Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA | West Hawaii Today

The 23rd annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s upper campus, sponsored by the school’s Ohana Association and Dr. Joan Greco, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

This year, the family festival in Waimea will feature a pumpkin patch with locally grown pumpkins and a new $20 wristband for keiki.

The wristband covers the climbing wall, horseback rides, laser tag, The Zoo Choo Train, inflatable bouncer and a new 28-foot high double lane slip and slide. This year’s musical lineup includes the Honokaa High School Jazz Band, Ms. B and The Boys, Mikiala Yardley and her trio. Food booths will be plentiful, offering hamburgers, hot dogs, and island favorites, such as lau lau, GJ Huli Chicken and foods with an Asian flair.

Again this year, the festival will host several nonprofit organizations.

The pumpkin patch is now a zero-waste event coordinated by Noah Dodd, HPA lower school garden coordinator and Sam Robinson. Both will be available to offer their expertise to make it an educational day.

For more information, contact Pamela Heitz at pamelaheitz@sbcglobal.net or 405-740-4937.

Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA | West Hawaii Today

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Pick Your Own Hawai‘i-Grown Pumpkin at Aloun Farms

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Ahh, October—time for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin mochi and Hawai‘i-grown pumpkins. Aloun Farms, which celebrates its 10th year of educational tours this year, hosts an average of 15,000 students at its annual pumpkin patch. Event coordinator Michael Moefu says the student tours run Tuesdays through Fridays. “They learn a little bit more about agriculture, not just pumpkins,” he says. “Corn, sunflowers, beans and over a dozen different varieties of pumpkins.”

This is also the 14th annual Pumpkin Festival at Aloun in Kapolei, which is open to the public the last three weekends of October from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 91-1440 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, 677-9516, alounfarms.com.

Pick Your Own Hawai‘i-Grown Pumpkin at Aloun Farms – Honolulu Magazine – October 2014 – Hawaii

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Kohala Pumpkin Patch event expands despite shortage

It’s been one tough year to raise pumpkins on Kohala Mountain.

The crop has been hit with the triple whammy of a mouse plague, cut worms and a tropical storm that stressed the plants so much they dropped their flowers.

None of this has deterred the Kohala Mountain Farm Pumpkin Patch from opening for its eighth year of Halloween pumpkins, food, rides and other attractions. While visitors to the farm — which commenced a fun-filled month Saturday — may see fewer pumpkins than in previous years, they’ll find expanded offerings in other areas.

“All we could do was laugh and carry on,” farm manager Benjie Kent said.

Visitors can hop on a wagon for a tour of the fields. The ride, pulled by draft horses and offered by Naalapa Stables, is new this year. The petting zoo has been expanded and there is a new miniature pony cart ride and cake walk. Musical offerings have been expanded as well, with the Pau Hana Pickers set to play several days and Beyond Paradise out of Hilo set to play Nov. 18.

Families can have their photos snapped by a sign painted with height markers. If they come back each year, they can take photos showing how their child is growing. And there are plenty of opportunities for snapping the obligatory shots of kids in wheelbarrows with pumpkins.

The farm recently added an observation platform made with lumber donated by HPM Buiding Supply. The platform gives a good view down the coast and into the corn maze so observers can help their friends find their way out — or confuse them further.

Central to this year’s story at the 23-acre educational farm on Kohala Mountain Road, however, is the shortage of fruit suitable to be carved into jack-o-lanterns. Continue reading ‘Kohala Pumpkin Patch event expands despite shortage’

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FIELD CROP PRODUCTION – PACIFIC REGION

P1050311SUGARCANE: The 2014 production of sugarcane in Hawaii is forecast at 1.43 million tons, up 2 percent from the previous year, but unchanged from the August forecast. Harvested acreage is estimated at 19.0 thousand acres, up 7 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 75.0 tons per acre.

The 2014 U.S. production of sugarcane for sugar and seed in 2014 is forecast at 29.4 million tons, down 4 percent from last year. Producers intend to harvest 883 thousand acres for sugar and seed during the 2014 crop year, down 28.3 thousand acres from last year. Expected yield for sugar and seed is forecast at 33.3 tons per acre, down 0.5 tons from 2013.

COTTON: California Upland cotton production in California is forecast at 215 thousand bales, down 35 percent from the 2013 crop. Harvested acreage is estimated at 59.0 thousand acres, down 35 percent from a year ago. Yield is forecast at 1,749 pounds per acre, up 1 percent from last year.

