News and Events


«May 2024»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789

Inaugural Address

Inaugural Address 29 April 2024

Inaugural Address

Dean Grewal charts a path forward for the college

CTAHR’s mission is to secure the future of Hawaiʻi by building local self-sufficiency in food and agricultural products, noted Dean Parwinder Grewal at the first CTAHR Conference April 11. “CTAHR’s inclusive vision is to secure the future of Hawaiʻi through collaborative innovation and merging the Western, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian knowledge systems,” he said.

Excellence in Extension

Excellence in Extension 20 March 2024

Excellence in Extension

Nancy Ooki of FCS is CTAHR’s 2023 recipient

The 2023 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension goes to Nancy Ooki of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Since 2018, Nancy’s “My PI Hawai‘i” has trained Maui youths in fire safety and suppression, search-and-rescue, C.P.R., disaster psychology, and other topics in FEMA’s Teen Community Emergency Response Team. By the final disaster simulation, youths can demonstrate knowledge and skills in first aid, triage, communications, and damage assessment. 

The Manini Farm

The Manini Farm 28 February 2024

The Manini Farm

UGC workforce development project takes root

With one student holding a wireless microphone and another a portable amplifier, the tour of The Manini Farm Project on the grounds of the Urban Garden Center had begun. As students took turns at the mic, presenting their projects and roles and walking participants through the rows of plants, it was apparent that these young adults felt an awful lot of pride in their participation.

Member of the Board

Member of the Board 28 February 2024

Member of the Board

Extension is represented at Society for Range Management

Congrats to Mark Thorne who recently began a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Society for Range Management. Mark, who has served the society in many capacities for almost 30 years and is currently Section Treasurer, will focus on three key issues throughout his term: recruitment and retention of SRM members, involvement in the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists in 2026, and strengthened national and international partnerships and collaborations.

Kicking Off 2024

Kicking Off 2024 31 January 2024

Kicking Off 2024

UGC starts new plumeria collection and partnership

Ninety percent of flowers used for lei-making are imported to Hawaiʻi, and the decreasing supply of local flowers is having a drastic impact on the lei industry statewide. To address the growing chorus of lament from lei-flower growers, lei makers, and lei vendors, Extension has kicked off 2024 with a new plumeria collection at the Urban Garden Center. 

Impact and Relevance

Impact and Relevance 31 January 2024

Impact and Relevance

UGC and partners deliver food and education to local communities

The good folks at Urban Garden Center, along with Oʻahu high school students, departed for their holiday breaks knowing that fresh produce would make it onto the plates of many Hawaiʻi families in need. 

Ag Day @ the Capitol

Ag Day @ the Capitol 31 January 2024

Ag Day @ the Capitol

Let lawmakers know your accomplishments and needs

It lasts just two hours and happens just once a year, but this is your chance to let members of the Hawaii State Senate and House of Representatives know what you’ve been up to, and how our legislators can help you help feed the state.

Ōhiʻa Love

Ōhiʻa Love 31 January 2024

Ōhiʻa Love

Statewide fests bring the community together around ROD

With partners from Maui, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Hilo and Kona, CTAHR’s Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death team hosted the statewide seventh annual ‘Ohia Love fests. This year’s theme was Ka ʻUpena O Ke Ola, a metaphor for how life is interconnected mauka to makai, like a fishing net, and ʻōhiʻa is a keystone species that holds it all together, explains Charlotte Godfrey-Romo.

Rebuilding Maui

Rebuilding Maui 31 January 2024

Rebuilding Maui

Extension workshops on disaster training may also facilitate healing

“The recent disasters of COVID-19 and wildfires have caused forced disruptions in activity, limited information about the future, and economic instability,” says Nancy Ooki of Maui Extension. “The combination has placed the Maui community in a position of feeling a sense of loss of control, decision-making ability, and uncertainty of the future. 

Ag and ʻAina

Ag and ʻAina 13 December 2023

Ag and ʻAina

UGC hosts Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day

The school bus doors swung open and in the blink of an eye, pastoral serenity was replaced by organized chaos as the army of chatting, laughing, and sometimes screaming 5th graders marched toward the outdoor exhibit booths at the Oʻahu Urban Garden Center.

