Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hawaiian Farms

The land mass is so small but desirable to own in Hawaii because of its tropical climate.  Tourism is the number one source of income in Hawaii so any farming done has to be very high in value to pay the taxes and pay the expenses required to operate on that land.

One farm we visited was Kumu Farms on Maui.  This farm is a main tourist spot for visitors on the islands.  It is beautifully laid out but must produce crops of value the visitors can see, taste and experience.

I remember the roasting of coffee on that farm, one of their popular attractions.  Our group was surprised to learn that a dark roast coffee has been roasted longer and takes more of the caffeine out of it in the roasting process.

They had a tour guide driving a little green locomotive pulling lots of green tram cars for a tour around the farm.  Every crop on the island is demonstrated growing, but papaya is one of the main crops they've learned to grow and sell and process for distribution.  Most mainlanders don't eat papaya but it has come into our market places recently like kiwi and other exotic fruit.

They claim this fruit has more vitamin C than oranges, more potassium than bananas, three times the fiber of apples yet 55 calories per cup.  This has helped papaya grow in acres and become another food source for people and income source for tropical places that can raise papaya.

Our next visit was the Monsanto seed facility and we learned there that the Rainbow brand Papaya we saw at this farm is genetically modified to resist the ringspot virus that wiped out much of papaya production when it was "tamed."

If you visit Hawaii, I would suggest a visit to this farm, Kona Joe's Coffee and Akatsuka Orchid Gardens.  Ask or pay for the farm tour, they are excellent.

Ed

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