Canoe plants are the foundation of Polynesian culture

When the first Polynesian arrived in the Hawaiian Islands, there were no coconut palms here. There were no mountain apple, breadfruit, kalo and many other plants we think of as Hawaiian. If you think that kukui, bananas, and ti are natives and seem to grow easily, then it is time to rethink! These plants are alien, non-native species brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians as they migrated across Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. These are referred to as canoe plants. They were important to the survival, especially when Polynesians explored new islands and found those like Hawaii lacked the variety of fruits and medicinal plants they needed.

South Kona coffee farmers report in

In a recent conversation with three farmers living in my old neighborhood on Rabbit Hill Road in South Kona, I realized that Kona Coffee has a dubious future. My experience is that farmers are a resourceful bunch. Always faced with new challenges, they move forward or sideways trying not to let the latest problem get them down or cause them to quit farming. However, these farmers feel that their livelihood has been severely threatened in the last few years.

Island Life: Glow and flow

The Kilauea volcano summit eruption within Halema‘uma‘u Crater is seen this week from the eruption Viewing Area near Keanakakoʻi Crater inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Chocolate festival a delight

The Big Island Chocolate Festival returned post-COVID on May 13-14 with a “reimagined” edition at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Island Life: Proud mom

A Kona couple monitored this saffron finch bird’s nest for days and on Mother’s Day the eggs hatched with a happy mom. The finches have lived in their yard for generations and this is such a rare treat to see.

Mac and cheese gets an upgrade with wine-braised fennel

It’s hard to go wrong with macaroni and cheese. A staple comfort food, its cheesy goodness is loved by kids and adults alike, for lunch, dinner or a late-night snack. Even the blue-box variety can hit the spot in a pinch. But to really take it to the next level, you really should go all out with a rich, homemade cheese sauce.

US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions, but officials expect that figure to grow exponentially as research continues.