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Latest News from Kauai Grown

Savor Summer Tropical Fruits this Year June 2014
Papayas, rambutan and avocados at Papayas Natural Foods & Cafe
With summer on the way, eating lighter becomes easier. One of the fun treats to enjoy is the abundance of summer fruits. Farmers and backyard growers are anticipating a good season for lychee as well as mango this year.

"Because of our geographic location and lack of a cold snap which induces flowering we usually don't get a good crop of lychee every year. This summer we should have a good harvest," says longtime farmer and orchard grower Jerry Ornellas.

As its scientific name implies, "Litchi chinensis" is attributed to the Chinese people. The official version of how the first lychee trees arrived in Hawaii is that they arrived on Oahu in the early eighteen seventies. Jerry prefers the unofficial version which he learned from Mr. Freckles Smith, "He told me the first tree was planted here on Kauai in the Wailua River Valley where the old Smith's playground used to be. This makes sense to me because the Chinese started arriving in Hawaii in the eighteen fifties and I can't imagine them not planting one of their favorite fruits as soon as they got here. We owe them a debt of gratitude every time we bite into one of these luscious fruits."

There are many varieties of lychee grown on Kauai and they are all delicious. One of the newer cultivars selected by the College of Tropical agriculture and Human Resources is called Kaimana. The tree produces large heart shaped fruit with a sweet sub-acidic flavor that has become an island favorite.

Where to find them? Check out local farmers markets as well as grocery stores that focus on Kauai Grown products such as Papayas Natural Foods, Living Foods Market, Sueoka Store and Ishihara Market.

Sweet Sugarloaf pineapple from Hole In The Mountain Farm
Other tropical fruits to enjoy this summer include pineapple and passion fruit. To meet some of our local orchard farmers and discover more Kauai Grown options, explore www.kauaigrown.org.

Find Local Flowers & Plants for Mother’s Day This Year May 2014
Orchids from Orchid Alley
Traditionally celebrated with flowers, meals and gifts, Mother's Day is a great time to seek out Kauai Grown options. Hawaiian tropical flowers, orchids, and plants are in demand the world over for their beauty. Fresh picked flowers and plants can be found at farmers markets, and also by visiting Kauai Grown members like Tropical Flowers Express, Orchid Alley and Kauai Nursery & Landscaping as well as other members of the Hawaii Tropical Flower & Foliage Association.

For those with faraway moms, many of these items can be delivered directly from farms on Kauai to your Mom's door within two business days anywhere in the United States. Look for a certified shipper. Buying fresh and Kauai Grown both helps support our local economy, and reduces our exposure to invasive pests that can hitch a ride on imports.

Kauai Grill at the St. Regis Princeville
Don't forget about Kauai Grown meal options as well. Several of our fine restaurants are carrying specials for Mother's Day and feature local fresh farm ingredients. To meet some of our local flower growers and nurseries and discover more Kauai Grown options for Mother's Day, explore www.kauaigrown.org. Kauai Community Market will be hosting a special Mother's Day focus in conjunction with Kauai Grown & Kauai Made on May 3rd.

19th Annual Kauai Garden Fair April 2014
Water Lilies from Kauai Nursery & Landscaping
Saturday, April 19 at KCC Front Lawn 9:30am-3:30pm

Hosted by Kauai County Farm Bureau and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR), the annual Kauai Garden Fair is one of the largest gatherings of green thumbs on Kauai.

This one-day, free event will have a wide variety of tropical plants, flowers, produce and seeds available for purchase from around the island. You'll meet nurseries, flower growers, suppliers, resource organizations and individuals with a passion for gardening and agriculture.

The Garden Fair celebrates gardening in all of its aspects, and provides a network of resources for Kauai residents and visitors who are interested to "get their hands in the dirt" and learn about horticulture. UHCTAHR hosts a full schedule of Garden Talks – it's a fun way to network, swap tips, or just learn more about tropical plants, flowers & trees.

Students learning about agriculture from elementary to college level participate. The Kauai 4-H Club and the 4-H Garden Island Ranchers host gardening activities and a mini petting zoo for the keiki. KCC agricultural programs showcase their work on aquaponics, honey and more. KCC students will also be joining in with additional keiki fun for Easter weekend, including an egg hunt and more.

Come hungry - the weekly Kauai Community Market will offer a wide range of fresh produce, value added agricultural products, snacks and plate lunch items, showcasing Kauai Grown ingredients.

Community sponsors of the event include Grove Farm, M. Kawamura Farm Enterprises, Kauai Nursery & Landscaping, Orchid Alley, Syngenta, Pioneer, Hawaiian Orchid Source, Makaleha Nursery and Kauai Community Collage. For more information, full schedule and vendor applications visit www.kauaicountyfarmbureau.org.