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May 2015 The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association  May 2015
 PO Box 5436 Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA      www.konacoffeefarmers.org

Coffee Talk: Vertical Selection and Suckering
USDA Deputy Secretary Visit
Legislative Update
Coffee Can Ward Off Breast Cancer
Bees, Birds, Beetles and Coffee Cherry
Wanted: Membership Chair
Who is Protecting our “Brand”?
Farmers Soil Work Group to Form
Aloha Mary Lou and Chuck
Message from Mary Lou
Ode to Mary Lou
Recipe: Cacao Coffee Truffles
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson

Coffee Talk: Vertical Selection/Suckering Workshop

Start: 9 May 2015 9:00 am
Workshop starts promptly, so please come a little early to sign in and get down to the workshop area
Venue: Bob Nelson’s Farm
Turn makai at the “Kona Joe” sign off of Mamalahoa Highway and drive down. Signs will be posted.
   Come learn the science about choosing your new growth from the overabundance of options. Bob Smith and Bob Nelson will help you determine what works best to insure strong healthy branches to hold all your wonderful coffee.
   Free to KCFA Members and all others $10 which may be applied towards a KCFA annual Membership of $25.
 –Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Visit of USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden

 (USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden with KCFA Board members, Suzanne Shriner and Christine Coleman)

   In an April 30 OpEd article in the Honolulu Advertiser, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden reviewed the events of her recent visit to Hawaii.  Deputy Secretary Harden’s visit was at the invitation of Senator Mazie Hirono, and included a number of meetings with Hawaii farmers on various islands over a period of almost a week.  One of these meetings was held on April 10 at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook with KCFA Board members and others attending.  Farmers discussed CBB research and education and fair labeling for Hawaii-Grown coffee. 
   To review the OpEd article, click here  (More photos may be seen here)
   For additional information on the April 10 meeting, see the “Legislative Update” below.
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith

Legislative Update

Sen. Hirono/Deputy Secretary Harden Meeting: On April 10, at the request of Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office, KCFA Board members and other invitees met with the Senator and with USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook.  KCFA attendees were Tom Butler, Kurt Schweickhard, Bruce Corker, Colehour Bondera, Chris Coleman, Randy Phillips, Cea Smith, Judy Schuman, Suzanne Shriner and Bob Smith. Deputy Secretary Harden received input from coffee farmers on (1) CBB mitigation research and education and (2) marketing and labeling of Hawaii-Grown coffee.  On the latter topic, KCFA presented Deputy Secretary Harden with a documents and a letter requesting her “perspective and advice on available avenues under Federal law—whether through the USDA, the FDA, or legal action of the Justice Department—for (1) protecting consumers from deceptive labeling of Hawaii-Grown coffees, (2) protecting the reputation of our heritage crop, and (3) protecting the economic interests of coffee farmers.”
SB1051—excluding coffee and macadamia nuts from origin protection: This poorly crafted bill (supported by Hawaii Coffee Company and Paradise Beverages) became even worse when coffee and macadamia nuts were excluded from any potential benefits from the bill. KCFA testimony opposed the bill.  On April 1 HB1051 was deferred/killed by the Senate Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee.
HB482—Full-Time Administrator for HDOA B. bassiana Subsidy Program: With testimonial support from the KCFA, this bill passed the House and was amended and passed in the Senate.  The House, however, formally objected to the Senate amendments.  The bill is now before a House/Senate conference committee. The outcome of conference committee process is uncertain.
–Submitted by Bruce Corker

Study Proves Coffee Can Ward Off Breast Cancer

Reuters / Jorge Silva
   Coffee can be considered a healthy drink, as it can protect you from cancer, the latest Swedish study has found. It follows other research on the pros of coffee in fighting off the potentially deadly disease.
   “The caffeine turns off the signal paths to breast cancer cells. This results in slower cell proliferation and increased cell death,” said Ann Rosendahl, a researcher at Lund University and co-author of the study, The Local reported.
   It all began two years ago when scientists at Lund University showed that a couple of cups of coffee per day could help avoid the recurrence of breast cancer.
   The pattern was noticeable especially in those who were treated with anti-hormone medication Tamoxifen.
   “For the women treated with tamoxifen and who drank at least two cups of coffee a day, the risk of relapse is almost half that of those who drank a small quantity of coffee or no coffee at all,” Rosendahl explained.
   It turns out that caffeine has an impact on the signaling pathways that cancer needs to grow.
   “We have now gone down into the cellular level and thus gained a greater understanding of the underlying causes,” Rosendahl added.
   As many as 1,100 women took part in the study, of whom over 500 were taking the drug Tamoxifen.
   Several studies have lately suggested that drinking coffee reduces the risk of various types of cancer, and also may help avoid its recurrence.
   In particular, those who drink at least four cups of coffee daily have a 20 percent lower risk of skin cancer (malignant melanoma) than those drinking the least, according to a recent research by the US National Cancer Institute.
   For men who drink over six cups of coffee per day, the risk of getting a fatal cancer is reduced by 60 percent, while three cups a day diminish it by 30 percent, according to the 2011 study, also by the National Cancer Institute. 
 —Submitted by Anita Kelleher

Bees, Birds, Beetles: More Cherry of Better Quality – Quantified 

The following are two very interesting articles of the impact of birds, bees, and bats on the quality of coffee cherry and the presence of CBB.
–Submitted by Kally Goschke

Wanted – Membership Chair – No Need for Meetings and Work from Home!

  • Job requirements:  Good KCFA volunteer heart, Elementary computer knowledge, 2 Hours or less a week
  • Will be provided with: Complete Instructions and tutorial upon request.                                                      
    Contact: kopepua@gmail.com       

Who Is Protecting Our “Brand”?

 If fraudulently labeled Idaho potatoes are sold in Honolulu, Idaho will take the counterfeiters to court.  If fraudulently labeled Vidalia onions are sold in Honolulu, the State of Georgia will do the same.
   But if fraudulent Kona coffee is sold in Honolulu (or sold on the Mainland), what happens?  The answer is apparently “NOTHING”.
   The responsibility for protecting Hawaii farmers from deceptive and fraudulent labeling of Hawaii agricultural products belongs to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.   Specifically it belongs to the HDOA’s Measurement Standards Branch.
   In assessing the performance of the Measurement Standards Branch, the Hawaii State Auditor issued a scathing report in March 2013.  Among many other failings, the audit determined that the Measurement Standards Branch had completely failed to meet its statutory responsibility to enforce labeling laws. The Auditor found that from 2009 “all packaging and labeling inspections and price verification testing have been suspended.  These activities also include specific packaging and labeling enforcement functions required by law, such as those for island fresh milk, macadamia nuts, and Hawai’i-grown coffee.”  ZERO ENFORCEMENT over the course of more than 4 years. To review the Auditor’s report click here: http://files.hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2013/13-01.pdf
    A recent (April 21) article in the Honolulu Advertiser indicates that the performance of the Measurement Standards Branch has not improved.  In response to a reader complaint that the pumps at two Honolulu gas stations had not been inspected in six years, HDOA administrator Jeri Kahana acknowledged the reader’s information was accurate and gave “too few inspectors” as the reason for the long delays in conducting inspections. [Note that the State Auditor found it inexplicable that new inspectors had not been hired despite a 2012 appropriation from the Legislature of $420,000 for new hires.]  Another reason given: an inaccurate pump is “more likely to be in the customer’s favor”!?!   Click here   to see the Advertiser article.
    The clear picture that emerges from the Audit and the Advertiser Article is that of non-functional HDOA that is not protecting our Kona Coffee “brand” or the “brands” of other Hawaii-Grown specialty agricultural crops.  We agree with the frustrations expressed by Kona coffee processor Tom Greenwell to Honolulu Magazine in its December 2014 edition: 
Fraud in coffee is the No. 1 challenge for Hawaii coffee.…You can find it all over Oahu….We have laws. I am tired of laws. I will not be part of another law unless we start enforcing laws.” 

The complete article is here: http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/December-2014/3-Dangerous-Threats-to-Hawaiis-Coffee-Industry/
   Yes, we need a professional, competent, and adequately funded HDOA to enforce current laws.  And, yes, farmers need the HDOA to join farmers in advocating for new laws to provide the same types of product “branding” protections for Hawaii farmers as California provides for its wine grape growers, and Idaho for its potato growers, and Vermont for its maple syrup producers. 
 –Submitted by the Branding Committee

Soil Work Group for Farmers 
Kally is seeking others interested in forming a Soil Work Group for Farmers.  Please contact her at 808-430-2110
    Soil is the most biologically diverse ecosystem on Earth. There are many groups of organisms that function in or near the soil at different levels of the food chain. In most forests and grasslands, several different organisms have processed every particle in the topsoil at various times. Together, these organisms enhance soil structure, store water and nutrients, decompose organic matter, and make nutrients available to plants.  Each group is critical to maintaining a healthy balance of soil functions and should be encouraged in the home garden, but fungi and bacteria have immediate impacts on plant nutrition and health through their direct contact with roots on a cellular level. 
   The soil is full of nutrients necessary for plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, but most of those nutrients are not in forms that are immediately available to plants. From the plants’ perspective, most of these nutrients are being stored inside living or dead organisms as chemical compounds that are too complex for roots to absorb. Bacteria or fungi break these complex organic compounds down into soluble nutrients through decomposition and other processes. The incredible variety of microorganisms, each with its own metabolic process, creates a finely calibrated cycle that, in conjunction with soil pH, allows nutrients to be available when plants actually need them. …
Submitted by Kally Goschke

Aloha Mary Lou and Chuck

Anyone who has been to a KCFA function, be it EXPO, a BBQ or Coffee Talk, have seen Mary Lou and/or Chuck in action. They are amazing. We will miss you two, your enthusiasm, and your cheerful hearts.  Thank you for making the KCFA what it is today.

The coffee and cake aloha gathering for the Mosses after the April 2015 Board Meeting.

Message from Mary Lou
Aloha All,
   It is with a heavy heart that we leave our Kona coffee farm and the Kona coffee farming community as we move back to the mainland.  We are moving back to the Seattle area because of better medical treatment for Chuck who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and access to family support.  We have sold our farm and will be leaving on May 13.  YIKES!
   I am so grateful for all the wonderful friends that we have developed here and I wanted to send a special thank you to all the KCFA members who have so generously donated their time and volunteered with me at various KCFA events.  We did have fun, and I enjoyed working with all of you. KCFA is a great organization and I hope you all with continue to volunteer.
   My wish for all of you is that you stay passionate about your Kona Coffee and that your farming is satisfying for you. I also hope that you will participate in the various KCFA programs and activities for the benefit of yourselves and fellow farmers.  
   Please keep in touch with us, my cell is 808-896-4175 and my e-mail will remain as marylou@cuppakona.com.
Mary Lou Moss

An Ode To Mary Lou

A long time ago, I can still remember
How that Marylou used to make me smile
And I knew that if she had a chance
That she could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while
But hearing made me shiver, when I heard the news delivered
Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t say I won’t cry, when I hear them leave Hawai’i
But something touched me deep inside the day the music died
So bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Taco to the meeting but the meeting was dry
And that good old board was drinking coffee with a sigh
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
We’ll be a lonely quiet bunch
with a Cuppa Kona and no lunch
But I knew we were out of luck
The day the music died
We started singing bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove to the Moss’s but the farm couldn’t hear
That good old board was drinking Rock Island beer
And singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And Moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When Marylou sang for the Ag Committee
In a coat she borrowed from Cea Smitty
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh, and while the Jim was looking down
Marylou stole his crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while the Gov read a book on Marx
The BOD practiced in the park
And we sang ‘Dirges In The Dark’
The day the music died
We were singing bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my pickup to the CTARH, why
That good old board had gone dry
And singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The berryies flew off with a coffee picker
From Holualoa to Milolii
Sprayed the fungi on the tre’e
The BOD tried for a forward pass
With Marylou on the sidelines in a cast
Now the Jasmine was sweet perfume
While she played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
Cause the Dye was cast
And the Rules were passed
Do you recall what was the last
The day the music died?
We started singing bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Taco to the social but the social was dry
Dat good old board was having a cry
And singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Oh, and there we were all in one place
An entire board lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Bruce be nimble, Cole be quick
Nita sat on a candlestick
Cause Marylou is our best friend
Oh, and as I watched her on the stage
My hands were clasped as in a daze
No angel born on God’s sweet earth
Could change a time from a worst
And as the clouds gathered low
To shadow all the ground below
I saw her laughing and was delighted
The day the music died
We were singing bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove to the farm but the moss was dry
That whole town was on the Wi Fi
And singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to Paul’s store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play
And in the streets the farmers screamed
The board all cried and the processor dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And of all the people I admire most
I didn’t think she’d leave the coast
They caught the next plane to America
left a big hole here because of her
And they were singing bye, bye Miss American Pie
The coffee on Hualalai
Will all droop down and say good bye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
They were singing, bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
Bye,bye Miss American Pie
We’ll miss you all and God knows why
Be blessed in all you endeavor
KCFA will miss you forever

–Composed by Tom Butler

Cacao Coffee Truffles

If you love coffee and chocolate….
 Found in MindBody Green online

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1 teaspoon coffee (ground Kona coffee beans)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon maca powder (optional, but highly recommended. It adds great flavor and nutrition to this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds for added protein and omega-3s
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or raw honey

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until crumbly dough starts to form (about 5 min). 
2. Scoop a teaspoon and form a 2” ball with your hands. Roll in leftover cacao nibs for garnish. If you prefer, you can use unsweetened coconut flakes instead. 
3. Refrigerate the truffles for a few minutes to allow them to harden. Store in the fridge if not consuming right away. 
 –Submitted by Anita Kelleher

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: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org with SUBJECT: Commentary.