Agriculture

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

Photo contributed by HTFG

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

Photos by Jessica Ahles

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

Photos by Catherine Cluett

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. …

Bravo for Brassicas

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH County Extension Agent

In our local diet, we have a tendency to consume too much meat and rice, and not enough greens. Greens are the missing link to a healthy balanced diet, along with fruits, in meeting requirements of the food pyramid. Today, greens are finding their way into our diets through healthy drinks utilizing lettuce, kale, spinach and other greens.

The largest group of vegetable greens has a common ancestor that evolved into at least six rather distinct groups. Collectively known as crucifers, cabbages or mustards, and also by their Latin name, Brassicas, they include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, mustard greens, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, and a mix of Chinese mustards.…

Fruit Growers Featured Farmer

Wednesday, January 15th, 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 at Lanikeha Center, Ho`olehua. The next meeting is Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m.

This month’s featured farmer is HTFG’s member Nannette Walters. She is the delightful face of Mahana Gardens in Ho`olehua who commits her support to commercial producers for the return of Molokai to become the bread basket of the islands and for Molokai residents to restore functional, edible gardens to feed their families.…

Two Tips for Healthy Plants

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

Aloha everyone, especially to all you folks who are planting things to eat. I would like to point out a few basic things that might help save work and make your plants grow even better.  The first thing is to leave the fertilizers such as manure, urine, compost on top of the ground next to your plants. There’s no need to work it in, which could backfire because too much could feed the microbes too fast resulting in using up the nitrogen and starving the plant. When you leave it on top, the nutrients are slowly released. …