Global warming means palms in surprising places

A visit to Hawaii is the treat of a lifetime to millions of people a year, and many folks who come are friends or relatives of those of us who live here. One of the highlights for them is to experience the lush tropical gardens and forests that are unlike any place in the continental United States. Many folks who enjoy gardening go home wishing they lived in a tropical place where they could have yards and homes filled with palms and other exotics. Visitors don’t have to be discouraged. With a little help from Kamaaina gardeners, they too can have a piece of paradise back home. Some mainlanders create a mini oasis with lots of houseplants. Others even build solariums or small greenhouses to get their tropical fix, but ambiance can be created in colder parts of the country with the selection of tropical looking plants in the right design.

Mutual support: Farmers and Ola Brew work together to create local products

I first heard about Hawaiian Ola when my friend Doug Pittman, from Kona Hawk Farm, told me about his son Derek’s involvement in a new company that was buying local noni fruit to use in an energy drink. When Derek’s California school buddy, Brett Jacobson visited Kona and Doug’s farm in 2010, Brett decided to buy 8 acres down Milolii Road in the Hoopuloa Farm Lots.

Time for grilled cheese and taxes

If ever there was a match meant to be, it’s tax crunch time and crunchy comfort food. In two days, it’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, so if you haven’t got the taxes done yet, consider this an excuse to indulge in crunchy-creamy, ooey-gooey, cheese-and-bread creations to calm your frayed nerves and ease the stress. While the classic grilled cheese never fails to satisfy, here are a few creative variations. Disclaimer: this is not meant to inspire you to get “creative” with your taxes!

Sweet fragrance of Hawaii’s spring bloom

April showers bring May flowers on the mainland, but in Hawaii, spring is all year. However, there is a noticeable spring fever effect when it comes to local gardeners because many flowers start heavy blooming at this time.