We think it’s important for our customers to know exactly where we get our kava from and why.
Australia Kava Shop has partnered with Vanuatu’s premier grower and exporter to bring only the best kava from Vanuatu into Australia. Our partner has been leading the way in developing kava nurseries to help boost kava stocks after Tropical Cyclone Pam decimated the country’s stocks in 2015. Not only do they replant seedlings at their own farm, but they also give seedlings to growers throughout the islands to help replenish stocks.
Clippings being prepped for propagating offshoots
Once offshoots are propagated, the stems are put into small seeding pots.
Once the seeding pots reach the root strength to be transported and ready to be replanted, they are sent to the islands or planted on the property.
Once the seedlings have been planted, they are planted and segregated into variety types. Each plant is then tagged and monitored weekly. Our partners utilise non-traditional planting techniques that allow for larger and quicker root growth. Each plant is given their maximum maturity growth time so as to maximize kava lactone content.
Immature kava plants taking root and flourishing in their new pesticide-free and heavy-metal-free soil.
Weekly checks are done to monitor the plants’ growth and general health.
Mature Kava plants after 4 years.
After being tended to for anywhere between 4-6 years (depending on variety) the kava plants are ready for harvesting. The plants are dug up and ONLY the parts of the plant BELOW the first node are utilised. The roots are cleaned, then separated into stump (Lawena) and lateral (Waka) roots. The roots are chopped into small pieces then placed in drying sheds. Our partners don’t dry directly in the sun as this reduces the potency of the kava lactones – the active “feel good” component in the roots. The roots are also tested in-house for confirmation of noble variety using colourmetric testing. This is also done prior to export with the Vanuatu Dept. of Agriculture. Once dried, the roots and chips are then milled and packaged ready for export to us.
Mature plants after being dug up.
Drying racks utilising air flow to maximize kavalactone content
In house colourmetric testing to confirm that only noble varieties are is being processed.
Dried kava separated into lateral and stump root powder and ready to export to Australia Kava Shop
We hope you enjoyed the above information about where and why we get our kava from. Our next instalment will cover our Fiji partner’s operation.