Eat, grow, heal – Hawaii Features – Staradvertiser.com

For botanist Laura Shiels, herbs in the garden are not only a source of spice and flavor, but of healing.

Lemongrass adds zest to a soup but also helps relieve insomnia, while ginger is good for nausea. Chili peppers add spice but also stimulate circulation.

Basil can help relieve indigestion or nerves. Rosemary is said to enhance memory.

Shiels, a doctoral student in ethnobotany and former lecturer at the University of Hawaii, has been teaching workshops on how to grow and cultivate herbs for several years, with a focus on healing.

“Let food be your medicine,” says Shiels, who cultivates gardens everywhere she goes.

Many culinary herbs make aromatic compounds to protect themselves from being attacked by viruses and fungi, as well as to attract pollinators, she said. Those same compounds have antioxidant or antimicrobial properties.

So you can add flavor and health at the same time, she said, and address specific ailments with herbs.

Basil, for instance, popular in salads and the main ingredient for pesto, alleviates gas. Its leaves can be used for many dishes, while the flowers can be brewed into a tea, good for treating coughs.

Garlic is good for lowering blood pressure and relieving colds and flu.

Ginger adds aroma and flavor to dishes

Check out the hands of ginger at your supermarket or farmers market: Look for smooth, paper-thin, golden, shiny skins and plump fingers, signs of ginger freshly harvested.

It’s time to enjoy this robust, flavorful rhizome from island farmers; as ginger ages, it becomes more fibrous, potent and shriveled.

Ginger is essential to Chinese cooking, used for its aroma, flavor and physiological effects. It’s considered a yang food because it stimulates such functions as blood circulation, perspiration and digestion; it can also prevent nausea.

It is always paired with fish to kill off fishy odors and is used in a wide array of dishes that are boiled, braised or steamed. Nothing compares to ginger in chicken long rice, shredded atop steamed fish or finely minced over cold chicken.

Ginger adds aroma and flavor to dishes – Hawaii Features – Staradvertiser.com

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 Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *September 23, 2007*.

current_hi092307.pdf

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

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Orchards in eastern sections of the Big Island were in generally good condition. Favorable showers provided good moisture. Spraying and leaf trimming helped to minimize Black Leaf Streak disease incidences. Bunchy Top incidences remained localized in the Puna and Kona districts. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields were in good condition with heavy to moderate supplies for the market. Heavy irrigation continued as the fields remained dry. Windward fields were in fair to good condition with light to moderate supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu was expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.

Papayas
Orchards in the lower Puna area of Hawaii County were in good to fair condition. Ample soil moisture and sunny periods helped to boost flowering and fruit development. Field activities such as spraying for disease control and fertilizing were active. Young and new orchards made steady progress. On Oahu, some orchards were re-worked for future harvest after being damaged by a wildfire. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good with the high temperatures slowing crop progress. Ring spot virus and wild pig damage in some fields lowered yields. Orchards on Kauai continued to make good to fair progress during the week. Pickings were at moderate levels from several fields in harvest with some new fields in active harvest boosting available supplies.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop made good progress with heavy irrigation. Young plantings made steady growth. Light production was expected from Volcano fields. Supplies were mainly for the local markets. On Maui, insect pressure in most of the major growing areas has decreased and damage also declined. Weather conditions have cooled and producers noted that this was beneficial for the crop. Relief from the hot daytime temperatures and the cool evening temperatures allowed some improvement in the quality of the crop. Growth and development was steady, but may soon begin to show signs of slowing down as day length begins to shorten. Planting has been steady and production was expected to stay at current levels. The head cabbage crop was in fair to good condition.

Sweet corn
Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress with the sunny, dry weather and heavy irrigation. Areas affected by water use restrictions have cut back on planting activities and have experienced decreased yields. The Big Island?s young corn crop continued to make good progress. Harvesting was active and supplies were for local sales.

Other Crops

Coffee
On Kauai, orchards were in good condition with active harvesting anticipated to continue. Sunny days and moderate trade winds kept fields in good condition for harvesting. Rainfall has been light and reservoir levels continued to decrease causing some concern.

Ginger root
The Big Island?s crop made good growth during the week. Very damp conditions, however, slowed fieldwork.

