Agriculture

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.…

A Slice of Sweet Harvest

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

A Slice of Sweet Harvest

The Davis family enjoys watermelon at their roadside stand near Rawlins’ Chevron. Photo by Jared Davis.

The summer sun beats down on the Davis family watermelon stand on Kamehameha Highway by Rawlins’ Chevron gas station every Saturday. With a pickup truck pilled sky-high with about 500 fresh, colossal, 20-pound watermelons ripened to perfection in Ho`olehua’s heat, Jared Davis sells his all-natural watermelons at his roadside stand in the summertime on Molokai.

For Davis, a third generation farmer who is keeping farming alive in his family and on Molokai, watermelons are a vital crop and livelihood for his ohana, he said.

“When I was younger there were a lot of farmers around here that planted watermelon,” Davis said.…

Molokai Gold a Buzzing Business

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Molokai Gold a Buzzing Business

Molokai Gold’s busy bees. Photo by Bianca Moragne

The lure of creamy, golden honey from a local business is giving people across the islands bees on the brain. If you haven’t heard the buzz, Molokai is home to the best honey in Hawaii—that’s according to judges at the 2013 Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge.

Molokai Gold, a year-old honey company run by beekeepers Micah Buchanan and Marshall Joy, is whipping up raw, unfiltered and natural honey.

“It was my honor and privilege to receive your beautiful honeys and prepare them for the Formal Judging and Public Tasting,” registrar of the Honey Challenge Pattie Rechtman said of Molokai Gold in a letter to Joy.…

New Ti Leaf Virus

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

New Ti Leaf Virus

Community Contributed

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

 Ti leaf is an important subsistence and commercial crop in Hawaii with diverse uses. An ornamental crop used for hula skirts, leis, and puolo, a bundle or container, Ti plants are also a central part of the tropical landscape with many new leaf sizes and colors. Leaves are used in the preparation of Hawaiian foods, such as laulau with pork and taro leaf, and lawalu, to wrap fish and other seafood and local starches for baking, and also as greens in floral arrangements. It also has ceremonial and medicinal uses, and Ti roots are also used in the production of liquor, okolehao.…

Molokai Resident New Crop Assc. President

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

HCIA News Release

Recent Molokai resident Kirby Kester is the new president of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA), as well as Dow AgroSciences’ Hawaii R&D Leader.

With nearly 20 years’ experience in the seed industry on Kauai, Kester now resides on Molokai and serves as site Leader for Dow AgroSciences’ R&D Station on Molokai, as well as provides oversight for Kauai’s Seeds and Traits R&D program.

Kirby holds a M.S. of Agriculture degree from Iowa State University and a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  He has been a member of HCIA since 1995, and will serve a two-year term as president.…