Volume 13: Sept | Oct | Nov 2012

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

June | July | August 2012

Aloha Kākou


Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.


New growers are urgently needed to take the place of our aging farmers and Hawaii's public institutions and non profits are stepping up to provide beginners the resources they need to succeed. This special issue of HānaiʻAi takes a close look at beginning farmers and the programs that serve them. Our featured farmers this issue, Alex and Mimi Karp of Island Harvest Organics, are new farmers who are committed to being commercially successful and evironmentally responsible food producers in the State. Dr. Linda Cox provides business planning guidance that's good for all of us and particularly valuable to new farmers. Also, programs for new farmer training across the State are highlighted, and the Director of CTAHRʻs Agribusiness Incubator Program reports on a recent tour to visit similar programs in the Northeastern U.S. And, whether you are a new grower or a grizzled old timer, you'll enjoy our research and extension updates from CTAHR and NRCS, which highlight valuable strategies to maintain soil fertility, avoid soil erosion and control important weeds biologically.


Finally, 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 WSARE funding deadlines.

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


Feature Farmer

Alex and Mimi Karp

Island Harvest Organics, Pahoa, Hawaiʻi Island


Area under production:50 acres


Years farming in Hawaiʻi:

3½ years


Crops grown/products/services: certified organic coconuts, sprouted and potted young Samoan and Malaysian coconut trees (which bear their coconuts at a low height), avocados, longons, citrus fruits including lemons, limes, tangelos, and tangerines, breadfruit, tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, basil, cilantro and other herbs, greens such as kale, collards, and lettuce, eggplant, squash, zucchini, kabocha pumpkins, and various plant starts.


Number of employees: 4 full time employees, 7 part time workers, and Alex and Mimi.


Mahalo nui loa to Susan Matsushima for this article and photographs.


HOT TIPS: from Island Harvest Organics


Get to know the soil conditions and climate conditions in your specific location, to be able to match the best-suited crops to your location and growing conditions, to maximize the chances of growing success.

Mahalo nui loa to Mimi and Alex Karp for this article and photographs.

Read More

Growing Your Business


Business Basics for Beginning Farmers

By Dr. Linda J. Cox


People often get into farming because they enjoy working on the land. Farmers also need to make a profit. If you want to start farming, this article has some suggestions for how to start developing your business plan immediately.


READ the full article here.


FMI: Linda Cox, email: lcox@hawaii.edu

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Growing Farmers in the Northeast

Steven Chiang, email: schiang@hawaii.edu


A growing number of people in Hawai’i are interested in starting a farm. This past July, thirteen people including members of UH CTAHR, the UH Agribusiness Incubator Program, UH Maui College, UH Hilo, Windward Community College, the Kohala Center’s Center for Agricultural Success, and Kamehameha Schools toured beginning farmer programs in the Northeast U.S. This article summarizes the programs that were visited and what was learned by participants.


READ the full article here.


Agribusiness Incubator Program Beginning Farmer Training Tour


Tufts New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

155 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA, 01850

Jennifer Hashley (Director)

Eva Agudelo, National Technical Assistance Coordinator



  1. Explore Farming course
  2. Farm Business Planning and Distance Learning option
  3. Training Farm ProgramCurrent Workshops
  4. Marketing Assistance (World PEAS Cooperative CSA)
  5. Transitioning to your own farm (Farmland Matching Service)


National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI)

  • Grant Project of Tufts New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
  • Webinars
  • On-line Resource Directory
  • Farm Incubator Training School (Fall 2012)
  • One on One technical assistance


The Farm School

488 Moore Hill Road, Athol, MA 01331

Ben Holmes, Founder


Intervale Community Farm

505 Riverside Avenue, Burlington, VT

Andy Jones, Manager

Intervale Center

180 Intervale Road, Burlington, Vermont 05401




The 4-R’s of Nutrient Management

Adam Reed, USDA NRCS Pacific Island Area, email: adam.reed@hi.usda.gov


Adequate soil fertility is an essential ingredient to any farming operation. Many producers have found that a Nutrient Management plan can be a cost effective way of providing adequate plant nutrients without harming the environment. This article describes the four components of a nutrient management plan.


READ the full article here.


