When Tom Palusak started working as produce manager in 2007, he felt it was important that local produce was well represented in Choice Mart’s offerings. Many of the store’s customers are local farmers from the area, and it was only natural and appropriate to give customers the opportunity to buy local. Four years later, about 50% of Choice Mart’s produce comes from Hawai‘i farmers.
The second annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival took place Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School in Puna. Over 2,500 people attended the event this year, which included many well-attended cultural practitioner demonstration, games, chef demos, a cooking contest, and much more.
See the captioned festival slideshow here.
Ken Love has 35 years experience as an agricultural producer, processor, chef, and educator. His specialty is tropical fruits. Although Ken and his wife Margy sold their farm a number of years ago, Ken harvests fruits from several farms and sell dozens of tropical fruits, both fresh and in processed products. He has a number of test fields at the UH experiment station and manages other farms. Love’s policy is to diversify his markets, rather than relying on just one or two. His markets include a local produce distributor, supermarket, hotels, chefs, and direct to consumers at the farmers market and through Internet sales. By diversifying market outlets from low-end wholesale to high-end chefs, Love can usually count on selling all of his harvests, whether they are 10, 100, or 1000 lbs.
Charcuterie (from chair 'flesh' and cuit 'cooked') is the culinary art devoted to salting, smoking and curing meat and making forced meat products. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat millennia ago, long before the advent of refrigeration, today the art continues to be practiced not only for preservation but also, and particularly, for the flavors derived from the preservation process.
When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie Company is owned by Devin Lowder, PCEC, and his wife, Kristin Lowder. Chef Devin, a 1989 graduate of the New England Culinary Institute (NECI), is also the Co-President of the American Culinary Federation Kona-Kohala Chapter, a Kona County Farm Bureau Board member and serves on the Advisory Committee for the West Hawai'i Community College.
If you look behind the scenes at any successful value-added farm enterprise in Hawai‘i (there are many), you will find that their most important resource is people. Entrepreneurs are the "heart," "soul" and "brains" of the operation. The resourcefulness and tenacity to run a small farm comes from the people who run it. Here are a few characteristics of successful value-added farm enterprises.
- Kohala Farm-to-Fork Tour
- Learning from the 'Aina: Puna Charter School Develops Model Culinary Arts Program
- Sun's Microgreens
- Local chefs desire regional, seasonal, and artisanal products: Chef James Babian
- My Wish for the Future
- Farmers markets expand business relationships in the community: Nancy Ginter-Miller
- Farmer Mahalo Day at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
- 4th Annual Local vs. Imported Supermarket Produce (2012): A need for commitment