May 25, 2019
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June 2016 -The Independent Voice

   The Independent Voice
“Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                  
June 2016

PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96745 USA                                                  


Legislative Update
KCFA HDOA Grant Ending Early!!
HDoa Subsidy Program Begins Soon
SHAC Vendor Change
KFCA is Ten Years Old: 2006-2016
Makana o Aloha – farmer tips
Coffee as a Mosquito Repellent

Recipe: Coffee Shortbread Bars
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson

Legislative Update

On-line Media Examines KCFA’s Battle Against 10% Blends
In an article published May 18, 2016, in the on-line media site “OZY”, reporter Ryan Hiraki reviews the adverse impact of the deceptive 10% blend labeling and farmers’ uphill efforts to change Hawaii’s coffee labeling law. The article is entitled “Hawaii’s Kona Coffee Farmers Fight Back”.

 Of particular note is the statement of House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Clift Tsuji (Democrat, Hilo-Waiakea) as to why for 2 years he has refused to give a hearing to HB 387.  This bill was introduced by Kona Representatives Richard Creagan and Nicole Lowen and 7 others in order to require a minimum of 51% genuine content and identification of foreign-grown coffee in Hawaii origin “blends”. These two changes in the blend law (51% genuine content and origin identification) are the same reforms sought by a unanimous Hawaii County Council in its Resolution No. 501-14.  Rep. Tsuji justified his refusal to schedule a hearing on his colleagues’ bill by citing his “faith in the free market system” and stating

 “If the consumers don’t like the type of labeling or the product itself, they’ll stop purchasing it.”

 Rep Tsuji’s comment reflects the “Buyer Beware” practices of the 19th Century–not 21st Century principles of fair labeling and consumer protection.   If consumers “like” the labeling that misleads them into buying what is not “Kona Coffee” and if consumers don’t like the mediocre taste of the blend and then stop buying “Kona Coffee”, Clift Tsuji believes the free market system has worked.

Here is the link to the full article —
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee

KCFA HDOA Grant Ending Early!!!
Due to the fiscal year calendar (which ends June 30), and the necessary time to process paperwork before that deadline arrives, we must modify the end date for participation in the KCFA HDOA grant subsidy program which is now June 7, 2016.  

All purchases and expenses must occur by June 7, 2016- Tuesday.  
Apologies for last minute shifts of timing, and any difficulties that people encounter with getting what they need.  However since the HDOA subsidy program is already accessible (please see associated piece on that) we encourage all to sign up right away for that program which KCFA has been a part of getting going for several years now, and the timing of which means that subsidies will continue for all with a sooner shift than expected!
Thank you for your support and participation with Farm & Garden and our groups’ efforts! During the next week some of you will be randomly contacted in order to gather your final input to how we handled the program, and we request that you are available when contacted to help round out our efforts to best help farmers receive the support needed for an effective program.
 –Submitted by Colehour Bondera

HDOA Subsidy Program Begins Soon – Save receipts!

Save your receipts!  The Hawaii Department of Agriculture CBB Subsidy Program, beginning soon, will reimburse a percentage of the cost for Botanigard and Mycotrol products, once the application process is completed.  The program is in effect through 6/30/2019.  Farm TMK and other relevant information is required. Costs are reimbursed up to $600 per acre per year, and up to $9,000 per farm per year. Email for sign-up information.
–Submitted by Colehour Bondera

Switch of Vendors for SHAC Botanigard/Mycotrol Supply

If you are participating in the SHAC program, please note that the pickup vendor has changed from Al’s to BEI Kona.  Effective immediately, BEI will have Botanigard and Mycotrol available at their location in town, near the Kealakehe transfer station.  They are open from 7 am to 3:30 with a short break for lunch from 12-12:30.  Call them at 329-8094 if you have questions. Their fungus products are kept in an air-conditioned room.  To keep your fungus from overheating on the way home, please remember to bring a cooler with you, or plan the pickup as your last stop in town.

All growers are eligible to join the SHAC program, please email info@deadcbb.comor call 365-9041 for more information. Also, save your receipts for the upcoming HDOA subsidy.  It will likely be possible to participate in both programs. 
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner


The KCFA Celebrates over 10 years in existence, with a reminder of Member Benefits.

 Log in  and then go to the STORE. You will find KCFA high quality burlap bags for sale for just $3.00 each! Grain Pro bags are also available for $3.75 each and they are terrific for storing parchment/green coffee. More info here: about Grain Pro bags. Member prices are almost at cost, so use your KCFA benefit.
Did you know we have over 130 sets of Meeting Minutes? The first one from February 17, 2006!  Log in and in the upper right <Search> for [Minutes] and you can read all of our 10 year history! <Search> the same way for [Best Practices], review the [By-Laws], and the available to you [KCFA Brochure].
 –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

makana o aloha farmer tips

Q. Many of my coffee trees are bowed over. We’ve had quite a bit of rain and the trees are loaded with green cherry. Does the bending indicate some sort of deficiency causing the tree verticals to be weaker than in other trees around them? I would love to understand if this is normal behavior for the trees or do they lack in nutrients.
A: No your trees are not lacking nutrition.  In fact the reason they are bending over is that it appears you have a good crop developing.
If the branch of coffee is just leaning and will not touch the ground, you can leave it as is. However to keep them off the ground or to support the increasing load of maturing cherry…You will need to prop these with bamboo if you can get it, or last year’s pruned coffee verticals. With bamboo, make a sort of X (tied with string) and put the leaning vertical into the crux of that X.  Choose an old coffee vertical with a Y so you put the base of limb in the ground and the leaning vertical fits into the crux of that Y. Some farmers also use 1 X 3 boards that they notch or even tied PVC pipes. Anything that can support the load of cherry.
Q: My coffee trees are yellow even though I have fertilized them.  Help!
A:  How much fertilizer are you using? A single coffee tree needs a POUND of fertilizer per tree, not a simple handful.  The fertilizer needs to be scattered broadly around the entire circumference of the tree-out to the edge of the leaves. A healthy tree is a green tree.
 –Submitted by Bob Smith

Coffee as a Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitos bugging you? There is a solution.

On the website there is an article describing how to burn used coffee grounds to repel mosquitos. What a great idea! No more DEET saturation when you go out to work in your coffee fields or have friends over for a barbeque. And you can use it in your house too. According to the article, the EPA says “coffee grounds work as a very effective natural repellant that will keep many insects – including mosquitos, wasps and bees – away.”

With dengue fever still on our minds and now the concern over zika, this is really good news. Read the entire article at
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher

Recipe: Coffee shortbread Bars

1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp instant coffee
2¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and coffee. Combine flour and salt and add to mixture. Chill dough. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Roll dough to ¼” wide and 3 inches long. Prick with a fork. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
–Submitted by Clare Wilson

Please Write to Us!
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.