Dems to honor ‘Ag Country Roots’ today

Everyone invited to free afternoon event in Honokaa

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will bring his entourage and several other politicians to Honokaa High School from 3-6 p.m. today to join North Hawaii residents in celebrating their community’s “Ag Country Roots.”

The event is paid for and authorized by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

The community is invited to this free celebration that will spotlight many of the hard-working food producers of the region and include samplings of grilled grass-fed beef and a new sausage of Kahua mutton, Hamakua mushrooms and other foods grown or produced in Hamakua, Waimea and Kohala.

boocoo auctions
Informational exhibits also will feature in-school programs to grow the next generation of farmers and introduce the benefits of fresh, locally grown foods from farms and ranches in the region as well as backyard gardens.

The program also will acknowledge the 40-year contribution to Hawaii Island agriculture by Milton Yamasaki, who has managed the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’s Mealani Research Station, which includes two sites in Waimea, one in Hamakua and two in Kona.

Yamasaki, who was born and raised in Waimea and graduated from Honokaa High School, formally retired from CTAHR’s Mealani Research Station Sept. 30.

Growing Dryland Taro Part I

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent,
UH CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service

Molokai is blessed with many Hawaiian taro varieties, in part due to the vision of the late Martha and Cowboy Otsuka in seeking out and preserving these legacies. Also, under the direction of Alton Arakaki and Faith Tuipulotu in making huli available each year at the annual Molokai Taro Field Day.

With the advent of drip irrigation and water distribution systems, taro can be grown in areas where it could never grow before. In the past, dryland taro was only grown in the uplands in mulch where seasonal rains were sufficient to bring the taro to harvest.
Most varieties will mature between eight and 12 months, and keeping plants actively growing is the key. Taro loves water, and along with fertilizer, will flourish before your eyes. Dryland taro is distinguished from wetland taro in that the latter grows in water ponds or lo`i. Different varieties were selected for these two conditions. Taking a soil sample of your planting area is the first step in growing upland taro. Call our office at 567-6932 for more information on taking a soil sample.

The biggest challenge in growing taro is weeds

Master gardeners to offer advice on plants, insects and diseases

After more than 28 years of free public service to home gardeners in our communities, the University of Hawaii Master Gardeners will host its first statewide conference Oct. 15 to 17.

The Master Gardener Program in Hawaii started in 1982 with a group of 15 Oahu residents interested in learning about home gardening. It is part of the program found throughout the United States and Canada. The program, started in Washington state in 1972, is a public service to provide training to volunteers under the leadership of land-grant universities and the national Cooperative Extension Service.

To date, more than 94,865 people have become master gardeners nationwide. Local master gardeners answer home gardening questions on a plant help line and expand educational outreach efforts of the UH extension service.

For the conference, some of the top specialists in their fields will share new information about agriculture in Hawaii and backyard gardening ideas.

Backyard Aquaponics Shows Promise, Kitsap Couple Says » Kitsap Sun


Eighty rainbow trout go into a frenzy as Rene LaMarche sprinkles food pellets into their 300-gallon tank. The surface of the water erupts in turbulence as the fish feed with noisy gulps.

The trout have a symbiotic relationship with garden vegetables floating on rafts in LaMarche’s backyard. The process, called aquaponics, marries aquaculture (fish-rearing) with hydroponics (growing plants without soil).

Fish waste, converted to non-toxic fertilizer, feeds the plants. The plants clear the water of fertilizer and it is returned clean to the tank.

LaMarche and his wife Linda of Sunnyslope are excited about the technology, which they learned about on vacation in Hawaii. Aquaponics has great potential as a sustainable food source, say LaMarche and his mentor Clyde Tamaru of the University of Hawaii. But for both, it’s been a rapid learning curve.

An Inquisitive Mind

The LaMarches earlier this year traveled to Oahu, where Linda grew up. By chance, they chatted with a resident Hawaiian about aquaponics. Intrigued, Rene LaMarche got on the Internet, searched the term, and he was hooked.

He found the technique was being heavily explored in the Virgin Islands and Hawaii, both island cultures seeking to reduce their dependence on imported food. He saw potential for adapting the technology to the Northwest.

