It is with a heavy heart that I write this. The recent heat wave in Northern California has reached extreme temperatures of 115F (45.5C) and brought with it, a dryness that few outside of the Sahara desert would know. Unfortunately, Kali Kava plants have met their match and wilted over and died. The heat was simply too great and the humidity too low.
Actually… They survived. Thats right! Kali Kava™ has set a new record for the most heat tolerant Kava on the planet and in full sun nonetheless. The same genes that allow Kali Kava™ plants to survive in extreme cold, also allow them to rapidly adapt to extreme heat and the blistering, punishing, menacing sun, that would burn, wilt and destroy normal, tender, Kava plants.
In a world where climate change is a reality, future farmers in the tropics will face unprecedented challenges with rising sea levels, increased temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. This will force kava to either adapt to the rising temperatures, or force farmers to seek higher ground for cooler day-time temperatures. With elevation, however, also comes cooler night-time temperatures and the need for rapidly adaptable Kava cultivars will soon arise. We may be 100 years early, but, these Kava plants may be the last ones standing in the event of continued climatic change.