken in Paradise,
First place winner at our 2018 Ka‘ū Coffee
Festival Recipe Contest. Photo by Julia Neal
Yesterday's Ka‘ū Coffee Recipe Contest drew hungry coffee foodies to the Ka‘ū Coffee Mill to taste the many original creations of pupu, entrées, and desserts made with Ka‘ū coffee.
     First place in the Pupu category went to Sally Louis for her Ka‘ū Coffee Flavored Wonton. Second went to Austin Kilkenny for his Festive Kalua Enchilada Dip. Third went to Elgon Villanueva for his Ka‘ū Coffee Soybeans.
     First place in the Entrée category went to Peggy Kilkenny for her Huli BBQ Chicken in Paradise. Second went to Suzette Louis for her Marinated Steak, and third went to Austin Kilkeny for his Ka‘ū Chili Mac.
     First place in the Dessert category went to Tiana Villanueva for her Irish Cream Cookies. Second went to Suzette Louis for her Ka‘ū Coffee Cream Puffs, and third went to Peggy Kilkenny for her Tropical Temptations.
     Judges were Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba, Ka‘ū Coffee farmer Ann Fontes, and WikiWiki Store owner Carl Okuyama. Also in attendance with song and dance were members of the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee Court who were crowned last weekend.
Sally Louis's Ka‘ū Coffee Flavored Wontons, First place
winner at our 2018 Ka‘ū Coffee Festival Recipe Contest.
Photo by Julia Neal
     All foods in the competition were made with Ka‘ū Coffee and attendees enjoyed sampling of all the entries. Emcee was Makana Kamahele, assisted by First Miss Ka‘ū Coffee Helena Nihipali-Sesson, who also entertained with Hawaiian music with her father Guy Sesson.
     Two other events organized by Ka‘ū Coffee Mill, the Ka‘ū Mountain Water Systems Hike and Ka‘ū Stargazing, are sold out.
     Ka‘ū Coffee and macadamia tasting are available Monday through Saturdays at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and the mill will be a stop on the farm tours this coming Saturday, May 5.

See kaucoffeemill.com, our Facebook page and Twitter or kaucoffeefestival.com for more.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Night Of Celebration and Song

Kaʻu Coffee Festival kicked off Friday, April 27, at Pahala Plantation House. First Miss Kaʻu Coffee Helena 
Nihipali-Sesson sang Kaiholena about the mystical mountain above the coffee farms between Pahala and Na‘alehu.
Photo by Julia Neal 
The 2018 Miss Kaʻu Coffee Court made their
debut at the Paʻina & Open House at Pahala
House last night. Photo by Julia Neal
Ka‘u Coffee farmers, friends and newcomers joined together last night, April 27, to celebrate the beginning of the 10th Annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival during our Paʻina & Open House event at Pahala Plantation House.
     Our 2018 Miss Kaʻu Coffee Court made its first public appearance with Queen Reishalyn Kekoa Jara, sharing her Tahitian dance talent. First Miss Ka‘u Coffee Helena Nihipali-Sesson sang Kaiholena, the composition about the mystical mountain between Pahala and Naʻalehu, written at a music composition workshop led by Daniel Ho during a previous Ka‘u Coffee Festival.
     Miss Peaberry Jacelyn Kekoa Jara and Junior Miss Ka‘u Coffee Cristina Kawewehi both performed hula. Miss Ka‘u Coffee Flower Telia Espejo-Navarro and her court Kysha Kaupu Manini and Lilianna Marques made an appearance in their gowns.
     The band Shootz, with Harry Evangelista, Terry Louis, Tui Masaniai and Gabriel and Cheryl Cuevas, made its Ka‘u Coffee Festival debut and will play again on Saturday, May 5, at the all-day Hoʻolauleʻa at Pāhala Community Center (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., free entry). Guy Sesson, father of our First Miss Ka‘u Coffee Princess, performed with Volcano School of the Arts music teacher Hal Tredinnick and his daughter Jade Malia. A piano singing trio - Lora, Ruslan, and Alla - also performed.
Miss Kaʻu Coffee Reishalyn Kekoa Jara, 
dancing Tahitian. Photo by Julia Neal
     Ka‘u Coffee farmers and marketers, just back from the Specialty Coffee Association of America event in Seattle, reported good reception of Ka‘u Coffee at the Hawaiʻi Coffee Association booth. Many other Ka‘u Coffee farmers were wrapping up the care for their farms at the end of a season that brought in some of the highest prices and most demand ever for Ka‘u coffee.


