Volume 8: June | July | Aug 2011

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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 Summer 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.


As we complete our second year of publishing HānaiʻAi, it is a good time to stop and look back. In each issue, our Featured Farmer column highlights successful agribusinesses in pursuit of their goal to achieve the "triple crown" of sustainability: profitability, environmental stewardship, and a positive quality of life for those involved in agriculture. In Growing Your Business from the Field, Drs. Radovich and Cox revisit these innovative growers, their opinions, approach and advice to other growers on sustainability and agriculture in Hawaii.


In our Sustainable and Organic Research News feature, we highlight the work of CTAHR researchers who continue to focus on practices that promote plant health, a vital soil, and a strong market for local products. The Organic Update highlights the recent HFBF Organic Symposium, which brought together growers, researchers, educators and administrators to discuss how to better support our certified organic growers and take the industry to the next level.


Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well. New posters and publications relating to sustainable agriculture are linked in Publications & Programs, and several upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings are announced, including the 'Ulu Festival and Taste of the Hawaiian Range. We also congratulate (and list) the 2011 WSARE Program grant awardees, including 3 teams from CTAHR who were collectively awarded almost $500,000.


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


Feature Farmer

Rick Tamanaha

Kaleikoa Farms, Ho'olehua, Moloka‘i



Area under production:

Currently 16 acres - soon to be 23 acres (100% certified organic), Dept. of Hawaiian Homes homestead agricultural lot


Growing since:

40 years backyard farming, currently in 5th year of commercial farming.


Crops grown:

As a start-up farm, we selected and concentrated on growing strawberry sunrise papaya - a type developed specifically by Cooperative Extension Service (CES) agent Alton Arakaki for Ho'olehua soil and weather. Because of high demand and an established distributor equipped with fruit fly treatment located right here on island, the papaya generated the necessary cash flow to acquire the proper equipment and expand production acreage quickly.

As we started our 3rd phase of expansion (additional equipment, buildings, and production acreage) at the end of 2009, we encountered a problem with axis deer that grew increasingly worse throughout 2010. We tried everything we could think of and eventually we managed to plant a successful acre in October 2010 surrounded with a 3,000 volt electric fence. The fence is 5 feet tall and the deer are already starting to realize that they can easily jump it. We are in the process of installing an 8 foot hog wire fence around our 23 acres and hope to have it completed by mid August this year.

As soon as the fence is completed, we will be planting butternut squash and varieties of mini eggplant and hope to keep them on a par with our papaya output. We plan on experimenting with cantaloupe and mini-watermelon.


Fertility management:

In this area, we rely exclusively on our CES agent for our education. With papaya, we plant 3 seedlings per hole to reduce the odds of having a female or male tree. We hope to end up with one hermaphrodite (self-pollinating) per hole. We also use bone-fish meal (from Island Commodities), dolomite, crushed coral, and gypsum.


HOT TIPS from Kaleikoa Farms

Don't ever do it for the money. Do what you are passionate about. It is your passion that will allow you to overcome the mistakes that you will undoubtedly make and barriers and obstacles that await. If you do what you are passionate about, the money will follow!

Oh, also for young adults on Molokai: If you want to farm and are going to a community college for a 2 year degree - get an accounting or business degree. We have the resources right here on the island to teach you all you need to know about agriculture.


Read More

From the Field

Growing Your Business


Outstanding in Their Field:

Farmer Perspectives on Sustainable Agriculture in Hawai'i

 By Dr. Ted Radovich and Dr. Linda J. Cox


Hanai'Ai includes an article in every issue about how a farmer’s operation has become successful over the years. The articles have many great suggestions for new and existing producers. This valuable input is summarized here so our readers can get an overview of what our field experts recommend for everyone interested in sustainable agriculture.


READ the full article here.


FMI: Ted Radovich, Email: theodore@hawaii.edu; Linda Cox, email: lcox@hawaii.edu

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Improving the Status of Sunn hemp as a Cover Crop for Soil Health and Pest Management

Koon-Hui Wang, Email: koonhui@hawaii.edu; B.S. Sipes, Email: sipes@hawaii.edu; C.R.R. Hooks, Email: crrhooks@umd.edu and James Leary, Email: leary@hawaii.edu


Sunn hemp as a cover crop can meet most of the N, P, K nutrient requirements for many vegetable crops. In addition, sunn hemp leaf extract has been shown to assist in nematode management. However using sunn hemp in a conventional cropping system has limitations. This article summarizes these limitations and provides suggestions to improve the use of sunn hemp as a cover crop for soil health and nematode management.


READ the full article here.

