Development of a Polyculture and Marketing System for Exotic Tropical Fruit.

(12 Trees Project)

Guidelines for fruit tree selection.


Our task is to choose twelve fruit trees that can be harvested throughout the year and provide consistent high quality fruit to the culinary community. The fruit chosen needs to be a mix of that which is either eaten out of hand as well as that which is used in recipes. Using some of the more exotic fruit will provide a new taste experience to those unfamiliar with fruit such bilimbi or tropical apricot. It can also provide a competitive edge to those who desire to specialize in working with fruit.


The idea behind this project stems from the need for farmers to greater diversify the type of crops grown and to reduce the need for outside labor. Another goal is offer a broader choice to farmers and the community of what can be grown and served .


Briefly, the culinary community and fruit wholesalers along with Ken Love and University of Hawaii participants will choose 12 types of fruit trees from a provided list of what is grown on the Big Island. The list contains over 100 possibilities with a range of harvest times for each of the fruit. The fruit listed is grown on the Big Island but not always in sufficient numbers to provide consistent supply. One goal of this project is to insure supply of a chosen fruit either in fresh or processed form by working with the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperatives 300 members.  The grant will enable us to buy producing trees and transplant them to a field at the coop. It will enable us to buy the 12 types of fruit over two years and give it to the culinary school for the student chefs to develop recipes. We will also work with island chefs in test marketing the fruits.  At the end of the three-year project we will be left with a prototype organic fruit orchard, a series of fruit recipes and a system for continued supply of the fruit through the farmers coop.

When you choose 12 types of fruit from the list, please keep in mind that the harvest times should be spread throughout the year. I understand without having sampled some of this fruit it is hard to determine which fruit would be acceptable.  I will be happy to answer any questions on specific fruit and meet privately if you desire. In some cases we could provide taste of a fruit either fresh or in some processed form.


Information on the specific fruit along with food values  (in most cases), history, and how the fruit is used in its native countries can be found on

Click on the picture of the fruit your interested in to get to the information.

I’m available each Thursday at the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative at the bottom of Napoopoo Road at our test market for the fruit. Each week we have seasonal fruit available for sampling. In many cases we have frozen fruit or fruit puree as well as jelly, syrup or sauce made with the more unusual fruit. Most of these are also available or on display at the Made On the Big Island shop inside the King Kamehameha Hotel.


Contact: Ken Love 323-2417 or