Hawaii Agriculture Posts

Rare Native Succulent Test – We Will be Giving Away Free Peperomia Mauiensis Plants

Please help us test a very rare native succulent as an indoor plant. We will be giving away free Peperomia mauiensis plants on Saturday, December 12, 2020 from 9-11 am at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and following up with a survey. Plants and survey will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please line up at the entrance to the Gardens and follow COVID-19 guidelines such as wearing masks and staying 6 ft apart. Aside from filling out an initial survey, we also request respondents to complete a follow-up survey 6 months after receiving the plant. We look forward to your participation. Mahalo! #peperomiamauiensis #consumersurvey #maui

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Hannah Lutgen

Junior Extension Agent, Landscape and Floriculture
University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR)
Maui Cooperative Extension
310 Kaahumanu Ave, Blg 214
Kahului, HI 96732
(808)-244-3242 ext.233

Botanist grows giant gourds in small spaces

News Herald
By Sue Suchyta

Lincoln Park native and botanist Jeffrey Boutain, Ph.D., has a growing ambition to show that great things can grow in small spaces, as demonstrated by his gigantic gourds and supersized sunflowers.

He said big things can easily happen in the small backyards of cities like Lincoln Park.

“This year, I was a gourd short of squashing the world record of 1,776.6 pounds in the 2020 150-square foot (grow space) pumpkin contest,” Boutain said. “Hopefully, growing giant plants in small garden spaces for competitions will inspire others, not only my students, to show off their green thumbs.”

Boutain, a botany and biology professor at Wayne County Community College, grew his 1,770-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin in 96 square feet of garden space in Lincoln Park, which he entered in the Central Great Lakes weigh-off at Andy T’s Farm Market in St. Johns, Michigan.

He also won a second-place rosette at the Great Pumpkin Contest weigh off at the 2020 Virtual Michigan State Fair, with a 296-pound True Green squash.

Boutain said his focus is on ethnobotany, which is studying the past and present use of plants by people for food, fiber, medicine and rituals.

“A great way to engage and encourage students in many areas of science is to know and grow iconic species, like giant sunflowers and pumpkins,” he said. “After students make an observation, test a hypothesis and conclude from the results, they are rewarded with edible seeds and fruits from their experiments. As a result, both the students and plants win.”

For 36 years, Boutain has honed his green thumb by exploring and gardening with his family.

He said his recent experiments with growing giant plants in small spaces stems from his time spent living in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii, while he was in graduate school.

“With high living costs for small rental spaces in many cities, I adapted from the in-ground soil gardening that is typical of the suburbs of southeastern Michigan to above-ground, potted plants on concrete driveways and balconies in the city of Honolulu,” Boutain said.

He said the biggest hurdle for people to grow plants in small spaces is preventing normal pests, like insects, and fungal, bacterial and viral infections.

“With such a small patch to grow a pumpkin plant, I am developing new methods in my attempt to grow a record heavy fruit in 96-square feet or less,” Boutain said. “Giant sunflowers also are very easy to grow for competitions, and even a crack in the concrete (driveway) can produce tall specimens like the plant variety called Mammoth.”

Another technique he uses to grow gourds, which include pumpkins, melons and squash, is to allow the root to start from a one cubic foot pot, set on a driveway, from which the vines extend. The gourds can then be cushioned on organic material, like a hay bale, while the vine still extends to its original pot. This year, one of his pot-planted gourds weighed in at 99 pounds.

Boutain lauds all the plant people who nurtured growing gardens this past season, as the pandemic keep many people close to home.

“In this 2020 harvest season, I appreciate all the farmers, laborers and teachers for their hard work,” he said.

State gets $1.8M grant to boost Molokai forest protection

Maui News

Funding will help with fencing and removal of hooved animals as well as creating firebreaks

Forests on the southern slopes of Molokai are about to receive additional protections from threats like wildfires, erosion and flooding thanks to a $1.8 million award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Friday.

The funding will go toward proven tools such as fencing and removal of hooved animals, as well as creating firebreaks, which will lead to clearer ocean waters, vibrant reefs, restored plants and trees and fewer disruptions along the island’s main road that stretches from Kaunakakai to the east end, DLNR said.