Growing Local Beef Products

Glen Fukumoto, Email: gfukumot@hawaii.edu and Linda Cox, Email: lcox@hawaii.edu


In March 2011, the Honolulu Magazine ranked Hawaiian Red Veal, which is marketed by the Hawaii Cattle Producers Cooperative Association as "the best local meat" in the State of Hawai‘i. This article highlights the close working relationship with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)’s Cooperative Extension Service and the beef industry that has resulted in many ‘industry-driven’ research projects in the area of meat science and technology, which contributed to the development of Hawaiian Red Veal.


READ the full article here.

For more information about CTAHR's research, see CTAHR Research News Magazine and website.

Organic Update

HFBF Organic Symposium


The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation’s (HFBF) Organic Committee organized an Organic Symposium on May 27, 2011, in Mānoa. Three different panels shared information with the 75 people in attendance and answered questions from the audience. The last task accomplished was a brainstorming session to identify issues that need to be addressed in the future for organic agriculture to thrive in Hawaiʻi. This article summarizes the events that occurred at the symposium.


READ the full article here.

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 

New from CTAHR



Other Great Resources


Oahu Agritourism Guidebook from Oʻahu RC&D

This introduction guides those interested in agritourism on O'ahu through the process. Topics include permitting requirements, how to identify and market to your target audience, health and safety for visitors, and resources to get started.



PREORDER Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands


Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands is a reference book for gardeners and small farmers in the Pacific and throughout the tropics who are interested in new economic opportunities from specialty crops. The new resource book will be released July 2011 and covers 27 important specialty crops, value-added processing, enterprise development, accessing unique markets, sustainable local food production, economic and ecological viability, multi-crop agroforestry systems and local systems with export potential. The book is illustrated with over 940 color images and each chapter highlights a different crop.





Pacific Islands Area NRCS Director Retires, New Director Announced


Director Lawrence T. Yamamoto is retiring July 1st after serving 34 years with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). A graduate of the University of Hawai‘i, he began his career when NRCS used to be the Soil Conservation Service. A strong supporter of locally grown agricultural products and caring for our islands resources, Larry will truly be missed.


Following the retirement of Lawrence T. Yamamoto, the NRCS Chief announced that Angel Figueroa is the newly selected incoming Director of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for the Pacific Islands Area. Mr. Figueroa will take the reins as Director in late July. 


READ the full article here.


Seed Production Workshops: The Kohala Center has received funding to hold beginner and intermediate seed-saving workshops over the next two years on five islands. They are looking for seed-savers, farmers, and gardeners across the state to assist with meeting logistics and with hands-on or farm demonstrations. To learn more, contact Hector Valenzuela (hector@hawaii.edu) or Nancy Redfeather (nredfeather@kohalacenter.org).



Bringing a new plant to Hawai‘i? New landscaping materials, cover crops, and ground covers can become invasive in Hawai‘i. The Weed Risk Assessment for Hawaii and Pacific Islands Website is a tool to help gauge the potential invasiveness of a plant for our local environment.


Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Congratulations WSARE grant award winners for 2011


  • “Control of Coffee Berry Borer and Increase of Coffee Yields using Surround WP (kaolin),” Principal Investigator: Shawn Steiman; Producer Cooperator: Bob Nelson; $47,648.
  • “Training Livestock to Eat Weeds in the Tropical Pacific and Evaluating the Effects on Meat Quality for Stronger Ranch Profits,” Principal Investigator: Matthew Stevenson, University of Hawaii; Producer Cooperator: Randall Cremer; $49,610.
  • “Master Farmer Workshop Series,” Principal Investigator: Diana King, O’ahu RC&D; Producer Cooperator: Fred Lau; $49,812.
  • “Developing Sustainable Pest Control Practices Against Major Pests in Papaya in Hawaii,” Principal Investigator: Leyla Kaufman, University of Hawaii; Cooperators: Melvin Matsuda, Kenneth Kamiya, Ross Sibucao, Orlando Manuel, Mark Wright, Koon-Hui Wang, Jari Sugano; $148,174.
  • “Reducing Pacific Island Growers’ Reliance on Off-Island Fertilizer Sources through Improved Awareness and Efficient Use of Local Inputs,” Principal Investigator: Theodore Radovich, University of Hawaii; Cooperators: Nguyen Hue, Jari Sugano, Mark Hamamoto, Al Santoro, Tova Callender, Stanley Gurr, Fred Takebayashi, Alton Arakaki, Mark Cummings, Hector Valenzuela, Linda Cox, Leland Nishek, Kimo Franklin; $284,070.
  • “Hawai’i Community-Based Food Security,” Principal Investigator: Craig Elevitch, Hawai’i Homegrown Food Network; $58,520.


New WSARE Website


Grant information, profiles of cutting-edge, on-farm research, state and protectorate activities, conference proceedings, videos, books, and much more – it's all available with a click of your mouse at the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program's (SARE) new website: http://westernsare.org.


Learn more about WSARE’s activities in their quarterly newsletter Simply Sustainable.


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://wsare.usu.edu/ 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 4 Nov, 2021

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