Plum Harvest at Kōke‘e State Park Begins in July
The annual plum harvest begins Saturday, July 3 at Kōke‘e State Park on Kaua‘i.
Harvesting permits are free and available at the park’s headquarters. These permits must be completed and returned to the headquarters’ drop-box after harvesting. Plum picking is permitted daily between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. in designated areas.
While plum season is a cultural staple on Kaua‘i, the stone fruits are not native to the island. The Hawaiian Journal of History notes plums were brought to Kaua‘i in the 1930s and planted on lands that later became Kōke‘e State Park.
Each person can take up to five pounds of plums each day for personal consumption. Other conditions are specified on the plum harvesting permit. A short pole with a net will make harvesting easier.
For years, the crop has been on the decline due to weather, over-harvesting, and damage to trees. Optimum harvesting hasn’t happened since the 1950s and in 2014, DLNR Division of State Parks personnel reported that Kaua‘i hadn’t seen a good crop in more than five years.
Plum pickers are reminded to help prevent wildfires by picking up their litter.