Show 437, August 7, 2021: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is continually updating us on the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the continued survival of restaurants during the initial, highly fluid stages of the hoped-for recovery. Genuine concerns remain…

“Regenerative agriculture” is very much in the news these days. The practice can actually help reduce the carbon footprint and replenish depleted soil which is a big positive. It’s perhaps the wave of the future for responsible cattle ranching. What’s it all about? We’ll “Ask the Chef.”

Show 43, October 12, 2013: Ken Love, President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Sharwil AvacadoThe State of Hawaii has some of the most fertile agricultural land in the United States yet, in recent years, this dirt hasn’t been used for agriculture. Sadly they need to import most of their fruits and vegetables from the Mainland. Change is in the tropical Hawaiian breezes…

On the Big Island of Hawaii, for example, over 200 varieties of avocados grow. The pearl of the group is the Sharwil. It’s creamy with a rich buttery flavor, and prized by local chefs.

Surprisingly until very recently the USDA wouldn’t allow the Sharwil to be imported into the continental 48 states. This is a real shame because the seasons of the Sharwil match the seasons of availability for imported avocados from Mexico. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy a made in the USA fruit which also supports our economy?

Ken Love, the President of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, joined us from The Big Island to explain what has changed…It’s a baby step but marks significant progress.

Fingers crossed…

Show 30, June 1, 2013: Les Apoliona, Land Asset Manager, Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools of Hawaii

Kamehameha Schools is the incredible 125 year-old legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Their ambitious goal is to educate children of native Hawaiian ancestry from preschool to 12th Grade. They have private school campuses on Oahu, Maui, and The Big Island of Hawaii. Public Schools also benefit from the trust’s largess.

Kamehameha Schools is Hawaii’s largest private landowner with some 365,000 acres on The Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. They own the choice land in Waikiki that is the site of the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the associated upscale Royal Hawaiian Center retail complex.

Over 181,000 acres of this land is agricultural. 88,000 acres represents high-potential agricultural lands that require respectful stewardship. One of their new initiatives is to support value added agriculture with entrepreneurial leaseholders of their land. Two out of three coffee estates in the Kona area, for instance, are on Kamehameha Schools leased land.

Les Apoliona, is the land asset manager for the north Kona district for the Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools. One of his objectives in managing the Kamehameha Schools agricultural land is to encourage farmers and ranchers to grow and raise basic foodstuffs efficiently thereby making The Big Island more self sufficient in the production of food. Les has a background in food service and hotel management and is well-known in the restaurant community of The Big Island. Les has lived in Kona for over 21 years and is a KS alumnus.

On the North Shore of Oahu one of their pilot projects is on former sugar cane land in Punalu’u. KS has created a basic infrastructure there for the farmers including irrigation. One enthusiastic young farmer is growing taro and selling all he can produce/harvest at the local farmers’ market. He also has a test project raising tilapia in clean fresh water ponds on the property.