News and Events


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The Fruits of Their Labor

The Fruits of Their Labor 30 March 2020

The Fruits of Their Labor

Urban Garden Center volunteers harvest and donate fruit while staying safe

For years, a dedicated group of volunteers called the Fruit Hui has maintained the research orchard at CTAHR’s Urban Garden Center in Pearl City. Harvesting over 200 pounds of fresh tropical fruit a week, the volunteers donate all excess fruit to the Hawaii Foodbank. The group of certified Master Gardener volunteers plans to continue to harvest weekly now that access to fresh food has become even more critical during the COVID-19 crisis.

Emergency Response Webpage Is Being Created

Emergency Response Webpage Is Being Created 24 March 2020

Emergency Response Webpage Is Being Created

Contribute to it, use it, share it

Nancy Ooki, Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) point of contact for the state of Hawai‘i, is creating a COVID-19 webpage for the Extension Emergency Response section of the CTAHR website. The goal is to add as many CTAHR- and UH-created resources as possible. Please submit resources to Nancy Ooki at ooki@hawaii.edu.

UH Extension Offices and Research Stations

UH Extension Offices and Research Stations 24 March 2020

UH Extension Offices and Research Stations

Closed to the Public, Open Virtually

CTAHR’s Cooperative Extension Offices and Research Stations across the state remain open—virtually. All sites are closed to the public, but you may continue your work with Extension agents contacting them via email or phone. Established CTAHR volunteers are permitted to continue their ongoing efforts at Extension facilities by working individually and practicing social distancing along CDC guidelines.

Big Island Extension and Research Stations Go to Remote Assistance

Big Island Extension and Research Stations Go to Remote Assistance 23 March 2020

Big Island Extension and Research Stations Go to Remote Assistance

In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Hawai‘i Island Cooperative Extension offices and research stations will be closed to the public, except for employees and current students, in the same way that the 10 UH campuses are. Stakeholders may continue to work with their Extension agents through email and telephone, and they can continue to access information via the CTAHR website, which will continue to be updated. 

ADSC Temporarily Curtails Services

ADSC Temporarily Curtails Services 23 March 2020

ADSC Temporarily Curtails Services

The Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center on UHM campus is temporarily unable to accept new samples, though offices will be open on Monday, March 23. This is due to ongoing needed repairs to the office that are more extensive than originally thought, rather than the COVID-19 epidemic, but the epidemic may end up affecting the construction work. Updates will be given as needed.

Safe Food Handling

Safe Food Handling 23 March 2020

Safe Food Handling

Handout is included with Hawai‘i Island’s emergency food box distribution

Retired faculty Julia Zee joined The Food Basket, Hawai‘i Island’s food bank, in distributing emergency food boxes island wide. She also printed 500 copies of a “Safe Food Handling” handout (atached) to include in each box. The farm food safety education team has also sent out information to farmers and agricultural stakeholders about farm food safety strategies and to support the continued supply of locally grown foods.

 

 

Documents to download

Extension Looking for a Leader

Extension Looking for a Leader 17 March 2020

Extension Looking for a Leader

Search is underway for an associate dean of Extension

The college is advertising for an associate dean for Cooperative Extension. The successful candidate will provide leadership and establish goals for a relevant and effective agricultural and human resources Cooperative Extension program. 

Conservation on Kaua‘i

Conservation on Kaua‘i 16 March 2020

Conservation on Kaua‘i

Multimedia performance spotlights Kaua‘i’s endangered birds

Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds continued to wow audience members as it was performed by the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s Wind Ensemble at Kaua‘i Community College. This was the first time the symphony was performed on the island of Kaua‘i, home to many of the native birds highlighted in the production. Many of the audience members were moved to tears by the realization of all that has been lost and is at risk.The performance, which arose from a project spearheaded by NREM’s Melissa Price, brings together music, art, and science to raise awareness of endangered native bird populations. 

A Garden Grows in Kalaupapa

A Garden Grows in Kalaupapa 16 March 2020

A Garden Grows in Kalaupapa

Residents of remote location get Extension help

Extension agents Jennifer Hawkins (TPSS) and Jari Sugano (PEPS) helped to get the residents of Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, growing, in response to a request by Na Pu‘u Wai, a Native Hawaiian healthcare program. They provided ground support in collaboration with the Department of Health and the U.S. National Parks Service. 

