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The Perfect Picnic is offered Sundays and Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This is a unique experience that provides couples exclusive access to Sunset Ranch to learn about the history of the property and enjoy a locally sourced picnic at one of six pre-designated locations around the property.
The Farm-To-Table Experience is offered every Thursday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. This unique and authentic Hawaiian experience includes an elegant tour around Sunset Ranch and an exquisite four course meal in a botanical garden setting with ocean and mountain views.
Aloha! We want to provide a quick update on Charlie's Pond. In a previous blog a while back, we provided the details of all of the work behind the complete restoration of the pond. Subsequent stabilization and careful management, we then introduced tilapia to begin to establish it as an official aquaculture site. This was also a long and involved process. All that said, we have some great news to share: it was all well worth it! We are VERY happy to share that the tilapia continue to thrive and we currently estimate between 500 and 600 healthy fish. While the management of the approximate 50,000 gallon pond is no easy task, Charlie's Pond has never looked better and we're encouraged by the healthy fish production.
Here is a recent pic of Charlie's Pond. The small fountain you see was recently added to further enhance aeration provided by the running stream. Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about our efforts in this regard. Mahalo nui loa for your support!
We're extremely excited to announce that we're committing several acres of our upper pasture to coffee farming. The coffee farming area will be incorporated into our Environmental Learning Center at the southern most part of the property. The remainder of the upper pasture will continue to be used for our horsemanship programs, and uses as related to Sunset Stables.
The upper pasture sits at about a 950 foot elevation. That, combined with an annual rainfall of approximately 60 inches per year, provides for a decent environment for coffee farming. The upper pasture is also somewhat protected from high wind conditions by the surrounding ironwood and eucalyptus trees. We've targeted the Arabica species of coffee for its richness in flavor, and will be growing the following two varieties:
1. Blue Mountain. The Blue Mountain variety is well known for originating in regions of Jamaica. That said, it has been growing in Hawaii for many, many decades. Technically, Blue Mountain is a mutation of Arabica Typica and is a tall growing tree. While the cherry yield isn't as great as some other varieties, it provides a superb richness in flavor and is often used in various blends; and
2. Red Catuai. The Red "Cat" is a hybrid of Mundo Novo and Caturra and originated in Brazil in the late 1940's. This variety is common in Hawaii and provides an extremely high yield. These trees do not grow as tall, but can be much fuller than other varieties. The Red Cats are also known for the richness in flavor.
Here is a picture of some year old coffee trees at Sunset Ranch!
While one could argue that the rainfall is sufficient to manage our small coffee farm; we have decided to install a drip line system throughout this dedicated area in order to best manage the dry summer months. The water system will be completed, and all remaining trees will planted, this summer. We'll keep you posted on their growth! We can't wait for our first harvest!
We're excited to announce that we just planted twelve new dwarf lychee trees around the perimeter of Sunset Meadow. This is one of our favorite fruit trees, and we're so excited to be adding this variety to our existing fruit tree collection at Sunset Ranch.
As many of you may be aware, lychee is a tropical and subtropical fruit native to China, and now successfully cultivated in many parts of the world. Lychee has a beautiful brightly colored pinkish / reddish hard shell with a delicate, white pulpy fruit interior. Due to the flavor often being lost in the canning process, lychee is most often eaten fresh from the shell. Lychees are used in a variety of dessert dishes, including ice cream - our favorite!