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Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories 7 May 2020

Thanks for the Memories

O‘ahu Cooperative Extension says Aloha! to two esteemed colleagues

Two longtime members of the CTAHR ‘ohana are leaving for fresh adventures. Naomi Kanehiro, an Extension agent in Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences; and Nestor Dela Cruz, an agricultural technician at the Urban Garden Center, have dedicated their careers to CTAHR and will be missed.

The Case for Collard Greens

The Case for Collard Greens 6 May 2020

The Case for Collard Greens

These perennials are a constant food source and love the summer sun

As summer approaches, you might consider adding collard greens to your backyard garden. Whereas the intense heat can overwhelm many local greens that grow well during the cooler months, collards will thrive throughout the year. 

Circle of Giving

Circle of Giving 4 May 2020

Circle of Giving

Hand sanitizer donation supports fruit donation

MBBE’s Fermentation Biochemistry class, and their mock company 3Rewery, have donated more than 6 liters of hand sanitizer to the volunteers at the Urban Garden Center. Four liters went to the UGC’s Fruit Hui, a dedicated group of six volunteers who continue to meet every week to maintain the tropical fruit orchard and harvest fruit—which is entirely donated to the Hawaii Foodbank.

Fast Green Food

Fast Green Food 1 May 2020

Fast Green Food

Grow a salad bowl in your back yard

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.

For Our Frontline Fighters

For Our Frontline Fighters 1 May 2020

For Our Frontline Fighters

CTAHR donates sunflowers to the nurses braving COVID-19

Extension agent Russell Galanti is harvesting, trimming, washing, and bundling 400+ sunflowers he planted months ago at the O‘ahu Urban Garden Center. The bright, morale-boosting blooms will be donated to local hospitals, to thank staff members who are keeping our community safe from the pandemic. More photos and video, coming soon!

Eating Local: How and How Much?

Eating Local: How and How Much? 30 April 2020

Eating Local: How and How Much?

Honolulu Magazine consults CTAHR on a critical issue

Any answer to the question “Can We Ever Eat All Local in Hawai‘i?,” the subject of a recent Honolulu Magazine article, depends significantly on CTAHR’s work in education, research, and community outreach. So it’s fitting that the article features several members of the CTAHR ‘ohana, including ag economist and assistant Extension agent Sarah Rehkamp, MS alumnus Gabe Sachter-Smith, and GoFarm Hawai‘i graduate Rob Barreca.

4-H Gives Aloha

4-H Gives Aloha 30 April 2020

4-H Gives Aloha

Kaua‘i youths create signs of hope

Kaua’i 4-H Federation created “Signs of Aloha” to show appreciation and support for the staff of the island’s three local hospitals. 4-H families hand-built and sanded the signs, and then 4-H participants designed and painted a theme for each aloha board to honor the heroic medical personnel working on the front lines.

Germination Is a Beautiful Thing

Germination Is a Beautiful Thing 28 April 2020

Germination Is a Beautiful Thing

Understanding how seeds sprout will help your garden

Whether you’re a fuzzy neophyte or gnarled veteran of the backyard garden, we should never lose our fascination with the seed germination process. It is magical how such little things, buried in darkness, will quickly emerge from the surface, full of life and independence. If you’re growing vegetables for the very first time, it’s helpful to understand how plants propagate.

The Pests Keep Coming

The Pests Keep Coming 28 April 2020

The Pests Keep Coming

So the work continues at Kona Research Station

Fighting plant pests is just one of the many ways Nick Yamauchi, Dylan Cunningham, Matt Miyahira, Andrea Kawabata, Elizabeth Whitney, Yoshiaki Higashide, Justin Yeh, and other CTAHR faculty and staff on Hawai‘i Island are working diligently to keep grant-funded projects moving forward, while maintaining social distancing and other precautions.

Hydroponics vs. Aquaponics

Hydroponics vs. Aquaponics 27 April 2020

Hydroponics vs. Aquaponics

These soil-less gardens just need a little fertilizer

Tilling the soil before you plant can be difficult, especially if the land is rocky or paved over. But don’t let that stop you from growing vegetables! Soil-less agriculture is an alternative that requires less physical effort and uses less space. Two good examples are hydroponics and aquaponics. But which one better suits you? That depends on your preference for dealing with soluble fertilizer or live fish.

Good Source of Resources

Good Source of Resources 27 April 2020

Good Source of Resources

CTAHR’s COVID-19 response page is better than ever

If you haven’t visited lately, COVID-19 Resources for Hawai‘i, compiled by Extension agent Nancy Ooki, has added new resources to help you…and your clients and stakeholders. The webpage is broken up into Food Safety and Sourcing, Plants and Agriculture, Human Health, and more, and each category is replete with critical, science-backed information.

What’s Easy to Grow, Healthy, and Tasty? Beans!

What’s Easy to Grow, Healthy, and Tasty? Beans! 24 April 2020

What’s Easy to Grow, Healthy, and Tasty? Beans!

Legumes are good for you and good for your back yard

If you’re starting a home garden, make sure you add beans! Beans improve soil fertility, which helps crop diversity and sustainability in Hawai‘i. They’re highly nutritious—rich in protein, fiber, and the good carbohydrates. And beans don’t require much water or fertilizer, yet they’re fast-growing and produce heavy yields, especially if you’ve picked the right location.

