Volume 3: March | April | May 2010

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Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

September | October | November 2009  

Aloha Kākou


Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The mission of HānaiʻAi is to provide a venue for dissemination of science-based information to serve all of Hawaii's Farming Community in our quest for agricultural sustainability.


You will see some exciting ideas relative to sustainable crop and animal production in this issue. Some recent work by Dr Nguyen Hue and Dr. Ali Fares, who have active research projects in soil science and hydrology, is summarized. Mike Duponte’s work on sustainable swine production, which is getting broad attention across the State because of it is so innovative, is also included in this issue. Matthew Stevenson contributed an overview of his efforts to reach out to those interested in the chicken production system that was developed by Glen Fukumoto. Last, and not least, is another innovative piece by Dr. Ted Radovich, a co-editor of the newsletter, that links sustainable production methods with product flavor and nutritional value. This is a very important piece of work because it highlights the link between sustainable production practices and social concerns, which is a key component of sustainability.


Looking at the social issues associated with sustainability, we have included a description of SOFT, CTAHR's Sustainable and Organic Farm Training Student Organization, because some have expressed concern that that CTAHR students need "seed to sale" experience in sustainable agriculture as part of their education. Our Featured Farmer, Chauncy Monden who operates Kula Country Farms, provides a good overview of how his vision of being Maui centric has contributed to his success. We also have a description of a recent Functional Foods Conference from Dr. Corilee Watters, who has expertise in community nutrition. In addition, one of our editors, Dr. Linda Cox, has written about retail marketing this month.


We hope you find this issue of HānaiʻAi useful, and welcome your input.


Feature Farmer

Chauncy Monden

Kula Country Farms, Kula, Maui


Area under production:

About 60 acres


Years farming in Hawai'i:

Farming in the Kula area for four generations since the 1940s


Crops grown:

strawberry, onions, various mixed vegetables including beets, Chinese peas, leafy greens, and pumpkins


Fertility management:

ynthetic fertilizers, integrating incorporating cover crops such sorghum-sudangrass hybrids (sudex, Sorghum bicolor x S. bicolor var. sudanense) and mustards and other strategies to build organic matter.


HOT TIPS from Kula Country Farms

Don’t count on “spreadsheet farming.” You need to plan ahead but you also need to be flexible and be able to adjust for all the variables that farming brings.


Don’t borrow money.


Work hard and don’t give up.




Mahalo nui loa to Chauncy Monden for this interview


Read More

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Farming for Functionality: Enhancing phytonutrients in vegetables through crop management

Ted Radovich,

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


The flavor, color and human health potential of vegetables have a chemical basis that is influenced by many factors, including genetics and growing environment. This article briefly discusses the influence that management practices such as variety selection, irrigation and fertilization can have on plant compounds that contribute to the health promoting function of fresh vegetables. Glucosinolates, compounds influencing flavor and anti-carcinogenic activity in cabbage family vegetables, are highlighted as an example. Exploiting the effects of genotype and environment on the chemical quality of vegetables has potential to improve marketability and grower profits. However, it will require the continued, cooperative efforts of researchers, industry groups and growers to realize the full potential of “Farming for Functionality.”


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Ted Radovich, Email: theodore@hawaii.edu


Growing Your Business

Linda J. Cox,

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Get Ready to Retail Your Products


Every company in the marketing channel from the producer to the final consumer should be seen as a customer by the agricultural producer. Whole Foods Market is used as an example to help illustrate how a farmer could develop a marketing strategy to target this retail outlet that specializes in healthy living products.


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Linda Cox, Email: lcox@hawaii.edu


CTAHR Sustainable & Organic Research News

News from our researchers

Sunn Hemp.jpg

Functional Foods: The Crossroads of Nutrition, Food Science and Agriculture

Corilee Watters

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


A Functional Food conference, sponsored by CTAHR, was held a few months ago. “Functional foods” have health promoting qualities in addition to the nutrients they contain. Promoting functional foods is another way to market healthy eating and encourage increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Corilee Watters, Email: cwatters@hawaii.edu

The Sweet Smell of Success: The Odorless Piggery

Michael DuPonte

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


The EPA now has more stringent guidelines for livestock operations, which means that the best management practices (BMPs) used in the past are not acceptable any more. Techniques being used in South Korea for swine production could be potential BMPs in the United States. The use of indigenous micro organisms (IMO); natural ventilation and site selection to encourage cooling and drying within the shelter, and a green waste bedding system create a piggery that is not affected by flies, odors and manure handling concerns.


