Agriculture

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Kiawe Beans Pods Not Just Food For Livestock

Community Contributed

By Mercy Ritte

As you know, our kiawe trees produce an abundance of bean pods every year. Not only is it a nutritious food source for livestock, but also for people. In its native lands, dried kiawe bean pods ground into meal or flour is considered a staple food. It is very delicious and adds a sweet nutty taste to breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes and cookies. It is also gluten free, GMO free, highly nutritious, diabetic friendly and can be used to make syrup, jelly, tea, milk, and wine. Unlike wheat that digests within one to two hours, kiawe takes four to six hours to digest, resulting in delay of hunger pangs.…

Pumpkin Pickin

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Pumpkin Pickin

For the past five years, Molokai residents have had the chance to celebrate the autumn tradition of pumpkin picking thanks to the efforts of Heart of Aloha Church. The pumpkin patch in Kualapu`u, tended by church members throughout the summer, was filled families picking out their favorite bright, orange prize last Saturday. The Pick a Pumpkin Day also featured a wagon ride for keiki (pictured here), food for sale and free kids shoes being given away.

Church member Linda Ching said she brought the idea to Heart of Aloha after seeing families on Oahu picking pumpkins and wanting to bring a similar opportunity to Molokai.…

Water Conservation and Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release

There aren’t too many things in Hawaii we measure in the billions.  The size of the state’s economy is about $67 billion, the volcano at the Hawaii Volcano National Park produces about 6.4 billion cubic feet of lava per day and the 100-acre Molokai Irrigation System reservoir has a storage capacity of 1.2 billion gallons.  But if we want to see 50 percent of Molokai that is dry almost all year round to green up, it will require 389.6 billion gallons of water per year.  That is because Molokai has the highest recorded annual average pan evaporation rate in the state, at 118 inches per year according to historic data in DNLR reference “Pan Evaporation: State of Hawaii 1894-1983.”  Following Molokai, there are sites on Hawaii Island with 108 inches, Maui with 99 inches, Oahu and Kauai with 98 inches per year.…

Backyard Aquaponics

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Paul Fischer

“Aquaponics” is a combination of “aquaculture,” or the farming of fish, and “hydroponics,” which refers to growing plants in water.  The crops help each other; the plants remove waste from the water, while fish fertilize the plants.  After some research, I decided to try this for myself.

I used an oval livestock trough for my fish tank, and a lined wooden tray filled with gravel  on top to hold the plants.  A very small fountain pump on a timer periodically floods the tray with water from the fish tank, keeping the plants wet and filtering the water through the gravel medium.  …

Molokai Irrigation System: Safe for drinking?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Opinion by Walter Ritte

Molokai Ranch has decided not to build its own drinking water delivery line from its Well 17 to Maunaloa and Kaluakoi residents. The pure Well 17 ground water is put into the Molokai Irrigation System (MIS), which uses a large open-air agriculture reservoir. The water then goes into the MIS transmission line past the airport to Mahana. It is then pumped up the hill into another open-air reservoir and treated through a sand filter before being delivered to west end residents.

A dangerous situation now exists, as the open air MIS is now surrounded by Monsanto’s GMO fields.…

For the Love of Limes

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

Limes can be easily propagated through a technique called air layering. Limes can also help prevent cancer. If you want to look at it another way, your garden is a combination pharmaceutical drugstore and neighborhood produce market, even with just a few plants involved.

Let’s just look at one issue, cancer. Science now tells us, in regard to the ongoing vast study of super foods, that there are all kinds of fruits, veggies and herbs that help the body heal itself and prevent disease. There are three main foods that help prevent cancer — limes, Concord grapes and arugula.…

Spinach by the Bucket

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Paul Fischer

One can easily grow a valuable and nutritious crop of Okinawan spinach in a 5 gallon plastic bucket.  We started doing this about a year ago and use this perennial salad vegetable almost every day.  It is incorporated into our family’s diet because it tastes good, doesn’t cost anything, is fresh picked, and it’s always ready a few steps outside our kitchen door.

There are several types of Okinawan spinach. One is dark green with purple on the undersides of the leaves, another is all green. The leaves are smaller and shaped differently than regular spinach.…

Celebrating Kalo

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Celebrating Kalo

In the ancient days of Hawaii, each of the islands’ estimated 500,000 people would eat one seven- to nine-pound kalo plant per day, according to Alton Arakaki, a Molokai extension agent with the University of Hawaii College Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR.) Ancient Hawaiians carefully selected more than 300 kalo varieties to ensure food security and successful growth in many environments. Today, only about 70 of those varieties still exist — and without vigilant cultivation, that number may dwindle.

Last weekend, Molokai residents got the opportunity to select among more than 50 kalo varieties to grow in their own gardens, helping to carry on a tradition that can yield health, cultural understanding and economic benefits.…

Schools Harvest for Health

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Schools Harvest for Health

A national program is planting seeds for growing healthier youth and nutritional cafeteria lunches on Molokai one school at a time.

FoodCorps, a nonprofit program newly introduced to the island last month, works to address childhood obesity in underserved areas. FoodCorps partners with the AmeriCorps service network and currently operates in 15 states, According to a Kohala Center press release, an academic institute for environmental science research and education as well as the and host site for Hawaii’s FoodCorps Program. Hawaii, California and New Jersey were added to their 2013-2014 service plan.

Out of 1,000 applicants from around the country, eight youths were selected to serve Hawaii’s public and charter schools, according to Nancy Redfeather, program director of the Hawaii Island School Garden Network (HISGN) and host site supervisor of FoodCorps Hawaii.…

Global Gardening for Good

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

Let’s play a little game. Picture our seven billion people on planet Earth, or even half that many, involved in growing food. Currently, a very small percentage is growing food. For just a minute, let’s forget the large-volume, mechanized producers and petroleum-based chemicals and conventional fertilizers. Could even a half of Earth’s people sustainably produce enough food without machines to feed all of us? I believe we could, if we really wanted to — and it can start in our own backyards on Molokai.

Land reform would have to happen first. I believe that, as human beings, we are all entitled to a small piece of land and enough water to grow our own food. …