News and Events


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To Bean or Natto Bean, That Is the Question

To Bean or Natto Bean, That Is the Question 6 August 2019

To Bean or Natto Bean, That Is the Question

Soybean variety trial and hands-on workshop was a success

Natto…people love it or they hate it. Making natto is a good way to preserve soybeans, add nutritional content, create a value-added product, and produce a distinctive flavor and texture that some swear by…and others swear about. Participants at the recent natto workshop at the Pearl City Urban Garden Center were decidedly of the former camp, eagerly tasting different preparations of the sometimes-slithery fermented soybean condiment and learning how to make it themselves.

4-H Awards

4-H Awards 6 August 2019

4-H Awards

Hawaiʻi faculty honored at national meeting

Maui County 4-H agent Nancy Ooki and state 4-H program leader Jeff Goodwin will be recognized at the annual meeting of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents in November. Nancy will be recognized in two award categories, as the Western Region winner for the Communicator Award in the Educational Piece category and for the Excellence in Educational Technology Specialty Award. Jeff will be recognized as a national winner in the Published Photo category of Communicator Awards.

Family Training and Sustainable Living

Family Training and Sustainable Living 24 July 2019

Family Training and Sustainable Living

The Energy House will host a Garden Showcase

The Family Education Training Center of Hawai‘i (FETCH), headquartered at the iconic Energy House on the UHM campus, is hosting a Garden Showcase. FETCH teaches parents how to lead effectively and shows children how to take responsibility for their actions and effects on the group. In FETCH’s integrated programs, family members develop teamwork as they work together to complete hands-on projects in sustainable family gardening. Everyone can learn to grow, harvest, prepare, cook and eat their own food at home.

Keep It Covered

Keep It Covered 24 July 2019

Keep It Covered

O‘ahu County Extension offers cover-crop field day

Although conventional farming practices call for clearing away all growth from fields whenever food crops aren’t in the ground, there’s a lot of evidence that growing cover crops can have many beneficial effects on soil health, plant nutrition, and pest control. Find out more about this sustainable practice at the Cover Crop Field Day.

New Faces: Hallie Cristobal

New Faces: Hallie Cristobal 24 July 2019

New Faces: Hallie Cristobal

Family and Consumer Science and 4-H agent joins CTAHR Kaua‘i Extension

Welcome to Hallie Cristobal, who has joined the UH Cooperative Extension team in Kaua‘i County as a junior Extension agent in the department of Family and Consumer Science. Hallie grew up on the west side of Kaua‘i in Waimea. She has a BS in Health Promotion from Weber State University in Utah and is currently working online to get a Masters of Education from Capella University.

Sam Choy’s in the Local Kitchen

Sam Choy’s in the Local Kitchen 16 July 2019

Sam Choy’s in the Local Kitchen

Tune in Sunday afternoons for CTAHR ingredients and stories

A few years ago, local chef extraordinaire and co-founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine Sam Choy had an idea for a new television show: eschewing high-end restaurant kitchens, he would visit the houses of local residents, invade their refrigerators, and whip up delicious dishes from whatever leftovers and neglected ingredients he could find there. His motivation was to decrease food waste by showing ordinary home cooks new ways to put together ‘ono recipes from foods they might otherwise have been tempted to throw away. The takeaway: don’t discount what’s right in front of you—it’s got more possibilities than you can imagine.

Happily Ever Grafter

Happily Ever Grafter 16 July 2019

Happily Ever Grafter

New techniques on cacao are getting a closer look

At Komohana Research and Extension Center there’s been a lot of cacao excitement! PIs Eli Isele and Alyssa Cho (both TPSS) have received an Applied Grafting Techniques grant from the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development for a project comparing two hand-held machine-grafting tools with traditional grafting by hand using a knife to determine which are most efficient and cost-effective for avocado, cacao, and macadamia.

