Lynne got a quick lesson on driving the Kubota to move some mulch.
Drove our Mini Cooper up to Mauna Kea observatories. Air is thin and cold at 4200 meter above sea level.
At the beginning of the month is our wedding anniversary (26th one this year), and mid month is the farmer's wife's birthday. On the farm, the coffee trees are exuberantly blooming, and the bees are working hard (no pesticides or herbicides on our farm). To celebrate, we're activating our 10% discount on any coffee order this month. Use code SAVE10 when you check out
Fall is here, and in Hawai’i that means it’s Ironman World Championship time! One of the most highly anticipated events on the Big Island, and in the international world of endurance athletes, the Kona Ironman World Championship is the apex event of all Ironmen competitions. Qualifying times range from 9 hours to 16 hours (depending on your age group and race location) to complete a 2.4 mile ocean swim, a 112 mile bike ride through lava fields and whirling dervish winds, and finally a hot and humid 26.2 mile run. This is one of the most exciting times to be on the Big Island. The approximately 2,000 competitors come from throughout the world, representing all ages and nations. Walk around Kona in the week preceding the event, and the excitement and anticipation is palpable. Superbly fit people are everywhere, doing their thing -- eating, drinking, swimming, biking, and running. If you’re lucky, you may spot an Ironman superstar such as 84 year-old Sister Madonna Buder, also known as the Ironnun. Sister Buder is a wisp of a nun, perhaps 5 feet tall in her cycling shoes, with an iron will. She competed in her first Ironman at the age of 49, and is still going strong almost 40 years later. In 2014, there were more than 200 competitors in the 65 and older age groups. This is an incredibly motivating event, even if you are only a weekend warrior or armchair athlete.
During Ironman week, Kona’s coffee shops are great places to people watch, and to sample our world famous Kona coffee. Many athletes include coffee as an important part of their training regimen. In addition to increasing metabolism and athletic performance, drinking coffee before exercise allows caffeine to break down body fat and makes them available in the bloodstream to be used as an energy source. Along with increased energy for physical workouts, coffee increases mental focus by increasing brain functions such as memory, mood, reaction time, and general cognitive ability. For the non-athletes, coffee also offers many excellent benefits, including: reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, mouth cancers (oropharyngeal & pharyngeal), breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer. Coffee is the original drink of the gods.
An excellent coffee shop to check out while you’re on the island is Caffe Florian, in Kealakekua. Run by Rita, a hopped-up, friendly, and gregarious Italian chef, Caffe Florian offers a wide selection of fresh and delicious lunches, pastries, and Rita’s famous coffees, cappuccinos, and espressos. You can also pick up a few bags of Karmasu Coffee here, for yourself or to take home as condolence gifts for friends and family who didn’t get to go to Hawaii.
Here are additional resources if you’d like to read more on coffee and health:
The aroma, the grinding sound of fresh ground coffee and the anticipation of the fresh brew cup of coffee is part of the daily ritual that we should take our time and enjoy.
A good grinder is inexpensive, it should be the most important tool in your kitchen for your coffee brewing.
We have tested and recommend Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, on sale for $79.99 at Amazon.com
Hawaii is a fruit lover’s paradise. From lychees to guavas to mangosteens, one can grow or buy pretty much all kinds of tropical fruits here. One of our favorites is papaya, which is not only awesomely delicious, but is also ranked as one of the top 5 fruits in terms of powerful nutrients. Papayas are chock-full of anti-oxidants and vitamins such as beta-carotene, folate, potassium, Vitamins C, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and have been shown to have many health benefits.
In addition to eating them ripe, papayas can also be eaten green, in a salad. This refreshing and simple Vietnamese recipe is perfect on a hot day, and is very easy to make. The prepared ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes enough for 4-5 people.
· 1 medium sized green papaya (about 1 lb.)
· Several sprigs of fresh sweet basil
· 1 small package Asian style beef or pork jerky (optional)
· ¼ c. soy sauce
· 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
· 1 tsp. sugar
· 1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (optional)
Skin the papaya and shred it into finger-length strips (we use a mandolin to shred, but those of you with advanced power kitchen tools can also use them.) Set shredded papaya aside in serving bowl. Chop basil leaves and place a thin layer of leaves on top of shredded papaya. Use scissors to cut the jerky into shreds and place on top of basil.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and Siracha sauce and stir until sugar is dissolved. When you are ready to eat, pour the sauce on the papaya and enjoy!
Known for its rich, smooth taste, Kona coffee is considered one of the best and most exclusive in the world, and prices often reflect that. But is it truly an unaffordable luxury? Last month, our research team took on this challenge for you. Using a Jura coffee machine and a 1 pound bag of KarmaSu Coffee, we counted the number of 6 ounce cups medium strength coffee that could be brewed from a pound of coffee. In order to get you the results as quickly as possible, we drank more than the usual amount of coffee that month, because we’re dedicated like that. The final tally was 48 cups of coffee. At $36 a pound (free shipping), this comes to about 75 cents per cup of 100% smooth Kona coffee – what a deal! So there you have it, while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy you KarmaSu 100% Kona Estate coffee, and that’s pretty darn close!
Made it back to the farm yesterday. Spring has arrived on the island, and the air is balmy and cool. The avocados and mangos are either in full blossom or have set fruit, and the beautiful Kona snow (coffee blossoms) has given way to tiny green coffee cherries. The trees are healthy and pruned.
During its childhood and adolescence, the young coffee tree directs all its energy towards growing wood, and its first harvest is abundant. As it matures, the tree grows tall (up to 15 feet), its branches become unwieldy and weak, and the yield drops significantly. To maintain its vigor and keep the tree at a height conducive for harvesting, we prune it back significantly every 4 years.
There are several techniques to prune coffee trees. With the Beaumont-Fukunaga method, the tree is cut down to about 2 feet every 4 years. In the intervening years, we thin out the old wood to promote good air circulation and allow the tree to focus growing energies to young fruit-bearing branches. The photo shows a row of trees that have been pruned back. Next year, the adjacent row will be pruned, and so on.