California American Pima cotton production is forecast at 510 thousand bales, down 16 percent from the 2013 crop. Harvested acreage is forecast at 154 thousand acres, down 17 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1,590 pounds per acre.

U.S. upland cotton production is forecast at 16.0 million 480-pound bales, up 30 percent from 2013. Harvested area is expected to total 9.69 million acres, down 4 percent from last month but up 32 percent from 2013.

The U.S. American Pima cotton production, forecast at 578 thousand bales, is down 9 percent from last year. Expected harvested area, at 189.4 thousand acres, is down 5 percent from 2013.

RICE: California’s 2014 rice crop forecast, at 36.8 million cwt., is down 23 percent from the previous year. The yield forecast is 8,600 pounds per acre, up 2 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year. Planted and harvested acreages are forecast at 433 thousand and 428 thousand acres, respectively. As of September 1, nearly all of the rice acres had headed.

The 2014 U.S. rice production is forecast at 218 million cwt, down 5 percent from August, but up 15 percent from last year. Area for harvest is expected to total 2.91 million acres, down 4 percent from August, but 18 percent higher than 2013. Based on conditions as of September 1, the average United States yield is forecast at a record high 7,501 pounds per acre, down 59 pounds from August and down 193 pounds from last year. Continue reading ‘FIELD CROP PRODUCTION – PACIFIC REGION’

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GLP Bulletin: ‘Kaua’i law restricting GMOs and pesticides illegal’ rules Hawaii Federal judge

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A federal judge struck down a new law regulating the use of pesticides and growth of genetically modified organisms by large-scale commercial agricultural companies on Kauai.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren decided Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491) is invalid and preempted by state law.

The law was scheduled to go into effect Aug. 16 but the court extended it to October. However, the judge’s ruling stops the county from enforcing the ordinance.

The law required seed companies to disclose the types of pesticides they use and establish buffer zones near dwellings, medical facilities, schools, parks, public roadways, shorelines and waterways.

GLP Bulletin: ‘Kaua’i law restricting GMOs and pesticides illegal’ rules Hawaii Federal judge | Genetic Literacy Project

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Big Isle papaya farmers’ loss estimated at $53M

Tropical Storm Iselle hit Hawaii island hard. It devastated papaya farms in Pahoa as the fruit-laden, top-heavy trees were no match for the storm’s intense winds.

HILO >> Hawaii island farmers are assessing damage to crops after Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall last weekend.

“It was pretty clear to us that the papaya farmers took the highest amount of damage,” Richard Ha, president of the Hamakua Springs Country Farms, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “Estimation of the sales lost, plus the startup, the bulldozing costs and growing up to that first year, when they’re ready to harvest again is about $53 million,” he said.

“People have been flying overhead to look over the damage with helicopters. The damage is devastating. Some folks have about 80 percent damage. Some folks’ farms had less, of course, but the damage is extremely high,” Ha said.

State and federal agriculture officials spoke with local farmers Monday, he said. Continue reading ‘Big Isle papaya farmers’ loss estimated at $53M’

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Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting

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Renovations to the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be the subject of a public meeting later this month.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation said the meeting is being held to explain the project’s scope and gather public input.

It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, at the Hawaii County Council chambers on Aupuni Street.

Aging buildings at the Hilo Muni suffer from termite damage and other problems. The back side of the restaurant is shown.

The proposed project includes replacement of the pro shop, restaurant and two on-course bathrooms, and reconstruction of four greens. It will also involve various maintenance and repair work, including replacement of water lines.

Jason Armstrong, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the work will also bring the golf course and adjacent driving range into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He said work on the design phase, which is expected to cost $1.5 million, has already begun.

Continue reading ‘Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting’

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Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting on July 22

bin

Renovations to the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be the subject of a public meeting later this month.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation said the meeting is being held to explain the project’s scope and gather public input.

It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, at the Hawaii County Council chambers on Aupuni Street.

Aging buildings at the Hilo Muni suffer from termite damage and other problems. The back side of the restaurant is shown.

The proposed project includes replacement of the pro shop, restaurant and two on-course bathrooms, and reconstruction of four greens. It will also involve various maintenance and repair work, including replacement of water lines.

Jason Armstrong, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the work will also bring the golf course and adjacent driving range into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He said work on the design phase, which is expected to cost $1.5 million, has already begun.

Armstrong said the department hopes to put the project out to bid early next year.