Beefing Up Production

Beefing Up Production 24 April 2020

Beefing Up Production

HNFAS Extension agent improves pregnancy rates for Wagyu cattle

Wagyu, a Japanese breed of cattle, produces high-quality meat prized by chefs the world over. Unfortunately for steak lovers, Wagyu are also known for having poor reproductive rates. But Kyle Caires is on a mission to change that. He just took the next step forward in his long-term quest to improve the reproductive technologies of cattle with his latest paper.

Microgreens: The Perfect Indoor Crop

Microgreens: The Perfect Indoor Crop 23 April 2020

Microgreens: The Perfect Indoor Crop

Seven simple steps for year-round vegetables

Microgreens are edible vegetables in miniature form. Because of their fast growth, they’re a concentrated source of nutrients, packed with beneficial enzymes. Microgreens are simple to grow on your own and indoors—you can have a year-round source of veggies right on your kitchen counter!

Pau Hana With the Cattlemen

Pau Hana With the Cattlemen 23 April 2020

Pau Hana With the Cattlemen

Extension brings together livestock producers on coronavirus solutions

CTAHR Extension and the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council are partnering on a series of informal virtual talks with local cattle producers about the impact of COVID-19 on their livestock operations. The goal of the Livestock Producers Pau Hana is to foster communication, increase collaboration, and strengthen the Hawai‘i livestock industry as farmers and ranchers endure and emerge from the economic crisis.

‘Ulu, Coming Through

‘Ulu, Coming Through 21 April 2020

‘Ulu, Coming Through

Extension delivers fruit to Maui Food Bank

CTAHR’s Extension agents are helping those in need on the Valley Isle. After harvesting 60 ‘ulu and seven bunches of bananas from an Extension planting on Maui, Rosemary Gutierrez-Coarite of the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences donated the entire harvest to the Maui Food Bank, even driving the truckload there herself.

CBB in the Age of COVID-19

CBB in the Age of COVID-19 20 April 2020

CBB in the Age of COVID-19

Online talk-story sessions can help growers

Coffee berry borers don’t practice social distancing! In fact, these invasive pests are massing in the coffee cherries of local growers all over the state. That’s why CTAHR’s coffee berry borer researchers and the Coffee Berry Borer Area-wide Program are hosting virtual talk-story sessions to provide help and information to coffee producers.

Put Your Garden to Bed

Put Your Garden to Bed 17 April 2020

Put Your Garden to Bed

Raised-bed gardening gives you more options

Creating a raised bed over your existing surface is a great gardening solution. In comparison with in-ground planting and pots, raised beds can be the best of both worlds.

Growers’ Needs Assessment

Growers’ Needs Assessment 17 April 2020

Growers’ Needs Assessment

Let Extension know your current situation

The past few weeks have brought significant changes in the agriculture industry in Hawai‘i. With that in mind, CTAHR Extension agents have created a short COVID-19 Agriculture Needs Assessment of the agriculture industry in the state. This information will be used to inform Extension agents throughout the state about the current needs of local producers.

Talk About Growing

Talk About Growing 17 April 2020

Talk About Growing

CTAHR and partners host a virtual talk-story for farmers

Join CTAHR for a virtual talk-story session with local producers, in collaboration with the Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawai‘i Farmers Union, and Kohala Center. It will be held this Sunday, April 26, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Please contact Nicole Milne at nmilne@kohalacenter.org for a link to the online video conference.

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23 December 2019

What Will the Cattle Eat?

CTAHR tackles spittlebug infestations on Hawai‘i Island

What Will the Cattle Eat?

A recent article in Hawaii Tribune Herald noted that Mark Thorne, Extension specialist with the Department of Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences, is working with the Kona livestock community to combat the two-line spittlebug (TLSB), a recently discovered pasture pest.

“Two-line spittlebugs pose a significant economic threat to the Hawai‘i livestock industry, the third-largest agricultural industry in the state, with an estimated $45,000,000 in production value,” says Mark.

Immature nymphs and adult bugs suck nutrient-rich juices from the grass leaves and roots. The grasses die, and there’s very little recovery. Nymphs are found at or just under the soil surface along grass roots or crowns within a mass of liquid and bubbles they secrete that resembles spit, hence their name.

The pest has destroyed thousands of acres of once-productive pasture land. Since 2016, their range has increased by 35,000 acres a year and now stretches 145,000 acres along the Kona coast and mauka ranch lands. Now the sustainability of Hawai‘i’s livestock industry is in question, unless measures are identified to slow their progress—not many tested management options are currently available.

Mark Thorne, Mark Wright in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, graduate student Shannon Wilson, and several research technicians are evaluating grass varieties bred for spittlebug resistance in Colombia, a country with several grass-specific spittlebug pests.

“We hope these grasses will be productive substitutes for the pasture grasses being wiped out by TLSB,” says Mark.

For now, ranchers are encouraged to use grazing management strategies that reduce the suitable habitat for the pest. This strategy will likely be a tool against TLSB even after suitable resistant verities of grass are planted.

If you see a spittlebug, please contact Mark Thorne at thornem@hawaii.edu. By reporting the problem, you can help scientists collect more data and advise the community on a solution.

Read the full article.