Volume 11: March | April | May 2012

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

March | April | May 2012

Aloha Kākou


Welcome to the Spring issue 2012 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.


What do Bats, Goats, Sheep and Insects have in common? Well, not much except that they are all subjects of articles in this particularly animal friendly issue of HānaiʻAi. Also in this issue, Dr. Linda Cox highlights the need to develop a sustainability evaluation system for agriculture in Hawaii, and agricultural professionals from across the State highlight their efforts in promoting sustainability in Hawaii's natural and agricultural ecosystems.


Join us on a trip to the Big Island to visit this issue's featured farmers Lani and Bill Petrie, and Glen Krebs at Kapapala Ranch. And, make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which features Publications & Programs, upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, the Organic Update and upcoming funding deadlines.

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

Feature Farmer

 Lani and Bill Petrie; Glen Krebs

Kapapala Ranch, Ka'u, Hawai‘i


Kapapala Ranch was established in 1860 in the district of Ka’u on the Big Island and has operated, continuously, for the past 152 years. Gordon Cran bought the ranch in 1977 from Richard Smart, owner of Parker Ranch. Cran and his family have worked the Ranch from 1977 to 2012 and will celebrate 35 years of operation this coming July.


Today, the Ranch operates on 34,000 acres of State leasehold land. Approximately 15% of the total acreage has soil, or moisture retaining capabilities, which we manage intensely. The remaining 85% is run as an extensive “open range” operation.

We are predominately a cattle (cow-calf) operation. We also raise meat goats for brush control and sell the males for meat which helps pay for the brush clearing they do. The Ranch operates with 5 full-time employees and 3 to 5 part-time employees.


Read the full article here.

Mahalo nui loa to Lani Petrie for this interview, and to both Lani Petrie and Ashley Stokes for photos.


HOT TIPS Kapapala Ranch

The first “hot tip” is to run your business on accrual accounting. We need to have our income and expenses measured in windows of time.


Secondly, we need to identify enterprises within our business and associate the costs and income to each. We track the expenses for the cattle separate from the expenses to the goats.


The last “hot tip” -- always give more than you take. Give to your family, your neighbors, your duties to your business, your community and you will be greatly satisfied with the job you have been put on earth to do.


“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)



Read More

Growing Your Business


Evaluating Sustainability in Agriculture

By Dr. Linda J. Cox

Interest in food security and sustainable agricultural production is at an all time high. Many different points of view about the most important aspects of food production exist. This article presents information about different aspects of food production that is linked to sustainability, and highlights the need to develop a sustainability evaluation system for agriculture in Hawaii.


READ the full article here.


FMI: Linda Cox, email: lcox@hawaii.ed

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

It's Hot in Hawai'i:

Capsaicin Content of Hawaii-grown Chili Peppers

Ted Radovich, email: theodore@hawaii.edu; Kevin Crosby,

Glenn Teves, email: tevesg@ctahr.hawaii.edu;

Alton Arakaki, email: arakakia@ctahr.hawaii.edu;

Amjad Ahmad, email: alobady@hawaii.edu


Hot peppers (Capsicum spp.) are grown worldwide and the characteristic of each species helps determine how highly consumers value them. Pungency, determined by the concentrations of capsaicin and similar compounds in the fruit, is the most notable characteristic of hot peppers, with other flavor characteristics as well as color and fruit shape playing secondary roles in consumer acceptance. This article discusses the characteristics of various hot pepper species and presents information about the capsaicin content of chili peppers grown in Hawaii.

READ the full article here.

Farmers Can Help our Hawaiian Hoary Bats

Gregory A. Koob, Pacific Islands Area Biologist, USDA-NRCS, email: gregory.koob@hi.usda.gov


Hawai‘i has only one native land mammal, the Hawaiian hoary bat or ‘ōpe‘ape‘a, which is a Federal and State endangered subspecies. These insectivorous bats play an important role in regulating the insect populations of natural and agricultural ecosystems. Financial or technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to improve bat habitat on their property may be available from USDA-NRCS. This article presents information about the bat’s description, habitat, feeding preferences, mortality, and management options for increasing its habitat quality or availability.

