Ag officials urge buying local for the holidays

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii has a lot of beautiful flowers that are available year-round. But we still think of evergreens and holly when it comes to Christmas decorations.

“I guess we’re kind of conditioned,” said Eric Tanouye, Vice President and General Manager of Green Point Nurseries of Hilo. “We’re all to blame for that. We’re looking for that certain look that maybe we grew up with.

But Hawaii’s agriculture community wants us to consider buying local plants and flowers. “Our locally produced flowers and plants make beautiful arrangements that could be used for holidays. Home settings, entertaining, at the office,” Tanouye said.

Tanouye was among those at the first annual “Buy Local for the Holidays” event Sunday at the Department of Agriculture’s plant quarantine branch facility near Sand Island. Floral designers from around the state were on hand, putting together flower arrangements. The public was also invited to create their own small floral arrangements to take home.

Organizers said there were two big reasons to buy local. First, export orders for Hawaii’s cut flower industry have fallen during the current economic downturn, and buying local would create a homegrown economic stimulus. Second, it would prevent invasive species from entering the state.

Overnight red a good sign for Growing Greens

KAPA‘A — Almost overnight, everything turned red, said Marit McHugh, manager of Growing Greens Nursery in Kapahi.

“It was starting to turn, we had some signs of red, and all of a sudden, it’s all red,” she said Friday. “It must be the weather.”

McHugh was talking about the 2010 crop of poinsettia which is scheduled to start shipping next week to various commercial outlets, malls, churches and people with standing orders.

This year’s crop included about 5,400 plugs that were brought in August and raised at the Kapahi location. Now that they are in bloom with the holidays looming, the deliveries will start going out.

“This isn’t the biggest crop we’ve had,” McHugh said. “But then, the economy dictates what we need to do. Our best year, we had about 8,000 plants going out.”

Included among her plantings is “Ice Crystal,” a new variety brought in last year that has proven to be a solid seller, McHugh said.

“We brought in just a few last year and people grabbed them up almost immediately,” she said. “This year, we’ve brought in a few more and, already, half of the crop is going to Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club and some of the jewelry shops around the island. We’ve also put some in lava rock for decorations.”

The lava rock poinsettias are something new Growing Greens is trying out this year, the plugs being placed into specially drilled-out lava rock and growing bonsai-style.

Jamaica Gleaner News – Orchid business flowering in St Mary

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

WHEN RICHARD Padgette, new owner of Green Castles in St Mary, decided that he would pursue ecotourism interests instead of the traditional areas of agriculture for which the property had developed a reputation, he offered some of the workers a chance to buy into those areas.

Lloyd Pringle, who was managing the orchid operation, jumped at the opportunity to go into business and with his wife, Shana, bought out the operation and leased some of the land. That was three years ago.

“Most of the houses were at the stage that they needed replanting and so we brought in new plants and replanted. The houses are just coming back into production and we have three acres of cut flowers and half an acre of potted plants. The cut flowers are grown for reaping the blooms alone while the potted plants are sold whole,” Pringle explained.

Orchids are a year-round business, with peak periods such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Secretaries Day and the Pringles sell right across the island, from Negril Point to St Thomas in the east. They use courier services to facilitate delivery to the distant wedding coordinators, event planners and florists who support the business, while for neighbouring parishes, such as St Andrew and Kingston, they make the deliveries.

Business could be better if he could only get the orchids to cooperate by blooming in sync with the demand for them, but Pringle says that, try as he might, the flowers just won’t cooperate.

Flower Arranging Finds a Younger Audience – NYTimes.com

Flower Arranging Finds a Younger Audience
By EMILY WEINSTEIN

THE first time I bought flowers for myself was about five years ago at the Greenmarket in Union Square, in the midst of the hottest, dullest days of summer. Feeling very alone that afternoon for a reason now forgotten, I stood admiring some tulips. For $8 they could be mine. I was in my mid-20s and it seemed like such a luxury to buy myself flowers for no reason, no occasion. But that day I had the money in my wallet, and soon I was carrying the tulips home. I stuck them in a glass pitcher and watched them bloom, until their stems bowed and swept the tabletop and the petals all dropped off.