“We are excited to support DLNR’s work to restore native forests, which will help to reduce risks of flooding, landslides and fire to communities on Molokai and will lead to healthier habitat for native species,” Erika Feller, director of Coastal and Marine Conservation for the foundation, said in a news release.

State Sen. J. Kalani English, who represents East Maui, Molokai and Lanai, said that watershed capital improvement project funds authorized by the state provided most of the match needed to apply for the grant. The larger Watershed Initiative is directing an additional $2 million of state CIP and operating funds to protect Molokai’s forests and employ Molokai residents.

“I’m delighted that this state funding has been able to attract more federal and private funding that will create more jobs on Molokai while helping preserve our forests and reefs,” said state Rep. Lynn DeCoite, who also represents East Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

Some federal and foundation funds are available only when a matching investment can be demonstrated, the news release explained. Since 2013, State Watershed Initiative funds have brought in more than $36 million in federal, county and private funds for forest protection projects statewide.

Molokai’s remaining native forests play a crucial role in the island’s ecosystem by holding soil and absorbing rainwater. Funding helps state agencies and nonprofits to continue to protect the forests and restore areas converted to bare dirt by wildfires and hooved animals. The East Moloka’i Watershed Partnership, led by The Nature Conservancy, involves DLNR and other agencies, landowners and community organizations working to develop a landscape-level management plan to address problems across the south slope, where dirt washes down to the ocean and clogs fishponds, kills corals that need sunlight to grow and feeds invasive algae that smothers the reef.

“The ‘olelo no’eau (Hawaiian proverb) ‘Ina e lepo ke kumu wai, e ho’ea ana ka lepo ikai’ means ‘If the source of the water is dirty, muddy water will travel to the sea,’ “ said Ulalia Woodside, director of The Nature Conservancy, Hawai’i chapter. “By restoring forests, we counter that possibility and provide jobs that allow the people of Molokai to give back to the nature that sustains them.”

County officials also expressed support for funding and emphasized the importance of protecting the island’s forests.

“Each budget session, our Maui County Council allocates significantly to forest watershed protection efforts countywide, and being from Molokai, where subsistence is our way of life, funding resource management is highly prioritized,” said Council Vice-Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, who also serves as the Economic Development and Budget Committee chair.”

Stacy Crivello, Molokai community liaison for Mayor Michael Victorino, added that “Molokai depends on our natural resources to sustain our lifestyle.

“Protecting our watershed and restoring our forests protect our reefs,” Crivello said. “Taking care of mauka takes care of makai.”

Farmers, environmentalists offer a climate change strategy

Chinook Observer

Even as climate change deniers in the Trump administration were blocking a reckoning, a new coalition of farm groups and environmentalists was meeting secretly — building a 40-point climate program to present the incoming Biden government. A Nov. 20 story in our sister publication Capital Press describes the new Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA).

A few examples of FACA’s initial recommendations include expanding use of anaerobic digesters with manure, changing food labels to include both “best by” and “use by” dates to reduce food waste, creating performance-based tax credits for farms that improve soil health, encouraging carbon sequestration through financial incentives and more.

There are at least two implications in FACA’s existence. Farmers are breaking away from Republican climate denialism. That is an exceedingly pragmatic and realistic move. “Our goal from the start was to be at the table with the policy development process, not sort of reacting after the fact,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

The second implication is that farmers, like so many other players in the American economy, see the effects of climate change. Among the organizations that decades ago developed climate strategies are the Weyerhaeuser Co., Coca-Cola and the Central Intelligence Agency. The Pacific Northwest oyster industry has long recognized the ways in which climate change will alter the habitat it depends on; Willapa Bay-based Goose Point Oyster Co. started raising oyster seed in Hawaii nearly a decade ago as a hedge against acidifying West Coast seawater.

It is especially heartening to see FACA’s emergence at the moment when the Biden administration is preparing to take office. After four years of a president who laid land mines throughout the federal government, designed to inhibit and prohibit scientific discussion and action on climate, the tone of FACA’s approach is decidedly forward-looking, fact-based and realistic.