The renovations include replacement of two on-course restrooms. The one shown is located near Kawailani Street, near the tee area of the fourth hole.

He said the course, restaurant and pro shop will remain open during construction, which is expected to take 12 to 16 months to complete.

Pedestrian, vehicle and golf-cart traffic will likely be re-routed intermittently during construction, which will also require temporary modifications to play on the course.

At 165 acres, the Hilo Muni is the county’s largest developed recreational site. The course typically hosts about 80,000 rounds a year.

The county’s only golf course averages more than 200 rounds a day.

Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting on July 22 | Big Island Now

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This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade

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Saddle up for the 59th Annual Makawao Rodeo (July 3-6) and the 49th Annual Makawao Paniolo Parade (July 5). The Rodeo never ceases to entertain with four full days of qualifying rounds, bull-riding, team-roping, mugging, barrel racing and more. Friday’s Bull Bash will amp the crowd for Saturday’s Colorful Hawaiian Style Parade (9am-11pm), complete with rodeo royalty, pa’u riders, classic cars, cowboys, cowgirls and local celebrities. Park at the Oskie Rice Arena Rodeo Grounds and take the free shuttle to the parade (7-9am) and then back to the rodeo grounds(11:30am). Rodeo: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, Students, $5 Kids. Oskie Rice Arena (Olinda Rd., Makawao), mauimapp.com/rodeo.htm

This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade | mauivents.com

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GMO ban, research at odds?

Hawaii County set itself apart from much of the rest of the state in December by effectively banning the large biotech seed companies that have become a major, though controversial, part of Hawaii agriculture.

But with a ban also on the outdoor testing of transgenic crops, can the Big Island, home to genetically modified papaya, still be a place for genetic research?

Six months later, the answer might be clearly no for some researchers while a bit hazy for others.

Because of the law, Russell Nagata, Hawaii County administrator for the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, said his staff will not pursue genetic engineering.

“It will prevent us from using biotech as a solution” to agricultural issues, he said following a panel discussion on genetic modification Thursday evening.

“It forces us to look at it in a different manner. It may be slow, it may not be as effective.”

Scientists interviewed say growing modified crops, that are still under development, in open fields is necessary to test their effectiveness.

While they say they take steps to prevent the spread of genes, including the removal of plants before flowering, critics of genetic modification believe outdoor testing presents too much risk. They also question the approval process.

“We are looking at the precautionary principle,” said Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille during the panel discussion sponsored by the Hilo chapter of the American Association of University Women. Wille introduced the bill restricting the use of transgenic crops.

Under the county’s law, testing can occur but it must be done indoors.

At the time the bill was adopted, Nagata said his office was not conducting any genetic research.

For those with projects already in progress, the law might provide less certainty.

Michael Shintaku, a plant pathologist at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said he is continuing his research on creating lettuce resistant to the tomato spotted wilt virus but is unsure of whether he can get it approved with the current restrictions. Continue reading ‘GMO ban, research at odds?’

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MALP Lawn and Garden Fair–Saturday, June 14th, 10am-3pm, Maui Mall

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FREE event Featuring:

  • Educational talks:  Ian Cole – Breadfruit Institute;  Gerry Ross – Kupa’a Farms;  James Simpliciano – Simpli-Fresh Produce, LLC,  Emil Lynch – Maui’s Best Honey, and  Melanie King – Waste Not Want Not
  • More than 20 vendors selling plants and gardening material
  • Book sale featuring gardening and plant books
  • Door prizes
  • Free soil pH testing – Bring 2c soil sample selected from various areas across property
  • Free plant problem diagnosis – Bring a plant sample – bagged
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Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo


Paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) show off their skills at three major annual events: the Piiholo Cowboy Classic in September; the Oskie Rice Memorial Rodeo in December; and Maui’s biggest event, the 4th of July Rodeo, which comes with a full parade in Makawao town and festivities that last for days.

Polo is popular with the Upcountry paniolos. From April through June, Haleakala Ranch hosts “indoor” or arena contests on a field flanked by side boards. The field is on Route 377, 1 mile from Route 37. During the “outdoor” polo season, September to mid-November, matches are held at Olinda Field, 1 mile above Makawao on Olinda Road. There’s a $5 admission for most games, which start at 1:30 pm on Sunday.

Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament. Held over Memorial Day weekend, the Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament is a popular two-day polo event. It draws challengers from Argentina, England, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. 808/877–7744. www.mauipoloclub.com.

Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo – Maui | Fodor’s

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Agriculture grant information session | About Town | 4-21-14


Agriculture grant information session planned for Thursday

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is inviting the public to an agriculture grant information session and market development workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Kona Cooperative Extension Service, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Highway in Kainaliu.

Attendees will discuss different funding sources, proposal preparation and reporting and grant requirements. There is no cost to attend but registration is required the day before the event.

For more information, call Marci at 973-9595 or email hdoa.md@hawaii.gov. Continue reading ‘Agriculture grant information session | About Town | 4-21-14’

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Why Are We Pro-GMO?

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We feel that genetic engineering is an important and crucial technology. Ignorance and myths surrounding this field hinders advancement at best and harms at worst. It’s especially a concern to us as vegans for these reasons:

  1. Animal testing: Insisting on unfounded safety testing leads to more animals being harmed in order to perform this testing.
  2. Animal alternatives: GM technology can help create alternatives to animal products. For example, insulin used to be obtained from slaughtered animals; now it is manufactured by genetically modified bacteria. It could also be possible to use GM technology to replace animal foods. Cheese has been difficult to mock, and the lack of acceptable vegan cheese analogues could be a barrier for many potential vegans.
  3. Nutrition & Health: GM technology can benefit vegans by creating plants rich in nutrients vegans lack, such as vitamin B12 and DHA. This would make it easier for people to go and stay vegan. Recently, CSIRO scientists have been enabling canola plants to produce DHA. People who are vegan need DHA, and synthetic DHA can help save the lives of fish, who are often used as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. People are animals too, and there are many in dire need of help. GM technology could help bring essential nutrients to starving populations, and GM foods could even be used as vehicles for vaccine delivery.
  4. Environment: Creating plants that use fewer pesticides and fertilizers will help us strive toward a sustainable agriculture that’s less detrimental to all life on this planet. Fewer insects would be killed, less runoff will poison fish, and no- or low-till agriculture will save the lives of ground-dwelling animals.

There are many in the vegan community co-opting the vegan cause with conspiratorial thinking and junk information on GMO. The best antidote to this is good critical thinking. Please be sure the source for your information is well-qualified and scientific.

Why Are We Pro-GMO? | Vegan GMO

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Maui Roping Club & Auxiliary Presents the 2014 Makawao Rodeo Queen and Princess Contest

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Date: 5/10/2014
Time: 4pm

Queen: 18- 25 Yrs. Old. has never held the title of Makawao Rodeo Queen.

  • Must be able to participate in the upcoming parades and attend the Makawao Rodeo and parade.
  • Must be able to do radio announcements and sponsor appearance.
  • Must ONLY enter 1 rodeo event at the 4th of July rodeo. Must be in good health
Princess: 15 – 17 Yrs. Old. has never held the title of Makawao Rodeo Queen or Princess.
  • Must be able to participate in the upcoming parades and attend the Makawao Rodeo and parade.
  • Must be able to do radio announcements and sponsor appearance.
  • Must ONLY enter 1 rodeo event at the 4th of July rodeo. Must be in good health
For More information, Please contact Maui Roping Club Auxiliary President Deidra Lopes @ 298-1310 or Royal Court Coordinator Kathleen Birmingham @ 283-4615 Applications are due May 2, 2014

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Ant infestation covers 4 acres in Waimanalo

HONOLULU — An extensive survey of an area in Waimanalo has determined approximately 4 acres are infested with little fire ants, tiny invasive ants that can inflict painful stings. Crews surveyed more than 50 acres from Kumuhau Street to Mahailua Street in Waimanalo and determined that the infestation area is on state land and in mulch areas located outside nurseries in that area. Little fire ants were detected previously on hapuu from Hawaii Island at a few nurseries and garden shops earlier this year, but those areas were treated and are now clear of little fire ants.

Survey operations were headed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and involved several agencies including: the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Ant Laboratory, Oahu Invasive Species Committee, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, The Nature Conservancy, University of Hawaii, City & County of Honolulu, and Hawaii National Guard.

Little fire ants have been found on Hawaii Island since 1999. In late December, the ant was detected on hapuu logs (Hawaiian fern) at retail stores on Maui and Oahu. Since its detection, Oahu and Maui nurseries have been surveyed. Five Oahu nurseries, three of which were in Waimanalo, were found to have small infestations of little fire ants, which were treated and are clear of the ants.

Ant infestation covers 4 acres in Waimanalo | West Hawaii Today

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