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Posted: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 12:16 PM HST

Former Pioneer Mill researcher growing coffee

By Associated Press

KAANAPALI, Hawaii (AP) The largest independently run coffee farm in the state has its roots in Pioneer Mill sugar company.

Pioneer Mill agriculture researcher James "Kimo" Falconer spent decades conducting trials on crops to replace sugar cane.

Pioneer Mill closed. But Falconer leased about 80 acres to revive their West Maui's coffee-growing operation in 2003.

The Maui News reports Kaanapali Coffee Farms is now the only commercial coffee grower on Maui.

Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co. owner David Gridley says Falconer brought in different types of coffee that grow in different environments. He says these varieties are a lot more unique, particularly the Maui Mokka.

Kaanapali Coffee Farms sells almost half its harvest to roasters on the mainland and overseas. It also sells about 65,000 pounds at the MauiGrown store in Lahaina.

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