Sustainability

Summer Avocados

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

Mid-summer is the leanest season for avocado in Hawaii, but the West Indies avocado fills the void and is there for the picking. The most heat-tolerant avocado, it’s the best adapted to the lowlands of Molokai, although it doesn’t do well along the shore where salty winds and soils can cause burning of roots and leaf edges.

The avocado is native to Mexico, where it’s been eaten before 10,000 BC. It spread throughout the Caribbean, Central and South American, evolving into three distinct races: the high-quality and cold-tolerant Mexican, the tropical forest Guatemalan, and the heat-tolerant, lowland West Indies.…

Grant Supports Youth Training in Sustainable Ag

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Sust`ainable Molokai News Release

Sust`ainable Molokai (SM) recently received a $17,434 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado. This award will support the efforts of SM’s Molokai Agricultural Youth Leadership Development Program.

The Youth Leadership Program aims to train high school and college youth in sustainable agriculture and permaculture practices through an ongoing mentorship program. The mentees will gain knowledge in the areas of traditional Hawaiian agriculture, professional business skills, hands-on experience, and will be encouraged to find their own unique way to contribute to food sovereignty in their community while earning a stipend upon the completion of the program.…

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Making School Meals Healthier, Cheaper

Kualapuu students enjoy a second year of free lunches. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

With the start of a federal free breakfast and lunch program offered in public schools island-wide and recent trends toward local, healthy eating, Molokai students are set to benefit in both the cafeteria and the classroom.

Last month, five Molokai schools were selected to receive free meals for all students regardless of household income through a U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

While principals of most schools said making sure all students had lunch wasn’t a major issue in the past, they said it would still be a significant financial relief for many families.…

Picking Up Plastics

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Picking Up Plastics

Volunteers work to clear rocks near the shore. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

Mo`omomi Beach has long been considered one of Molokai’s richest areas for natural resources. However, it’s also one of most Hawaii’s most debris-laden beaches, and last Saturday, more than 150 volunteers did what they could to remove thousands of pounds of bottles, rope and plastic rubbish of all shapes and sizes from the area.

The north-facing coastline is the first stopping point in the state for marine refuse floating from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, according to Kahi Pacarro, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH).

The nonprofit’s mission is to inspire local communities to care for their coastlines through hands-on beach cleanups, and for the second year, they gathered manpower and momentum at Mo`omomi to fulfill that mission.…

Join Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii News Release

For the second year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) is hosting the Mo`omomi Beach Cleanup and Community Service Project on Molokai on Saturday, Aug. 1. Sponsored by Matson, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Parley for the Oceans, this cleanup removes harmful marine debris from one of the most remote beaches on Molokai. Mo`omomi Beach, a mix of rocky and sandy coastline on the island’s north shore, is the first stopping point in the main Hawaiian Islands for marine debris coming from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“Each Hawaiian Island has issues with marine debris but Molokai gets hit extra hard due to its open geography towards the north,” says Kahi Pacarro, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s co-founder and executive director.…

“Fishing Pono” Film Now Viewable Online

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

“Fishing Pono” Film Now Viewable Online

 

Poepoe, left, and Mauna Kea Trask. Photo courtesy of Teresa Tico.

A half-hour documentary film featuring Molokai resource manager Mac Poepoe is now available for free streaming online through the end of July. “Fishing Pono: Living In Harmony With The Sea” tells the story of declining fisheries and how some Native Hawaiian communities are using traditional conservation practices to restore their fishing grounds. The film, which premiered on PBS last summer, explores the exploitation of commercial fishing, in contrast with the sustainable resource management taught by Poepoe.

“I was drawn to Mr. Poepoe’s story because of the success of his program,” said filmmaker and producer Teresa Tico of Kauai.…

Two Islands, One Goal

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Two Islands, One Goal

Hanohano Naehu (far left, in yellow) gives the Rapa Nui visitors a tour of the spring bordering the fishpond. Photo by Clare Mawae.

On a bright and breezy Thursday morning, two men from different parts of the world knelt over a pile of freshly netted weke. One was a Molokai born-and-raised fishpond keeper, the other, a Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui fisherman, each knowing just a few words of the other’s native tongue. Under a shady tree, they pulled out knife and fork and began scraping translucent scales from the fish in the same methodical style. Neither could say very much to each other, but they spoke the common language of men whose livelihoods revolve around fish.…

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Grassroots Benefit Concert

Mama-T and Tubby Love were some of the night’s performers. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Last Saturday’s third annual Grassroots Benefit Concert at Duke Maliu Park celebrated homegrown, all-natural products –and the creatures that make it possible. The event’s message was “Mahalo i Na Halihali `Ehu Pua,” which means Thank You to the Pollinators, and highlighted the need to protect pollen-carrying creatures like butterflies and bees.

“Pollinators are vital to growing food, and we want to just bring that issue to light,” said Mercy Ritte, one of the event organizers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Pathologist Matthew Goo said that butterflies face the predatory challenges of spiders, wasps, lizards and in particular, the bulbul bird.…

Tips for Cutting Electric Costs

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

For electric ratepayers looking to cut down on utility costs, options abound. Outdated air conditioning models can be upgraded for rebates. Extra refrigerators and old freezers can be sent in and recycled for cash. For Molokai residents, however, these and other options don’t always apply, explained Hawaii Energy’s Helen Wai at a workshop on Molokai last week.

“On Molokai you need two fridges and a freezer,” said Wai, Community Outreach Specialist for Hawaii Energy. “You hunt, you fish, the barge comes once a week, you go to Costco once a month. … It can be an insult for someone to say, get rid of your freezer.…

Propagation Workshop

Friday, May 1st, 2015

HTFG News Release

On Saturday, May 2, Molokai is proud to host world renowned fruit expert, chef, author and filmmaker Ken Love. Learn his successful propagation techniques in grafting, air layering and seed saving, hosted by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) on Molokai. Ken travels the world to learn and teach about growing and producing unique tropical fruits and has looked for rare and exotic fruit in more than 50 countries.  He has at least 150 unusual fruit trees on his family farm in Hawaii Island.

As a chef and localvore advocate, he has a passion for introducing unusual local grown fruits into farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants with a “Buy Local” message as Hawaii producers compete with Florida, Mexico and Ecuador. …