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Happy Earth Day! Maui Sunflower Biofuel Crop Ready for Harvest

April 22, 2017, 8:04 AM HST · Updated April 22, 8:08 AM
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Pacific Biodiesel President and Co-Founder, Bob King, who is also the chief farmer at the Maui biofuel crop on his tractor back in February planting the seeds for the company’s current sunflower crop. PC: courtesy photo.

Happy Earth Day!  In celebration, Pacific Biodiesel is hosting tours today of its popular Central Maui sunflower field.  Just a reminder, the event today at the biofuel crop is BOOKED UP. Only those who previously reserved tickets on the company’s complimentary biodiesel-powered shuttles will have access to the crop site. There is no public parking in or around the site.

Pacific Biodiesel President and Co-Founder, Bob King, who is also the chief farmer at the Maui biofuel crop said he is happy that Maui residents and visitors were able to enjoy the field.

In a Facebook post on friday, King said, “I have been quite overwhelmed by the excitement the island shares with us on this first sunflower crop. We have heard from many people that these beautiful flowers brought smiles, joy, and a much needed lift to their day. Almost everyone who ventured into the fields showed great respect for the plants and the ʻāina. Almost no trash, almost no damage, almost no missing flowers. Mahalo Maui, I am so proud of us all.”

John Paul Bonetti snaps some photos of his 19 month old “Breeze” at the Sunflower field off of the Kuihelani Highway. PC: John Paul Bonetti

King said the company is now busy getting back to work.  With the major bloom now over, the plants need to dry down for harvest.  “We are planting the next crop this week, which will most likely need irrigation since it is the dry season. Lots to do,” he said.

Earlier this week, signs went up reminding the public that the field is private property and a working farm.  The state also placed no parking barriers along the farm perimeters on the Kūihelani and Honoapiʻilani Highways.

“Please let us get back to work, and please help the State DOT and County Police protect us all by keeping the highways safe and unobstructed. Stay tuned as we work on plans for a safe way to enjoy the next crop,” which King said will be blooming two months from now.

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Image: Aaron Lynton

Anyone with photos of the flowers is invited to enter their best shot in the company’s Earth Day Sunflower Photography Contest.

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