Volume 34 | Summer 2019 |

Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
Hānai ʻAi
The Food Provider | Summer 2019| 
SOAP logo


 Welcome to the Summer 2019 issue of Hānai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawai'i. In this edition we are pleased to introduce you to SOAP's newest team members Emilie, Amjad, and Eric! As always we are excited to share with you the important projects our CTAHR team and agriculture community has been working on to expand, promote, and improve local agriculture in Hawaii. From vegetable variety trials, soilless production methods, sustainable pest management options and so much more, we are here to help you with your farming needs! To visit the SOAP website, click here. Mahalo to the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture for their continuing support of the website, Hānai'Ai, and other SOAP activities to serve Hawaii's growers.
We hope you find this issue of HānaiʻAi useful, and welcome your input.

CTAHR's Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) Expands

Say Hello to SOAP's New Extension Agents!
With the support of the 2018 Hawai'i State Legislature, Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Farmers Union United, and many external partners and stakeholders, CTAHR has been able to recently hire several new extension agents, including two for the SOAP programEmilie Kirk (Kaua'i) and Dr. Amjad Ahmad (O'ahu) have joined the UH Cooperative Extension team as Assistant Extension Agents. They will assist in providing statewide management of SOAP activities which includes applied research and outreach on sustainable and organic farming systems.
For more information on the SOAP program, please visit their website here

Welcome Eric!
   The Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) is excited to welcome Eric Collier as our new Education Specialist. Eric will take lead on the SOAP newsletter and website, manage our social media, assist with outreach activities, and also support applied research projects in the field. Eric has his B.Sc. in Agriculture, a Master's in Business Administration, and brings with him years of  program management experience. Eric is no stranger to CTAHR, having served as a fiscal administrator in the college for the last three years. 

Sustainable & Organic

Research Outreach News

News from Hawaii's Researchers & Extension
Design of a Small-Scale Off-Grid Hydroponic System for Screen House Leafy Vegetable Production
G. Spinelli, J. Uyeda, J. Silva, L. Okumura, A. Taniguchi 
J. Sugano
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources



    Curious about soilless growing techniques? Ever wonder what it takes to establish a small-scale hydroponic or aeroponic system? Production space is an extremely limiting factor for all farmers, but especially here in Hawai'i. Soilless production methods allow growers to take advantage of their vertical space and maximize profits. CTAHR extension staff recently evaluated both hydroponic and aeroponic systems powered by off-grid energy in a screen house unit. Click here to learn more about growing leafy vegetables with soilless production systems running on sustainable energy!
FMI: Jari Sugano,
Field Screening of Various Lettuce Cultivars for Tip Burn Tolerance in Hawai'i
J. Sugano, G. Spinelli, J. Silva, A. Taniguchi, L. Okumura, 
G. Teves, J. Bost, A. Ahmad and J. Uyeda
University of Hawaii at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
 Lettuce production in Hawai'i has been steadily decreasing since 2012. Leafy greens are especially sensitive to the heat and environmental stresses present in the tropics, and identifying varieties that are well suited to Hawai'i  is essential for revitalizing the local market. Cooperative extension specialist conducted field trials of potential varieties  previously identified, along with Manoa Leopard hybrids developed and screened by Frank Morton (Wild Garden Seed) and Glenn Teves (Moloka'i Extension agent.) Click here to read more about the trial and find out which lettuce varieties you should be growing!
FMI: Jari Sugano,  

Organic Screenhouse Trial of TYLC Resistant Tomatoes: Preliminary Results

G. Bryant, T. Radovich, J. Sugano, A. Ahmad,  J. Uyeda, J. Silva, K.H Wang
University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Tomato yellow leaf curl is one of the most devastating diseases to tomato production world wide. While using a screen house can help protect plants from larger pests, whiteflies (the vector of TYLC) and other smaller insects are often an issue. Planting TYLC resistant varieties is an excellent preventative measure  when growing tomatoes in a screened unit. A variety trial was recently conducted at the Waimanalo Research Station to continue research on identifying TYLC resistant tomato varieties and measure their performance in a certified organic screen house setting.  Click here to read more about the trial.

