Sustainability

Homestead Gardening Program

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves

The next round of the Hawaiian Homesteaders Gardening Program will start in late November. The purpose of this educational program is to increase homestead families access to fresh vegetables. Participants will be taught all aspects of establishing and managing a garden, and growing vegetables adapted to Molokai.

This program is open to all Hawaiian homesteaders residing on Molokai, and participation will be limited to 15 families. Classes will be held two to three times each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m., with occasional workshops. The choice of a Tuesday or Thursday meeting date will be determined by participants.…

Molokai Island Energy Project Update

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Princeton Energy News Release

Aloha! Princeton Energy Group and Half Moon Ventures want to express our gratitude to the Molokai community for welcoming us once again with great hospitality and warmth this past May. It was wonderful to visit with old friends, as well as develop new relationships on the island, as we continue to work together as partners on the Molokai Island Energy Project (formerly known as Ikehu Molokai). We held extensive community meetings throughout the island and received valuable feedback from residents. We continue to believe that the Molokai Island Energy Project will be accomplished by a long-term collaboration between community groups, residents, and the planning team.…

Fuel for Thought: Molokai’s Gas Prices

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Fuel for Thought: Molokai’s Gas Prices

Recently, many Hawaii residents have been breathing a sigh of relief at the gas pump. Across the state and the country, prices have dropped more than a dollar over the past year and are continuing to fall.

A year ago, gas prices in Hawaii averaged $4.21 cents a gallon, according to price-tracking website GasBuddy.com. Prices are now at $2.89. The average throughout the U.S. is even cheaper, as prices have tumbled from $3.34 to $2.29 a gallon within the last year.

On Molokai, prices are also declining, but the overall rates are more than a dollar more expensive than rates on neighboring islands.…

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Celebrating a Queen’s Love of Kalo

At last month’s Taro Field Day, Molokai residents celebrated cultural and agricultural traditions, harvested their own kalo to grown in their backyards, and participated in a prestigious cooking contest honoring a queen’s commitment to taro.

The annual event offers community members a chance to learn about and be a part of efforts to preserve dozens of historic taro species, as well as taste test poi and kulolo made from varieties grown here on Molokai at the UH Maui Community College Farm in Ho`olehua. Attendees could also venture into the field after receiving a labelled map to select and harvest plants of their favorite varieties.…

Molokai Joins Opposition to NextEra Merger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Molokai residents voiced largely opposition two weeks ago to a proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra, a Florida-based energy company. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is gathering public feedback on the proposed $4.3 million merger and will make a decision within the next six months. Molokai’s feedback, said Commission Chair Randall Iwase, has been in keeping with what they’ve heard so far around the state.

“The commission is not required to hold these sessions, but it was opinion of all three commissioners that it was important and appropriate to hear from the public,” said Iwase.

A majority of Molokai attendees testified that they opposed the merger.…

Taro Field Day to Host Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Sust`aina ble Molokai and UH Cooperative Extension Service News Release

The Molokai Taro Variety Field Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Molokai Applied Research and Demonstration Farm, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The annual event has been organized by the UH Cooperative Extension Service since 1985, and is something that many residents look forward to. This year promises to be another outstanding event.

An important highlight of this year’s Taro Day is The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition. This year, Molokai has been selected to host the competition, which is held annually at selected sites around the Pae `Aina in honor of Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Na`ea Rooke, who recognized the value of the Hawaiian taro varieties and has written in detail on methods she used to produce large kalo (taro).…

Local Farmers Turn to Export

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Local Farmers Turn to Export

Molokai was once known as “Molokai `Aina Momona,” or the abundant land, providing plentiful food for a population many times its current size. While there are still many farmers and crops on Molokai, the economics of farming are making it challenging to provide for the community the way ancient Hawaiians once did. Thus, many island farmers have turned to exporting to make the numbers work.

A recent study by nonprofit Sust`ainable Molokai has found that the economy of scale – or the cost advantage of producing larger amounts – plays a key role in the success of local farmers.

“It’s all about quantity and the ability for farmers to make money,” said Harmonee Williams, Sust`ainable Molokai project manager.…

A Steak in the Local Economy

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

A Steak in the Local Economy

In Hawaii, 85 percent of calves are shipped to the mainland, said Pu`u O Hoku Ranch General Manager Jann Roney. They’re raised and butchered, and the finished product is not always sent back to the islands. However, like others around the state in recent years, Molokai ranches and businesses are working to keep the full cattle operation at home.

Molokai Ranch

Last August, Molokai Ranch launched its 100 percent grass-fed beef in an effort to establish its new pillars of animal husbandry and sustainability, said Operations Manager Dathan Bicoy.

About 1,800 cattle graze 30,000 acres of pasture in Maunaloa. Over the last two years, the ranch has been introducing Wagyu cattle DNA into their herd.…

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.…