Temple the Trailblazer

Temple the Trailblazer 13 December 2023

Temple the Trailblazer

Renowned activist in 4H livestock and autism visits Waialeʻe

Back in the day, the Waialeʻe Livestock Research Station was a true community resource for Oahu’s North Shore. The sprawling facility, a stone’s throw from today’s surfing mecca, once provided invaluable services as the area’s primary abattoir and center for livestock feed and harvesting research. 

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor 13 December 2023

Glenn Teves, Tribal Advisor

Sen. Schatz appoints Extension agent to new committee

There’s a new Tribal Advisory Committee within the USDA, and retired Extension agent Glenn Teves has been appointed to serve by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. Schatz, chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, announced his appointment of Glenn last week. The new committee, authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, will provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Agriculture on Native equities in USDA programs and policies, and develop an annual report to Congress.

With Much Gratitude

With Much Gratitude 13 December 2023

With Much Gratitude

Maui County presents 2023 Administrator Awards

The last year has been an especially challenging one for Maui County, and even more so for Molokaʻi, due to Ag Tech and Secretary shortages, fiscal purchasing barriers, theft of equipment, difficult neighbors, the search and addition of two new faculty, an unsigned lease with DHHL, transitional leadership within CTAHR, and last but not least, the sudden UHMC commitment changes related to the Molokaʻi Farm, which led CTAHR to vacate the farm and consolidate our efforts at our office location. 

Teens in Training

Teens in Training 8 November 2023

Teens in Training

Maui 4-H hosts statewide disaster preparedness

In response to the wildfire disasters in Lahaina and Kula, Maui 4-H quickly organized a statewide disaster response training – Hawai‘i’s first-ever event tailored specifically for teens. With 110 high school students from every Hawaiian island gathering at Baldwin H.S. in Wailuku, and a program based on the national Community Emergency Response Team administered by FEMA, it was a rare and valuable opportunity to both train for emergencies and discuss ways to contribute to the long-term disaster recovery process and future disaster planning.

Mālama the Farmer

Mālama the Farmer 8 November 2023

Mālama the Farmer

“Taking Care of Yourself and Each Other” conference strikes a chord

With so many Hawaiʻi farmers facing challenges that can seem insurmountable, the timing couldnʻt have been better for CTAHR’s Seeds of Wellbeing initiative to host “Mālama the Farmer, Taking Care of Yourself and Each Other” last month.

Kalo and ʻAwa

Kalo and ʻAwa 11 October 2023

Kalo and ʻAwa

Extension marks a decade+ of celebrating Waimea Valley festival

Since 2013, CTAHR has been honored to be invited to Waimea Valley Botanical Garden’s Kalo and ʻAwa Festival on the North Shore of Oʻahu. This year, the Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences participated once again byproudly hosting an educational booth that focused on educating participants about kalo plant parts, varieties, and groups. 

Open House!

Open House! 11 October 2023

Open House!

Stop by Urban Garden Center THIS Saturday, Oct. 14

CTAHR faculty and staff are excited to host their first Open House at the Oʻahu Urban Garden Center since the pandemic – and public interest is super high – so head over Pearl City this Saturday morning! UGC will combine the event with the popular “Second Saturday at the Garden” to provide a variety of educational exhibits and demonstrations for the general public. 

Invasive Pests

Invasive Pests 11 October 2023

Invasive Pests

CTAHR conference brings together like-minded collaborators

With our beloved island home beset by invasive pests of all shapes and sizes, what is the best way to pool our collective knowledge and resources so we can effectively combat these challenges? A two-day conference on invasive pests is a good start. 

Fire and Clay

Fire and Clay 31 August 2023

Fire and Clay

NREM wildfire expert answers 50+ media calls

A heartfelt mahalo from the CTAHR ‘ohana to Clay Trauernicht of the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. As the Maui wildfires tragedy unfolded, Clay was interviewed by at least 50 different media outlets from across the country and internationally. With the highest level of scientific integrity, advocacy, and professionalism, he represented NREM, CTAHR, UH, and the state of Hawaiʻi to millions of people around the world.