Farmers — whether they grow soybeans, seafood or Douglas-fir — are our front line against the harm gathering speed around us.

Since publication of our 2006 company-wide series spotlighting climate change, this newspaper and our parent company have regarded this as the century’s most pressing issue. It is at once a transformation with profound international and local effects. And it is later than we think. 2020’s record-setting hurricanes in the Atlantic, epic western wildfires, toxic algal blooms and other phenomena sound an alarm about all the climate chaos to come. Humanity will pay a steep price if we fail to strongly act upon our awareness that the climate is changing in countless ways.

Farmers — whether they grow soybeans, seafood or Douglas-fir — are our front line against the harm gathering speed around us. Practical and closely tied to the health of the land, air and water, American commodity producers have always been instinctive environmentalists — even if some might bridle at being bunched with certain environmental groups that can come off as arrogant, ignorant, urban and blind to legitimate rural concerns.

This isn’t to say all farmers and ranchers always act in everyone’s long-term best interest. There isn’t anyone working in agriculture, aquaculture or forestry who can’t discretely point to some neighbor who over-irrigates, overgrazes, is too sloppy in applying pesticide or fertilizer, or commits some other land-use sin. But most are good stewards of the farms they treasure. They work to improve their property and want to eventually pass it into other caring hands. They are conservative in the old-fashioned sense of wanting to conserve what they love. Get past partisan politics, and conservatives and conservationists have much in common.

Environmental groups that actually want to make a difference in the climate struggle — as opposed to demonizing agriculture and forestry just to generate financial donations — will continue seeking out ways to cooperate with front-line producers. And farmers of every kind can preserve their ways of life by finding mutually beneficial partnerships with rational environmentalists.

After too many years of knee-jerk confrontation, the prospects are enticing. As an official with the Environmental Defense Fund said about FACA’s formation, “I know it sounds crazy, but we had fun together. I hate the word ‘unprecedented’ because people use it for everything in 2020. But hey, we might as well do something else unprecedented.”

Hawaii Can Learn A Lot From Japan About Farming And Food Production

Civil Beat
By Ken Love –

As the longtime executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers association — and a longtime Hawaii farmer myself — I have spent decades traveling through the islands of Hawaii and many countries in Asia, meeting farmers, agricultural extension agents, researchers and policymakers.

What I have learned is this: We in Hawaii are at a point in our history where we could use some help, and there are all kinds of good ideas out there waiting for us, like nourishing fruits that are ripe and ready and waiting to be harvested.

Japan has much to offer us when it comes to agriculture. Its focus on farming and local production is not just a matter of pride — it’s ingrained, dating back to their Jomon period, which coincidently started at the same time as agriculture itself, about 12,000 years ago.

Just because we started later does not mean we have to lag behind.

When the first canoes were bringing settlers to Hawaii, the Japanese monk Kobo Dashi was bringing the first medical textbook home from China. That book explained how to use loquat as a medicinal. Today any of the shops in Honolulu’s Chinatown will have loquat extract and loquat leaf tea to help the lungs. I can testify that it works great to combat the effects of vog.

The Hawaiians who arrived in those canoes also came with an exceptional history of farming. The canoe plants they transported thrived in the islands under their care: niu, kalo, ulu, olena, ko, many others. For centuries, hundreds of thousands of people in Hawaii feasted on the bounty that the land gave them. Vast agricultural field systems flourished.

In the 19th century, monocropping of sugar became the agricultural norm in Hawaii. Monocropping of pineapple followed.

Now it’s all changing again. The vast Hawaiian field systems are a memory. So too are the sugar and pineapple plantations. Freighters bring us our meals from thousands of miles away.

When I say we need help and Japan can help us, I’m thinking of very specific things: learning how to better market our products, improving certain horticultural practices, putting the culture back in agriculture (something our Ulu Cooperative here in Kona is already excellent at).

And this: At the core of Japan’s agricultural success is respect for farmers and support of their work.

Given a history that is many thousands of years old — and that has seen plenty of war and famine — Japan is a country well aware of the value and importance of having a strong food production system.

