By Joe Kennedy
Tilapia, guppies, mosquito fish, and patties are thriving in my pond. The pond is 44 feet long and 16 feet wide. After being in there for a year and a half, the tilapia are about one pound in weight — and surprisingly beautiful. They’re a kind of flashing gold color with dark orange spots all over their body.
Some of the guppies are flashy also — purple and violet. Several other species of tropical fish are in there also. Even more species could survive in the pond because the tilapia are not eating them.
A small kind of snail is attached to the dead logs and even to some of the aquatic mulch plants.…
USDA News Release
As a Molokai farmer or rancher, you may be eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) most common Farm Bill Programs. These include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, Agricultural Management Assistance Program, and Conservation Stewardship Program. Contact the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Ho`olehua to find out if you are eligible for this funding. Applications for the first ranking period of 2014 are due at NRCS offices by close of business on Jan. 17.
“We are encouraging farmers and ranchers to utilize the federal funding available to help improve conservation on private land,” said Shirley Nakamura, NRCS Assistant Director for Programs.…
By Joe Kennedy
Most people will agree that the planet needs our help, because all the environmental problems are increasing, plus warfare. In the late 70s and early 80s, scientists warned us that the world was degrading and the population was increasing dramatically. Only a few people believed in it and started doing something about it. But now we see that almost all of the predictions have come true. The thrill of getting rich and amassing power, the “dog eat dog” mentality of entrepreneurial business and the bottom-line thinking in industries and manufacturing has now become the unfortunate norm. …
By Glenn I. Teves, UH Extension Agent
The life of a bee is not easy, and has changed dramatically through the activities of man. Pollution, pesticides, changes in farming systems, and the movement of invasive species across continents have combined to make life difficult for bees. The accidental introduction of two very serious bee pests, the Varroa mite and the Small Hive Beetle have weakened both wild bees and cultivated hives in Hawaii.
Stresses bought on by these pests have also predisposed bees to serious viruses, while certain pesticides have added to demise. This one, two, three and sometimes four-punch is wiping out bees in certain parts of the state, and also the world.…
As more Hawaii residents flock towards raising chickens in their backyards, some may not be aware of the state and federal health regulations for selling their eggs to the public. As part of a statewide tour by the Hawaii Departments of Health and Agriculture and the University of Hawaii, a dozen of Molokai’s backyard egg farmers familiarized themselves with these guidelines during an egg workshop last Tuesday.
“We knew of people [on Maui] who were doing backyard egg producing and were trying to sell…to high-end hotels,” said Lynn Nakamura-Tengan, a food safety educator at the University of Hawaii Manoa, during the workshop.…
Kuha`o Business Center News Release
The Kuha`o Business Center invites you to come talk story with representatives of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Market Development Branch on Thursday, Dec. 5. The event will take place in the OHA Conference Room from 1 to 4 p.m.
Discuss issues regarding growing and producing on Molokai and why value-added products are something to consider. Learn how to collaborate with others and about opportunities for grants, branding, tradeshows and organic certification reimbursement.
After the event at 4 p.m., meet Jennifer Young, Food Technology Center Director and Kenneth Yamamura, County Office of Economic Development Ag Specialist of the Maui Food Technology Center.…
By Glenn I. Teves, UH County Extension Agent
For many local folks, chile pepper water is an indispensable addition to a meal, and can add pizazz to meat, fish, and soup dishes. There are many variations of this condiment combining water, shoyu, different kinds of vinegar, and even garlic with lots of chiles. Columbus misnamed chiles as peppers, mistaking them for black peppers due to their “heat.” The name “peppers” or “chile peppers” stuck with this plant, and is commonly used today.
Capsicum fruitescens is the Latin name for Hawaiian chiles, introduced to Hawaii around 1815. It was called “nioi” by the Hawaiians, a generic name given to all chiles with second names based on its shape such as nioi kamakahala for round or “eye shaped” types.…
Maui County and Monsanto signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week that requires Monsanto to disclose information about pesticide use on a voluntary basis. Monsanto operates on both Maui and Molokai.
“Responsible use of pesticides is a concern for us all, especially for those of us who grew up on these islands when sugar cane and pineapples were our main exports,” said Mayor Arakawa. “There must be safeguards and a sharing of information, and I believe the AG Oversight Agreement [MOU] is a proactive step we needed to take….”
The MOU comes shortly after bills were passed on both Kauai and Hawaii Island involving restrictions on the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).…
Before Western contact, Native Hawaiians were able to feed a population of one million while following a sustainable way of life, according to the documentary, “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope.” But in the last 50 years alone, half of Hawaiian farmland has been developed and today, 85 percent of the state’s food is imported.
“We are currently in a crisis,” said Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, in the documentary.
The film, produced by The Hawaii Rural Development Council (HRDC), premiered on Molokai at Kalaniana`ole Hall Saturday night. It highlighted the state’s agricultural evolution and the unsustainable challenges we’re currently facing as a community.…
HTFG Molokai Chapter News Release
Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. The new Molokai Chapter is made up of members who are gardeners, farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about marketing venues to promote their products. Meetings are held the first Monday evening of every month at Lanikeha Center in Ho`olehua. The next meeting is Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m.
This month’s featured farmer is HTFG’s member Viola Mundrick-Wichman of Ho`olehua. She is a Master Food Preserver who has been trained to process value added (fresh-cut) fruit like dehydrated bananas, papayas and mangos.…