Agriculture

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. …

Backyard Fishponds

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Community Contributed

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.…

Federal Funds for Conservation Ag

Monday, December 16th, 2013

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.…

The Permaculture Solution

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Community Contributed

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. …

A Bee’s Life

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Community Contributed

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.…

Egg Essentials for Backyard Farmers

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Egg Essentials for Backyard Farmers

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.…

Ag Producer Development Opportunities

Friday, November 29th, 2013

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.…

Hot Hawaiian Chile Peppers

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Community Contributed

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.…