A trip to the Hawaiian Vanilla Company

Reader Gale recently visited the Hawaiian Vanilla Company on Hawaii’s Big Island. Gale sent this great description of her visit, and some photos of the plantation. Click any photo to see the full-size version. Thanks Gale!

Vanilla orchid on a fern tree 3 year old vanilla orchid 3 year old vanilla orchid

My daughter and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company (HVC) on the Big Island of Hawaii. Reservations are required for their fixed menu lunch and for their afternoon tea. Their lunch featured the vanilla planifolia grown in their vineyard, which is what they call their farm. Dave, the business manager began with a short history of vanilla and a description of our lunch. When we were seated we were offered a choice of vanilla iced tea or their vanilla lemonade; I selected their iced tea. Our first course was a delectable chicken breast on focaccia with caramelized onions and garden greens; the chicken breast had been marinated in a vanilla-orange-bourbon sauce for a day. The sandwich was served with a dish of aioli sauce with vanilla and mango. The meal included a small salad of their own farm grown garden greens with feta cheese and caramelized pecans and their special HVC vanilla raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing; the salad was absolutely wonderful. The sandwich was also accompanied by crisp chips: taro chips, purple Okinawan sweet potato chips, and yellow sweet potato chips. Our meal ended with HVC vanilla ice cream; I selected just the plain vanilla ice cream, but many of the guests chose to have lilikoi (passion fruit) or chocolate sauce on their ice cream.

After the lunch we viewed a short video produced for public television by America’s Heartland about the Hawaiian Vanilla Company vineyard and their vanilla. Dave then walked us down to their “greenhouses” to view the vanilla plants. We were not able to see any plants with vanilla beans on them. According to Dave, disease hit about 60% of their plants two years ago and the owner, Jim Reddekopp, decided to destroy the entire crop to prevent a spread of the disease. Their oldest plants are now 3 years old and it will be another year before their vines will produce orchids, which can then be hand pollinated and result in the growth of vanilla beans. The vanilla beans will have to mature on the vines for 9 months and cure for another 9 months before HVC will be able to once again commercially sell their crop.

Our bookkeepers from Leeds offer up a bit of advice on why you should never forget about the books.

Bookkeeping is as old as modern man.

Dating back thousands of years, the oldest records of bookkeeping have been found in archaeological digs around ancient Mesopotamia.

National Geographic reported on a fascinating stone tablet, dated at 5,000 years old, that simply read: 29,086 measures barely 37 months Kushim.

It’s a receipt; a staggering example of how even comparatively primitive civilisations to our own undertook bookkeeping as part of business and trade.

Now, this raises an interesting question: Why is bookkeeping important?

It’s a question our bookkeepers from Leeds are regularly asked, and it’s a valid one. If ancient civilisations used bookkeeping, and if the practice has stood the test of time, it must be important to a successful business, right?

But why?

Organise and Control Your Accounting Practices

According to accounting services miami, the building blocks of business, bookkeeping is the foundation upon which the rest of your accounting practices are built.

Everything from payroll to tax deductions needs a solid bookkeeping base to work from. Without it, you cannot hope to manage your finances.

Imagine a world without bookkeeping, where you ran a business and didn’t record your income and expenses.

  • You couldn’t save for tax because you’d have to guess at what your income and deductibles were.
  • You couldn’t pay your staff wages representative of your business’ value and income.
  • You’d never know how much to put into budgets for advertising, recruitment, etc.
  • You couldn’t tell HMRC how much you earned.
  • You’d have to manually calculate the value of income and capital, liabilities, assets, etc., every time the information was needed.