2010 Annual Report
Observations on growth, disease, flowering and fruit yields were recorded weekly for selected clones and seedlings at three micro environments at 4,000 ft., 2,800 ft. and 2,500 ft elevations. Cooperator at USDA/ARS Corvallis Clonal Germplasm Repository completed the fingerprinting process using SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) molecular markers on selected clones, and initiated cryogenic storage of clones and seeds. A commercial nursery cooperator in Oregon successfully streamlined and adapted the tissue culture process for production of clonal plugs. Five workshops were held for two groups of farmers and nursery operators in Hawaii through the University of Hawaii Extension Service. Two extension publications were released. Additional berry diversity was observed in ohelo seedlings from our parent plants. Diverse berries from multiple locations were provided to the Oregon State University cooperator for chemical component analysis. Ohelo fruits and fruit bearing bushes were made available for fruit fly susceptibility testing by USDA/ARS entomologist at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center.
Berry production from field and potted ohelo plants in Volcano was good between February and June. Nineteen pounds of berries were provided to cooperators to conduct value-added product testing. With the increased yield of ohelo berries, freezing of the fresh fruit preserves the fruit and constitutes, and is the most viable processing method for the long harvesting period. Another method of preservation to consider was by extracting and using the juice.
In the past year, the focus in using the ohelo berry was in baked goods. The baked products tested (ranging from crumb bars to muffins to tea cakes) lacked the ‘wow’ factor that could launch a successful new product. Flavor of ohelo was indistinguishable from other berries. Our focus has since shifted towards a dessert sauce, chutney, fruit butter, extract, or sorbet. Ohelo berry has the potentials to become a lucrative commercial crop in Hawaii’s agricultural future.
The ADODR monitored progress through field visits, meeting with employees responsible for the oversight of the plantings, e-mails, telephone calls, and meetings with cooperators.