“Grown on Maui” Agriculture Tour: Connecting People to Their Food

“Grown on Maui” Agriculture Tour: Connecting People to Their Food

Guided tour meets at Whole Foods and begins with continental breakfast. First, tour Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, then enjoy a gourmet lunch at O’o Farm, followed by lavender chocolate gelato and a tour of Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm. Returns to Whole Foods at 3:00pm. Developed by Hawaii AgriTourism Association and Akina Aloha Tours. Destinations are subject to change, but will always feature locally-grown produce.

Phone: Akina Aloha Tours 808-879-2828

Cost: $130

“Grown on Maui” Agriculture Tour: Connecting People to Their Food

Hawaiian Grown TV – Maui Onions – Kula Country Farms Video

Maui Onions have long been considered among the best and most flavorful onions in the world. The Maui Onion only grows in the deep red, volcanic earth on the upper slopes of Haleakala, Maui’s world-famous dormant volcano.

Maui onions are a variety of sweet onion which are widely cultivated on the Hawaiian island of Maui, although they can be grown in other regions as well. Like other sweet onions, Maui onions lack the sulfur which causes the strong odor and sharp taste associated with onions. The State of Hawaii has invested a great of money in marketing their famous onion variety, putting it on par with Vidalia onions from Georgia, another sweet onion variety. Many markets carry Maui onions in season, along with other sweet varieties, and if you live in a temperate zone, you may be able to grow some yourself.

Hawaiian farmers claim that a true Maui onion must be grown on Maui, because this distinct onion cultivar flourishes best in the rich volcanic soil of Mount Haleakala, the dormant volcano which dominates the landscape of Maui. The volcano’s rich, distinctive red soil may well be responsible for the distinctive sweet flavor of the Maui onion, although the warm weather on the island probably has something to do with it as well.

Poisonous Holiday Plants ? Or Urban Legends? « The Wired Gardener

a post from Jessica Story, Meadowbrook Farm

Poinsettias are NOT poisonous, they are the most studied decorative plant ever and no toxic effects have been found. In 1919 a 2 year old child of an army officer was found dead under a Poinsettia tree in Hawaii with poinsettia leaves in her hand. The investigation cleared the plant, but the record was never set straight and it has become an urban legend.

In nearly 23,000 recorded cases of Poinsettia ingestion, no life-threatening effect has ever been reported. The equivalent of a child eating over 600 leaves was tested and found to have little or no effect. Vomiting and diarrhea, while unpleasant, is the most likely result for a child or animal that did consume the leaves.

Interesting note-the Poinsettia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society have a long history together-the first public introduction of the plant was at the first Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Flower Show in 1829)

Like a number of common houseplants, many common holiday plants are mildly toxic, but are so foul-tasting that ingesting enough to cause harm would be difficult. Holly and Mistletoe probably pose the most risk, because the berries can be swallowed whole. Jerusalem Cherry is extremely toxic and should be avoided in households with young children. Ornamental peppers may cause discomfort like any other hot pepper, but are not toxic.

Other common “toxic” holiday plants (safe to use, just use common sense too!)

Amaryllis

Cyclamen

Christmas Cactus

Yew, as cut greens

Juniper berries on cut greens

Paperwhites

Have you ever had a problem with children or pets eating any of these holiday plants?

Poisonous Holiday Plants ? Or Urban Legends? « The Wired Gardener

Newsroom: Facts for Features & Special Editions: Facts for Features: The 2010 Holiday Season

Christmas Trees and Decorations
$488.5 million

The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and August 2010. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($28.2 million worth) during the same period.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

Newsroom: Facts for Features & Special Editions: Facts for Features: The 2010 Holiday Season

Haina sawmill project is pau

A judge has ruled in favor of a lender in a foreclosure suit on a former Pacific Northwest logger who attempted to turn the former Haina sugar mill in Honokaa into a sawmill.

Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara entered judgment Dec. 8 against Haina Properties LLC and Robert J. Marr, known as “Barefoot Bob.” The ruling clears the way for a liquidation sale of the mill property.

Haina Mill Mortgage Lender LLC, a Delaware limited liability -company, filed the foreclosure suit in June 2009, claiming that Haina Properties and Marr — manager of Haina Properties and owner of the 49-acre mill property — defaulted on a $4.785 million loan taken out Sept. 27, 2007, plus an additional $379,000 borrowed May 2, 2008.

All told, Marr owes almost $6.2 million to Haina Mill Mortgage Lender, counting principal, interest, fees, taxes and expenses.

