Ar-Cal Distributing has taken over the mainland marketing of Hawaii-grown Maui Gold pineapples.
Ar-Cal, a division of Arvin, Calif.-based Trino Packing and Cold Storage, inked a deal with HaliiMaile, Hawaii-based HaliiMaile Pineapple Co. Ltd. to be the North American sales agent for Maui Golds, which HaliiMaile has exclusive rights to, said John Trino, Ar-Cal’s president.
Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc. had been the mainland marketer for Maui Golds when the variety was owned by Makawao, Hawaii-based Maui Land & Pineapple Inc.
HaliiMaile, which became the exclusive marketer of Maui Golds effective Jan. 1, has cut production of Maui Golds from 3,000 to 4,000 acres to 650 acres, Trino said.
Rudy Balala, HaliiMaile’s vice president, said the company is focusing its marketing efforts on the mainland on high-end customers. He said the company can’t compete with pineapples from other countries on price.
“We know we have a superior product,” he said. “Our fruit tastes really good, and we’ve heard a lot of positive comments about it on the mainland.”
HaliiMaile expects to ship about 3,000 to 4,000 cases a week to the mainland U.S., Balala said. Continue reading
Everything about Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. has its roots in past necessity. That became clear during a HC&S tour.
Weeds? Develop “bunch cane.” The kapakahi stalks grow every which way, denying any weed even a bit of sunlight. Destructive insects? Develop cane that resists the pests.
A shallow lens of fresh water on gallons of salty groundwater? Develop – in 1910 – a skimmer well so unique the U.S. Geological Survey refers to it as the “Maui Well.”
The 25-passenger van carried Rotarians from Kihei, members of the Court Stenographers and Captioners Association, a scribbler, corporate Community Relations Manager Linda Howe and Mae Nakahata, HC&S agronomist and Big Island girl who has called Maui home for 25 years. (E kala mai, Mae, for getting your home address wrong in last week’s column.)
After watching a double-snout machine harvest a seed field, the van ran down lumpy asphalt cane-haul roads to a field near the airport. Custom hydraulic cranes grabbed great mouthfuls of cane from windrows shoved together by bulldozers.
The Brobdingnagian claws sometimes drop abandoned vehicles into the 50-ton Tourna haulers. Nakahata said many of the unscheduled cane fires are the result of stolen cars being set ablaze. Continue reading
For the first time on Molokai, keiki and keiki-at-heart will be able to take a ride around a pumpkin patch, just in time for Halloween. The Heart of Aloha church has been growing pumpkins: traditional orange jack ‘o lantern (small, medium and large), unique white, mini (orange and white) and giant pumpkins. Come pick one on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 8 – 11 a.m.
Located along Kalae Highway, headed north before Kualapu`u Town, will be the pumpkins, refreshments available for purchase, and even a giant pumpkin contest – enter to guess how heavy they are. For more information visit heartofaloha.org.
PUUNENE – The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is unveiling a new exhibit titled “Mills, Machinery and Locomotives” that will be on display through October.
The exhibit includes never-before-shown historic photos from inside the mill, as well as mill and foundry artifacts, and objects and photos from the Kahului Railroad. Artist Tom Sewell’s video piece, “Enigma of the Mill,” also will be presented, showing how mill operations can be rendered as art.
The museum is open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 3957 Hansen Road. For more information, call 871-8058 or www.sugarmuseum.com.
The leaves resemble brown lasagna noodles when they wash ashore on coasts around the world. Like many other seaweeds, sugar kelp has all sorts of uses. The leaves of Saccharina latissima provide a sweetener, mannitol, as well as thickening and gelling agents that are added to food, textiles and cosmetics.
But some believe its most important potential is largely untapped: as an addition to the American diet.
Seaweed is widely cultivated and consumed in Asia. However, in North America, where it sometimes is rebranded as a “sea vegetable,” it is cultivated rarely and eaten infrequently. To proponents, this is the unfortunate oversight, considering it is a crop that can clean the water in which it grows, needs no arable land, and provide a nutritious food with traditional roots. Continue reading
By MICHAEL TORTORELLO
Are you beguiled by pyramid schemes, but loath to lose a fortune? Deanna Stanchfield has an offer for you.
Here is how it works: You send Ms. Stanchfield, 42, and her partner, Scott Jentink, 47, a nominal sum — say, $12. They mail you a half-dozen bulbs of garlic from their Swede Lake Farms and Global Garlic in Watertown, Minn., out past the golf course suburbs west of Minneapolis. They have the bulbs — 40,000 of them — curing in a hayloft, suspended from the rafters like bats in a cave.