Field Day–Evaluating Low Rates of Roundup Promax on Goosegrass Control

To: Golf Course & Landscape Industries
From: Norman M. Nagata, Extension Agent

An herbicide test using low rates of Roundup Promax was conducted on goosegrass that exhibited resistance to Revolver, MSMS, and Sencor at Waiehu Municipal Golf Course. You are invited to a field day to see these results at 13 weeks after treatment.

Date: July 30, 2010 (Friday)
Time: 10:45 am to 12:00 pm
Meet at Waiehu Golf Course “Service Entrance” (6th tee) next to Waiehu Beach Park & Baseball Field located at the end of “Lower Waiehu Beach Road” at 10:45 am. We will then car-pool to the test site at the 17th tee.


  • 11:00 – 11:15 am Overview of goosegrass control
  • 11:15 – 11:35 Roundup Promax & experimental protocol
  • 11:35 – 12:00 pm Observe & discuss Roundup results on goosegrass & common bermudagrass

Recertification credits will be offered for:

  • Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture Pesticide categories 1a, 3, 6 & 10
  • Golf Course Superintendents Assoc. of America

Deadline to register (and to apply for recertification credits) is July 29 (Thursday).

You can register by contacting or by calling the Cooperative Extension Service at 244-3242 x230. Please provide your name, company & telephone number should there be any changes on this field day.

This project was partially supported by Monsanto Company and the County of Maui.

Mahalo to Ron Kubo, Superintendent at Waiehu Golf Course for making this test possible.

Internationally renowned tea expert to hold June 4 workshop on Big Island | University of Hawaii News

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and the Hawaii Tea Society will host a tea workshop featuring world-renowned tea expert Jane Pettigrew from the United Kingdom, on Friday, June 4, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Mealani Research Station at 64-289 Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela on the Big Island.

Pettigrew will speak on the cultural nuances of the world tea industry and how Hawai‘i tea growers can benefit from those nuances. The presentation will be of interest to tea lovers, those who want to learn more about different tea varieties and the countries that produce them, and tea processors.

A cupping evaluation for Hawaii tea growers will also be offered by Pettigrew. Interested growers can enter up to three teas per farm, and should register with 6 grams per tea at 2:30 p.m.

KIA‘I MOKU: New technology pivotal amid fight against invasive weeds – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News


Invasive-weed infestations within Maui County are literally a growing problem. Despite the tough economic recession, invasive species prevention and mitigation programs remain a necessity for conserving our natural and agricultural resources. We need to look back only a few months ago to remember the show of local support for our Hawaii Department of Agriculture inspectors. While some positions were retained, Maui still must deal with the losses of important HDOA positions. Despite these setbacks, our local ranchers and natural area managers remain steadfast to continue the fight against these detrimental weed infestations, simply out of necessity.

Let’s start doing more to develop local agriculture | The Honolulu Advertiser


Fifty years after statehood, most of the plantations have gone fallow or become "gentleman’s estates." There are 6,500 "farmers" in Hawai’i, but only half are full time. The average farmer is 59, with an annual income of $10,000.

Ignoring the need for food security, we import at least 85 percent of our food and send billions to faraway agribusinesses when we could keep the money here to strengthen our self-sufficiency, enrich our economy and employ our jobless.

We were once a world leader in agricultural production. Now farmers have overwhelming challenges in land, water, infrastructure, pests, NIMBY, encroachment, transportation costs and burdensome bureaucracy, not to mention cheap foreign competition.

Can agriculture survive in Hawai’i?

UH News: UH Mānoa CTAHR invites public to 2009 Waimanalo Research Station Field

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa


Miles Hakoda, (808) 956-3093

Posted: Sep. 18, 2009

The public is invited to take an up-close look at some exciting research and outreach activities in Hawai‘i agriculture.

Who: UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)

What: Will host its 20th Waimanalo Research Station Field Day

When: Saturday, September 26, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Waimānalo Research Station, 41-698 Ahiki Street

Visitors will have the opportunity to see:

* corn field trials.

* Kapi‘olani Community College’s Culinary Program.

* organic pepper and eggplant field trials.

* biotechnology outreach program.

* taro varieties collection (over 90 varieties).

* plumeria tree collection.

* cacao project.

* biofuel project.

* USDA erosion control project.

The public is encouraged to bring water and wear appropriate footwear, sunscreen, comfortable loose fitting clothing and hats for sun protection.