There are a limited number of spaces still available for the 23rd annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4. The event begins at Kapiolani Community College on Oahu, with activities scheduled on four Hawaiian Islands to reach out to more growers and take tours of existing agricultural operations.
Titled “Best of Both Worlds,” the week-long gathering is in partnership with the California Rare Fruit Growers Fall Festival of Fruit. More than 150 people have registered.
Presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG), the event is geared to farmers, chefs, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture.
Guest speakers will include Chris Rollins, director of Florida’s Miami Fruit and Spice Park; Joe West, farmer of 600 unusual fruit species in Ecuador; Joe Sabol, master grafter and retired agriculture instructor at California Polytechnic State University, and Roger Meyer, nurseryman for unusual species in San Diego County.
Tours on Oahu visit Frankie’s Nursery and Lyon Arboretum. The confab moves to Maui on Sept. 29 and continues to Hilo, Kona and Kauai Oct. 1-3. Attendees will visit Ono Farms, Maui Gold Co. Ltd and the National Botanical Garden on Maui. Hawaii Island stops include the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository in Hilo and Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park in Kona. On Kauai, attendees will tour Kauai Coffee, plus the National Tropical Botanical and Allerton Gardens.
Ken Love, HTFG president, says the conference will have breakout sessions on propagation methods, hands-on grafting, using unusual local fruit by chef Grant Sato, jujubes and other exotics, plus fruits of Florida and Ecuador.
Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.