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The politics of pears

Pears are politicians of the food world: they aim to please everyone. They can be eaten hard and crisp, with a slightly tart flavor, or allowed to age into a soft, creamy texture with super-sweetness. Pears can be found in shades of orange-yellow-brown-green-red blushed skins, to match any décor. I cast my vote for their versatility and promise of good things to come.

Preserve Old Hawaii with plants

The annual Bamboo Festival last weekend in Papaikou made me think of our island in the “good old days.” Of course, the concept of the good old days depends on your perspective. I’ll just take it back to the 1950s and ’60s, since those were the days I remember on Oahu and living in Ka‘u. As we drove from Kona through Waimea and on to Hilo, I realized just how special each of our island communities are even after 50 years of change. Each little town or village has its own special charm. Even though there have been major shifts in land use from sugar to forest and orchards, we still have that special charm that makes life good living.

Plan ahead for Arbor Day trees

Hawaii Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday of November. Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden has taken part in Arbor Day tree giveaways for the past 15 years. This year’s celebration will last three days, Nov. 7 to 9. One tree per person will be available, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greenwell Garden visitor center in Captain Cook. All of the trees and shrubs are either native or Polynesian introduced.

Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA

The 23rd annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s upper campus, sponsored by the school’s Ohana Association and Dr. Joan Greco, has been postponed because of Tropical Storm Ana. It will now be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.

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HPA students take stage this week

A cast of 23 seventh- and eighth-grade students at Hawaii Preparatory Academy will present “C-Rhyme and Pun-ishment” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the school’s Gates Performing Arts Center in Waimea. The musical performance is free and open to the public.

Versatile apples to start month

October is National Apple Month, with an abundance of varieties at their peak. Eaten out of hand, they offer vitamin C in the “meat” of the apple and fiber in the peel. Add apple slices to a sandwich for crunch and a satisfying sweet-savory mix. Chop apples into humdrum coleslaw for a lively, crisp freshness. And while an apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, these versatile recipes may tempt the doctor to make a house call, just to be invited to dinner.