Sweet movement taking shape on Kauai - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sweet movement taking shape on Kauai

Will Lydgate Will Lydgate
Emily Lydgate Emily Lydgate

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAILUA (KHNL) - A sweet movement is taking shape on Kauai. Hawaii is the only state where chocolate trees grow. Steelgrass Farm on Kauai's east side is one of only few places where you can find these types of trees.

"We've given away over 2,500 seedlings just given away or sold to folks on the island, we're really trying to get a chocolate cooperative started here on the island," Steelgrass Farm co-manager Will Lydgate said.

For seven years, will Lydgate and his sister Emily have been pushing for sustainable agriculture on the Garden Isle.

"We think it's a great way to do agriculture, it'll be on a much smaller scale so we're talking many small holders growing chocolate trees as opposed to the old plantation model where you have thousands of thousands of trees all next to each other," Will Lydgate said.

The Lydgate's are also thinking of ways to rely on the land when the next disaster strikes.

"If the diseases come, if and when or the hurricane comes, there might be spots on the island where people have crops that are protected and the whole industry doesn't collapse," Emily Lydgate said. "I predict in 5-10 years you're gonna see a lot of chocolate to really grow into an industry that can really support our families, can send our kids to school and bring money into this state."

The Lydgate's also do educational tours where people learn about the stages of growing cacao and making chocolate.

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