Also named as defendants in the suit were Kamehameha Schools and Hamakua Land Partnership LLP as owner and lessee, respectively, of Standard Oil Road, the access road to the mill. In addition, the county was named for property tax purposes.

Marr bought the 49-acre mill property for $3.3 million in October 2007. He told area residents that the mill — which closed as a sugar mill in 1994 — would provide 110 jobs paying $12 to $25 an hour, and would run in an environmentally-responsible manner.

Pasha Given Shipping Go-Ahead

Pasha Given Shipping Go-Ahead
Young Brothers warns of consequences.

The Hawaii state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) gave Pasha Hawaii Transportation Lines the all-clear on Dec. 2 to begin their interisland shipping – denying Young Brothers their appeal to keep Pasha out of the interisland cargo market.

The PUC stated that allowing Pasha to operate on an interim basis will “foster fair competition in the intrastate shipping industry,” according to the PUC’s interim order. They also stated that having more cargo carriers is positive for customers, so service could continue if “existing services are disrupted.”

However, Young Brothers maintains that Pasha is “cherry-picking” profitable routes and that the PUC is not maintaining its own regulatory standards.

Young Brothers is required to serve all ports in Hawaii, and uses its larger ports to subsidize smaller, less profitable routes such as Molokai and Lanai. Pasha currently sends cargo from the mainland to Honolulu, Kahului and Hilo, and requested to operate between Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai in March 2009.

Roy Catalani, Young Brothers vice president of strategic planning and government affairs, said they will be filing an appeal with the Intermediate Court of Appeals. In addition, he said they plan to file a “motion for stay” – asking the court to stop the effectiveness of the PUC decision until the court makes its decision.

Herbicide Field Day on Goosegrass Control


To: Golf Course & Landscape Industries
From: Norman M. Nagata, Extension Agent

A test was conducted on November 9 at Waiehu Municipal Golf Course to evaluate the efficacy of several herbicide mixes used by superintendents and new combinations to control goosegrass. On November 22, another test was conducted to observe the effects on using Revolver and Roundup at different rates for goosegrass control. You are invited to a field day to observe the results of these two tests.

Herbicide Field Day on Goosegrass Control

Date: December 17, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Place: Meet at Waiehu Golf Course “Service Entrance” (6th tee) next to Waiehu Beach Park & Baseball Field located at the end of “Lower Waiehu Beach Road” (MAP) at 10:45 am. We will then car-pool to the test site at the 17th tee.

Public encouraged to report suspicious species

To the writer of the Dec. 6 letter regarding the suspicious plant found along a Maui Lani road: Thanks for keeping your eyes open. Members of the public are the first to notice incipient invasive species. Public reports are essential to protecting Hawaii from invasive species. The most efficient way to prevent establishment of invasive species is to nip the infestation in the bud immediately.

The purple-flowered plant you noticed along the Maui Lani roadway is most likely a species of crown flower, Calotropis procera. Forest and Kim Starr regularly drive Maui’s roads mapping the distribution of invasive plants. Calotropis was first detected in 2001 and is widespread and naturalized on Maui. The plant is also on Hawaii island, Kauai and Lanai. It is indeed invasive, rating as a high-risk plant by the Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment, a background check to predict a plant’s invasive potential based on its biology.

Unfortunately, Calotropis is too widespread to be eradicated from the islands

Fungus holds clue to coffee blight

If one Big Island coffee grower is correct, the solution to the industry’s recent problem with the destructive coffee borer beetle might exist in the coffee plants’ own ecosystem.

The beetle was first detected on Big Island coffee farms this year, particularly in the dry South Kona area. Its spread has proved disastrous in some areas, costing farms as much as 75 percent of their usual yield.

Melanie Bondera of Kanalani Ohana Farm thinks the beetle is likely not new to the island and that the infestation might have been due to severe drought conditions that killed off a fungus — Beauvaria bassiana — that had been keeping the beetle in check for years.

Bondera said she got the idea from another farmer at a meeting last month and conducted a study of infected plants on the organic farm that she operates with her husband.

Examining scores of infested beans, Bondera found evidence of “white crystalline stuff” overflowing from beetle exit holes. When she cut the beans open, she found dead beetles stuck in the exit with the fungus growing out of their bodies.

Bondera, who holds a master’s degree in agriculture, speculates that the beetle has been in Hawaii for years but has been controlled by the presence of the fungus, which lives within the tissue of the coffee plant. She and other farmers think that when the drought hit, the fungus died off, allowing the beetles to do more damage.