News and Events


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An Ahupua‘a in Your Backyard

An Ahupua‘a in Your Backyard 17 October 2019

An Ahupua‘a in Your Backyard

TPSS faculty’s sustainability initiative receives praise

A healthy and sustainable project spearheaded by TPSS’s Ted Radovich and Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, as well as Public Health Studies professor Jane Chung-Do, got props from Civil Beat in a recent laudatory article. The MALAMA (Mini Ahupua‘a for Lifestyle and Mea‘ai through Aquaponics) project helps Native Hawaiian families and communities to create aquaponic systems in their back yards.

They Love Olives

They Love Olives 17 October 2019

They Love Olives

New agricultural pest discovered at Big Island experiment station

CTAHR faculty and staff were instrumental in discovering a new fruit fly pest that’s recently been identified in Hawai‘i for the first time: the olive fruit fly (OLFF), Bactrocera oleae. It can attack all species of Olea, including the common olive (Olea europaea), unfitting them for either oil processing or table consumption. 

A Twitter Symphony

A Twitter Symphony 27 September 2019

A Twitter Symphony

Grade-school classes are invited to bird conservation-themed concert

Last year’s artistic and ecological success, the Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds, spearheaded by Melissa Price (NREM), is coming back with two additional free keiki concert dates! This multimedia production with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra brings together music, art, and hula to teach students in grades 4 through 12 about Hawai‘i’s endangered forest bird species. 

Medicine for Mind and Body

Medicine for Mind and Body 27 September 2019

Medicine for Mind and Body

Native Hawaiian healing workshops draw a diverse crowd

Waimanalo Learning Center educator Ilima Ho-Lastimosa (TPSS) knows well how participating in traditional practices can heal communities and individuals. Now she is partnering with the UH Women’s Center to offer a series of workshops on la‘au lapa‘au, or Native Hawaiian healing herbs, open to all members of the UH community.

Connecting Ag with Food and Fun!

Connecting Ag with Food and Fun! 27 September 2019

Connecting Ag with Food and Fun!

Taste of the Hawaiian Range held its free Agricultural Festival on Saturday, September 7, in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island. This educational, family-geared event offered activities to illustrate the art and science of producing local food products. A delicious time was had by all!

Documents to download

Get Protected

Get Protected 18 September 2019

Get Protected

September 24 training offered for pesticides use

Even if you’re not a pest, pesticides can harm you if you don’t protect yourself against them! Worker protection training is required annually for anyone who works or does research in a facility where pesticides are used, so make sure you get trained if you need it. Another training will be held in October, and additional trainings can be scheduled for your department or research group if necessary.

Fish and Poi

Fish and Poi 18 September 2019

Fish and Poi

September 28 workshop in open-system aquaponics

Want to eat like the ancient Hawaiians, using modern technology? Come to the Aquaponic Fish and Poi Workshop offered by Jensen Uyeda and the Poamoho Station! This field day will provide a basic overview of an aquaponic system, the nitrogen cycle of an aquaponic system, utilization of fish effluent from aquaculture systems, taro corm yield grown with fish effluent vs. conventional nitrogen fertilizer, and food safety strategies to sanitize effluent water used for irrigation. 

Grow Safe

Grow Safe 18 September 2019

Grow Safe

October 1 comprehensive food safety workshop

Find out everything you need to know about growing safely, healthily, and in compliance with regulations at the Produce Safety Alliance Food Safety grower training event. This workshop is aimed at fruit and vegetable growers who are interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices, and co-management of natural resources and food safety. 

En Route to Colorado

En Route to Colorado 18 September 2019

En Route to Colorado

Extension agent wins scholarship

4-H Extension agent Becky Settlage of the Komohana Research and Extension Center in Hilo has been awarded a $575 scholarship by the Roy A. Goff Memorial Endowment Fund to participate in the National Conference of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension Professionals’ Organization, in October in Colorado.

Oʻahu 4-H Rally Day!

Oʻahu 4-H Rally Day! 11 September 2019

Oʻahu 4-H Rally Day!

This Saturday at the Urban Garden Center

Bring your keiki (or give your friends a mini-vacation by bringing theirs!) to meet 4-H clubs from across Oʻahu and see some of the exciting, fulfilling projects theyʻre working on. Participants will get to experience educational and interactive mini-workshops and presentations.

Getting Some Buzz

Getting Some Buzz 11 September 2019

Getting Some Buzz

Video on bee virus is going viral

Bee health researcher Ethel Villalobos (PEPS) is featured in a recent episode of the video series How Close Are We, which looks at possible solutions to some of the world’s major problems and questions. For the episode “How Close Are We to Saving the Bees?” Ethel discusses Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious phenomenon in which whole bee colonies disappear for reasons that are still unclear.

Riding Off Into the Sunset

Riding Off Into the Sunset 11 September 2019

Riding Off Into the Sunset

Kelvin Sewake retired as Interim CTAHR Associate Dean of Extension on August 30, 2019. In appreciation for his 34 years of serving within CTAHR in various administrative roles and as Extension agent in Floriculture and Nursery Crops, a farewell tea was held for him on September 3 at the Komohana Research & Extension Center in Hilo. 

A Tree Grows in the UGC

A Tree Grows in the UGC 4 September 2019

A Tree Grows in the UGC

Ray Uchida’s years of service honored

On Thursday August 29, volunteers at the Urban Garden Center shared aloha and mahalo with Ray Uchida, who is retiring from his longstanding post as O‘ahu County administrator. The occasion was marked with hula, stories, and the planting of a tree in his honor. Steve Nagano, an Extension agent for O‘ahu County, helped Ray to plant the crepe myrtle that will bear his name and commemorate his many years of service to the college, community, and ‘āina.

Just Brew It!

Just Brew It! 4 September 2019

Just Brew It!

Eight CTAHR projects are helping the coffee industry

The Hawaii Coffee Association recently hosted their 24th Annual Conference & 11th Annual State of Hawaii Cupping Competition from July 25 to 27 at the Ala Moana Hotel. The statewide annual conference invites coffee educators, industry professionals, and enthusiasts to network and attend sessions and events. It hosted workshops on topics such as soil health, fermentation with yeasts, roasting, and cupping, with the goal of educating, sustaining, and boosting the profitability of the Hawai‘i coffee industry.

 

Fetching Some Interest

Fetching Some Interest 4 September 2019

Fetching Some Interest

Family services center showcases its interactive programs

To kick off another semester of youth and family programs, the Family Education Training Center of Hawaii (FETCH) hosted an open house at their program site, Hale Tuahine Farm in Manoa Valley. High school students interested in the world of sustainable agriculture and families seeking healthy ways to grow their own food and learn the skills to create a healthier and more positive family-life attended the free event to explore FETCH’s programs.

New Faces: Marielle Hampton

New Faces: Marielle Hampton 20 August 2019

New Faces: Marielle Hampton

Marielle Hampton just started as a temporary FCS junior agent in Kona. Marielle is well versed in more than one of CTAHR’s areas of focus, having earned her master’s degree in Nutrition: Agriculture, Food and Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy from Tufts University in May 2019. She comes to CTAHR most recently from The Kohala Center, where she worked as an agriculture development intern, conducting local farmer needs assessment and outreach for food hub facility upgrades. Welcome to CTAHR HI County, Marielle!

Conservation Innovation

Conservation Innovation 6 August 2019

Conservation Innovation

ROD squad recognized at Hawai‘i conservation conference

The Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death Working Group—also known as the ROD Squad—was formed to respond to the new disease threatening Hawai‘i’s most important native forest tree. With nearly 200 individuals representing state, county, federal, university, and non-profit organizations; local and private businesses; and private citizens, the group facilitates inclusive communication on all issues related to the fungal disease and shares knowledge on a regular basis among group members, their organizations, and the people of Hawai‘i.

Invade the Big Island

Invade the Big Island 6 August 2019

Invade the Big Island

Registration now open for Invasive Species Conference

Secure your place at the Invasive Species Conference at Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii island on August 22–23! Many members of the CTAHR ‘ohana will be giving presentations on topics from pests of trees as small as the fungus that causes ROD and as big as the coconut rhinoceros beetle; novel ways to deal with invasives such as allowing their natural predators to attack them or using them for compost; and infesters of iconic Hawai‘i crops such as coffee and macadamia nuts.

Documents to download

Islands in Flames

Islands in Flames 6 August 2019

Islands in Flames

Wildfire educator sounds a warning

Wildland fire expert and 2019 winner of the Excellence in Extension award Clay Trauernicht (NREM) was recently interviewed by Noe Tanigawa on Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Planet 808 show about the increasing danger of wildfire in the Islands and its connection with climate change.

4-H Vets

4-H Vets 6 August 2019

4-H Vets

Summer program introduces youth to veterinary science

Middle school students explored veterinary science as a possible career in a week-long 4-H Veterinary Science Day Camp conducted by Hawai‘i County 4-H Extension agent Becky Settlage in Hilo in July. CTAHR’s Extension veterinarian Jenee Odani, local and state veterinarians, and a couple of UH student assistants also helped to lead the program. With their love of animals and desire to help them, the thirteen youth had a strong interest in this career, and this program definitely increased their interest!

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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