The first real snowfall in perhaps two years has capped the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Mauna Kea’s summit is closed at least through this morning and possibly all day as crews work to remove ice and snow from the access road following Friday’s storm.
Mauna Kea Weather Center forecasters expected fog, ice, thick clouds and snow flurries to shroud the summit through the night, with temperatures falling to 26 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Periodic fog, ice and high humidity will probably continue to plague the summit through Monday night,” forecasters said.
“The Mauna Kea Access Road to the summit is closed above the Visitor Information Station due to snow and ice on the summit roads, thick fog and deteriorating weather conditions,” rangers said in a message posted Friday afternoon. “The road will probably be closed (today).”
Friday, webcams posted at the various observatories showed whiteout conditions blanketing the summit, with steady winds of 40 mph and subzero temperatures all day.
Personnel at all the observatories left the summit Friday due to the unsafe weather conditions. Continue reading
A 70-year-old Waipahu farm worker who died when a truck backed into him at Aloun Farms last Saturday was identified by a family member as Pedro Cervantes.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office said Cervantes died of multiple internal injuries from the accident.
Cervantes was hit about 1 p.m. on a dirt road across from the Waipio Costco on Ka Uka Boulevard.
“I knew him as a good person,” said Monica Cablay, 18, a distant relative of Cervantes. She said he would visit her house on special occasions and left behind children and grandchildren. “He just looked like a happy person.”
Police have opened a third-degree negligent homicide investigation. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is investigating the death.
The most useful blog in my world is Hawaii Agriculture. They keep up to date, and really cover the field (and sometimes stray into the ocean and forest.) A recent post alerted me to potential perils in the produce section: http://hawaii-agriculture.com/newblog/west-hawaii-today-features-food-sustainability-a-kona-vores-dilemma/ right here in Kona. The issue is produce that isn’t local, being sold as such, sometimes mixed into the same bin with local produce. Talk about a hot topic for local farmers!
But I was just thinking about what to cook for dinner the next day while shopping at my favorite local natural food store, Island Naturals. I like them so much I kind of felt bad about writing this post, but hey, guys, it’s up to you now. I found some gorgeous organic courgettes. No price, no problem, friendly Produce Man was 6 feet away. He dug around and got the tag. $2.99 a lb, the price for not going to the Farmer’s market, but they are deep green and gorgeous, and . . . they’re from MEXICO???
Trying to stay off my soap-box, I said to Produce Man as innocently as I could,”the tag says ‘Mainland,’ but the labels say they’re from Mexico (organic at least).” He stuttered a bit and said something about only having “local” and “mainland” tags, and admitted there was a problem with about four of their products. I couldn’t help saying, “Hawaii’ is my mainland, by the way, but the point is Mexico is a foreign country with different standards for organic.” Continue reading
HONOLULU – The state is reminding livestock owners that they have until the end of the month to re-register their brands or lose their rights to them.
Hawaii law requires livestock owners to register their brand every five years to secure its validity and individuality.
The state Department of Agriculture said Thursday that there were 700 registered brands in Hawaii between 2005 and 2010, but only 425 have re-registered their brands.
The department’s Livestock Disease Control Branch manager and veterinarian, Jason Moniz, said owners may potentially lose the right to their brand if they don’t reregister by Dec. 31.
Owners should contact the Livestock Disease Control Branch for more information.
MIKE BARRETT does not have much of a yard at his two-story row house in Astoria, Queens. But that fact has not kept him from his new hobby of beekeeping — he put the hive on his roof. When it was harvest time this fall, he just tied ropes around each of the two honey-filled boxes in the hive, and lowered them to the ground.
Eventually, Mr. Barrett loaded the boxes into his car, took off his white beekeeper suit and set off for a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. There, along with other members of the New York City beekeeping club, he extracted his honey, eventually lugging home 40 pounds of the stuff.
He was happy with his successful harvest, but he also reaped something he did not expect. “I was surprised how much I really care about the bees,” said Mr. Barrett, 49, a systems administrator for New York University, in reflecting on his inaugural season as a beekeeper. “You start to think about the ways to make their lives better.”