Better Coffee, More Markets

Better Coffee, More Markets 9 July 2019

Better Coffee, More Markets

CTAHR-led pruning and pesticide trials help local growers

CTAHR faculty and staff, with the support of HDOA, USDA, and grower-cooperator Greenwell Farms, have conducted research trials on coffee-pruning techniques and pesticide residues in green coffee beans at the Kona and Mealani Research Stations. Information and outreach from both trials will increase farmers’ ability to manage coffee berry borer (CBB) and produce high-quality specialty coffee.

Preliminary results from the first year of harvest in the three-year pruning trial show that single or double vertical, hand-hedged trees provide nearly 1.5 times greater yield in the first season of harvest compared with Kona-style pruned coffee trees, and 3 times greater yield compared with stumped trees. However, pruning, de-suckering, and harvesting the hand-hedged trees also requires about twice as much labor.

CBB can be managed while using all these methods of pruning, provided that there is proper field sanitation in and around the farm and that Beauveria bassiana sprays are well timed and provide good coverage.

Results of the coffee pesticide residue trial determined that a synergist, piperonyl butoxide or PBO, was present in green (dried, unroasted) beans when coffee berries were sprayed up to 105 days pre-harvest. The PBO residues were greater than those allowed by export countries such as Japan. The researchers are recommending that growers avoid using products containing PBO on coffee so as to eliminate the risk of rejection for exported coffee to such countries. Other pesticides tested did not result in detectable residues in green coffee.

Project faculty and staff Stuart T. Nakamoto (pruning project), Andrea Kawabata, Matt Miyahira, Julie Coughlin, and James Kam are welcoming participants to meet growers and learn more about these and other coffee research and updates at the Hawaii Coffee Association Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel on July 25–28. CTAHR coffee project and outreach updates will be provided on Friday, July 26, and from the college’s educational booth throughout the event.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow? 2 July 2019

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Cooperative Extension offers a seedling-propagating workshop

There’s nothing like the miracle of watching tiny dry grains sprout into lush green plants…and when they can provide healthful, sustainable vegetables, all the better! But making sure that the seeds sprout and caring for them until they become sturdy, strong plants aren’t always so easy. Find out how at the Vegetable Seedling Propagation Workshop.

Where? At the Farm Fair!

Where? At the Farm Fair! 2 July 2019

Where? At the Farm Fair!

Useful information for those exhibiting at the Farm Fair

Fair Hours: Saturday, July 13: 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday, July 14: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Location: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Thank you for representing the college! If you have any questions, please email Rachele Lamosao at rachele@hfbf.org or call her at 292-3208.

Hawai‘i Raises Its Hand

Hawai‘i Raises Its Hand 2 July 2019

Hawai‘i Raises Its Hand

Support for local 4-H garners national attention

The National 4-H Council ran a Raise Your Hand for 4-H promotion to raise awareness of all the great work that 4-H does with youth development. Supporters of the program could vote by virtually raising their hands in celebration of its myriad health, leadership, agriculture, and STEM programs for kids. While Hawai‘i 4-H didn’t win one of the top three monetary prizes, voters still put CTAHR on the map at the national level for generating the greatest percentage increase of hands raised compared with the 2018 promotion. For this, Hawai‘i will receive an Inspire Kids to Do photo shoot sponsored by National 4-H Council. 4-H’s Inspire Kids to Do campaign helps youth to grow into leaders through inspirational hands-on learning experiences.

New Faces: Lynn Takahara and Darren Park

New Faces: Lynn Takahara and Darren Park 24 June 2019

New Faces: Lynn Takahara and Darren Park

Stop by Cooperative Extension and ADSC to say Aloha!

Lynn Takahara is the new secretary in the Office of the Associate Dean & Associate Director for Extension. She previously worked at the Honolulu Fire Department, where she served the fire chief. Darren Park is now the manager for CTAHR’s Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center. He comes to the college from the Department of Health, where he served as the coordinator/manager for the Office of Solid Waste Management, tasked with managing personnel, facilities, budget, and operations.