For example, let’s say you’re a farmer in Japan and you need a greenhouse. Much of Japan’s produce is grown in greenhouses, which eliminates most problems with pests and bacteria and allows the farmer to better control the environment. (Japanese greenhouse farmers always get two crops of mangoes per year, something few farmers in Hawaii even attempt.)

Back to that greenhouse you need: The national government supports agricultural development by offering growers 50% of the cost of a new greenhouse. Another 20% of the cost comes from the prefectural government. The farmer just needs 30% to move forward, and greenhouse loans are loans that local banks are eager to make.

Japan Agriculture is a national cooperative that farmers rely on for many aspects of their operations. JA provides services including reduced cost fertilizer and supplies, which farmers can purchase from one of the thousands of JA co-op markets that exist in rural areas.

These co-op markets often offer classes in making value-added products from local farm crops, and they sell those products as well as produce fresh off the farm. Some JA shops will have farmers markets too.

In addition to the stores, the local JA office will usually have an affiliated gas station and often a branch of the national JA bank.

Bottom line: Japan Agriculture buys in quantity for a low price and sells to farmers at or just above cost.

Marketing one’s crop in Japan is often a family affair. Most JA stores and grocery stores will post flyers next to produce, showing a photo of the farming family, all smiling for the camera.

Japan’s post office system sells gifts by mail, and at any post office counter, you can order a case of persimmons with a picture of the family that harvested them.

In railway stations and other high traffic areas like street corners in Tokyo, JA and farmers will set up displays for a few days. Entire prefectures will often do this in different areas, just to feature their local crops. I can imagine Hawaii County setting up a display in Ala Moana Shopping Center, selling Big Island avocados.

All of these markets and the displays help to educate consumers about local farming. You can tell it’s working by visiting the stores: When local items are placed next to less expensive imported items, the local always sell first. People expect to pay more for locally grown at markets in Japan, unlike in Hawaii where we still have a flea-market mentality around locally grown crops.

Speaking of cost: We often hear how expensive everything is in Japan with tales of just one mango or one melon selling for $100. If fact, such high-end mangoes and melons are used solely for gifts and represent fewer than 1% of the country’s crop. Many costs in Japan are actually lower than they are in Hawaii.

I ask people in Hawaii what they imagine a grafted fruit tree would sell for in Japan. I love to hear the guesses: $150? $200? And up.

In fact, farmers in Japan can purchase a wide variety of citrus, persimmon and other fruit trees for, on average, $7.50 a tree. Yesterday I checked citrus trees at a big box store in Kona and the prices started at $50 and went to $199.

We at the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers association sell trees for $20. I know what it costs to produce and care for those trees and we have to charge $20 to make a tiny profit. Japan’s price of $7.50 is a concrete illustration of the country’s commitment to its farmers.

Japan is famous for its exquisite gardens and its tree pruning practices are excellent. Most of the country’s food-producing trees are kept low, about six feet, which helps them to weather typhoons, improves production and reduces the need for external labor and machines.

Fortunately, these pruning practices are now being employed by growers on Maui, Kauai and in Kona. Yoshimi Yonemoto, who ran the Japanese government’s tropical fruit tree research station, has spoken numerous times at the annual conference of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers association. He has demonstrated better ways for us to manage our trees and facilitate harvesting.

In Hawaii, ignorance about proper harvesting is a major problem and the reason we have a reputation for poor-quality watery avocados. I would guess 70-plus% of those avocados would have been delicious if they had stayed on the trees until they reached maturity.

Japan has a small army of extension agents to help its farmers. These agents educate farmers in all kinds of areas like, for example, harvesting. Thanks to the extension agents, in Japan there is no question about when to harvest.

The country’s extension agents come from many institutions and companies: universities, the national government’s ministry of agriculture, prefectural governments, companies that produce large quantities of value-added products from local crops, JA, fruit parks and machino eki.

A machino eki is what was once referred to as a roadside oasis or stand — a place to stop for a rest or coffee and to shop for local produce and products.

