For the Love of Mangos Blog

 

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Hawaii International Fruit Grower Conference

Sunday, September 26, 2010

By: Noris Ledesma

There were about 200 in attendance at this meeting and Dr. Diane Ragone, the Director of Breadfruit Institute started with an informative presentation about breadfruit. She is working with chefs to develop potential value-added products. Breadfruit has a good potential as flour for human and animal consumption and perhaps for baby food. They are working on different projects for to alleviate world hunger using breadfruit as a food crop. They started a project in Honduras using their first...

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Kaua'i, “The Garden Isle”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

By Noris Ledesma

 

Kaua'i is the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain and some of the areas in the Na Pali Coast remain accessible only by boat, helicopter or on foot. From the plane the scenery was magnificent, a vast sea of green. We rented a car and looked around Wailua, an old city with houses growing mango trees in their backyard. We arrived to the hotel to get ready for my presentation. Today is the Hawaiian Tropical Fruit Grower Conference and I am the keynote speaker. Farmers, horticulturists and...

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The Cacao Farm and Waimea

Friday, September 24, 2010

By Noris Ledesma

When I travel, I use my expeditions to learn what is happening with tropical fruits all over the word. Cacao has long been an interest to me. Fairchild's International Chocolate Festival is gaining more popularity each year, and the Fruit Program is becoming more involved in this event. We visited The Hawaiian Chocolate Company in Kalilua Kona to learn more about cacao. They offer tours every day and they are part of the program for cruise ships when they make port in the island. Cacao,...

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Mangos in Punaluu

Thursday, September 23, 2010

By Noris Ledesma

Before going to Kona, we stopped by the fruit market in Hilo. Ginger flowers and all manner of greens dominated the market. They had some of the local mangos which I was happy to find, along with fresh rambutans and mangostens. It was a nice place for breads and local jellies. We purchased some breads, fruits, green papaya salad and coffee for our trip. We drove over the mountains along the south coast and up slopes of the island's volcano. This lovely formation is part of the Hawaii...

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Plant it Hawaii

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our first appointment of the day was to visit Bob Hamilton the owner of Plant it Hawaii located in Kurtistown a few miles from Hilo. Bob and his wife have been farming in this area since 1979. Their main crops are rambutan, longan and lychee. At the moment, the Hamiltons are busy picking their rambutans. Rambutan is a colorful crop and delicious fruit. I have good memories of Guatemala and Thailand where I had the opportunity to take pictures of and to pick rambutans ready to eat. Bob has...

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The Big Island

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today we flew to the Big Island and stayed in Hilo. Hilo gets between 130 and 300 inches of rain a year depending on your elevation, and I can already feel the humidity. This is definitely not a good place to grow mangos. This island has a different character than Oahu. The mountains in Oahu raise suddenly from the ocean; but on the Big Island the volcanoes raise smoothly and you don't even feel the change of altitude. Hilo is a historic city, with old buildings and numerous historical...

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Wild Mangos and Jackfruit

Monday, September 20, 2010

Today we visited Frankie Sekia's Nursery. Frankie is a long-time friend of Fairchild Garden. Frankie's nursery has developed a reputation for unusual products and exotic fruit. Frankie and his lovely wife live in Waimanalo. His place is located in a delightful location surrounded by high vertical cliffs that appear to melt into the clouds. Frankie is a third-generation Hawaiian resident of pure Japanese heritage. He attended the University of Hawaii and graduated as a Business...

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The Manini Mango and the Botanic Garden

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ho`omaluhia Botanical Garden the "peaceful refuge" Strolling or driving through these lush four hundred acres in windward Oahu, I see that they are very well named as the "peaceful refuge". It has been open since 1982 and has many of the old trees in the city. Ho'omaluhia is one of the five parks of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. At Honolulu Botanical Garden I was looking for the oldest mango trees on the island. The exact date of the first introduction of mangos into...

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Visiting the Urban Garden and Poamoho Mango Farm

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today I am hoping to have my first Hawaiian mango. We are driving to meet Frank Suiso who will take us to the mango growers in Oahu. The sea breezes blow across Oahu Island making our drive quite comfortable. Some of the views remind me of Tairona Island in Colombia in the Pacific Ocean. In fact, I felt particularly at home among the coconuts lining the coast. We have our first stop at the Urban Garden Center that has 30 acres in the middle of Pearl City. Jayme Grzebik speaks to us about ...

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Getting Started Hawaiian Style

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We arrived on Oahu Island at night, rented a car and drove about 20 minutes to the east to Leila's Werner's sister's homee. Leila is a native Hawaiian and a member of the Fairchild Tropical Fruit program. I was tired from the long flight, but enjoyed what little of the Hawaiian night I saw. In the morning, Katy, Leila's sister, made a breakfast of papaya, pineapple and guava jelly - from her backyard. I also noticed she had many mango chutney jars on the counter. She said...

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