Flowering of CTAHR Creativity

Flowering of CTAHR Creativity 24 June 2019

Flowering of CTAHR Creativity

Cooperative Extension agent shares his new floral knowledge

Cooperative Extension agent Robert Cating (PEPS) recently completed a course in floral design to help him understand the needs of floral designers for tropical flowers and foliage. To prepare for a floral design workshop for youths, he conducted a hands-on practice session using faculty, staff, and student volunteers at the Komohana Research & Extension Center. Some stunning creations resulted!

Head to the Hawaii State Farm Fair

Head to the Hawaii State Farm Fair 13 June 2019

Head to the Hawaii State Farm Fair

The 57th Annual Hawaii State Farm Fair is coming up on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, at Kualoa Ranch in Kane‘ohe—and CTAHR is invited to exhibit in the “Buy Local, It Matters" educational pavilion. To join as an exhibitor, go to the Hawaii Farm Bureau’s registration page. For more information, visit the Hawaii State Farm Fair website.

Businesses and Childcare

Businesses and Childcare 13 June 2019

Businesses and Childcare

For almost two-thirds of children under age 6 in Hawai‘i, all of their residential parents are in the workforce. For families with two keiki, childcare is the single most expensive budget item after housing. No wonder childcare is a key issue in work–family conflicts. CTAHR’s Center on the Family, along with partners, recently sponsored an event for local business leaders to learn about how employers can include childcare needs in employee benefits.

4-H for Health

4-H for Health 13 June 2019

4-H for Health

There’s a laudatory article on the many benefits of 4-H in the May–June issue of the Hawai‘i Island-focused Ke Ola Magazine—appropriate, since “ola” can mean “health,” and that’s just what one of the four H’s stands for. State 4-H program leader Jeff Goodwin estimates that 4-H reaches about 1,300 kids on the Big Island alone!

Eating Well in Wai‘anae

Eating Well in Wai‘anae 29 May 2019

Eating Well in Wai‘anae

Members of CTAHR teamed up with volunteers from WCCHC, Kamehameha Schools, Sacred Hearts Church, and Hoa Aina O Makaha to do some good on the West side. At ‘Ohana Night at Wai‘anae Elementary, a nutrition outreach event coordinated with Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and Hawaii Foodbank, they were provided over 12,700 pounds of food, including 700 pounds of locally grown produce,to 581 community members in need of sustenance!

How Much Coffee?

How Much Coffee? 28 May 2019

How Much Coffee?

Travis Idol and Adel Youkhana (both NREM) recently published a helpful paper detailing an easy and accurate protocol for estimating coffee yield in Hawai‘i. “A Rapid Visual Estimation of Fruits per Lateral to Predict Coffee Yield in Hawaii,” published in Agroforestry Systems Journal, allows farmers to predict the amount of their crop, a crucial task and an ongoing challenge, with less cost, time and labor.

Won Bok, Two Bok, Three Bok, Four…

Won Bok, Two Bok, Three Bok, Four… 29 April 2019

Won Bok, Two Bok, Three Bok, Four…

There are lots of varieties of won bok, also known as Napa cabbage. But which are the best for growing in Hawai‘i’s soils and microclimates, and, just as important, which make the best kimchi? You can get the answers at the Won Bok Variety Trial Field Day, which will be conveniently coupled with a Hands-On Kimchi Workshop. 

Familiar Faces in New Places: Russell Galanti

Familiar Faces in New Places: Russell Galanti 29 April 2019

Familiar Faces in New Places: Russell Galanti

CTAHR alumnus Russell Galanti has joined O‘ahu Cooperative Extension as a junior Extension agent working with the ornamental landscaping, nursery crop, and floriculture industries. Russell has a master’s degree from TPSS in sustainable production and management of macadamia nut in Hawai‘i and focuses on horticulture practices, soil science and soil amendments, and plant physiology.

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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