Sweet Cane ʻOhana

Sweet Cane Farm and Cafe is a family-run business led by Jackie Prell and John Caverly, and was one of the nine founding members of the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative. When we founded the co-op in August 2016, ʻulu season was peaking in Wast Hawaiʻi, and Sweet Cane opened its doors and heart to our mission, serving as HUCʻs first aggregation and processing facility. Jackie and her crew often worked day and night to handle the nearly 20,000 pounds of fruit received in our first 12 months of operation! 

Mature lipet variety breadfruit - ready for harvesting

In fact, the entire Sweet Cane ʻOhana is a mighty force when it comes to revʻULUtionizing Hawaiʻi's local food system. John, affectionately known as "Ginger John," has been farming steadily in Hawai'i for 45 years and is credited with pioneering organic yellow Japanese ginger as a high-value product. Today, using Korean Natural Farming and other regenerative techniques, they grow a multitude of crops on their 30-acre farm in Pepe'ekeo; in addition to 'ulu and ginger, Sweet Cane cultivates kō (sugarcane), cassava, mai'a (banana), kalo (taro), lychee, citrus, and much more, all growing in synergistic abundance.

John in front of his kō (sugarcane).

The farm supplies much of the Hilo-based cafe's produce, which Jackie turns into amazingly 'ono vegetarian fare such as 'ulu burgers, kalo pokē, cassava-crust pizza, and cane juice-based smoothies! If you haven't visited, they are open for business daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.! 

Chef Jasmine Silverstein of Heartbeet Catering, part of the Sweet Cane ʻOhana, shared with us her recipe for ʻUlu Pokē, and you can access it here. 

 

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