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North Kohala Food Forum

North Kohala

Andrea Dean co-facilitates the North Kohala Food Forum, which took place in Kapa'au on Saturday, August 22, 2009

How does a community move towards producing 50% of its own food? This past Saturday, about 200 North Kohala residents came together at the North Kohala Food Forum in Kapa'au to find out. The North Kohala Food Forum began by surveying about 70 people in the food community in the following categories: food retailers, commercial food growers, commercial and institutional buyers, government-planning-education, and infrastructure managers. The survey results formed the basis for Saturday's event.

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Slow Food Nation

MG_0975_CElevitchBCarlo Petrini, Rizzoli Ex Libris, New York, (Distributed by Random House) 2007

Originally published in Italian in 2005, Petrini's revolutionary manifesto is an absolute must-read, especially for those relatively new to food-sustainability, but also for old-timers in the movement. Petrini's genius is his enlightening and completely comprehensive analysis of the role of food systems ("from field to table") as the central and indispensable "cultural glue" that has from time immemorial (until the advent of industrial agriculture in the last century) held tribes, villages, communities, regions and nation states together in healthy relationships. He then cogently prescribes the remedy: a food system that is "good, clean and fair," and a culture that embraces "slowness" as one of its paramount values.

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Hawai‘i Grown Videos

Ken Love and www.Hawaiifruit.net have released Hawaii Grown video segments on tips for harvesting, post-harvest care, marketing and producing quality tropical fruit. Find out what the chefs, grocers and wholesalers are looking for. Hard copies will be available soon for Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower members.


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First Annual Mango Festival


Keauhou, North Kona

The 1st Annual Hawai'i Island Mango Festival opened at the Keauhou Farmer's Market at 10 am with a free and delicious culinary presentation by chef William Trask. The celebration of mango, the "King of Fruits", continued in the afternoon at the Keauhou Beach Resort's Royal Garden, beginning with an opening pule by Kumu Keala Ching, followed by live Hawaiian music and hula. Mango jams, butters, smoothies, salsas, shave ice, entrees and desserts brought sheer delight to the hungry and curious attendees.

Raffled prizes included community-donated orchids, essential oils, dinners, art, etc. Informative and practical educational activities about grafting, natural pest control, growing techniques and the nutritional and healing values of the mango were presented. A zero-waste event, the Mango Festival vendors used 100% compostable utensils and were assisted by the Boy Scouts of America to recycle waste in the appropriate bins, provided by the Hawai'i County Zero Waste program.

Over 1,000 unique varieties of mangoes have been identified throughout the tropics, and approximately 200 varieties are grown in Hawai'i. This healthful, delicious fruit is appreciated worldwide for its unique flavor and culinary diversity. Raw, cooked, blended, or baked, the mango delights the palate. Besides the Festival's cultural, culinary, musical, educational, and farming experiences, it demonstrated the uniqueness of Hawaiian agriculture. Research and development of value-added products is necessary to enhance the economic viability of the family farm. Canned, dried, pickled, and frozen mangoes are showing up in the marketplace. The Festival highlighted a range of value-added mango products, encouraging consumers to be bold and try new foods that include mango.

Research studying the health-promoting benefits of the mango shows that an extract from the mango kernel is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, known for their prevention of free radical build up in the body. Mangoes also exhibit one of the lowest glycemic indexes of all tropical fruits and can be enjoyed in moderation by those with a blood sugar imbalance.

Next year's Mango Festival promises to offer an even better look at Hawaiian mango products.

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Newsletter 5 - August 2009

There are a very wide range of events coming up concerning all aspects of local food on the island. In this photo, North Kohala residents work on their local food self-reliance at a workshop in Kapa'au in March 2009. On August 22, North Kohala leads the way in food self-reliance preparedness with a Food Forum (see below for details).

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