Persimmon
Maui?s persimmon crop was in good condition. There were some reports of deer entering the field, but so far damage has been minimal. Insect pressure has also been minimal. At the current rate of development, the crop is expected to reach maturity in October with harvesting to begin shortly there after.

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending September 9, 2007.

current_hi090907.pdf

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

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Orchards located in the windward areas of the Big Island were in generally good condition. Adequate soil moisture combined with sunny and warm days provided good conditions for orchard progress. Young plantings in the Pepeekeo and Keaau areas made good progress. Spraying was required to minimize Black Leaf Streak disease incidences. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields remained in active harvest with heavy supplies. Heavy irrigation continued as fields remained dry. Orchards on Kauai were in fair to good condition. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.

Papayas
Orchards in the lower Puna district of the Big Island made good progress during the week. Sunny days and adequate soil moisture were beneficial. Seedlings sprouted from newly planted fields in Pohoiki. Spraying for disease and weed control was on going. Overall harvesting on Oahu was reduced by fire damaged fields that were in active harvest. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good. High temperatures slowed crop progress. Mealy bugs were mostly under control while ring spot virus and wild pig damage continued to lower harvesting in some fields. Kauai?s orchards continued to make good to fair progress during the week. Pickings were at moderate levels from several fields in harvest. New fields entering active harvest provided a boost to available supplies.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop was in generally good condition. Medium-sized heads were harvested. Heavy irrigation was maintaining normal crop progress. The Volcano crop was in fair condition as dry conditions and cooler temperatures slowed the progress of non-irrigated plantings. Volcano supplies were for the local markets. Maui?s crop continued to make relatively steady progress. Evening temperatures have been notably cooler in the Kula area. Insect pressure continued range from high to moderate, with most operations being able to manage insect damage. However, some operations have reported a high amount of losses due to insect damage over the past couple of weeks. Overall, the Maui head cabbage crop was in fair condition.

Dry Onion
On Maui, most fields have been planted for the fall harvest and are reportedly doing well. A few additional fields may be planted this month for the late fall/early winter harvest. Overall the dry onion crop was in fair condition.

Sweet Corn
Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress. Sunny and dry weather during the week proved improved growing and field conditions. Areas affected by water use restrictions have resulted in a cutback on planting activities and have experienced decreased yields. Big Island plantings made good progress due to adequate soil moisture and sunny weather. Harvest was active and crop quality was generally good.

Other Crops

Coffee
Coffee harvesting was in progress in the Kona districts of the Big Island. Orchards on Kauai were in good condition with increased harvesting forecast to continue this coming week as fruit ripening was steady. Sunny days and light to moderate winds have kept fields dry allowing for good harvesting. Rains at the upper elevations during the weekend boosted reservoir levels which allowed adequate irrigation for all trees.

Ginger root
The young ginger crop on the Big Island made favorable progress during the week. Sunny weather and adequate soil moisture benefited root development.

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *July 29, 2007*

current_hi072907.pdf

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

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Vegetables

Head Cabbage

Active harvest is in progress in the Waimea fields. Head sizes ranged from medium to small in the Waimea area of the Big Island. Heavy irrigation maintained normal crop progress. Insect damage was generally light. The Volcano crop was in fair condition. Weather conditions have not been favorable for optimum growth. Maui?s crop continued to show slow but steady progress under hot growing conditions. Producers increased irrigation for their fields, but overall the crop appears to be tolerating the heat well. Insect pressure for the most part has been low to moderate throughout the major growing area with only a few reports of slightly increased pressure being noted. Damage was under control. Losses to the crop were mainly due wildlife feeding as the dry surrounding areas have not been sufficient to support the natural wildlife in the area. Birds, deer, and some domestic animals have entered fields in search of food and water. Plantings have continued, and production is expected to be steady at current levels. Some fields were abandoned on Oahu to control the increasing pressure from the Diamondback moth infestation.

Dry Onions

Maui?s crop continued to show steady progress even though the hot growing conditions have been very challenging for the crop. Average yields were hovering at lower levels for most fields mainly due to smaller bulb size. There have also been increased reports of losses due to wildlife feeding and damage in the fields. Some of these fields will be abandoned. The onion crop was in generally fair to marginally fair condition.

Tomatoes

Young vines in the Big Island?s Waimea area made good progress. The crop was in generally good condition. Vines in Glenwood and Kona greenhouses were in fair to good condition. Young vines had good fruit set.