READ the full article here


FMI: Michael DuPonte, Email: mduponte@hawaii.edu


Changes in soil properties and vegetable growth/quality during the transition toward organic farming in Hawaii

Nguyen V. Hue

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


The tropical, nutrient-poor soils of Hawaii may present a challenge to organic vegetable producers. An experiment done at the Poamoho Experiment station compared a control treatment with no soil nutrients added, a treatment of 500 lb/acre of the chemical fertilizer urea, and two types of compost/chicken manure amendments that provided approximately 300 lb/acre total nitrogen (N). Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa, Chinensis group) and eggplant (Solanum melongena) were grown sequentially in the four treatments. The treatment with urea promoted better growth in the first crop (cabbage), whereas a good-quality compost, made of grass-clippings/tree trimmings, lime and rock phosphate, gave the best growth in the second crop (eggplant), suggesting N mineralization from organic inputs requires at least three to four months in the field before N became most available to crops.


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Nguyen Hue, Email: nvhue@hawaii.edu

For more detailed article

Pastured Poultry for the Backyard

Matt Stevenson

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


CTAHR publications entitled Pastured Poultry Production (LM-1) and Small-scale Pastured Poultry Grazing System for Egg Production (LM-20) by CTAHR livestock agent Glen Fukumoto provide information on a backyard poultry grazing system that reduces the amount of supplementary feed necessary for consistent production. Pasture based birds are expected to provide higher quality products than birds raised in confinement. A workshop that explains the system has been developed and conducted on Kauai. The workshop will be held again on Kauai and possibly on other islands.


READ the full article here



Soil solarization and cover cropping as alternatives to soil fumigation for pineapple growers in Hawaii

Koon-Hui Wang

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Results indicate that sunn hemp cover cropping (SH) and soil solarization (SH+Sol) reduced two third of the weed pressure as compared to untreated plots. Although SH did not suppress nematode pests as efficiently as Telone, it suppressed reniform nematodes below its threshold level prior to crop planting. SH with or without Sol, enhanced soil biodiversity and microbial activities involved in nutrient cycling.


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Koon-Hui Wang, Email: koonhui@hawaii.edu




Fate of Organic Amendments Within and Below the Crop Root Zone.

Ali Fares

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Organic amendments, i.e., compost, chicken and cow manures, are major sources of macro- (e.g., Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) and micro-nutrients (e.g., Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium), although the improper
application of organic amendments may impact the environment through nutrient leaching (e.g., Nitrogen) and greenhouse gases emission. During several growing seasons we monitored soil water content, and nutrient availability and leaching within and below the root zone of a sweet corn crop grown on a Wailua soil amended with commercially available organic compost (CP) and chicken manure (CM). Application of organic amendments improved soil water holding capacity and infiltration rates as compared to control treatments. Chicken manure increased the concentration of nutrients within and below the root zone, which resulted in a better performance of the sweet corn. Farmers should avoid excess application of organic amendments and over-irrigation in order to minimize losses of valuable nutrients and substantially reduce groundwater contamination.


READ the full article here


FMI: Dr. Ali Fares, Email: afares@hawaii.edu

For more information about our research, see our monthly CTAHR Research News Magazine.



CTAHR Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production system


Western Extension Marketing Committee (with collaboration from Dr. Stuart Nakamoto, CTAHR)

To purchase a print version, contact Dr. Stuart Nakamoto, snakamo@hawaii.edu.



A number of growers have expressed concern that there is not enough interest by the next generation in farming and that CTAHR students should get "seed to sale" experience as part of their education. In this issue, we are delighted to introduce SOFT, CTAHR's Sustainable and Organic Farm Training Student Organization.


SOFT: The SOFT (Sustainable and Organic Farm Training) club is a student group open to everyone enrolled in the University of Hawaii that aims to teach the basics of growing food sustainably by providing students hands-on experience. The SOFT club relies on the support of CTAHR faculty and staff to assist them in various activities including managing research and garden sites, weekly produce sales, and outreach to a local elementary school. 



Agroforestry Net is a nonprofit educational organization focused on advancing information to promote Pacific Island agroforestry and ecological resource management.



Food Safety & Organic Management: Food Safety News

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE) 


Check out these and other great resources at the WSARE website.



Since 1988, the WSARE program has been supporting agricultural profitability, environmental integrity and community strength through grants that enable cutting-edge research and education to open windows on sustainability across the West, including Hawaii. The goals of WSARE are:


  • Promote good stewardship of our natural resources.
  • Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities.
  • Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems.
  • Promote crop, livestock and enterprise diversification.
  • Examine the regional, economic, social and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.


For more information, please see:https://western.sare.org/ or contact Hawaii WSARE coordinator Dr. Ted Radovich at theodore@hawaii.edu.


This e-publication has been prepared by CTAHR research scientists and extension staff to deliver science-based information about sustainable and organic production systems to serve Hawaii's farming community.


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Mahalo nui loa,

Eric Collier, Education Specialist and Managing Editor

Dr. Linda Cox and Dr. Ted Radovich

Jody Smith, e-Extension Manager

Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program

Cooperative Extension Service

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Jody Smith | Web Manager | smithjos@hawaii.edu

Copyright ©2013 University of Hawai‘i - College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Updated 6 January, 2013

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