August 20, 2019
Home < KCFA Business < Newsletters- The Independent Voice < January 2017 – The Independent Voice

January 2017 – The Independent Voice

   The Independent Voice
 “Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                                     
January 2017

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA                                                   

Annual KCFA General Membership Meeting
CBB Discovered on Maui
Puerto Rico and CBB
HDOA Subsidies for Botanigard and Mycotrol Expenses
Hand Picked Kona Coffee
Christmas Tree – Kona Style
HC&S Auction of Plantation Equipment
Questions from a Kona Coffee Appreciator

Salute to Supporting Business Member Kona Coffee Purveyors
Recipe: Mocha Macadamia Nut Cookies
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson

Annual General Membership Meeting – Sunday, January 29, 2017 

 MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Kona Coffee Farmers Association’s 2017 Annual General Membership Meeting (AGM) will be Sunday, January 29 at the Kahalu’u Beach Park Pavilion, beginning at 11:30 am. This will be a potluck luncheon followed by our AGM business meeting. All KCFA members are encouraged to attend—a wonderful occasion to mingle with your friends and fellow farmers at a great setting with good food.
 We plan to have some beer and pupus from 11:30, and the Potluck Lunch will be served at noon with our annual meeting to follow. KCFA will supply plastic ware, paper products etc, Please RSVP (just click>>>here so we can have an accurate count of what we need to get.  We ask you to bring your own drinks and to bring something for the Potluck—pupus, a side dish, or a main dish—or just bring yourselves.
 The meeting will include reports on KCFA activities; approval of minutes from last year’s AGM; a proposed by-law amendment; and election of Directors to serve 2-year terms on the KCFA Board. As a non-profit, KCFA Members must rely on each other, so come and learn the latest.
 –Submitted by Bruce Corker

CBB Discovered on Maui


In late December, CTAHR and HDOA confirmed that CBB has established a population on Maui.  The first discovery, in Hana, was hoped to be isolated and eradicable. Unfortunately, a second population was found in Kipahulu.  There is feral coffee in the valleys near Hana, which also increases the challenges for Maui farmers. For the 40+ farmer members of the Maui Coffee Association, this is a big blow to their growing industry.  We wish them luck in their battle.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

Puerto Rico and CBB  

A group of PBARC scientists, CTAHR, HDOA, and Suzanne Shriner recently visited the coffee lands of Puerto Rico to find commonalities between the origins.  As the Territory falls within USDA oversight, our scientists needed to explore ways that we can work together under the USDA Area-wide CBB grant program as well as view the linkages between Coffee Rust (Roya) treatment and CBB treatment.

Puerto Rico has some excellent coffees, with a strong governmental commitment to the origin name.  The PR government also guarantees all farmers a minimum price for their coffee.  Unfortunately, the price is low, and does not enforce a minimum quality. Processors will buy heavily damaged cherry (as well as under-ripe) without discounting the price. Farmers therefore feel that Rust is a much bigger concern. They do no monitoring, a minimal strip-pick, and frequently only spray Beauveria once, right at harvest. As you might guess, we noted high CBB levels in the fields we visited.

Their farmers face many of the same problems we face, severe labor shortages, high costs of production and concerns about pests (CBB, Leaf Miner) and disease (Rust). Most of their farms are small family operations, like ours.  Kona folks would feel very much at home on the steep slopes of the coffee lands.

A final note: many Kona farmers have heard the rumor that PR allows home-grown Beauveria to be sprayed on the trees.  This trip debunked that myth as early efforts on this were halted by US EPA.  Their products face the same governmental requirements as ours.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner

”HDOA Subsidies for Botanigard and Mycotrol Expenses”

Not sure how to apply for the HDOA Pesticide Subsidy Program? The first step is completing an application. Currently, applications are accepted for purchases of Botanigard/Mycotrol made between 7/1/15 and 6/30/16.

Apply online at, or call for a paper application. No amount is too small. A Certificate of Tax Compliance is NOT required. Contact me with any questions at or call 808-323-7578. I am happy to help you receive reimbursement.
Continue to save your original receipts – the program is funded through 6/30/2019 in cooperation with the County of Hawaii. 
–Submitted by Gwen Hicks, HDOA CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program

