Yes, There Are Problems in Paradise.
People always seem to be interested in hearing about Hawaii … what it’s like to have lived here for 55 years, as opposed to flying here from the mainland to spend a week or ten days at one of our resorts. Yes, this is a wonderful place to live and, yes, of course we have our own unique set of problems. Some, like rising sea levels, may be more for the next couple of generations to deal with. But others are more immediate.
For instance, there’s a disease that’s killing our eucalyptus trees. A lot of “upcountry” roads on Maui are lined with these giant trees and when they give it up and fall over, the hope is that no cars are passing by at that moment. There have been a few close calls.
Our property was raw land when we bought it fifteen years ago. We cleared most of it, but left all the wonderful big eucalyptus trees. In fact, we threaded our driveway through them for some 800 feet to our house at the back of the property. We’ve had to tale one down already and I hate to think of losing the rest of them.
As you may know, Hawaii is the only state where coffee is grown and, in fact, Hawaiian coffee is considered to be among the very best in the entire world. Several years ago, my wife staked out an area at the rear of our property and planted almost 60 coffee trees. These days, each morning, I get to savor one and sometimes two cups of truly excellent coffee.
But the Coffee Berry Borer is the latest plague to descend upon us. It not only threatens a major industry in our state, but any day now it could hit me where I’d feel it the most: in my morning cup of coffee.
A few days ago, my wife came in from the backyard with a stricken expression on her face. She held out her hand which held a coffee “cherry” she had split open. Inside the bean was what appeared to be one of these dreaded insects. Yesterday she went for a conference with the experts in the State Agriculture Department to see if there is anything that can be done short of cutting down and burning all of our coffee trees. Two hours later, back she came with the good news: It was not the coffee berry borer!
All right! Let’s put another pot on!