Senator’s Stop

Senator’s Stop 31 August 2023

Senator’s Stop

Kauaʻi Extension gives Mazie Hirono the grand tour

U.S. Senator Maize Hirono received the red carpet treatment August 14 as she toured the Kauaʻi Agricultural Research Center along with Extention agents, specialists, and Jeremy Elliott-Engel, CTAHRʻs new Associate Dean & Director for Cooperative Extension.

RSS
1345678910Last
2 April 2020

Micro-Hydroponics in Your Apartment

The first article in CTAHR’s “How to Start Your Own Home Garden” series

Micro-Hydroponics in Your Apartment

Did you ever want to grow your own food? Indoors and without soil? You can…with micro-hydroponics!

Micro-hydroponics allows you to grow miniature vegetable plants (less than 12 inches tall) hydroponically (without soil) in your house, apartment, garage, or lanai. The simplest setup involves a container, seeds, growing medium, nutrients, and light source—and if you don’t have the store-bought kind, you can substitute inexpensive household items.

Container

Got quart or half-gallon cardboard milk or juice cartons? They make excellent containers for growing mini vegetables. Make sure your cartons have a screw cap spout. This makes it easier to add nutrient solutions to the carton, which can be done with a funnel. Cut a hole in the carton large enough to support the cup that holds the growing medium. Make sure the hole is a little smaller than the rim of the cup, so it doesn’t fall in.

Growing Medium & Pots

As plants grow higher, their roots grow lower, and they need something to hold onto. That’s the growing medium.

Foam cubes, like Oasis Cubes, provide an ideal growing medium to germinate vegetable seeds and grow plants. If you can’t find them at a local store or online, alternative growing media include vermiculite, perlite, clay pellets, coconut fiber (coir), or pine wood shavings.

You’ll also need something to hold the growing medium inside the milk cartons and support the seedlings. Small plastic pots like Net Pots are excellent because they have vertical slits on the sides to allow the roots to grow through into the nutrient solution. An inexpensive alternative is small plastic cups with vertical slits cut into the sides.

Seeds

Vegetable seeds can start to grow directly in the growing medium and pots before they’re inserted into the containers. Fill the cubes or the pots partway with growing medium, place on a tray, and plant 1–2 seeds in each one. If you’re using cubes, just insert the seeds into the hole in the cube. Add enough water to thoroughly moisten the medium and pour off any excess. Cover the tray with a clear plastic lid or tent it with plastic wrap. Make sure to leave enough space above the cups or cubes for the plants to sprout.

Did you know? The University of Hawai‘i Seed Laboratory continues to operate during the COVID-19 crisis. High-quality seeds for Hawai‘i’s unique growing conditions can be ordered by mail, email, or phone—and delivered right to your door. Contact the UH Seed Lab at (808) 956-7890, (808) 956-2592 (fax), or seed@ctahr.hawaii.edu. Also check out the Hawai‘i Seed Growers Network, run by CTAHR’s GoFarm Hawai‘i farm coach Jay Bost, which offers great “local seeds for local needs.”

Nutrients

Special hydroponic fertilizers are available from local stores or by mail order. But any general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer for vegetables is fine. Each one has a different strength, so closely follow the manufacturer’s directions when mixing the nutrient solution.

Light

Vegetables need a lot of light, so if you’re growing them indoors, they’ll do best with artificial lighting. The two best light sources are T5 high-output (HO) fluorescent lights and light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

T5 fluorescent lights are extremely bright compared to the typical T12 fluorescent lights used for room lights or shop lights. LED lights have come down in price quite a lot. They’re efficient in producing bright light, with less energy used and lower electric bills.

If you can’t get T5 fluorescent or LED lighting, place vegetable plants near a window that gets direct sunlight during the day, or try a bright household lamp.

By the way, my first experience growing vegetables indoors was lettuce grown on top of my office file cabinet. Because the room light wasn't bright enough, the lettuce started to change shape into a vine, and it grew down along the side of my file cabinet—all the way to the floor! That’s when I realized that lettuce and other vegetables need much brighter light.

Maintenance

Now sit back and relax, and let the vegetables do their thing. As they grow, periodically add nutrient solution to the milk cartons with a funnel so the cartons remain about ¼ to ½ full.

For more tips and how-to’s, please visit my Micro-Hydroponics website.

Stay safe out there!

Dr. Kent Kobayashi, Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources