Agriculture

Molokai Food Hub Project

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and wished that more locally grown food was available? Here at Sust`ainable Molokai, we have, and we know that many of you have as well. Based on the Agricultural Needs Assessment survey that we conducted in 2012, 90 percent of those Molokai residents surveyed said that they prefer to buy local Molokai food products, and 98 percent answered, “Yes, I would eat more local food if it was available.”

In response to that demand, along with the input of our island farmers, which was also collected during our Agricultural Needs Assessment process, we are now working to establish a Molokai Food Hub.…

Advocating for the `Aina

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Advocating for the `Aina

In celebration of Earth Day, hundreds of attendees, young and old, examined taxidermies of the endangered native Hawaiian duck, learned how to check plants for invasive fire ants using peanut butter, and pinpointed areas of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the most remote island archipelago in the world.

The community gathered at Molokai’s 22nd annual Earth Day festival at the Kaunakakai Ball Field last Friday evening to honor the values of aloha `aina and malama `aina. Kupuna Moses “Moke” Kim inspired island youth to malama `aina through the Hana Kupono program at Molokai High and Intermediate School. This year’s theme, “He Wa`a He Moku, He Moku He Wa`a; your canoe is like an island, an island is like your canoe,” is a testament to Kim’s mission to preserve Molokai’s natural and limited resources, according to event organizers.…

Eggs of the Earth

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Community Contributed 

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

Squash has been referred to as “eggs of the earth” and was domesticated before corn and beans, over 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. It’s native to a broad area from the southern U.S. to South America, and was cultivated by Native Americans.

Categorized either as summer or winter squash, summer squash are varieties eaten when fruit and seeds are immature, such as zucchini, crookneck, patty, scallop, and others, while winter squash are those eaten when the shell is hardened and seed is fully matured. Some squash are grown for their high protein seeds, including the Japanese variety, Kakai.…

Rhinoceros Beetle Huge Threat

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

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

It moved around undetected for almost two years before it was found through a routine survey by University of Hawaii and USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-PPQ) officials. The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) is one of the largest beetles to invade Hawaii and was discovered in an area surrounding Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. By that time, it was found in a one mile radius around the base. Red flags were raised in 2007 when it was first found in Guam, an island half the size of Molokai where a major U.S.…

Low Chill Temperate Fruits

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Low Chill Temperate Fruits

Community Contributed

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

Low-chill fruits are temperate fruit varieties developed for warmer conditions, such as parts of Florida and California, but many will set fruit even in the cooler parts of Hawaii. Varieties requiring 100 to 200 chill hours are the best bet in Hoolehua, while others up to 300 chill hours may fruit in Kalae and Maunaloa.

Breeders in Israel have developed low-chill apples, including Anna, a variety resembling Red Delicious. Dorsett Golden, resembling Golden Delicious, is from a seedling found in the Bahamas. A recent University of Florida development is the TropicSweet apple.…

Panel Speaks on GMOs and Biotech

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Panel Speaks on GMOs and Biotech

Agriculture and food sustainability is a growing interest in the community and as technologies change, varied practices lead to clashing opinions on the best agriculture methods and safety. To address some of the latest controversial topics in the industry, the Molokai Farm Bureau hosted a presentation last Tuesday, led by three independent experts in ag technology. They answered questions and provided educational outreach to the community advocating scientific advances in biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“A lot of what’s going on in agriculture right now is because somehow the technology and communication have not synced,” said Mae Nakahata, an agronomist at Hawaii Commercial and Sugar Company on Maui, secretary of the Hawaii Farm Bureau and vice president of the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation.…

Welcoming FoodCorps Hawaii

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Welcoming FoodCorps Hawaii

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

This past Friday, March 14, Sust`ainable Molokai welcomed the FoodCorps Hawaii state team to Molokai. The team consists of eight service members, with five from Hawaii Island: Jane Lee serving at Kohala Elementary, Julia Nemoto at Mala`ai Garden, Jessica Sobocinski at Honaunau Elementary, Kalu Oyama at Na`alehu Elementary and Leina`ala Kealoha at Kua O Ka La Public Charter Schools. Additionally, Tasia Yamamura is serving at Ma`o farms on Oahu and here on Molokai, Lacey Phifer and Simon Mendes are our service members. The state fellow is Amelia Pedini, and our host site leader from the Kohala Center is Nancy Redfeather.…

Molokai USDA Employee Awarded

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Molokai USDA Employee Awarded

Hawaii Invasive Species Council News Release

During Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness week that started on Monday, March 3, Molokai U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Chevalier “Chevy” Levasa was recognized as the Maui Nui MVP for 2014. State representatives and senators presented a variety of awards to those who lead the fight against invasive species, including 2013 Community Hero, 2013 Hottest Hotline Report to 643-PEST, 2013 Business Leader, Greatest Hit of 2013 and MVPS’s from each county in the state. Declaring that “invasive species pose the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s health, environment, economy, and people” Governor Neil Abercrombie praised the award recipients for their dedication to protecting Hawaii.…

Unusual Rains Make Changes

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

So far we’ve had two months of on-going small rains without dry periods. Amazing changes now going on along Maunaloa Highway, trees and grasses are growing like crazy! But on closer look, the older trees in people’s yards are flowering and fruiting with abundance. People that have avocados are estimating their harvest in the hundreds of pounds per tree.

Mushrooms are growing in the dead wood and even here and there beneath the grass. Insects are swarming, going through the screens and aiming for the sink and the light bulbs. We see this all the time in years when the winter rains are good, but never like this!…

Winter Blues

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Winter Blues

Community Contributed

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

Because Hawaii is located on the northern edge of the tropics, winters are much colder here than in tropical areas, and is considered sub-tropical. What does that mean for tropical plants? The word “tropical” evoke visions of hot, steamy jungles, but there are also dry, high elevation areas.

The climate in which each plant species originated from usually determines how they will respond to cold winters. Avocado originated in three different climates in and near Central America, including West Indies, Guatemala and Mexico. Mexican avocado do well in the cooler California climate, while the Guatemala and West Indies varieties do better in Hawaii.…