READ the full article here.

Sheep and Goat Basics for Hawaii

Matt Stevenson, email: stevenso@hawaii.edu; Ashley Stokes, email: amstokes@hawaii.edu, and John Powley


Sheep and goats, also called small ruminants, have been a part of Hawaii’s cultural and physical landscapes for over two centuries. In addition to commanding a healthy market for cabrito and lamb, producers use these animals to meet multiple land management objectives: fire fuels reduction, weed management, brush control, and others. This brief provides general guidelines and considerations for those interested in or currently raising goats and sheep with particular attention to issues relevant to Hawaii.

READ the full article here.

Cover Crops as Insectary Plants to Enhance Above and Below Ground Beneficial Organisms

Koon-Hui Wang, email: koonhui@hawaii.edu

Insectary plants are plants that attract beneficial insects and they can be grown as cover crops. Careful selection of such cover crops to meet your farming needs depends on climate, season, nutrient requirement, location of the farm, crops planted, and your farming practices. This article focuses on discussing cover crops that can serve as insectary plants, living mulch, green manure, or those that can convert into organic mulch.


READ the full article here.


Ecosystem Services from Trees in Coffee Agroecosystems

Travis Idol, email: idol@hawaii.edu

The majority of coffee supplied to the markets around the world comes from small farms scattered throughout various coffee-growing regions in the tropics, including Hawaii. These small farms often include trees that produce macadamia, avocado, citrus, bananas, or timber products to diversify their operations or for the other benefits trees provide to the coffee crop, the producer(s) and/or farm laborers. This article summarizes some of the ecosystem services trees provide for coffee and other diversified agricultural systems.

READ the full article here.

The Hawaii Public Seed Initiative

Lyn Howe, email: seedproject@kohalacenter.org, Nancy Redfeather, email: nredfeather@kohalacenter.org, and Hector Valenzuela, email: hector@hawaii.edu

Having access to seed to sow in the garden or farm, especially in case of emergencies, is a central aspect of food self-sufficiency, especially in isolated areas like Hawaii that import a large percentage of the food supply. Therefore, local knowledge about the art and science of seed saving, and ready access to a supply of locally available, adapted seed varieties supports the goal of food self-sufficiency. This article discusses the Hawaii public seed initiative.


READ the full article here.


For more information about CTAHR's research, visit our Office of Research Webpage.

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 

New from CTAHR


Available on-line from CTAHR's Publication and Information Central

NEW from University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Organic Update

USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting



Mr. Colehour J. Bondera serves on the NOSB Board. Mr. Bondera farms at Kanalani Ohana Farm and produces organic coffee, vegetables, avocados, fruit and cacao. He is both willing and able to hear many voices in terms of providing good representation at this national level, so feel free to contact him with questions and suggestions. Email: colemel@kanalanifarm.org


ICS now subsidiary company of IMI Global


Organic Trade Association proclaims several “myths” about organics are "busted







Controlling the Coffee Berry Borer (Youtube videos)



Regional food hubs/value chains: The USDA just released Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution, a study of the aggregation, distribution, and marketing operations of eight regional food hubs/value chains. The report explores innovation and opportunities for diverse local food distributors.


USDA Celebrates 150th Anniversary by Jolene Lau, Public Affairs, USDA NRCS Pacific Islands Area



SARE, in partnership with Cooking Up A Story, has produced a series of how-to videos showcasing production and marketing practices used by some of the nation’s most successful sustainable farmers and ranchers.



Managing Cover Crops Profitably (3rd Edition) explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation.



National Continuing Education Program about Sustainable Agriculture available from SARE. SARE also has Curricula for Educators available.



Office of Environmental Markets is a new office created within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to catalyze the development of markets for ecosystem services.

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

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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