Ethnobotany and Coffee

Kahaluu Park Beach... One of the best places on the Big Island to snorkel... Or tan

I didn’t write a post yesterday because not much happened. We had a test in the morning (which was quite difficult…or…well, yeah, we’ll leave it at that) and then were given the rest of the day to spend at the beach soaking in sun and, for those of us with snorkeling equipment, to go snorkeling. I was, unfortunately, one of those without snorkeling gear. I wanted to go swimming in the clear blue water that beckoned so nicely to me, though, so me and one of the other guys set out for a small island. After getting chewed out by an elderly matron for stepping on coral by accident (we thought they were rocks…who knew?) we made it to the island and sat down. Not having much to do there we decided to head back. That’s when the coral attacked. It ripped open my right leg and left foot leaving the doctors no choice but to cut them both off. I now am in the hospital getting ready for life in a wheelchair.

Sorry, overdramatized that a bit. But seriously, it tore up the big toe and toe next to it on my left foot and bit my knee on the right leg. I didn’t notice until we got back to shore and one of the girls pointed it out worriedly. I made light of it for the tiny scratch that it was. Men don’t cry over a little blood. We pump our fist in the air and say, “YES. Blood attained.”

Once that whole episode finished we trundled into our two shiny black new rental vehicles, one a Tahoe and the other a minivan, and went back to the house for a night of book reading and walking, followed by a birthday cake for one of the group who turned 22.

Our guide explaining different plants to us during our tour of the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens

Today was brilliant. We got the chance to go to the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens. This is a place that is part of the Bishop Museum on the Big Island and is dedicated to growing plants pre-Cook (i.e. plants that are either indigenous or were brought over by the Polynesians). Here we learned about some plants we already knew, but many others to add to our fieldbooks that aid in health, food and clothing manufacturing. Truly, plants are amazing.

Our guide at the Greenwell Coffee Farm showing us what the coffee bean looks like fresh out of the cherry

Once we finished there we headed over to the Greenwell Coffee Farm, where 20% of all Kona coffee is manufactured. We got the grand tour getting to see coffee trees and “cherries” (the fruit that holds the coffee bean seed), see where they pop the seeds out, process them, leave them out to dry, get them ready and, we didn’t go inside, where they roast them. We also found out about this drink called “KonaRed.” What it is is the cherry from the coffee plant is actually richer in antioxidants than blueberries or anything else, so they’ve contracted it out and there’s a man who bottles it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever had and it’s said to add years to your life. Don’t know if that’s true, but I’m happy to drink it!

The tour finished, we bought our coffee goods and went back to the house. This is where we had a yummy chili feed then separated to work on homework or blogs, such as yours truly. Well, now I want to go read and enjoy this lovely night! Aloha!

One of our group holds a chameleon at the Greenwell Coffee Farm


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