I was asked to do a demo on how to make a Hawaiian style Christmas wreath at the Kino’ole Farmers Market. The demo was yesterday morning and in spite of lots of rain, the market was lively! We had several people sit through the whole thing (2 hours!) and some came and went and at least 4 people tried their hand at adding a bit to the wreath.
To make a Hawaiian style wreath, you use native plant materials for which you need to go foraging up to the Volcanoes National Park area or on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea on Saddle Road (this is on the island of Hawai’i also known as the Big Island). Before you even start, the first thing you need to do to be able to pick in those areas is to get a special permit, which is free, from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. This permit should be on your car dash clearly visible in case a ranger or other official should stop by to see what you’re up to.
The second thing you do is look around for a good spot in which to forage or go with someone who is already familiar with several choice picking spots. As with most people who make this style wreath, I have my own particular favorite place to pick.
The third thing you need is to know what plant material to look for and what dries well so that the wreath will still look beautiful after its no longer fresh.
If you know all of that already, then you’re ready to start.
CTAHR dean details impacts of ag. inspectors layoffs
Updated at 3:27 am, Thursday, August 20, 2009.
Andrew Hashimoto, dean and director of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, gave the following testimony to the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee about the potential impacts of laying off Department of Agriculture staff.
I am pleased to provide personal testimony relating to the potential impacts on the community and agricultural industry on the Big Island, arising from the anticipated reduction and possible elimination of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Branch. This testimony does not represent the position of the University of Hawaii or CTAHR.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has 329 “permanent” employees, of which 118 (approximately 36 percent) have received notices for layoff.
The Plant Quarantine (PQ) Branch will be especially hard hit. It has a total of 78 inspectors and 16 technicians (aides).
Of that, 50 inspectors and two technicians (all general funded) have been given notices. The remainder (11 inspectors and 14 technicians) are paid from special funds.
Most of the inspectors to be laid off will be from the neighbor islands. Information on the number of layoffs for each of the other HDOA branches is not known. The impact of the layoff in the PQ branch is discussed.
Hawaii agriculture gets boost from feds
August 6, 2009
Federal lawmakers have designated more than $16 million in federal funding to improve Hawaii’s agriculture. A large part, more than $11 million, will go to research — that includes addressing Hawaii’s farming struggles, our floriculture industry and tropical fish population.
$106,000 will fund the Hawaii Plant Materials Center located on Moloka’i. The center enables the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission to reintroduce native plant species in their efforts to control invasive plants and erosion on the island of Kaho’olawe. They will also receive a portion of $376,000 to stimulate agricultural development and conservation at the local level.