Categorized | Agriculture, Featured, News

Plucking berries at Kona Coffee Cultural Festival’s picking contest

Ready ... set ... pick. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Ready ... set ... pick. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

The coffee berries were ready and so were the contestants at Sunday morning’s annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival coffee picking competition.

Broken up into numerous categories by age and expertise, the contest offers prizes, cash awards and bragging rights as some family members squared off against each other.

Some pickers are not much bigger than their baskets and quite a bit younger than the trees they are tackling, while some veterans have won their age groups multiple times. Still others are trying their hand at the art of coffee picking for the first time.

And then there are those content to line the Ueshima Coffee Co. orchard yelling encouragement and sampling the brew and breakfast snacks.

When the final horn blew and the judges had done the weighing, here’s the 2009 picking hall of fame:

Senior Divison (ages 59 to 75)

1st: Wilfred Yamasawa, Holualoa

2nd: Anthony Caravalho Jr., Kona

3rd: Esther Jenkins, Holualoa

Pioneer Division (age 76 and older)

1st: Frank Mizoshiri, Kealakekua

2nd: Norman Sakata, Holualoa

3rd: Antone Caravalho Sr., Kona

Junior Division (ages -13 to 17)

1st: Bryan Mendez, Kailua-Kona

2nd: Shoyo Tsukamoto, Kailua-Kona

3rd: Sayo Tsukamoto, Kailua-Kona

Keiki Division (ages 8 to 12)

1st: Erick Mendez, Kailua-Kona

2nd: Sergio Garcia, Kealakekua

3rd: Claudia Vazquez, Kealakekua

Men’s Open Division (ages 18 to 58)

1st: Eric Mendez, Kailua-Kona

2nd: Maurico Magana, Kealakekua

3rd: Carlos Valdobinos, Kailua-Kona

Women’s Open Division (ages 15 to 58)

1st: Maria Nunez, Kealakekua

2nd: Nancy Cancino, Captain Cook

3rd: Angela Magana, Kealakekua

Pee-Wee Division (ages 5 to 7)

1st: Estenan Mendoza, Captain Cook

2nd: David Vazquez, Kealakekua

3rd: Jadyn Miyatani, Kailua-Kona

Akachan Division (ages 0 to 4)

1st: Chase Wilson, Captain Cook

2nd: Jada Keen, Kailua-Kona

Amateur Division

1st: Toshiki Sato, Japan

2nd: Abel Magana, Holualoa

3rd: Carol Hamada, Kailua-Kona

— Find out more:

www.konacoffeefest.com

Youngsters show off their baskets after their turn in the coffee orchard. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Youngsters show off their baskets after their turn in the coffee orchard. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

One of the judges rakes out leaves and debris, which mean valuable points deducted. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

One of the judges rakes out leaves and debris, which mean valuable points deducted. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Another group ready to go. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy Ross Wilson)

Another group ready to go. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy Ross Wilson)

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