FMI: Giselle Bryant  
Electric Fence: Non-Chemical Wild Pig Deterrent

G. Spinelli, J. Silva, J. Uyeda, A. Taniguchi, L. Okumura, T. Radovich & J. Sugano
University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
   It is all too familiar a story for farmers here in Hawaii. Your crop is almost ready for harvest and soon all that hard work will pay off! Until one morning, you come out to your field to find it was pillaged by wild boar. Not only is this detrimental to yields, but it is a major food safety concern for any produce left behind. CTAHR extension staff and specialist regularly deal with this issue and find electric fencing as an excellent non-chemical deterrent for wild boar and other large pests. Click here to read more about installation and operation details.

FMI: Gerado Spinelli 
Evaluation of Non-Chemical Deterrents to Repel Slugs 
L. Okumura, A. Taniguchi, & J. Sugano
University of Hawaiˋi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
  Slugs and snails have always been the farmers foe, but with more cases of Rat lung worm surfacing in Hawai'i it is imperative that all growers and consumers take necessary precautions. While there are effective pesticides that target slugs and snail, some soilless grow methods and organic producers can't rely on this management approach. In response to growers needs for non-chemical deterrents for slugs and snails, CTAHR students evaluated the efficacy of a few non-chemical deterrents. To read more about the evaluation and results, click here.
FMI: Jari Sugano,
Beginning Farmers
Helpful articles for those getting started
The Importance of Testing pH and EC in Agriculture
A. Taniguchi, L. Okumura, G.Spinelli, J. Silva, J. Uyeda, 
& J. Sugano
University of Hawaiˋi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Measuring the pH and EC of your soil or growing solution is crucial to production success. Many handheld tools allow growers to easily access this information right in the field. Properly interpreting your results and understanding what mitigation options are available is the next step towards soil health. Click here to read more about  testing the pH and EC of your soil or growing solution!
The Hawaii Seed Growers Network
Jay BostGoFarm Hawaii
Daniela Dutra Elliot, Leeward, Community College
Melanie WillichKohala Center
   The Hawaii Seed Growers Network (HSGN) is a group of dedicated seed growers from across the state who's goal is to share aloha through producing locally adapted crop varieties. Hawaii's unique climate presents endless challenges to growers, especially for those pursuing organic and sustainable production methods. HSGN focuses on developing varieties that are well adapted to Hawaii's growing environment, produce high yields, and have culinary flare! Thanks to this community of passionate growers the local seed movement has been revitalized by their hard work. To learn more about the Hawaii Seed Growers network, and information on where you can purchase locally produced seed, click here!
Food Safety & Good Agricultural Practices Workshop
August 3rd South Kona & August 17th North Kohala
   Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to farming, keeping up to date and well versed in food safety and good agricultural practices (GAP) is essential for success. Join Luisa F. Castro, Ph.D. the food safety program manager of the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture, and learn more about food safety guidelines, regulatory requirements, and risk management tools you can implement into your operation. Click here for more information and to pre-register for the event.
Organic Update
Compost Reimbursement Program
 The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has established the Compost Reimbursement Program which may reimburse agricultural producers for the cost of purchasing compost. Act 89 which was enacted in 2018, allocated $650,000 over a two-year period for the reimbursement of 50 percent of compost cost incurred by agricultural producers during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) and a portion of fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to March 30, 2020) not to exceed $50,000 per applicant per year. Funds for the remainder of the three-year program have not yet been funded by the legislature. Under the reimbursement program, compost must be purchased from a certified processor, retailer or wholesaler licensed to do business in Hawaii. In addition, certified Hawaii processors are limited to those companies regulated under the Hawaii Department of Health's Solid Waste Management Program. For more information, please click here.
Organic a Bright Spot in U.S. Agriculture
   While the number of total farms and acreage shrunk between 2012 and 2017, the opposite was true for organic farms. The Census of Agriculture counted 18,166 organic farms (certified and exempt) in 2017, a 27 percent increase from the 14,326 organic farms in 2012.  Additionally, the number of farms transitioning acres for organic production rose 15 percent from five years ago to 3,723.Organic is also attracting younger people into agriculture. Seventeen percent of all organic farmers are 34 years of age or younger, while only eight percent of all farmers fall in that same age group. For more information, click here.
2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum
  Proceedings from the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum are now available. This day-long event held on February 16th in Portland Oregon, featured innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems.  Presentations from the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum were recorded by eOrganic and are also available.
- Download the proceedings here  
- View the presentations here
Webinar Series on Soil Health Now Available On-Demand
   OFRF's wildly popular webinar series on soil health and organic farming is now archived and available to view on-demand. The webinars align with topics covered in OFRF's Soil Health and Organic Farming Guidebooks to explore the most recent research on soil health practices, while offering practical guidelines for building healthy soil. For more information, click here. 
Upcoming Events
Ōhāhā High School AgriCULTURE Program 
July8th-14th Honoka'a, Hawai'i Island
Ōhāhā program is focused on deepening the connection between high school students, the āina, and the local agriculture community. Participants will engage in activities that promote and encourage students to fulfill their kuleana to 'āina, 'ohana, and lāhui. For more information on this exciting opportunity, click here!
57th Hawaii State Farm Fair 
July 13-14 Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
It's that time of the year again! Come out to Kualoa Ranch Saturday July 13th: 9 am-7 pm and Sunday July 14th: 9 am-5 pm. Every year the Hawaii Farm Fair seeks to bring the community together to showcase Hawaii's local agriculture and ranching community. Included in this years event is the plant and country market, 4-H livestock showcase, ono grinds, and fun family contests! For more information visit the Hawaii Farm Fair website.
July 18th 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Join the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement (#OnoRevolution) and celebrate the local chef and farmer partnerships that showcase the very best of Hawaii's food scene. The evenings events will host some of Hawaii's agriculture and food industry leaders as they discuss the powerful impact of their collaborations. The event will conclude with a carefully crafted menu by some of Hawaii's favorite chefs. For more information click here!
Taste of the Hawaiian Range: Agriculture Festival and Gala
September 7th, Mana Christian ʻOhana (Old Kahilu Town Hall) & YMCA Minuke Ole Park, Waimea, Hawai'i Island
Save the date! The annual Taste of the Hawaiian range will be held on September 7th. Bring along the family and enjoy agricultural themed activities from 10-3pm at the YMCA Minuke Ole Park. The tasting event, showcasing locally produced meats and produce prepared by Hawai'i chefs and culinary students, will be held from 5:30-7:30 pm in the Old Kahilu Town Hall. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets to this special event!
Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (WSARE)
Host a Farmer Field Day!
  Do you have innovative sustainable agriculture ideas that you would like to share with your peers? Hosting a farmer field day is a great way to make connections with your community, expand your market, and help promote sustainable land stewardship. For tips and more information about hosting a farmer field day, click here
Proposal Preparation 
  Interested in developing a proposal for Western SARE, but you don't know where to start? WSARE has provided plenty of helpful resources on their website that includes templates, budgetary information, tips for strong proposal writing, and much more! In this section they also outline their expectations and guidelines for submission, ensuring that your proposal is crafted for success.
Videos Worth Watching 
  The Power of Data: Improving the Management of Rangeland Ecosystems shows how data collection by researchers at UC Davis serves as a valuable tool to share best management practices with the ranching community.
To browse all other SARE videos,
WSARE logo
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 Hawai'i. 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: http://www.westernsare.org or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators 
Sharon Motomura-Wages and Jensen Uyeda 
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.
  • If this publication has been valuable, please forward it to others.
  • Send in your suggestions for what you want to read about in our articles.
  • Tell us about your research needs. 
Mahalo nui loa,
Giselle Bryant, Research Coordinator and Editor
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program 
Cooperative Extension Service 
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  
The intent of these columns is to improve understanding in those unfamiliar with organic production, and to provide a resource to growers interested in or are currently producing organically.  
Let us know what you want to see featured in Hānai ʻAi by emailing:

In this Issue

Featured Farmer
Sustainable Boost
Kealia, Kaua'i

Lourdes Torres 

Emilio Ruiz-Romero 
Area under production: 
3 acres
Years farming in Hawai'i: 
3 years
Crops grown,
animals raised, goods & services:
Crickets for human consumption, papaya, banana, turmeric, ginger, pacific spinach, and lemongrass. Also, value added products made with locally sourced goods. 
Fertility Management:
Cricket frass!
Mahalo nui loa 
Lourdes and Emilio!
A special thanks to Kaua'i SOAP Assistant Extension Agent Emilie Kirk for supplying this interview!

Categories: Event, current