Over time, I became a regular flower buyer, at farmers’ markets on weekends or at the bodega on the way home from work. The bodega tulips were often the color of margarine and just as engineered. I loved them anyway.

Yet arranging flowers was something I avoided. As with baking sourdough bread or building bookshelves, I was too intimidated to try, especially since buying individual stems can be expensive. Easier to buy a bunch of the same flower, or two or three kinds at most, snip their stems and plop them in water, all while handling them as little as possible.

It turns out that I am not alone in wanting instruction: flower-arranging classes are on the upswing. Established institutions have long offered programs in traditional arranging, but newer schools, with a natural, free-form aesthetic, have begun popping up across the country, part of a swell of enthusiasm for things homemade.

Carludovica ‘Jungle Drum’ « Gardening with Wilson

A new palm-like houseplant with attractive, uniformly green but relatively stiff and pleated leaves that are curiously split halfway in the center to give two lobes has surfaced in our local nurseries. The identity of this new introduction is given as Caulodovica ‘Jungle Drum’ but its true identity is still under debate. Although it is named as a cultivar of Caulodovica, there are sources on the Internet that suggest that it can also be either an Asplundia or Cyclanthus.

Little information about the care of this new houseplant is available at present and no one really knows for sure how big it will really grow. To infer some information, I referred what is known about the most common cultivated Carludovica species, C. palmata, commonly known as the Panama Hat Plant. A member of the Cyclanthaceae family, its young leaves are used to make the Panama brimmed hat. A native of tropical America, it thrives in the shady and wet lowland forest understorey and can grow up to about 2 m.

From this, I safely guess that Caulodovica ‘Jungle Drum’ will probably grow well under roughly the same environmental conditions. So far, I have grown ‘Jungle Drum’ in a well draining, fertile and moisture-retentive soil mixture which consists of burnt earth and well rotted compost has yielded relatively good results.

Because it is an understorey plant, I expect my plant to burn if placed under too bright an area.

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness
How Prepared is Your Farming Operation?

Maui Extension Office
Monday, November 26, 2007
11 am ? 1:30 pm

Natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, pests, and diseases, can cause excessive economic damage to agricultural production. In addition to crop damage, disasters can also affect farm buildings, machinery, animals, irrigation, family members and employees. Disasters along with marketing difficulties can lead to serious downturns in your farm income.

How prepared are you? This workshop is designed to provide you with information on:
1) preparing your operation for a natural disaster and
2) available and affordable crop insurance programs that minimize risk associated with economic losses.
Note: Now that the “Adjusted Gross Revenue” (AGR) insurance is available for 2008, in effect all Hawaii crops can be insured to some degree ? not just bananas, coffee, papayas, macnuts & nursery.

Speakers:
? USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers and oversees farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and to help farmers adjust production to meet demand.

? USDA Risk Management Agency Western Regional Office, Davis. USDA RMA helps producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions.

? John Nelson from the Western Center for Risk Management Education (Washington State University) on the new Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) Insurance.

? Dr. Mike Fanning, Executive Vice President, AgriLogic, is a specialist in Agri-Terroism, crop insurance, farm policy analysis, and individual farm risk management.

? Dr. Kent Fleming, an agricultural economist with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), is an Extension Farm Management Specialist with a focus on risk management education.

The workshop is FREE and lunch (sandwiches or bentos and drinks) will be provided. For more information, visit the website http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/agrisk/ You may also contact Kent Fleming @ 989-3416 or fleming@hawaii.edu or Jan McEwen @ 244-3242 or jmcewen@hawaii.edu

Please call the Maui Extension Office at 244-3242 by November 21, 2007 to register for this seminar.

Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products report.

flower091307.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

————————————————————-
Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909
————————————————————-

HAWAII FLOWERS & NURSERY PRODUCTS” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED annually. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $2 per year to all others.

HAWAII FLOWERS & NURSERY PRODUCTS Annual Summary
Release: September 10, 2007

2006 FLORICULTURE AND NURSERY PRODUCTS NEAR RECORD

Hawaii?s floriculture and nursery products is estimated at $100.7 million for 2006. This is near the previous year?s record high and continues as the top contributor to diversified agriculture according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Some commodity groups experienced increases while others had decreases in 2006. Cut flowers totaled $14.1 million, up 1 percent. Cut and potted orchids were valued at $22.2 million, nearly unchanged from last year. Lei flowers pegged at $3.5 million was 6 percent lower. Foliage sales were 7 percent less, registering at $18.1 million. Potted flowering plants were 1 percent above 2005 and valued at $6.4 million. Landscape plants were estimated at $20.9 million, almost unchanged from last year. Plant rentals increased 4 percent and totaled $5.1 million. Other nursery products jumped 14 percent, registering $5.8 million. Bedding and garden plants wholesale value, at $3.3 million, was 11 percent higher than 2005.

STATE SUMMARY

COUNTY RANKINGS:
Hawaii County, with $51.9 million in sales, ranked number one in 2006. Honolulu farmers registered sales at $33.5 million, 3 percent more than 2005. Maui County sales totaled $12.3 million, 3 percent above last year. Kauai sales, pegged at $2.9 million, were 8 percent below 2005.

COUNTY SUMMARIES

HAWAII COUNTY LEADS IN SALES
Hawaii County growers of flowers and nursery products accounted for 52 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products in 2006. Hawaii County?s 410 growers rang up sales of $51.9 million, 3 percent less than the $53.4 million in 2005. Honolulu?s 250 producers accounted for 33 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products. Honolulu farmers reported sales of $33.5 million, 3 percent above 2005. Maui County?s 195 producers generated $12.3 million in sales, 3 percent more than a year ago. Kauai?s 75 producers registered $2.9 million in sales, 8 percent less than 2005.

OUT-OF-STATE SALES

OUT-OF-STATE SALES TOTALED $49.0 MILLION

The value of out-of-State sales of flowers and nursery products (including wholesale and retail sales) during 2006 was estimated at $49.0 million. Values in this table are not comparable to values shown in the majority of other tables throughout this release. The value of out-of-State sales represents the dollar received at the point the commodity leaves the State. Thus, the product contains retail and wholesale sales and may include multiple transactions by the time it leaves the State.

Potted foliage, valued at $11.6 million, remained the number one floriculture and nursery product exported. Other potted orchids followed second with $9.3 million in value. Cut anthurium exports contributed $7.1 million, up 14 percent from 2005. Potted dendrobium orchids ranked fourth in out-of-State sales with $3.8 million, declining 13 percent from 2005.

DENDROBIUM ORCHID SALES DOWN 10 PERCENT
In 2006, dendrobium orchid sales were valued at $8.8 million, 10 percent lower than 2005. Potted in bud/bloom contributed $5.7 million, declining 3 percent from last year. Cut sprays registered $2.5 million in sales, down 19 percent from the previous year. Sales of individual blossoms fell 10 percent to $532,000.

DENDROBIUM PRODUCTION AREA 9 PERCENT LOWER
The combined production area for dendrobium cut sprays and in bud/bloom pots totaled 5.2 million square feet, 9 percent lower than 2005. Production area reported by growers includes newly planted, as well as established acreage; thus, year-to-year yield comparisons calculated using area and sales may be misleading.

Area utilized for cut sprays totaled 2.8 million square feet, 16 percent below 2005. Production area for potted in bud/bloom totaled 2.4 million square feet, increasing 2 percent from the previous year.

Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Flowers & Nursery Products report.

flower091307.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

————————————————————-
Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909
————————————————————-

HAWAII FLOWERS & NURSERY PRODUCTS” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED annually. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $2 per year to all others.

HAWAII FLOWERS & NURSERY PRODUCTS Annual Summary
Release: September 10, 2007

2006 FLORICULTURE AND NURSERY PRODUCTS NEAR RECORD

Hawaii?s floriculture and nursery products is estimated at $100.7 million for 2006. This is near the previous year?s record high and continues as the top contributor to diversified agriculture according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Some commodity groups experienced increases while others had decreases in 2006. Cut flowers totaled $14.1 million, up 1 percent. Cut and potted orchids were valued at $22.2 million, nearly unchanged from last year. Lei flowers pegged at $3.5 million was 6 percent lower. Foliage sales were 7 percent less, registering at $18.1 million. Potted flowering plants were 1 percent above 2005 and valued at $6.4 million. Landscape plants were estimated at $20.9 million, almost unchanged from last year. Plant rentals increased 4 percent and totaled $5.1 million. Other nursery products jumped 14 percent, registering $5.8 million. Bedding and garden plants wholesale value, at $3.3 million, was 11 percent higher than 2005.

STATE SUMMARY

COUNTY RANKINGS:
Hawaii County, with $51.9 million in sales, ranked number one in 2006. Honolulu farmers registered sales at $33.5 million, 3 percent more than 2005. Maui County sales totaled $12.3 million, 3 percent above last year. Kauai sales, pegged at $2.9 million, were 8 percent below 2005.

COUNTY SUMMARIES

HAWAII COUNTY LEADS IN SALES
Hawaii County growers of flowers and nursery products accounted for 52 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products in 2006. Hawaii County?s 410 growers rang up sales of $51.9 million, 3 percent less than the $53.4 million in 2005. Honolulu?s 250 producers accounted for 33 percent of the State?s total wholesale value of flowers and nursery products. Honolulu farmers reported sales of $33.5 million, 3 percent above 2005. Maui County?s 195 producers generated $12.3 million in sales, 3 percent more than a year ago. Kauai?s 75 producers registered $2.9 million in sales, 8 percent less than 2005.

OUT-OF-STATE SALES

OUT-OF-STATE SALES TOTALED $49.0 MILLION

The value of out-of-State sales of flowers and nursery products (including wholesale and retail sales) during 2006 was estimated at $49.0 million. Values in this table are not comparable to values shown in the majority of other tables throughout this release. The value of out-of-State sales represents the dollar received at the point the commodity leaves the State. Thus, the product contains retail and wholesale sales and may include multiple transactions by the time it leaves the State.

Potted foliage, valued at $11.6 million, remained the number one floriculture and nursery product exported. Other potted orchids followed second with $9.3 million in value. Cut anthurium exports contributed $7.1 million, up 14 percent from 2005. Potted dendrobium orchids ranked fourth in out-of-State sales with $3.8 million, declining 13 percent from 2005.

DENDROBIUM ORCHID SALES DOWN 10 PERCENT
In 2006, dendrobium orchid sales were valued at $8.8 million, 10 percent lower than 2005. Potted in bud/bloom contributed $5.7 million, declining 3 percent from last year. Cut sprays registered $2.5 million in sales, down 19 percent from the previous year. Sales of individual blossoms fell 10 percent to $532,000.

DENDROBIUM PRODUCTION AREA 9 PERCENT LOWER
The combined production area for dendrobium cut sprays and in bud/bloom pots totaled 5.2 million square feet, 9 percent lower than 2005. Production area reported by growers includes newly planted, as well as established acreage; thus, year-to-year yield comparisons calculated using area and sales may be misleading.

Area utilized for cut sprays totaled 2.8 million square feet, 16 percent below 2005. Production area for potted in bud/bloom totaled 2.4 million square feet, increasing 2 percent from the previous year.