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Cacao: Growing Industry in Hawaii

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Seneca Kiassen replaces white paper cylinders that protect young cacao trees.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Seneca Klassen has a 14 acre cacao farm (above Haleiwa) where he grows, ferments and dries cacao. These are young cacao trees still surrounded by their biodegradable bags that were used when they were planted. They help to protect the fragile young plants from the wind. The taller trees in the background are koa trees (planted about 4 years ago) that help protect the cacao plants from the wind.

  • Derek Lanter shows off the cacao beans.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Klassen and his 8 year old daughter, Emma Klassen-Lee walk past young cacao trees he has planted on his farm above Haleiwa.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Flowers and small cacao pods grows off the tree trunk and limbs of the cacao tree.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Klassen pulls weeds from around his cacao trees he has planted on his farm above Haleiwa.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Kiassen, along with his 8 year old daughter, Emma Klassen-Lee are pulling weeds (actually volunteer tomatoes; i.e. tomatoes that sprout up like weeds) from around the cacao trees he has planted on his farm above Haleiwa.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    The cacao industry in Hawaii is taking off, with farmers expecting an increase in acreage by the end of this year. Seneca Klassen, pictured with a bar of Lonohana Estate Chocolate and his daughter, Emma, has a farm above Haleiwa where he grows, ferments and dries cacao.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    The beans inside the pods are processed to make chocolate.
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Derek Lanter, sales and marketing manager at Wai­alua Estate Chocolate, gave a tour of the company’s cacao tree orchards; the cacao pods hang from the trees’ limbs. Waialua Estate is the major player in the Hawaii cacao market, with 23 acres along the banks of Kaukonahua Stream.

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