In Hawaii, an ongoing struggle exists between native koa forests and the invasive strawberry guava tree (waiawi), impacting the survival of 800 endangered plant species and 42 endangered birds. Island Flavor Co is dedicated to restoring these crucial ecosystems using an innovative, economically sustainable approach centered around barbecue smoking wood.
Pushing down Strawberry Guava
The resilient strawberry guava has significantly affected Hawaii's native forests, competing with koa trees for sunlight and nutrients. Island Flavor Co embraces this challenge by repurposing the dense wood as high-quality barbecue fuel while promoting balance within the ecosystem. As the invasive species are cleared, flourishing koa forests reemerge, providing essential habitats for native wildlife.
A beautiful Koa tree we saved before the Guava could kill it
The endemic koa tree grows well on our land, but when it meets the invasive waiawi, the waiawi always wins due to its attraction to the koa's nitrogen-fixing properties. The waiawi grows in thickets around the koa, suffocating it of sun and nutrients, eventually killing it. Nearly all koa trees at our elevation on Mauna Kea have either been killed or are dying due to waiawi. Only human-protected koa trees are safe in this part of the Big Island.
With every purchase of Island Flavor Co's products, you contribute to the restoration of Hawaii's natural ecosystem and support the reforestation of these invaluable forests. Together, we can make a difference in preserving Hawaii's unique and precious environment.