Until last spring, Mr. Barrett would have been breaking the law and risking a $2,000 fine for engaging in his sticky new hobby. But in March, New York City made beekeeping legal, and in so doing it joined a long list of other municipalities, from Denver to Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, that have also lifted beekeeping bans in the last two years. Continue reading
A bird conservation group says the endangered short-tailed albatross has nested in the far northwestern edge of the Hawaiian islands — the first time the species has done so in the United States.
The American Bird Conservancy said Wednesday nests for the white and black feathered seabird have been found at Kure and Midway atolls.
The atolls are about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu in the largely uninhabited Papahauamokuakea Marine National Monument.
Until now, the short-tailed albatross has only reproduced at two sites.
One is Torishima island in Japan. The other is in islands controlled by Tokyo and claimed by Beijing, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Feather hunting devastated the species at the turn of the 20th Century.
One of the most popular root vegetables is beets, the root of a plant whose greens are edible and delicious, too. Plentiful at this time of year, especially on the mainland when root vegetables are abundant, beets have been elevated from boiled and canned status to gourmet with new cooking techniques and varieties.
Salads of roasted red beets with goat cheese come to mind as the epitome of beet preparations of recent years. Golden or yellow beets have made their appearance as well as chioggia beets, the two-toned striped beets of Italian origin. Pickled, roasted, steamed, pureed or raw, beets are part of our contemporary tables.
When buying beets, it’s better to buy them with their tops so you can see how fresh it is — droopy greens indicate age. But beets hold up well when stored in the refrigerator. There’s no way to tell whether a beet is sweet except to eat it; knowing your beet grower can help you get fresh, sweet and firm beets. Continue reading
Instead of a roundup of “gardening books,” maybe we should just refer to this category of publication as Dirty Books. Anything to do with soil falls under our new rubric. That way, writers who farm wouldn’t feel the need to elbow aside rosarians who write, who in turn wouldn’t jostle rudely past backyard gardeners concerned with mundane raised beds of veggies, bruising thin-skinned egos along with the tomatoes. Anyone insane enough to dig holes, pour money into the ground, wait to see what happens and then sit down at a computer to tell us about it has earned the right to a little respect.
While it’s true that we can’t live without food, it’s equally certain that we need beauty to live well. Anna Pavord, a gardener who plants sweet peas with her cabbage, understands this very well. The author of “Bulb” and “The Tulip” has collected in THE CURIOUS GARDENER (Bloomsbury, $35) selections from 20-odd years’ worth of essays published in the British newspaper The Independent. Let me lay my seed packets on the table: I am a Pavord groupie. Anyone who can look at a vase of tulips and offer a cogent explanation of world economic history has my devoted attention. She is intelligent, perceptive and well informed, writes gracefully and has a dry, sly wit. Continue reading
Poinsettias can transition from Christmas into New Year’s decorations with some additional flair. Get dried, curly ting ting plant branches from a florist or craft supply shop, and place the stems into the pot and among the poinsettia foliage.
Ting ting comes in silver, gold, red, green and natural colors. Floral supply shops also carry spray glitter that is safe for plants. Simply changing the container or decorative wrap will also freshen up the plants to carry into next year.
Poinsettias are native to Central America and tropical Mexico. A botanist and diplomat named Joel Robert Poinsett, who served as a U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1825 to 1829, is credited with making this plant known throughout the world.
Poinsettias of today look much different from those found growing in the tropics. Short, bushy types have been developed for indoor holiday decoration. Intensive hybridization has resulted in beautiful new colors, including cream, yellow, peach, pink, improved reds and marbled and speckled bracts. The modern hybrids also hold their color for many weeks, lasting through the holidays and into the new year.
The brilliant color of the poinsettia does not come from the flowers, but rather the bracts. Bracts, often mistaken for flower petals, are actually modified leaves. The true flowers are small, yellow buttons, called cyathia, in the center of the colorful bracts. In November and December, when the days grow shorter, the colorful bracts begin to form. Continue reading