Agriculture

Diagnostics: Who Done It?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

What came first, the chicken of the egg? Figuring out what’s wrong with a sick plant or animal is both an art and a science. A system of problem solving called diagnostics is used in many industries to detect a problem in hopes of fixing the problem. An auto mechanic will try to determine what’s wrong with your car by going through a mental checklist of possible problems starting with the most basic, and possibly cheapest to correct, while moving to the more complex.

The field of diagnostics was made popular by police investigative shows such as CSI and others.…

Molokai Farm Wins in Ag Contest

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Kamehameha Schools News Release

In an effort to increase Hawaii’s food production and help decrease dependency on imported foods, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation teamed up to create an agricultural business plan contest. The first Mahi`ai Match-Up hoped to attract experienced farmers with innovative ideas to grow food on vacant agricultural lands owned by Kamehameha Schools. The opportunity attracted 148 local farmers.

The organizations just announced the first, second and third place winners of the contest, and Molokai’s Mapulehu Farms placed third. Winning teams receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with up to five years of waived rent and money from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation.…

Monsanto Hawaii Scholarship Programs

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Monsanto Hawaii News Release

Applications are now being accepted for Monsanto Hawaii’s two scholarship programs – the Monsanto Hawaii Life Sciences Scholarship and the Monsanto Hawaii Agricultural Scholarship.

High school seniors interested in a life sciences degree are invited to apply for the Monsanto Hawaii Life Sciences Scholarship. As many as 10 scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded in 2014. This scholarship is open to graduating seniors of all high schools in Hawaii who will be attending an accredited college or university to pursue a discipline related to the life sciences (including agriculture, agronomy, biology, botany, genetics, horticulture, plant physiology, chemistry, crop science and soil science).…

The Impacts of Rain

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn Teves, UH County Extension Agent

Probably the only time it rained this much is when it rained for 40 days and 40 nights a long, long time ago. Torrential overnight rain of 5 inches is rare on Molokai, but when it arrives every five to seven days, as it did in Hoolehua, this is a little too much. The impacts of heavy rain on plants are many, and we won’t see some of these impacts until a little later in the season. Too much water favors the growth of fungus and bacteria that can hinder plant growth and even kill them.…

Fruit Growers Featured Farmer

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Fruit Growers Featured Farmer

HTFG Molokai Chapter News Release

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) is a statewide nonprofit organization, dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion. The Molokai Chapter is made up of members that are gardeners, farmers and interested community members who meet monthly to share ideas about promoting products, skills and agricultural opportunities. Meetings are held the first Monday evening of every month. The next meeting is March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Mahana Gardens.

This month’s featured farmer is Marshall Joy, owner of Joy Farms in Ho`olehua. Marshall is an amazing man, one of five young (“true hearted”) farmers in Molokai and the youngest beekeeper in the state attaining recognition with his award winning Hoolehua honey.…

Betting on Butterflies

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Betting on Butterflies

Urban development in Hawaii has left native butterflies with dwindling habitat, but on Molokai, butterflies will soon enjoy a buffet in downtown Kaunakakai. A specially-designed garden in front of the Molokai Public Library, created last week through volunteer community efforts, offers butterfly flower favorites, beauty for passersby and an agriculture education for keiki.

“Just like bees, butterflies are important for agriculture because they’re pollinators and a lot of people don’t know that,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Molokai inspector Chevy Levasa, who spearheaded the project in her free time. “There is a real problem on Oahu and… Maui because humans are building condos and taking over [butterflies’] habitat.…

Hundreds Testify on GMO and Pesticide Bill

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than 100 Molokai residents sat all day outside Molokai’s county offices last Tuesday, waiting to testify on a proposed Maui County bill aimed at regulating pesticide use and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

As currently written, the bill would establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies using certain quantities of pesticides, create buffer zones around schools, other public areas and bodies of water, and require public notification before pesticide applications. It also calls for the county to complete studies on the possible environmental and health impacts of large-scale agricultural companies that use pesticides and GMOs.

Introduced by Maui Council Member Elle Cochran, the bill resembles one passed into law on Kauai in November.…

Ventures in Vanilla

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Ventures in Vanilla

Deep in one of Molokai’s lush east valleys, a translucent, arched roof frames green peaks and greener foliage as far as the eye can see.

“These are the girls!” says Patty McCartney with motherly pride, stepping through the door and glancing around fondly. She tilts her head to get a closer look at each, brushing them gently with her hand and telling them they’re beautiful and growing well.

The girls are vanilla plants, a type of orchid vine producing beans that hold one of the world’s most popular flavors and fragrances.

“I come up here and talk to them, sing to them, fertilize and pollinate them,” she says.…

Celebrating Dr. King with Gardening

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Celebrating Dr. King with Gardening

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Last Monday, Sust`ainable Molokai celebrated Martin Luther King day with a community tree planting and workday at the Sust`ainable Molokai community permaculture farm. Honoring the national day of service, we had a small gathering of community, and our FoodCorps and Americorps service members, to put in some garden work and plant some trees.

The day began as it always does at the permaculture farm: Fred Richardson, the school garden coordinator, instructed everyone to walk around the site to survey and find pollinators. He then displayed the plants and trees that we’d be planting later that day — bamboo, pineapple, milo, coconut and mango — a diverse array, fitting to celebrate Dr.…

Pulling Weeds in Halawa

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Pulling Weeds in Halawa

Community Contributed

By Shawn and Melissa Bryson

This is a story told from one gardener to another, when someone offers to pull weeds, you let ‘em.  As a ha`ole and a mainlander, I come to Molokai with my wife to be changed by the island, not to change the island.  Molokai isn’t just the navel of Hawaii or the former bread basket of the islands; it is also the kumu island, an island of sacred teachings.  We are thankful those teachings are sacred and not secret. We want to thank so many different folks for the aloha they have shared with us. …