Candidates on Fire

Candidates on Fire 16 March 2020

Candidates on Fire

Wildfire and climate change adaptation Extension faculty sought

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) is advertising for an Extension specialist in wildfire science and management and climate change adaptation for Hawai‘i and the American-affiliated Pacific Islands. The successful candidate will develop an Extension program focused on wildfires and climate change with a broad range of constituents, including other Extension and research faculty, agency professionals, land-management agencies, and the general public. 

Learning at the Garden

Learning at the Garden 27 February 2020

Learning at the Garden

Grow Hawaiian Festival celebrates reopening of Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

CTAHR will be contributing to the annual Grow Hawaiian Festival at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the Big Island, held on Saturday, February 29. The festival, which is returning after a hiatus of five years, brings together lovers of plants, natural history, and Hawaiian culture.

Grow Safe, Grow Happy

Grow Safe, Grow Happy 27 February 2020

Grow Safe, Grow Happy

UGC hosts produce safety training March 13

The Urban Garden Center is hosting a Produce Safety Alliance Food Safety grower-training event that will teach participants all they need to know about growing safely, healthily, and in compliance with regulations. It’s being offered on Friday, March 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

They Love ‘Ōhi‘a Love

They Love ‘Ōhi‘a Love 27 February 2020

They Love ‘Ōhi‘a Love

Tourism award recognizes NREM efforts to combat Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority presented educational specialist Corie Yanger (NREM), William Stormont (DLNR/DOFAW), and William Buckley (Big Island Invasive Species Committee) with the 2019 Tourism Legacy Award, Ho‘ohanohano Ho‘oilina Ho‘okipa, for their hard work and accomplishments in protecting Hawaii’s ‘ōhi‘a forests from Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

Farm to School and Beyond

Farm to School and Beyond 27 February 2020

Farm to School and Beyond

CTAHR alumna joins Wai‘anae Farm to School program

Welcome back to Kristen Jamieson, the new Wai‘anae Farm to School coordinator! While her position is housed in HNFAS, Kristen is a CTAHR alumna with a B.S. in NREM and a minor in TPSS. But her previous experience working at UH as the student sustainability coordinator and at Kahumana Organic Farms makes her the perfect person to educate keiki about healthy local foods.

CTAHR (Heart) Gardens

CTAHR (Heart) Gardens 27 February 2020

CTAHR (Heart) Gardens

Master Gardener program highlighted in Honolulu magazine.

Volunteer Master Gardeners and the CTAHR agents who coordinate and guide them are encouraging local residents to grow their own food! They contributed to an article in Honolulu magazine’s Family section that helps those with little to no gardening experience start their own gardens.

Have Your Ag and Eat It, Too

Have Your Ag and Eat It, Too 14 February 2020

Have Your Ag and Eat It, Too

Ag Day at the Capitol shows how tasty and important eating local can be

Ag Day at the Capitol draws not only legislators, who are educated about agriculture’s critical impact on the local lifestyle and economy, but also members of the public, who come in crowds to eat, talk, and learn. And many CTAHR faculty, staff, and students were there to help with the learning.

CTAHR Day, Every Day

CTAHR Day, Every Day 14 February 2020

CTAHR Day, Every Day

Campus outreach event invites UH, high school students, and the community to learn more about the college

What do edible flowers, newspaper dresses, a jar full of snakes, and a giant scary costume of a coconut rhinoceros beetle have in common? The first annual CTAHR Day, presented by the Academic & Student Affairs Office, showed how they are all related to CTAHR’s community Extension and research.

Ag Women Unite

Ag Women Unite 14 February 2020

Ag Women Unite

Conference at Komohana helps women growers to grow a network

Ag finance agent Shannon Sand recently conducted a regional Women in Ag conference at the Komohana Research and Extension Center. It focused on creating and maintaining healthy farms, cultivating resiliency through learning, and fostering the opportunity for women farmers to connect with one other.

Plant the Seeds of Plant Pathology Outreach

Plant the Seeds of Plant Pathology Outreach 30 January 2020

Plant the Seeds of Plant Pathology Outreach

Big Island Extension position is now open

CTAHR is now accepting applications for the position of assistant Extension specialist, in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences. The position will be based in Hilo. This full-time, permanent, tenure-track position will begin August 2020 or soon thereafter

Renew Engagement With Renewable Resources

Renew Engagement With Renewable Resources 30 January 2020

Renew Engagement With Renewable Resources

Webinar shows how Extension professionals can use new technologies to connect with stakeholders

Looking to improve your Extension programs by using innovative and emerging technologies?Join in for the “Using Innovative Educational Approaches to Enhance Ecosystem Health” webinar on February 20th at 8:00 a.m. Hawai‘i time. This is the first in a series of nine webinars sponsored by Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) that are geared toward showcasing innovative Extension programs. 

In the rapidly changing world of invasive species, nimble and novel outreach mechanisms that reach a cross-section of society are necessary to positively impact the renewable resources in range, forests, and wetlands. Maintaining ecosystem health at the landscape scale can be more feasible when using communication tools that link people together at the regional level.

Extension professionals are constantly seeking new strategies to effectively reach and engage audiences. While traditional methods are still effective in many places and for certain audiences, innovative approaches can expand connections, deepen impact, and broaden scope. They also give a chance to learn new skills and professional advancement.

This webinar will feature Andrea Lorek Strauss, University of Minnesota, discussing the uses of video; Megan Weber, University of Minnesota, who will present on 3-D printing; and David Coyle, Clemson University, who will discuss social media.They each will explain how they use innovative media strategies in their Extension programs!

This and the other webinars in the series will be an opportunity for renewable resource Extension professionals to share, learn, and connect with their colleagues across land-grant institutions and disciplines. If you have questions, you can contact Kris Tiles, natural resources educator at the University of Wisconsin.

The webinar is open to all; feel free to distribute to colleagues and others who may be interested.

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1 May 2020

Fast Green Food

Grow a salad bowl in your back yard

Fast Green Food

You may be eating less salad these days. Everyone’s making fewer trips to the supermarket, and lettuce and other tender greens are easily perishable. But growing your own lettuce is a great solution—now and going forward. Lettuce is fast growing and ideal for backyard gardens. You can pick individual leaves each day or harvest whole heads at once. By starting a new set of seeds or transplants every few weeks, you can create succession plantings to ensure a continuous salad bar!

Temperature and Varieties

Lettuce does best in cool climates or during cool seasons. At higher temperatures, lettuce can bolt (flower), become bitter, and form loose heads.

No problem! Just make sure you select the right lettuce. Varieties with tolerance to high temperatures can be grown in warmer areas year-round.

The variety commonly called ‘Mānoa’ lettuce, identified by CTAHR researchers as ideal for Hawai‘i conditions, has always been a local favorite. It has a buttery flavor and crisp texture—my family loves to eat it with a little mayonnaise and shoyu as dressing.

However, in recent years, ‘Mānoa’ lettuce has become extremely sensitive to heat. It may prematurely bolt and develop “tip burn” on the leaf edges. So CTAHR has identified ‘Ānuenue’ as a more heat-tolerant variety. Similar to ‘Mānoa’, it’s another local favorite that can be grown at low elevations. Both can be grown year round in Hawai‘i, and the seeds are available from the UH Seed Laboratory (which offers mail ordering).

There are plenty of other lettuce varieties you can try—just look for types that say they’re heat tolerant. Plant several for a rainbow of colors and tastes!

Nip Problems in the Bud

Besides heat, tip burn can be caused by not enough water, too much fertilizer, or not enough calcium in the soil—but these conditions are easy to fix. First, try watering your lettuce more, then ease up on the fertilizer. As a last resort, add a soil supplement containing calcium.

Thrips, birds, and spotted-wilt virus can also affect your backyard lettuce crop. Consult the UH Cooperative Extension service for the latest pest-control techniques.

Be sure to wash lettuce and other produce thoroughly before serving, to remove any tiny snails or slugs that might be on it.

Feed Your Heads

Lettuce grows best in soils rich in organic matter with a neutral pH. Add organic compost, properly composted chicken manure, and a sprinkle of triple superphosphate fertilizer (0-45-0) to the planting hole for a healthy start. If you can’t find superphosphate, a general-use fertilizer such as 16-16-16 is fine.

After planting, apply a dry general-use fertilizer every three to four weeks or fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer. Because lettuce is eaten raw, use clean, potable water for overhead irrigation and when fertilizing.

Happy salading!

Jari Sugano, O‘ahu County Administrator, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources