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October 2015 – The Independent Voice

The Independent Voice
Best Agricultural Newsletter in Hawaii”
Newsletter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association                      October 2015
P O Box 5436
Kailua Kona Hawaii 96745 USA                                                           
 www.konacoffeefarmers.org    info@konacoffeefarmers.org


Contents

Message from President Tom
Weather Recorder – Bob Smith
CBB Expert Luis Aristizabal
Mahalo to Kona’s Target Store Management
Kudos to Kamehameha Schools
Farm Practices and Flooding Mitigation
Legislative Update
Scammer Alert
Farmer-to-Farmer Program
Heat Sealer Elements
Space Coffee
Caution: May be Harmless if Swallowed
Coffee Grounds Turned into Energy in London
Recipe: Kona Chicken
Commentary
Write to Us
Editor – Clare Wilson


Message from President Tom
 Hello all you coffee people,
  This is one time talking about the weather isn’t a last resort. It has been hot, humid and WET. Our hearts go out to the owners and staff of the Strawberry Patch Restaurant and Annie’s in Kainaliu and anybody else who got flooded.
  I hear the plans for the Coffee and Art Stroll in Holualoa are going along swimmingly. That may not be the best adverb to use right now. The “Stroll” is so, can I say quaint? A small 1950’s town known for its art shops and artists and for this day coffee booths line the single road the whole length of town. I think automobiles are allowed to inch through the crowds when they haven’t figured out what day it is.
  The road is filled with people walking slowly with their sunhats and shade umbrellas eating fresh made fare, drinking fresh roasted coffee and visiting the many unique galleries. You should go just to say you where there when it was old-world.
   For the third year, KCFA has volunteered to coordinate the coffee farmers who have registered to have booths. If any one of you want to help out let someone from the KCFA Board of Directors know. We can always use another hand.
   I went to the seminar given by Luis Aristizabal , Colombian CBB expert, last Saturday. We know how important it is to spray Bb on a timely basis. What I am understanding now is that harvest management may be even more important. We learn as we go and I am striving to get rid of those raisins. The darker the fruit the more likely to have beetles and more of them. I think you will learn more about IPM  in this issue. The encouraging news is that the Columbian coffee industry was able to reduce their average infestation rate from 16% to less than 3% in the last 12 years. We can learn from Columbia but it means, as Luis says, ”changing our coffee culture“. I think that is how he put it in an impressive Latino accent. We have to rethink the way we do coffee if we want to retain our excellent coffee reputation.
   KCFA is looking for “new blood” on their Board of Directors. Terms are ending for some of us at the end of the year. It is good to be at the front lines to find out what is really going on first hand. It gives one an appreciation for those who serve and helps not to be critical when we sometimes don‘t understand why we get the results we do. Think about it.
You will be surprised how much you can accomplish.
   See you at the “Stroll” on November 7th,
    Tom


Weather Recorder – Bob Smith
  Since his first days on the sugar plantation in 1968, Bob Smith has read the rain gauge every morning about 7 am, and he has recorded it.  Having lived in Honaunau mauka for over 26 years- the rain recording has been ongoing and can be found on his weekly work-sheets or more recently, in the Excel file.
  So this “severe” El Nino season has been very exciting. Previous record total for one month of rain was in April 2004 and that was 18.3 inches.  Highest ever rainfall for a previous September was 17.63 inches in 1996. (Completing the statistics, the highest Annual rainfall ever, was 91.41 inches in 2004 and the lowest Annual rainfall was 46.33 inches in 2012.)
  As of September 26, 2015 at 7 am, he has recorded an unbelievable 28.2 inches in the 26 days and …more rain is in the forecast for this weekend. (So far the Annual rainfall for this “severe” El Nino year of 2015, is 86.67 inches.)
  What has proved out? Ground cover is really important. Better to weed whack/mow your entire farm then to spray it out. Takes more time (and looks prettier!), and water moves much more slowly through grass than a flood gushing over bare dirt, taking everything with it.
–Submitted by anonymous


CBB Expert Luis Aristizabal
   KCFA recently co-hosted a workshop with noted CBB expert Luis Aristizabal. Once again, he brought forth a different perspective on management.  In Colombia, the harvest is up to 9 months long, and they do not have the opportunity to strip trees, or break the life cycle.  Yet they still they manage to keep infestations below 5% with minimal Beauveria spraying.  How?
  Their key is effective harvesting, in a method called Cultural Control.  Each picker is trained to leave no more than five to ten ripe/overripe cherry on each tree or on the ground after every pass.  Pickers are also trained to collect raisins, essentially doing end-of-season Sanitation and breaking the life cycle at every pass. If you float your coffee before or after processing, the raisins will skim off and not impact the cup. Studies show that Cultural Control can reduce CBB in this season and the next, as ripe and overripe cherry has the highest insect population.  Plus, any cherry on the ground become a reservoir for next season.
   Cultural Control is a big shift for us, as it was for Colombia.  It requires supervision and correction of poor habits.  Early on, pickers threatened to leave and go to other farms.  But over time, all growers adopted the practice and so did the pickers. Cultural Control is in the best interest of the picker too.  Leaving or dropping more than 10 beans per tree is leaving money in the field.    On one 5-acre farm we inspected, there were 30 cherry left in the tree and on the ground.  That is over 500 lbs lost!
  To survive and thrive with CBB, we as an industry will need to continue to make wholesale changes to our practices.  Luis had many other suggestions, which will be shared with you in future newsletters.  If you missed him, don’t worry, we’re working hard to get him back to Kona again soon.   
-Submitted by Suzanne Shriner


Mahalo to Kona’s Target Store Management 
   In August Kona resident Robert Block—a longtime supporter of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and Kona’s coffee farmer community—noticed a Target newspaper advertisement for “100% Kona Coffee” at a price that suggested it was probably not genuine “Kona Coffee”. He contacted the Kona store management and expressed concern that the ad appeared to violate labeling/advertising laws if the coffee was not, in fact, 100% Kona.
    The Target managers promptly responded by investigating the matter and determined that the advertised coffee was a 10% blend and not genuine Kona Coffee.  The copy for the ad has been corrected and the target managers pledged to avoid similar errors in the future.
    When you are next in Target, please tell them that you appreciate their responsiveness. 
   Thanks, too, to Robert Block.
 The Takeaway:  If the package has the “Kona” name with a commodity coffee price, it is probably not genuine Kona Coffee.
–Submitted by the Branding Committee


Kudos to Kamehameha Schools for Supporting 100% Kona!
  “Supporting farmers on Kamehameha Schools’ lands is very important to us, therefore, we’d like to ask if Smithfarms would be willing to supply our East and West Hawai‘i offices with ‘ono coffee beans to be enjoyed daily by Kamehameha’s staffers and guests.    To be fair, Kamehameha plans to purchase coffee from different farmers on our lands each quarter on a rotational basis, so if this quarter does not work for you, we can target another quarter to Smithfarms. Please let me know if you are interested in supplying our coffee.
   Mahalo nui and we look forward to a continued partnership. –
   Krista Brooks, Kamehameha Schools’ administrative coordinator”
Received as a Kamehameha Lessee- September 2015–Submitted by Robert and Cecelia Smith (KSBE Lessees for more than 27 years)


Farm Practices and Flooding Mitigation
   Before the 1950’s US agriculture regularly used cover crops, since then we have lost the many solid benefits including flood mitigation. 
   Follow this link to a current report with a lot of valuable information about practices that would have reduced some of the damage from the recent heavy rainstorms.
  http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Water/2015/Drought-and-Flood-Report-Final.pdf 
–Submitted by Kally Goschke


Legislative Update

Feedback to the Hawaii Senate   At the end of the 2015 Session of the Hawaii Legislature, the Senate disbanded its Agriculture Committee and reassigned agriculture issues to a new committee–the Water, Land and Agriculture Committee.  Honolulu Senator Mike Gabbard was named Chair of this new committee.  On September 1, President Tom Butler forwarded to the KCFA Board a communication from Sen. Gabbard saying that he is reaching out to get feedback on Water, Land and Agriculture issues in advance of the 2016 Session.  The Legislative Committee will put together a response to this request.  KCFA members are encouraged to send us suggestions for feedback to info@konacoffeefarmers.org.

10% Blend Reform  
KCFA member Mark Shultise sent the Legislative Committee the following link. Take a look:
http://khon2.com/2015/08/31/mcdonalds-of-hawaii-has-kona-coffee-for-you-with-hawaii-coffee-company/ It is hard to imagine a more compelling illustration of why reform of Hawaii’s 10% Blend law is necessary. In the posting, and in the linked video article featuring Hawaii Coffee Company and McDonald’s Hawaii that was aired on KHON-TV, the words “Kona Coffee” are used again and again. In the Internet posting the word “blend” does not appear.  In the video, although there is occasional use of the word “blend”, there is not a single mention that McDonald’s “Royal Kona Blend” is only 10% is from Kona or that 90% is imported commodity coffee.  Also in the video, take note of the bean-dispensing canister labeled “100% Kona” and the boast about “local grown coffee in our cup”.
   Hawaii’s farmers—and Kona coffee farmers in particular—need to be protected from these types of deceptive and damaging practices that are encouraged by current law.
 –Submitted by the Legislative Committee


Scammer Alert
Coffee farmers need to be kept aware of suspicious requests for our precious coffee. Below is a suspicious request received this week.  Notice the quantity is very large, the person has not read the web site because they are asking for the price, and the syntax is odd. Be careful with your precious beans.
 “Hello
   I’m xxx and will like to know if you have Espresso Coffee Bean or can special order them for me, Let me know the cost for:
Qty: 350 Pounds
All In 5 pound bag 
…Kindly send me price plus tax and how soon you can get them. Also include your contact details so i can call to discuss this order ASAP
   Thank you and will look forward to your response
xxx”
–Submitted by Cecelia Smith


Farmer-to-Farmer Program
   Do you like to travel?  Want to put your ag experience to use helping others?  Jeff Knowles, a retired USDA employee, shared the news that USAID sponsors four major hosts for Farmer-to-Farmer programs around the world. While you are not paid a salary, your airfare, lodging, meals and incidental expenses are covered.
 Jeff recently completed a 3-week assignment in rural Uganda with the program sponsored by the Catholic Relief Service (CRS). While in Uganda, Knowles worked closely with a local farmers’ cooperative to provide technical assistance to its 1800 farmer membership.
 During his time in Uganda, Knowles believed his technical advice was extremely valuable to the average farmer and that he made an immediate impact and difference in the lives of those he interacted with. The tropical crops (including coffee) grown in Hawaii and the skills of Hawaiian farmers are a perfect match for regions where technical expertise is desperately needed. Knowles said, “the CRS is an outstanding organization and volunteers are treated like they are part of the family”.  Contact Jeff at jknowl12@yahoo.com for more information.
 Note from editor – We were contacted by this organization early this year to assist in training farmers to grow vanilla beans in Uganda (I think). Unfortunately there was no way we could be away from the farm for that length of time.
–Submitted by Suzanne Shriner


Heat Sealer Elements
info@KonaCoffeefarmers.org recently received a request for information from a new Member on where to get “elements” for their heat sealer to use on foil bags.  Here is a reprint of a September 2013 Independent Voice offering we hope you will find worthy.
 
makana o aloha gift of aloha for fellow farmers (09.01.2013-The Independent Voice) 
Instead of using an expensive heat sealer, buy a cheap non-steam iron set it to “permanent press”, and carefully iron the very top inch of the bag on both sides. (Might take some practice to get the exact setting and “stroke”.)  Tried and true and inexpensive.
-Submitted by Cecelia Smith


Space Coffee
   Here are a few excerpts from an article about fascinating developments for drinking coffee in outer space. To read the entire article, click on the link.
One of the things astronauts say they miss most is a good cup of coffee. How would YOU like to start your morning sucking freeze dried coffee through a straw from a sealed plastic bag?
Good news for astronauts: Morning Joe recently got an upgrade. On April 20th, SpaceX delivered to the space station a new microgravity coffee machine named “ISSpresso.”
No one wants to drink Italian espresso from a plastic bag, however.  What astronauts need is a “zero-G coffee cup.”
Fortunately, six of these wonders have been delivered to the space station as well. 
This oddball cup wouldn’t work on Earth, but it is a marvel in space.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/10jul_spacecoffee/
 –Submitted by Chris Coleman


Caution: May be Harmless if Swallowed
Nature Biotechnology 20, 753 (2002)
doi:10.1038/nbt0802-753a
EDITORIAL
   Last month, the European Parliament voted to require labeling of all foods that contain genetically modified (GM) components in quantities greater than 0.5%. This will allow European consumers to specifically differentiate between foods produced by conventional means and those produced by genetic engineering. It doesn’t matter that recombinant technology has absolutely no bearing on food safety or nutritional quality. The decision is simply a triumph for consumer choice.
   GM products were first approved for human consumption in the United States in 1995. Since that time, one scientific panel after another has concluded that they are as safe to eat as non-GM foods. In the past seven years, tens of millions of US citizens have consumed GM food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Today, more than 60% of the foods on US grocery shelves are produced using ingredients from GM crops. In not one instance have human health problems been associated specifically with the ingestion of GM crops or their products.
   No matter. European Commissioner David Byrne made it clear in his address to the European Parliament that it was consumer choice, rather than rational safety assessment, that was the guiding principle in approving the legislation: “Safety is not the issue here,” he said. “…Labeling serves the purpose of informing consumers and users and allowing them to exercise choice” (see p. 756).
   Of course, that choice does not come without a cost. Mandatory labeling of GM food will almost certainly lead to food price hikes as farmers, seed companies, and food manufacturers create the infrastructure to segregate GM from non-GM seed and seek to recuperate the costs of duplicating storage facilities, transportation, and production lines at factories and mills. It doesn’t matter that consumers who wanted to avoid GM foods already had the means to do so by choosing “organic” food and paying for that privilege. And it doesn’t matter that European consumers who had no interest in differentiating GM from non-GM will now have to pay more for the same food on their plates.
   Whatever the rights and wrongs, labeling is coming and the agbiotech industry should stop apologizing for its products and start promoting them. Consumers have a right to know what they’re eating. After all, other “processes” have been used to label foods: free-range eggs and organic vegetables are likely to be substantially equivalent to eggs from battery chickens and intensively cultivated vegetables, respectively. Consumers might therefore like to know “this GM food has been subjected to more thorough safety testing than conventional food.” Similarly, eco-friendly shoppers might welcome labels indicating “this food has received 50% less herbicide than an equivalent non GM product.”
   Most compelling of all, labels could indicate the health benefits of foods in which genes have been added to provide added nutritional value or deleted to remove serious food allergens (such as in nuts, potatoes, or tomatoes). Such products are likely to be attractive at a time when in the United States alone, severe food allergies account for 30,000 emergency room visits and 200 deaths a year.
   Biotech opponents hope that the European Union labels will frighten consumers away from GM foods and render them extinct. In fact, mandatory labels might just be the opportunity that agribusiness has been looking for to promote its products in Europe.
–Submitted by Tom Butler


London’s Waste Coffee Beans to Power 15,000 Homes
11 September 2015, source edie newsroom
 

Bio-bean’s factory has the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year to create enough power to heat 15,000 homes

   Fifteen thousand homes across London will be heated by waste coffee beans from local baristas under a new capital-wide scheme to get London to embrace the green economy.
   The scheme was developed by biofuel company Bio-bean which specialises in turning waste coffee into energy. It became a reality after the company won the Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award back in 2012.
   Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The roaring success of previous winners like Bio-bean demonstrates the huge market for green technology ideas. They’ve done the hard grind and Londoners can now enjoy their daily coffee fix in the safe knowledge that as well as their own caffeine kick the energy levels of as many as 15,000 homes are being boosted.”
   Bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process of waste coffee recycling into biofuel production. Their factory has the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year to create enough power to heat 15,000 homes. Each tonne recycled through bio-bean’s process saves up to 6.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
   The organisation has previously worked with Network Rail at London’s Victoria and Waterloo stations among others to generate over 650 tonnes of biofuel.
   Bio-bean chief executive Arthur Kay said: “The first ever Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award gave me (and bio-bean) a great start. The London collection service marks a milestone in our UK development, as we collect waste coffee grounds at every scale, saving money on waste disposal fees and creating sustainability advantages for each of our clients.”
   The city-wide launch coincides with the 2016 Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award, which encourages people and businesses to submit their sustainable ideas with a top prize of £20,000.
Green city
   The announcement comes in the same week that the London Assembly has called on Johnson to assemble an “urgent Government meeting” to discuss national green policies, describing the Summer Budget as a “retrograde”.
   The value of the green industry to the city is already as much as £30bn a year and it employs 160,000 people, yet the Summer Budget modified a number of key policies including the Zero Carbon Homes commitment and the Climate Change Levy, which could result in renewable electricity being subject to a carbon tax.
   Murad Qureshi, who proposed the motion, said: “With London’s global city status at stake, it’s time for the Government to show a willingness to lead the charge against the big environmental challenges. Removing incentives for, or indeed penalising, those wishing to reduce their own carbon footprint is simply not the way to go about it.”
   It is the second time in three months that the London Assembly has addressed the Mayor on his green ambitions, after calling on Johnson accelerate his air quality programs to comply with EU and UK laws in July.
–Submitted by Anita Kelleher


Recipe: Kona Chicken
Ingredients:
4 whole chicken breasts, halved
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp paprika  
½ cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 cup Kona coffee
3 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup sherry
1 cup sour cream
Coat chicken with combined salt and paprika. In a large skillet, brown chicken in melted butter. Place chicken in an ovenproof casserole. IN the drippings, saute onion until soft and blend in flour. Add coffee and tomato paste and stir until blended. Add sherry and sour cream. Pour sauce over chicken; cover tightly and bake at 350 deg. F for 1 hour. Serve with rice or noodles.


Subject:  commentary
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 11:22:23 -0800
From: Donna Meiners <donnajmeiners@gmail.com>
To: info@KonaCoffeeFarmers.org
That banana coffee muffin recipe got rave reviews!
Thanks and keep ‘em coming! 

EDITOR: Thanks for writing to us, Donna!


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