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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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Falling off the cliff

When I was growing up, there was a hilarious cartoon involving a roadrunner and a coyote. The coyote always tried to catch the roadrunner, presumably to make it that evening’s dinner, but never succeeded. More often than not, the coyote found the bird resting near the edge of a dangerous cliff. When the coyote lunged at it, the roadrunner would deftly sidestep, and the coyote would find himself past the edge of the cliff with nothing but air under his feet, then … splat.

The olive tree — a perfect fit for Kona

In the ongoing pursuit of new cash crops for Hawaii, some farmers are planting Mediterranean olive trees as a possibility. Several farms on Maui have planted hundreds of plants with the first full production year approaching. Though most varieties require a seasonal chill to flower and fruit, several cultivars hold production promise in the tropics when grown at upper elevations

15th annual Bamboo Festival is Oct. 12

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Bamboo Society is holding its 15th annual Bamboo Festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Papaikou Hongwanji. The site is located between mile markers 7 and 8 on Highway 19. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet experts in growing and using bamboo, including demonstrations on tools and weapons associated with the plant. Many specialty bamboos will be available for sale at the event, as well.