     Kaʻu Coffee Recipe Contest at Ka‘u Coffee Mill is tomorrow, Sunday, April 29, starting at 11 a.m. The public is invited to taste coffee and sample foods made exclusively with Kaʻu Coffee. Free. 928-0550, kaucoffeemill.com.
Miss Ka‘u Peaberry Jacelyn 
Kekoa Jara and Junior Miss 
Kaʻu Coffee Coffee Cristina 
Kawewehi performed hula at 
the Paʻina last night. 
Photo by Julia Neal
     The Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike is sold out on Wednesday, as is Ka‘u Star Gazing on Friday.

     Ka‘u Valley Farms Tour is still open for reservations for Thursday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with participants meeting at their nursery on Ka‘alaiki Rd, Na‘alehu. Explore hydroponic nursery, and tea and coffee plantings. Expansive hilltop views, mountain to coast. Includes water systems and tunnels from sugar days, and native Hawaiian forest tour. $35 per person; includes lunch. Reservations required. John Cross, 987-4229; Brenda Iokepa-Moses, 731-5409, kauvalley.com.

     Ka‘u Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation Coffee Company's farm located above Pahala on the old Cane Haul Road is also open for reservations. The event takes place on Friday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tour the farm and learn how coffee is integrated into cattle ranching and other agriculture. $25 per person; includes BBQ buffet and hayrides. Reservations required, 927-2252, aikaneplantation.com.

Shootz band, left - who will play May 5 at the Hoʻolauleʻa - and Guy Sesson, Hal Tredinnick, and Jade Malia, focus
on Hawaiian music at the kickoff party for Ka‘u Coffee Festival. Photo by Julia Neal
     Tenth Annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a is Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m., at the Pahala Community Center. Celebrate Ka‘ū Coffee with free music, hula entertainment, and coffee tastings all day long. Local vendor booths. Food and beverage sales. Free to attend. Ka‘u Coffee Experience:  from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., discover the methods behind brewing the perfect cup while enjoying free coffee tastings. Farm & Mill Tours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., $20/person.

     Ka‘u Coffee College, Sun, May 6, 9-noon, Pahala Community Center. Informative talks given by visiting coffee experts. Free; donations appreciated.

For more about any and all our events, visit our website at kaucoffeefestival.com.

Kaʻu Coffee Recipe Contest starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 29, featuring recipes made exclusively with Kaʻu Coffee. 
Drop by to see, smell, and taste entries. Photo by Julia Neal

Sunday, April 22, 2018

2018 Miss Ka‘u Coffee Court Announced!

Reishalyn Kekoa Jara, Miss Kaʻu Coffee Queen 2018 with Edmund C. Olson. Photo by Julia Neal

Congratulations to our new Miss Ka‘u Coffee Queen Reishalyn Kekoa Jara!

