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Meet your Producer: Lone Palm Farm, Hawi

Lone Palm Farm was established in 1973. In 1996, Ruth, her husband and their son Stephen purchased the business. Ruth used to manage the office for the prior owners.

The current production runs on a seven day a week growing cycle.

In order to use only non-gmo seeds, the seeds are purchased from all around the world. Alfalfa is ordered from Canada, and Mung Beans from China and Australia and other seeds are imported from India.

The shelf life for sprouts is approximately seven days, and the Lone Palm Farm business barely takes a day off of production.

All seeds are handwashed and then transferred into a sprout rotary drum specifically engineered for sprouts, where the sprouts are flooded with water every hour for 70 seconds. The mung beans have a separate production route. Traditionally, mung beans were grown in tubs, but sophisticated bean sprout growing machines built in China have replaced the tubs and

increased production substantially.

Lone Palm Farm produces approximately 7-8000 lbs of mung beans and sprouts per week. Clover sprouts are the biggest seller of all with mung beans being the close second.

Lone Palm Farm has several rooms for production. After the seeds have sprouted, they are moved into a boxing room and cooled. Prior to production, the seeds are stored at 35-36 degrees.

During the pandemic, Lone Palm Farm had to shut down operations for three weeks. The company barley made it to keep going. Before the pandemic, the operation never shut down. Even though the machines are automated, the facility has to be run and supervised 24/7. If the cycle breaks down, the sprouts will turn into compost within 20 minutes.

Each batch of sprouts is meticulously tested for Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella. Twenty test kits are $450 and there are a total of 11 tests, twice a week. Contaminated drums are thrown out.

Testing in the world of sprouts only came around in the last decade. The sprout industry’s growing environment is great for sprouts, but also unfortunately for other things. Therefore, testing at a specific time interval for contamination is pertinent.

Ruth and Stephen’s operation is quite impressive. While visiting, sprouts were being harvested in the main growing room and a crew of about eight people were harvesting, washing and packaging sprouts. Refrigerated trucks are something Stephen is always looking for to keep the logistics running smoothly. Both Stephen and Ruth are working hard to continue supplying our island communities with delicious, nutritious sprouts.

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