Agriculture

Federal Funds for Ag Conservation

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

USDA News Release

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reminds potential applicants to contact their local NRCS office to find out if they are eligible for the agency’s most common Farm Bill Programs (Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Agricultural Management Assistance Program). On Molokai, contact the NRCS Ho`olehua Field Office at 808-567-6868.

Applications for this ranking period are due at the NRCS office by close of business on Oct. 17. Applications received after this date will be considered in the next ranking period. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but ranked according to specific application cutoff periods.

“We are encouraging farmers and ranchers to utilize the federal funding to help improve conservation on private land,” said Dr.…

A New Invasive Species – Hala Scale

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

“Pala ka hala, momona ka wana” is a saying connecting activities on the land with those in the ocean. In this case, when the hala fruits are ripe, the sea urchin or wana is fat and ready to eat. Now, hala will need to overcome a new nemesis that may not allow its fruits to ripen.

In 1995, the Hala Scale was discovered in a shipment of hala plants from the South Pacific to Hana, Maui. From there, it quickly spread to other islands. It was recently confirmed on Molokai in Puko`o and is believed to have been on the island for more than five years.…

Perpetuating Taro

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Perpetuating Taro

Photos by Catherine Cluett.

Dripping with sweat and covered in a layer of red Molokai dirt, attendees of last Saturday’s Taro Field Day still had smiles on their faces as they emerged from chest-high, heart-shaped leaves with arms full of taro plants they had harvested.

The annual event at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm at UH Maui Community College Farm in Ho`olehua offers community members a chance to learn about the history, culture and preservation of taro through presentations, as well as taste test poi and kulolo made from various types of taro. Attendees can then venture into the field after receiving a labelled map to select and harvest plants of their favorite varieties.…

Molokai Homesteaders Gardening Program

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

UH Extension Office News Release

We will be starting a home gardening program this month for Molokai Hawaiian homesteaders. The purpose of this workshop series is to encourage homesteaders to grow their own vegetables and herbs, thereby increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. This program is open to both agricultural and residential homesteaders on Molokai, but you must have access to water on your homestead lot.

The program will focus on twice-monthly instruction, including hands-on field demonstrations in setting up and maintaining a 20 by 20-foot ground-based garden, and classroom study. Classes will be taught at a learning level for both homesteaders who haven’t previously grown a garden, as well as those presently tending a garden.…

Banana Root Borer: Spreading the Aloha

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Banana Root Borer: Spreading the Aloha

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

The Banana Root Borer is one of the most destructive insects of banana, and was brought to Molokai in the mid-1980s with Dwarf Apple Banana planting material from a quarantined area in Waimanalo. First at the Molokai Agricultural Park, corms were shared with residents and before long, it spread through most of the island.

Large whitish grubs or larvae of the Banana Root Borer cause extensive damage by boring holes through the corm, affecting plant vigor, stunting, and early death of plants. The adult Banana Root Borer is a black beetle about ½ inch in length, with a large curved snout.…

Cultivating a Food Network

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Like much of the state, Molokai imports most of the food found in its grocery stores, restaurants and schools — about 98 percent. Many Molokai residents are ready for a change and want more locally-grown foods available. That was the message received Wednesday night at Sust`aina ble Molokai’s Food Hub meeting.

Based on the Agricultural Needs Assessment survey conducted by Sust`aina ble Molokai in 2012, 90 percent of residents surveyed said they prefer to buy Molokai-grown food products, and 98 percent answered, “Yes, I would eat more local food if it was available.”

There’s a solution to that demand, said Sust`ainable Molokai Food Hub Coordinator Harmonee Williams.…

Molokai Food Hub Meeting

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust`aina ble Molokai will host a meeting for island farmers and food producers on Wednesday, Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the High School Cafeteria.  The primary purpose of the meeting is to determine if our farmers can (and want) to supply Maunaloa Elementary School’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) with locally grown fruits and veggies.  There will also be discussion on connecting our island farmers with other consumers, including stores and restaurants.

Sust`aina ble Molokai is currently in the process of developing a Molokai Food Hub, which is meant to serve as an on-island distribution center, as well as a resource center for farmers. …

Many Shades of Orange

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

Citrus is a family of closely related species, most of which can cross with each other to create new varieties. The main citrus species include Tachibana Orange, Lemon, Mandarin or Tangerine, Indian Wild Orange, Pummelo, Sweet Orange, Sour Orange, and Grapefruit. Grapefruit is believed to be a natural hybrid between pummelo and sweet orange discovered in the Caribbean. The Sweet Orange is among the most popular citrus, including the common or blonde orange, the sugar orange, the blood orange and the navel orange. Crosses between species have created tangelo, tangor, tantangelo, lemandarine, calamondin, and many others.…

Like a Grasshopper

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

In the popular television show, “Kung Fu,” Master Po refers to his student as “Grasshopper,” a term of endearment for one who is young, has a lot to learn, and whose mind jumps around “like a grasshopper.”

We probably have to more to learn from the grasshopper than he can learn from us. Few other insects have caused greater direct loss to crops worldwide than have grasshoppers. From ancient times to now, grasshoppers have caused the death through famine of millions of human beings. Damage is worse in areas with low rainfall when food is sparse.…

Teatime in the Garden

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Simon Mendes

This past school year as a Food Corp service member at Sust`ainable Molokai, I visited weekly with Kumu Teddy Sotello’s second grade class at Maunaloa Elementary. On a typical class day, I led students outside to their small, designer 4-by-4-foot “tea garden” bed—constructed at the beginning of the year—where we’d harvest a couple of pieces of mint and lemongrass. I collected the harvest, poured over hot water, and we’d wait for tea to brew.

While waiting, we learned songs courtesy of the Banana Slug String Band. The classes’ favorite song was “Dirt Made My Lunch,” which highlights the path from soil to plate — fitting to sing while the tea brewed.…