Reishalyn dancing Tahitian.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Reishalyn, a Junior at Ka‘u High School who loves her family and sports, was crowned on Saturday night (April 21, 2018) by our 2017 Miss Ka‘u Coffee Queen Jami Beck. Reishalyn, 16, won with Tahitian dance in Talent, and also took first in Gown and Miss Photogenic categories. She is the daughter of Regulo Jara and Brenda Kekoa, of Naʻalehu, and sister to Jadelyn, Chaycen, Blaycen, Kamalyn, Jacelyn, and Regulo. 
First Miss Kaʻu Coffee Princess Helena Nihipali-Sesson
and father Guy Sesson. Photo by Julia Neal
     The pageant, directed by Trini Marques, saw Helena K. Nihiplai-Sesson take the title of First Princess. Helena, 16, is also a student at Ka‘u High School and loves singing, playing ʻukulele, and dancing hula. She took first in Career-Interview, second in Talent and Photogenic, and third in Swimsuit and Gown. Her talent was singing and playing ‘ukulele. She is the daughter of Guy Sesson and Sherraine Nihipali-Sesson, of Pahala. Her adoptive parents are Bradford and Jadelyn Moses, of Pahala. She is sister to Asia, Ocean, and Rain.
Second Miss Kaʻu Coffee Princess
Karlee Fukunaga-Camba.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Second  Princess is Karlee Kaliya Kealaikamaile Fukunaga-Camba, who is also 16. Karlee loves dancing. She took second in Swimsuit, and third in Career-Interview and Gown. Her parents are Keala and Justine Camba, of Pahala. She is sister to Tyren Fukunaga-Camba.
     Sheri Lynn Freitas, 18, took home the title of Third Princess. She is a graduate of Kaʻu High & Pahala Elementary School and currently a student at University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo and excels in sports and business. Sheri took third in Talent and Photogenic. She is the daughter of Rodney and Marlene Freitas, of Pahala. She is sister to Jessica, Michaela, Shaelia, and Ikaika. 
     As Miss Kaʻu Coffee, Reishalyn will represent the Kaʻu Coffee industry throughout the year at events in the community and beyond, with those appearances sponsored by the Edmund C. Olson Trust, II. 

Congratulations to our new Jr. Miss Ka‘u Coffee Cristina Nicole Akiko Lokelani Kawewehi!

Jr. Miss Kaʻu Coffee Cristina
Kawewehi (front) and Miss Ka‘u
Peaberry Jacelyn Jara (back). 

Photo by Pam Taylor
     Cristina, 12, attends Ka‘u High & Pahala Elementary School. She took first in Career-Interview, Evening Gown, and Photogenic. Cristina is the daughter of Angelica Kawewehi and Bill Lorenzo, of Pahala. She is sister to Kapono, Mia, Keana, and Zachary Kuluwaimaka.
       First Princess is Jacie Umemoto, 12. She is the daughter of Michael and Valerie Pakale, of Pahala, and sister to Moki. Jacie attends Volcano School of Arts & Sciences.

Congratulations to our new Miss Ka‘u Coffee Peaberry Jaceyln Kaleipua Kekoa Jara!

     Jacelyn, 10, is the daughter of Brenda Kekoa and Regulo Jara, of Naʻalehu, and granddaughter of William "Brada" Kekoa and Lani Kekoa of Kamaoa, Kaʻu. She is sister to Jadelyn, Blaycen, Reishalyn, Kamalyn, Chaycen, and Regulo. She attends Nāʻālehu Elementary School.
     First Princess is Tenielle Jade Ducosin Blanco, 8. She is the daughter of Ted and Donielle Blanco, of Naʻalehu. She is sister to Triton and Teagan-Elis.

Kysha Kaupu-Manini is First 
Miss Ka‘u Coffee Flower.

Photo by Julia Neal 

Congratulations to our new Miss Ka‘u Coffee Flower Telia Aliyana Kauliakau‘i Espejo-Navarro!

     Telia, 6, is the daughter of Elias and Alyssa Navarro, of Naʻalehu. She is sister to Tehani-Mae, Kilinahe, Kanaʻi, and Koaliʻi. Telia attends kindergarten at Naʻalehu Elementary School.
     First Flower is Kysha Kainanimaueonalani Ka‘upu-Manini is First Flower. She is the daughter of Sasha Kaupu and Kai Manini, of Pahala. The three year old attends Naʻalehu Elementary School.
     Second Flower is Lilianna Marques. She is daughter of Shawn Marques and Kuulei Marques. She is sister to John Michael and attends kindergarten at Pahala Elementary School.