A good example is the Tomiura Biwa Club. “Biwa” is Japanese for loquat. Today in Japan you can buy 3,000 items made from or featuring loquat. Yes, that includes a Hello Kitty doll holding a bunch of loquat! But there are literally thousands of cakes, jams, jellies, teas, everything you can think of, made from loquat.

Perhaps more importantly, the Biwa Club, which is four hours from Tokyo, buses in visitors on picking tours when the season is right, the ripening of loquat being considered one of the first signs of spring.

On weekends in the spring and summer, the area is bombarded. The club has a library for growers, meeting rooms and an extension agent to answer questions about growing. There are sales of local produce as well as displays of local art and handicrafts. The restaurant offers loquat-based curries, salads and, of course, ice cream.

In other machino ekis, there are kitchens that offer classes on making jams and jellies. These lessons are sponsored by the government and companies through public-private partnerships. We could set up machino eki across the islands.

For me, the most important undertaking that we should emulate in Hawaii is the Japanese Fruit Park. There are four or five now across Japan. The fruit parks are a one-stop shop for growers, visitors, consumers, school and senior tours. I usually reference Nagoya’s Togokuzan Fruit Park.

Here, in addition to fruit trees both in and out of greenhouses, there is a library, restaurant, museum, kids’ park, kitchen rental area, farmers market, seasonal fairs and numerous special events throughout the year.

Any park visitor can use the reference materials in the library. A wide range of items can be found, from childrens books to technical publications of national agriculture organizations.

The staff, either in the library reference room or out in the field, is more than happy to answer questions on pruning, irrigation, soil care, post-harvest care and to teach visitors how to use the crops they’ve purchased.

In 2007 The Kohala Center arranged for the Rocky Mountain Institute to do a study on Hawaii island. The fruit park concept rated in the top five for ideas to consider.

Though I have visited Japan hundreds of times in the last 40 years, spent many months studying and learning about its agricultural practices, and thought a great deal about how those practices could help farmers in Hawaii, I do recognize that there are, of course, differences between Hawaii and Japan. One of these is land.

Land acquisition has always been an issue in Japan as in Hawaii, but Japan, with its dwindling population, now faces a different set of issues than our islands.

As Japan’s economy expanded in the 1950s and the 1960s, children left rural areas for jobs in Tokyo and other large cities. Eventually the parents died, and children were left having to pay an exorbitant inheritance tax. It was sometimes easier just to give the land back to the prefecture than it was to pay the tax.

Some rural prefectures were left with many hundreds of small abandoned farms. Some of the prefectures decided to offer ownership of the land for free to anyone who would come and work it for five years. In a few cases, prefectures even paid a small salary to the new generation of farmers until they got established.

Now, with COVID-19 changing everyone’s lives, people in Japan’s cities are looking more seriously at returning to the countryside.

There is one last idea from Japan I’d like to share here, something we could do for our kupuna. It is modeled after a delightful tradition carried on by the Aichi-ken Experiment Station for seniors who live around Nagoya.

The Aichi-ken station grows a large number of fig trees, each one in its own milk crate. The trees are typically pruned so that each tree has five or six vertical branches, with each branch holding about 20 figs.

In the spring, these trees are delivered, for free, to any senior who would like to have one. The seniors can eat, give away or sell the figs, at which point the trees are picked up and moved back to the experiment station to weather in a greenhouse over the winter.

Next spring, after the trees are cared for and pruned so the figs will sprout again, the trees are delivered once more. It is so very wonderful to see the faces of elders enjoying the trees.

Turkey hunting takes couple on a wild ride

Star Herald
by Danielle Prokop –

GURLEY — Everybody’s got a thing. For Leon Kriesel and Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, it’s turkey hunting.

“Sure, it’s quite a quirky thing, but it’s ours,” Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel said.

Leon and Cheryl’s self-described “obsession, possession, all those wonderful words,” has spanned decades and thousands of miles. They’re close to hunting turkey in nearly every state except a handful — one problem being no wild turkeys in Alaska, but otherwise they have Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina left on the mainland. And Hawaii.

“That’s not going to happen,” Leon said, jokingly.