If you bury each clove separately in October or November — think of them as seeds — you should be able to harvest 30 to 35 new garlic bulbs in July. Split those bulbs and plant the cloves next fall, and you will have 150 garlic bulbs by July of 2012. The following year will deliver 750 heads, and the summer after that, 3,750.
And the year after that? Now we’re getting into Bernard Madoff-style math. At this point, you can surely spare a few bulbs to start your neighbor’s garlic garden.
Still not sold? Six years ago, Mr. Jentink said, “we started with 14 pounds.” His planting this fall, he said, “will give us in theory, at least, a harvest of about 20,000 pounds.”
“All by hand,” Ms. Stanchfield added. Continue reading
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii businesses are receiving federal money to help increase renewable energy production.
Hawaii Director for Rural Development Chris Kanazawa said the grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help create jobs and reduce energy use for rural communities.
Lalamilo Farm Partners in Kamuela will receive nearly $170,000 to help buy and install a 95 kilowatt photovoltaic system.
O Guest Ranch Maui in Kula will get $70,000 for a 43 kilowatt photovoltaic system on a dairy farm.
News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service
A black, two-millimeter-long wasp from East Africa is helping wage war on one of its own kind—the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that’s decimated Hawaii’s endemic wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) and introduced coral bean trees (Erythrina spp.).
Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) officials “recruited” the beneficial wasp, Eurytoma erythrinae, and first released it in November 2008 after evaluating its host specificity as a biocontrol agent. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Michael Gates’ scientific description and naming of the species, together with a collaborator, helped HDOA obtain the necessary federal approvals to make the release.
How the gall wasp arrived in Hawaii in April 2005 is unknown, but it quickly found suitable hosts on which to feed and reproduce, first on Oahu and then other Hawaiian islands Continue reading
In this sluggish economy, and amid all the clamoring for jobs and housing, the state’s decision to reclassify 576 acres of prime agricultural land to make way for the mammoth Koa Ridge development probably could have been anticipated.
But that doesn’t make Thursday’s decision by the Land Use Commission any less consequential. It would connect the patches of development sprawl between Waipahu and Mililani, adding 3,500 homes to the suburban mix.
The impact on rush-hour traffic, according to developers Castle & Cooke Homes would be relatively moderate. Traffic studies indicate that the subdivision would add only five minutes to commuting time. Convincing all the Central Oahu drivers who now do battle at the H-1/H-2 interchange of that assertion will be a tough sell, as the project proceeds for rezoning and further permit approvals from the city.
The LUC will meet Oct. 15 to issue its written order, which is expected to set conditions. That should provide an opening for the commission to offset some of the impact on traffic and the loss of farm land, two of the principal negatives posed by such a large development in an already congested corridor.
Commissioners should take the opportunity to insist on a link of some sort with the city’s planned fixed-rail system that will come through to the south. The provision of a busway or other accommodation is far easier if developers plan for them at the front end.
As for the continued whittling of Oahu’s agricultural district: It would be wise for the state to insist on the protection of agricultural parcels to compensate for the loss of the Koa Ridge site. Continue reading
In 2008, a report from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and the state Department of Agriculture estimated that between 85 percent and 90 percent of the state’s food was imported every year and concluded that there wasn’t much anyone could do to change the situation.
” … Even though Hawaii can conceivably grow anything that we consume, the quest to achieve 100% food self-sufficiency is impractical, unattainable and perhaps impossible, as it imposes too high a cost for society,” the researchers said.
Hawaii’s relatively small farms could never match the output or efficiency of the vast mechanized farms on the mainland, the report said. Island products would always be more expensive to grow and buy.
Still, the report was more a call to arms than a dark prophecy.
Pointing out that Hawaii’s geographic isolation left its food supply vulnerable to disruptions caused by forces and events beyond control, such as fuel costs, shipping strikes and farm production fluctuations, the report said it was of vital importance that the state not overlook the value of a small but thriving home-grown market.
A healthy agricultural base not only serves as a buffer against outside forces, it provides residents with fresher, tastier, healthier food and could put millions of dollars back into the island economy, the report said.
“I think we are at the crossroads,” says Dr. Matthew Loke, administrator of the state’s Agricultural Development Division and a co-author of the 2008 report with Dr. PingSun Leung of UH-Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. “Whether we can seize those opportunities or not, that’s our challenge.” Continue reading