Hand Picked Kona Coffee

Most early Kona coffee farms were set up as 5 acres. The feeling was that a coffee farmer family could handle the acreage. Growing and selling could be managed by one person- but picking has always needed more people. Years ago, extended families from grandparents to small kids would go out early in the morning. As adults picked, the kids also helped by picking the dropped cherry off the ground and putting them in their small containers and getting paid later. In Kona, the public schools were even put on a special school year calendar so again, the whole family would be available to help during the harvest.
Handpicked coffee makes for better coffee because it allows you to select only the ripe ones. Large coffee farms use mechanical harvesters which collect everything that “shakes out”, resulting in green and immature and spoiled beans and rubbish, as well as the ripe beans. That compromised quality shows in that cup of coffee. Kona coffee is different.
Even with hired pickers, a great Kona farmer will pick alongside, chatting with the pickers; keeping an eye on the quality in their baskets, mentioning an overabundance of green/immature beans or leaves etc. With the right attitude, it is Zen-like to head out the door with your basket and be in the outdoors all day, looking very closely at your coffee trees while your hands pick the “money growing on the trees”. As the farmer/picker you will have plenty of time to notice areas of your farm that need more fertilizer or better weed or pest control, etc. You will be engaged in your farm.
Once you find good pickers, keep them close. You need to respect your pickers and let them know their job is invaluable to you. Pay promptly and fairly. Bringing a snack or cold drink on a hot afternoon is a thoughtful gesture. (One neighbor farmer even served her workers lunch.) Consider giving your hired pickers a small tip at the end of the season or even a pound of coffee.  It would be wise to call your presumed pickers before the season begins and work out the tentative schedule. Set up a relationship with them and give your hired workers reasons to enjoy working on your farm.

Hand picked Kona is superior in part, because of all the humans involved.
 –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Christmas Tree – Kona Style

 What is more appropriate for a Kona Christmas than a Kona Coffee Christmas Tree? 
Easy for Kona coffee farmers:  Locate and cut an appropriate size vertical; remove enough lower laterals to fit the “tree” in a 5-gallon bucket; add about a gallon of water and enough rocks to hold the tree upright; wrap the bucket with a towel or blanket; arrange the ornaments on the branches—and Santa will place the presents beneath the tree.  The leaves stay fresh for a week or more.
Think about it for next year.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

HC&S Auction of Plantation Equipment


With Hawaii’s last sugar plantation ceasing operation, an opportunity for farmers to buy equipment for their farms is available. Check out the link below to see all the items.

January 18 & 19 on Maui and live via website- Sale of over 450 items of HC&S Plantation Equipment
Items up for auction include: Excavators, Backhoes, Front-end Loaders, Farm Tractors, ATV’s 773 Tractors, D250 Dump Trucks, Articulated Wagons, D8 & D6 dozers, Ford trucks to include F450, F350, F250, F150; Assortment of Toyota Tacoma 4×4 light vehicles.
If you or anyone you know is looking for any farm equipment, HC&S is selling their stuff. You can either go to Maui in person or participate via a live Website auction. Plantation equipment is normally well maintained, so take a look.

Complete information and photos may be found here:

Questions from a Kona Coffee Appreciator

 Shortly after Christmas KCFA received the following email:

 Hi Kona Coffee Farmers,
 I received a 7oz bag of Kona coffee beans as a gift; it is a product of the Mulvadi Corporation, in Honolulu. The item is here:
The price seems way low, a Kona coffee fan told me.
 The gold seal on the package says “100% Kona coffee Big Island of Hawaii. Independent Kona coffee growers association,” but I can find no such association, offhand.
 Is this coffee the real Kona deal?  If so, why is it so inexpensive?

 KCFA’s Branding Committee has heard similar questions for some time—but we don’t have the answers for Bill’s questions.  If you have thoughts or suggestions on how to find the answers, please let us know.
 –Submitted by the Branding Committee

Salute to Supporting Business Member

Our supporting business member this month is Kona Coffee Purveyors. Located in Honolulu, the company specializes in premium Kona coffee. Master Roaster and founder, Raymond Suiter, designed and built this premiere, state-of-the –art roastery. His signature approach: lavish care and attention to every detail from the blossom to the cup. His commitment: “to find and share the best Kona coffee in the world.”
Check out their website for more information.
Mahalo to Kona Coffee Purveyors for their strong support of quality Kona coffee.

Recipe: Mocha Macadamia Nut Cookies
1/2 cup strong brewed Kona coffee
1 ¾ cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp mace
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
Cream coffee, sugar, butter and eggs till fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together. Add quickly to mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Drop dough by rounded spoonful onto greased or parchment covered baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes till edges are light brown.
Cool on wire racks. Makes about 4 dozen.

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! >> Write us. We welcome Letters to the Editor up to 150 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Include your name and email address >> Email: with SUBJECT: Commentary.