Other Crops

Coffee

Field in the Kona Districts of the Big Island benefited from convective showers. Orchards on Kauai were in good condition as the berries size up with heavy irrigation applications. Reservoirs were replenished with rains at the upper elevations and water resources are expected to be at adequate levels to bring the crop to harvest. Insect pressure was low.

Ginger Root

Young ginger crop continued to make good progress due to the favorable weather conditions in eastern sections of the County of Hawaii. Sunny and warm weather throughout most of the week and adequate soil moisture benefited root development.

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *July 1, 2007*

current_hi070107.pdf

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

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Big Island orchards made generally good progress. Soil moisture was adequate. Sunny and warm periods benefited fruit development. Young and newly planted orchards in Pepeekeo made steady progress. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Fields in windward areas remained in fair condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields made good progress. Irrigation levels were at heavy levels during the week due to a lack of rain and gusty winds. Kauai?s orchards were in good to fair condition.

Papayas
Conditions in the lower Puna area of the Big Island were ideal for orchard progress. Daily showers provided sufficient soil moisture. Sunny and warm periods provided a boost to flowering and fruit set. Field activities such as spraying for disease and weed control were active. On Oahu, fruit development and ripening were good with the increased day length and dry weather conditions. Mealy bugs and Ring Spot virus lowered production in some fields. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Spraying to contain insect populations was stepped up to contain an increase in infestation.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop was in fair to good condition. Heavy irrigation was required especially in the Lalamilo area. Routine spraying was controlling insect and disease losses. New plantings made good progress. The Volcano crop was in fair condition. Plantings have increased, but made slower progress due to the dry conditions. New plants were in good condition on Oahu. Insect infestation was at light to moderate levels. Maui?s crop remained in fair to good condition. Insect pressure was higher in the major growing areas, but farmers were closely monitoring conditions to ensure timely spraying.

Dry Onions
Most fields on Maui were developing at a slower rate due to hot and dry conditions. Average bulb size has decreased. Overall, Maui?s crop was in fair condition.

Sweet Corn
On Oahu, favorable weather conditions allowed the plants to make good progress. Some reports of light worm damage were reported during the week. Isolated windward fields experienced some growing problems. Big Island fields were in fair condition. Soil moisture was adequate and resulted in improved growth.

Other Crops

Coffee
The Big Island?s Kona coffee orchards made good progress due to adequate soil moisture levels. Coffee cherries were in the green stage of development. On Kauai, Isolated rains during the week benefited some fields. Showers at the upper elevations kept reservoir levels stable which allowed for good irrigation of all fields. Gusty trade winds were unfavorable for most fields and offset some of the benefits of irrigation.

Ginger Root
Plantings in the windward areas of Hawaii Island made good progress as daily showers raised low soil moisture levels. Sunny periods also helped to boost crop growth.

Sugarcane
Harvesting, planting, and milling activities were active on Kauai during the week. The summer showers which are typically at the upper elevations kept reservoir levels steady and allowed irrigation levels to keep up with the plant?s needs. Some insect infestation was reported with increased vigilance for control.

Watermelons
Harvesting on Oahu was active and supplies for the Fourth of July holiday are anticipated to be heavy.

Hawaii Crop Weather

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *May 21, 2007*

current_hi052207.pdf

Please visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/ for more information.USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Banana
Banana orchards in windward sections of Hawaii Island continued to make good progress. Soil moisture was adequate. Sunny and warm conditions benefited fruit and orchard growth. Disease incidences have remained stable. Banana Bunchy Top incidences remain isolated in the Puna and Kona areas. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Fields in windward Oahu were in fair condition with light to moderate harvesting as Banana Bunchy Top virus continued to keep production down. Leeward and central Oahu fields continued to make fair to good progress and were also slowed by Banana Bunchy Top damage. Irrigation levels remained at moderate to heavy levels during the week due to the relatively dry weather. Fruit development and ripening continued to make good progress with the sunny days and warmer temperatures. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition.

