Episode 117   addthis

   America’s Heartland presents a special edition from the country’s most far-flung center of agriculture: the Big Island of Hawaii.
   First, host Paul Ryan visits the legendary Parker Ranch, where the stories of explorers, kings and cowboys intertwine.
   The Big Island also happens to be the only place in America that produces one of America’s favorite beverages: Kona coffee.
   Pat McConahay visits to learn the rest of the story behind the only vanilla plantation in the United States.
   Pat moves on to visit a farm couple working to make the Kona region as famous for its chocolate as it is for its coffee.
   Paul says goodbye and "mahalo" to the Big Island with a visit to some farms that are unusual even for this island state.


Parker Ranch Parker Ranch
When we think of the heartland, we often think of our American Midwest. But the rich and varied world of American agriculture spans our continent. It's even some 22-hundred miles out into the blue Pacific including the Big Island of Hawaii.



Kona Coffee Kona Coffee
Hawaii’s the only U.S. state where coffee is grown. And not just any coffee! Kona coffee, known worldwide for its quality and flavor.


Hawaii CocoaHawaii Cocoa
Cocoa is one of several Hawaiian products grown nowhere else in the U-S. It’s also the main ingredient in almost everyone’s favorite addiction: chocolate. Pat McConahay visited a place known as Hawaii’s "Original Chocolate Factory" it’s a farm business where visitors can see the entire process — from planting to harvest, bean to bar!


If cocoa doesn’t completely satisfy your sweet tooth of yours, how about yet another Hawaiian sweet treat? It’s one of those crops that most of love without having any ideas how it’s grown. Surprisingly enough, what ends as an addictive dessert item begins as a beautiful flower. That’s what Pat discovered when she visited the only commercial vanilla farm in the U.S.


The Big Island is a hotspot for aquaculture — harvesting some of the best bounty from the sea. And it’s one place where aquatic entrepreneurs are being encouraged to help return to the islands some unexpected and some mighty tasty creatures.



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