Congratulations to all who participated and mahalo to all those who donated and volunteered!

Photo by Pam Taylor
     In addition to their crowns and trophies, all contestants received scholarships in varying amounts, with a total amount of $6,200 donated. Major funders for this year's pageant were Edmund C. Olson, Kaʻu Mahi, Kaʻu Valley Farms, CU Hawaiʻi Federal Credit Union, Punaluʻu Bake Shop, Pacific Quest, Kaʻu Local Products, Sen. Russell Ruderman, Sen. Josh Green, Rep. Richard Creagan, and County Council member Maile David.
     The Miss Kaʻu Coffee Court will meet the public this Friday at Pahala Plantation House at 6 p.m. for Pa‘ina & Open House, for the second event of the tenth annual Kaʻū Coffee Festival.
     See all the events at kaucoffeefestival.com.

Monday, April 16, 2018

New Event Announced for Ka‘u Coffee Festival 2018!

A new event in the Ka‘u Coffee Festival line-up offers attendees the opportunity to explore the nursery where Ka‘u Valley Farms grows hydroponic vegetables for local restaurants and public sale as well as see the plantings of Ka‘u coffee and tea - Camelia sinensis. Join us for Ka‘u Valley Farms Tour on Thursday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ka‘u Valley Farms Nursery, on Ka‘alaiki Road in Na‘alehu.
     Guests will then be taken up the slopes of Kahilipali Ahupua‘a to view the expansive green pastures that sit above Na‘alehu. At the top of Pu‘u Ho‘omaha (Hill of Leisure), listen to stories of the Ahupua‘a and land tenure from the Kingdom to present, and gaze upon the coastline of Ka‘u from Puna to South Point. The hills of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit can be seen in the distance as well as the fields of Makino Valley - relatively unknown to many, as it lies hidden from below the summit of Ho‘omaha.
     The tour includes visiting the water system being developed from the old Kahilipali and Kapuna Tunnels from sugar days.
     The tour ends with a brief walk into the 85 acre pristine native Hawaiian forest - never converted to sugarcane - at Ka‘u Valley Farms. The tour is expected to finish back at the nursery by 2 p.m. at the latest.
     Participants meet at the Ka‘u Valley Farms Nursery at 9 a.m. to park private vehicles - to reach the site, turn mauka (towards the mountain) at Ka‘alaki Road in Na‘alehu at the intersection of Hwy 11 and Punalu‘u Bake Shop. Proceed up Ka‘alaiki Road to just beyond the County cemetary and then follow the signs to the nursery.
     Reservations can be made by calling John Cross at 808-987-4229 or Brenda Iokepa-Moses at 731-5409. Admission is $35 per person, which includes lunch and transportation to and from meeting site.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Night Skies Unmarred by City Lights

Join us on Friday, May 4, for Ka‘u Start Gazing, to take in Ka‘u’s natural beauty, with vast open landscapes and night skies unmarred by city lights. Participants meet guides at the Edmund C. Olson Trust II building in Pahala, corner of Maile and Pikake Streets, at 5:30 p.m. and are then transported via shuttle up and over to the summit of Makanau, from which the star-studded heavens can easily be admired.
     Learn about the history of the lands below and the significance of Makanau, a famous sacred site and lookout place for Hawaiians as Demetrius Oliveira shares history and stories of Makanau.
     Guests are then welcome to take a moment and enjoy the view before settling into the temporary camp site to watch the sunset and discover the nights sky with laser beams (loaned by Ka‘u Coffee Mill), complete with a brief astronomy lesson.
     Admission is $45 per person, which includes refreshments and shuttle ride to and from meeting site. Seating is limited so reserve your spot in advance! See kaucoffeemill.com or call (808) 928-0550 for more. 
For a complete list of upcoming Ka‘u Coffee Festival events, visit kaucoffeefestival.com.