Papaya
Orchards in the lower Puna area of the Big Island were in good to fair condition. Light showers helped to provide some soil moisture. However, more showers are needed. In the lower Kapoho area, large orchards had trees that were too tall for commercial harvest. Recently planted orchards made slower progress due to the dry conditions. Spraying for weed and disease control was on-going. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Spraying to contain insect populations continued on a regular schedule and was keeping infestations manageable.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop was in generally good to fair condition. Medium-sized heads were harvested. Hot and dry conditions required heavy irrigation. Insect and disease damage was generally light. The Maui head cabbage crop continued to make steady progress. Warmer growing conditions have increased crop growth and development, but it has also encouraged increased insect pressure in the major growing areas. Borders of fields were drying out and insects and wildlife were feeding on irrigated fields. So far, losses have been kept to a minimum, but it may become increasingly more difficult to control with the warmer months approaching. Overall, Maui?s head cabbage crop was in fair condition. On Oahu, new plants were in good condition. Insect infestations were at light levels and mostly under control.

Sweet Corn
The Big Island?s young crop made steady progress. Sunny days and adequate soil moisture benefited crop growth. On Oahu, beneficial weather conditions allowed plants to make good progress and boost market supplies from central Oahu fields. Windward fields made good progress during the week and are expected to continue with moderate harvesting.

Dry Onions
Maui?s dry onion crop continued to benefit from the current weather conditions. The long days and warm temperatures encouraged good growth and development especially for maturing fields. Yields were good and are expected to be steady for several weeks. The lack of rainfall has reduced the occurrence of quality defects in the field. Developing fields were showing good steady progress. Overall, the dry onion crop was in fair to good condition.

Miscellaneous

Ginger Root
Plantings in the eastern sections of the island of Hawaii made steady progress. Sunny and warm days benefited crop growth. Light showers provided just enough moisture to sustain growth.

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *May 13, 2007*

current_hi-0515a07.pdf

Please visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/ for more information.USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Banana
Big Island orchards in eastern sections were in generally good condition. Sunny days and adequate soil moisture benefited fruit and orchard development. Younger stalks made good progress. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Fields in windward areas were in fair condition as Banana Bunchy Top virus continued to keep production down. Leeward and central Oahu fields continued to make fair to good progress also hindered by Banana Bunchy Top virus damage. Irrigation levels remained at moderate to heavy levels during the week due to the windy and dry weather. Fruit development and ripening continued to make good progress with the sunny days and warmer temperatures. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition.

Papaya
Favorable weather conditions are beneficial for orchard progress in the lower Puna area of the Big Island. Orchards in the Kapoho and Pohoiki area were in generally good condition. Spraying was ongoing for weed and disease control. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Spraying to contain insect populations continued on a regular schedule.

Vegetables

Chinese Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop made good progress with heavy irrigation. Insect and disease damage was generally light due to timely spraying. The crop was in generally good condition.

Head Cabbage
On the island of Hawaii, fields in Waimea were in good to fair condition. The quality of the harvested heads was fair due to weeds and warmer temperatures. Insect and disease damage was generally light. New plantings made good progress with heavy irrigation. On Maui, the head cabbage crop continued to show good growth and development during the week. Warm growing conditions in the Upcountry area allowed for the average head size to increase and development within the fields to be more uniform. However, the warm weather was also conducive for increasing insect populations. Increased irrigation was necessary for most fields, especially in the lower elevation areas. The clear weather has allowed for normal field activities to occur. Overall, the head cabbage crop was in fair to good condition. Central area fields on Oahu were in mostly good condition. Insect infestation was at light levels and mostly under control.

Sweet Corn
Adequate soil moisture and sunny days favored growth in east Hawaii fields. Overall crop conditions ranged from fair to good. Beneficial weather conditions allowed plants to make good progress in central Oahu fields. Ear worm infestation was light and under control. Windward fields made good progress during the week. Semi-head (Manoa) Lettuce Planting and harvesting remained steady on Oahu. Light to moderate insect infestation and damage to plants continued to lower yields. Spraying to control insects was active.

Dry Onions
Maui?s crop continued to show good growth and development during the week. Fields, at the various stages of development, benefited from this weeks? weather. Newly transplanted fields may have been stressed due the warm sunny days. Maturing fields showed good growth over the passed couple of weeks. Good yields are expected mainly due to increased bulb size and decreased occurrence quality defects. Overall, Maui?s dry onion crop was in good condition.

Miscellaneous

Ginger Root
Crop progress is good on the Big Island. Adequate soil moisture and sunny days benefited young ginger growth in East Hawaii fields.