He’s not the only one who’s gone for the Gould, a type of Turkey in the Sonoran mountains in Mexico. The National Wild Turkey Federation keeps lists of people who’ve completed the U.S. Superslam, meaning catching turkey subspecies in every state except Alaska, and it’s a short list. There’s only 11 people.

Leon’s Kriesel’s goal to take a hunting trip in the South this past spring was sidelined by coronavirus.

The turkey hunting obsession started off harmlessly enough. Leon described his first turkey hunt in the early ‘80s with little fanfare, but it stuck with him. He said he started in the hills around Nebraska and morphed into journeys such as hunting seven turkeys across seven states in 11 days.

“It’s a challenge to outthink them, what they’re going to do, where they’re going to be,” he said, describing strategy for mimicking hens to call turkeys in.

Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel said she doesn’t carry a gun but comes along on the trips to “keep the stories honest.”

“We got addicted, that’s the best word for it,” she said. “It started with a benign trip to Hay Springs, from there it’s kind of exploded.”

Now, as their passion enters its fourth decade, they have a few mementos, a book about a turkey trip made by an outfitter, pictures and the mounts. Nothing comes close to the glory of the ocellated turkey tom. It’s a subspecies found in Mexico with brown feathers that melt into a glow of iridescent greens and blues. Turquoise “eyes” stare from the back of males’ tail-feathers. As he talks about the hunt, Leon Kriesel strokes the white streaky wings used to impress hens. It’s the bright blue head, with yellow and red bumps called corns that really catches the eye. They know he was an older bird from his long ankle spurs used to fight other toms for hens’ attention.

“That look is one of a kind,” Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel said.

Cheryl and Leon enjoy a wild turkey for their Thanksgiving celebration — they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Culinary arts students participate in ‘ulu project

Maui News
Lui K. Hokoana –

One of the “canoe crops” brought by Polynesians to Hawaii, possibly as early as the third century, ‘ulu (breadfruit) is a food decidedly suited to our times. The mature fruit is a nutritious and adaptable substitute for a potato. It can be boiled, steamed, baked, fried, even made into crunchy ‘ulu chips. Maybe some of you opted for mashed ‘ulu rather than the traditional mashed potatoes on your Thanksgiving table. Young fruit can be pickled. Ripe — even overripe — fruit is sweet and creamy and delicious in desserts. The wood from ‘ulu trees is light in weight and was multipurpose in ancient Hawaii. The National Tropical Botanical Garden’s Breadfruit Institute at Kahanu Gardens in Hana grows almost 100 varieties.

And those ‘ulu trees in Hana is where this story begins. It may appear to be a long — LONG — way from raising bison on the Great Plains of the U.S. Mainland to cultivating ‘ulu in Hana. But agriculture is agriculture, according to Hana Ranch Manager Duane Lammers who actually traveled that road. “John Cadman (a chef and one of Maui’s most ardent ‘ulu advocates) brought us our first trees from Kahanu Gardens and he introduced us to the ‘Ulu Co-Operative on Hawaii island,” explains Lammers.

“This is the third year of production and of our 100 trees, 87 are producing full tilt,” says Lammers. The fruit has to be shipped to the co-op on Hawaii island for processing, which is unwieldy at best. “With all the disruption Young Brothers was starting to experience when the pandemic hit us, I knew it was going to get worse.” When he expressed that concern to Chef Gary Johnson, who has worked at several Maui restaurants and has done a lot of work with the Ranch, Johnson introduced him to Chris Speere who heads up our Maui Food Innovation Center.

“I’d been through the Maui Food Innovation program myself,” says Johnson who is now the garden coordinator for Grow Some Good, a program in multiple Maui schools. “Fortunately, I knew a lot of the players who would need to be involved. Along with Chris, we were able to fast track the partnership, including with the Department of Health.”

And so one Saturday morning in early October, a truck pulled up to the loading dock at the Food Innovation Center and delivered about 2,000 pounds (yes, a ton) of ‘ulu. Several of our culinary arts students were waiting. Over the course of the weekend — under the supervision of Speere and Johnson — they washed it, weighed it, cooked it in 350-pound batches to an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahreheit, cut the ‘ulu in half, put them on sheet trays on rolling racks, rolled them into the walk-in refrigerator, cooled them, quartered them, seeded them, weighed them again, and froze them. The following week, they were packed in 10-pound bags, then 40-pound cases, labeled and put back into the freezer. Ready to distribute. Ready to prepare, serve, and eat. That process has taken place every weekend since then and will continue through December.

