We have been so lucky to find ourselves in Hawaii and living life on our small farm. Another way we have been lucky is to have many local experts to lean on for advice. One such person is internationally renowned fruit expert, Ken Love.
Last summer we joined the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (htfg.org), a non-profit group with well over a thousand members dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. As a recognized fruit expert, Ken has made appearances in multiple documentaries as well as a weekly spot on Los Angeles radio which has him up and going a few time zones earlier.
Shinobu grew up on a rice and orange farm in Ehime Japan, a region famous for it's "mikan" (tangerines) and has had a lifelong love of all fruit but especially Mikan. Not many people make it out to Ehime since it is so remote but Ken has been there... He's had Mikan in Ehime. Not only has Ken been to Ehime but he speaks very good Japanese. He is self taught because he wanted to be able to read Japanese literature about fruit. Every time we visit Ken, we have a nice time discussing fruit and often, we'll talk about food in Japan too.
We're very happy that we've met Ken, not just for the expert mentoring or our shared love of fruit but for a new friendship as we make Hawaii our home.
Here is a clip of Ken with movie star and fellow fruit lover Bill Pullman in the documentary "The Fruit Hunters".