Prepare for the Rainy Season – Simple Steps to Reduce the Risk of Soil Erosion

Ben Vinhateiro, email: ben.vinhateiro@hi.usda.gov and

Susan Kubo, email: Susan.Kubo@hi.usda.gov, USDA NRCS Pacific Island Area

Jean Brokish, email: jean.brokish@oahurcd.org, Oahu RC&D 

Winter storms often bring heavy rainfall that creates runoff, damaging production areas by causing erosion and polluting streams. Farmers and land managers can minimize risks of erosion by taking precautions now. This article explains how to reduce soil erosion in a variety of agricultural settings.


READ the full article here.

Release Secusio: Transitioning to a Biocontrol Management Program for Fireweed (Senecio madagasceriensis) on Maui

James Leary email: leary@hawaii.edu

Since 2010, Maui County sponsored the Fireweed Management Prescription (FMP) Program and with the program coming to an end, the herbicide that is used as a temporary fix will be too costly for ranchers to use regularly. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is seeking federal approval to release the defoliating biocontrol agent Secusio extensa in 2013 as part of a sustainable fireweed management program. This article discusses the proposed program.  


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 



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


Invasive Aphids in Hawai’i: Invasive Aphids in Hawai'i describes over 100 alien species of aphids that can be serious pests of agricultural and native plants in Hawaiii. The book’s 266 pages provide keys to aphid characteristics and list their island distributions, the plant diseases they vector, and their host plants. Hundreds of color photographs of both live and slide-mounted aphids further enable identification of these pests. $20 from CTAHR Office of Communication Services, phone: (808) 956-7036, e-mail: ocs@ctahr.hawaii.edu.


Other Publications from CTAHR


Developing Sustainable Pest Control Practices Against Major Pests in Papaya in Hawai’i: The papaya industry makes an economic contribution to the State’s agricultural sector. White peach scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona), papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus), papaya thrips (Thrips parvispinus) and mites are major pre-harvest papaya pests that can significantly affect tree health, reduce yields and increase production costs for farmers. This poster presents the results of research that evaluated the effectiveness and environmental impact of various management strategies designed to target all of these papaya pests.


NEW from Hawai'i Community College, Center for Agricultural Success and PAR


Organic Update

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has updated the audit checklists and Sunset dates sections of the NOP Handbook.

  • View Full Program Handbook 


New Publication on GMO Contamination Prevention

The University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center has released a newly revised and expanded publication, GMO Contamination Prevention – What Does It Take? The publication describes best management practices for growers of GMO and non—GMO crops, including certified organic crops, to help minimize GMO contamination of non-GMO crops.


Recently Published eOrganic Articles and Videos

  • Soilborne Disease Management in Organic Vegetable Production, Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University
  • Videos on Plant Propagation and Pest Management for Beginning Farmers, Penn State Extension.


eOrganic Resources

  • Find all eOrganic articles, videos and webinars at http://extension.org/organic_production
  • Connect with eOrganic on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel
  • Have a question about organic farming? Use the eXtension Ask an Expert tool to connect with eOrganic. Tag your question as "organic production" to make sure it reachs our members.


Are you a beginning farmer or rancher? Or have you worked on a project funded by the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program? USDA would like to learn how we can better support training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. Please provide feedback by sending written comments to: email: bfrdp@nifa.usda.gov, Fax: 202-401-1782 



Punalu‘u Ahupua‘a Farms Open for Business

More than 200 acres of agricultural lands are being prepared by Kamehameha Schools for a new agricultural park, Punalu‘u Ahupua‘a Farms. The trust seeks to increase agricultural productivity in Ko‘olau Loa by partnering with knowledgeable farmers and making land available for local food production. For more information, contact Kāwika Burgess at 534-8189 or kwburges@ksbe.edu.



The Plant Pono website (www.plantpono.org) is a new online resource that provides planting information on non-invasive ornamental plants (pono plants), to help you select the right plant for your yard. These pono plants were selected by noted horticulturist Heidi Bornhorst, and were screened by the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) system, a highly-accurate predictor of invasiveness.

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western SARE invites you to Strengthening Agriculture’s Infrastructure: Adding Value, Breaking Down Barriers, Increasing Profits, December 3 – 5, 2012

Embassy Suites, Airport, 7900 NE 82nd Avenue, Portland Oregon



SARE Learning Center: Books, videos, top project reports, online courses, fact sheets, and much more! SARE's Learning Center is a treasure trove of sustainable agriculture information—searchable by type of product and topic. Just click on the product type or topic you're interested in. Or order using our WebStore, phone, fax, or mail.



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: http://www.westernsare.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 4 Nov, 2021

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