Jacob Devlin is in his final semester of our Culinary Arts Program. “A friend of mine was working with Nicolette van der Lee (director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui) who was looking for someone to work with native Hawaiian vegetables and plants. I was introduced to Chris Speere and started working on the ‘ulu project.” he says. “I had never heard of ‘ulu before. Now, I’ve experimented with it in stir-fries and even in desserts. And I’ve made ‘ulu scones!”

First year culinary arts student Phrincess Constantino wasn’t really familiar with ‘ulu, either. “In high school, I had worked with Chris Speere on an internship at the Innovation Center. So, when one of my professors asked if anyone was interested in the ‘ulu project, I thought it would be a good way to get some experience in a commercial kitchen. It’s been a good and interesting experience.”

The upshot? “With little lead time, the college provided us great information, leadership, and enthusiastic students,” says Lammers. “It all serves as proof of concept for us and we’re now looking at the possibility of building a processing plant for ‘ulu and for other products, as well, right here in Hana.”

And for Chef Johnson? “My purpose in this is to create a strong channel of locally grown canoe crops to be able to proliferate on the island for our food security and sustainability. And I want ‘ulu to replace the potato in our diets.”

Oh, and those tons of ‘ulu? They’re being sold commercially by VIP Foodservice.

Sometimes it takes a village. And sometimes it takes an island.

For information about our Maui Food Innovation Center, please visit maui.hawaii.edu/foodinnovation; for more information about our Culinary Arts Program, please visit maui.hawaii.edu/culinary.

USAJOBS Daily Search Results for Agriculture Jobs in Hawaii for 11/27/2020

Supervisory Loan Specialist (Agricultural) –
Department: Department of Agriculture –
Agency: Farm Service Agency –
Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Honolulu, Hawaii
Salary: $94,071.00 to $122,296.00 / PA
Series and Grade: GS-1165-13
Open Period: 2020-11-27 to 2020-12-11
Position Information: Permanent – Full-Time
Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Internal to an agency

Some jobs listed here may no longer be available-the job may have been canceled or may have closed. Click the link for each job to see the full job announcement.

Community celebrates native species with Hawaiʻi Nei Art Exhibition

Hawaii Tribune Herald

The 12th annual Hawai‘i Nei Art Exhibition commenced with an open house celebration Nov. 6 at the Wailoa Center. Local artists of all ages entered pieces of art celebrating the native flora and fauna of Hawaii Island.

Winners of this year’s juried exhibition for the adult divisions included Kathleen Mishina (Jurors’ Choice), Lynn Capell, Susan Champeny, Robin Scanlon, Noah Gomes, Jan Taylor, Avalon Paradea, Scott Gorrell, Maria Macias, Emily Herb, Melisa Hicks and Mark Somers, Connie Simon, Margaret Russo, Kathleen Carr, Cody Yamaguchi, Lanaya Deily, Heidi Fickinger, Alex Wang and Andy Fiefarek.

Winners for this year’s youth divisions included Jasmine Christie (Juror’s Choice), Lewis Cameron, Jennie Kau, Kahea Levita, ‘Opua Kern, Hawelelani Camara, Sarah Kau, Jordyn Osorio, Quincy Tobey, Keoni Kamaki Cummins, Celina Chen, Miley Auth, Madelyn Awaya, Tess Hagan, Ella Mettler, Harper Highfill, Hayden Takiue, Eden Tobey, Claire Texeira and Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo.

Artwork will be displayed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Wailoa Center from now through Dec. 10 as well as 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 5. The Wailoa Center is closed on holidays.

COVID-19 safety protocols are enforced during the exhibition. Everyone must wear a mask when entering the Wailoa Center and maintain social distancing by following posted signs and floor markings. The center thanks the public in advance for its patience and understanding.

A virtual tour of the exhibition can be viewed at www.hawaiineiartcontest.org.