Volume 30: Sept | Oct | Nov 2017

  • 13 November 2017
  • Author: Soap Web Master
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Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
Hānai ʻAi
The Food Provider September | October | November 2017
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Welcome to the Summer/Fall 2017 issue of Hānai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawai'i. 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.

Food safety is a major focus of this issue of this issue of Hānai'Ai. We also visit Aloun Farms, a commercial vegetable farm with several farm sites in Oahu. And, as usual, check the "back pages" for funding announcements and upcoming events.

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

Sustainable & Organic Research &
Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Installation of Field Toilets and Hand Washing Stations to Increase Worker Hygiene Sanitation

Joshua Silva, Jensen Uyeda, Steve Fukuda,
Lynn Nakamura-Tengan, Jari Sugano
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, are standards in food safety protection that reduce physical, chemical and micro-biological risks on farms. Lack of proper restroom facilities is a major barrier for farms located in remote areas of the island. This article demonstrates fast and easy ways to create safe and effective toilet and hand washing sinks on site for farm workers.

Read here.

                                                     FMI: Joshua Silva, email: jhsilva@hawaii.edu

Optimal Growing Medium for Lettuce Seedlings Depends on Choice of Fertilizer

Frederick Reppun
Kaala Farm and UH Place-Based Learning and
Community Engagement in Schools Program


 Healthy vegetable seedlings are key to a good harvest. Larger transplants help to lower production costs by reducing the amount of time a crop needs to be in the field before harvest, and by giving the crop a head start on weeds. Numerous combinations of seedling media, fertilizer, and other amendments are available. Sunshine Mix, with regular or certified organic ingredients, is an industry standard. Coconut coir fiber is cheaper than the standard Sunshine Mix, and is approved for organic production. For fertilizer, Nutricote slow release fertilizer is a conventional option, while tankage, or fish/bone meal, is the main local organic option. This study evaluated the effects of different combinations of media and fertilizer on the growth of romaine lettuce seedlings.
Read here.                        

FMI: Frederick Reppun, email: freppun@hawaii.edu

Molokai Native Hawaiian

Beginning Farmers Newsletter

Glenn Teves 
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR
The Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmers Quarterly Newsletter for Summer 2017 focuses on one of our most revered vegetables, the tomato. University of Hawaii tomato breeders were movers and shakers in the development of disease-resistant tomatoes and their story has never been told.
Read here.                                                

FMI: Glenn Teves, email: TevesG@ctahr.hawaii.edu

Produce Safety Rule Compliance and Exemptions for Farms in Hawaii


Dr. Luisa Castro
Hawaii State Department of Agriculture


The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011 to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe, primarily by preventing contamination. This articles outlines the new rules as they affect farms in Hawaii. The new food safety regulations are based on the size of your farm and supply chain. This article addresses exemptions and compliance dates you need to know if you are farming in Hawaii.
Read here.

FMI: Luisa Castro, email: luisa.f.castro@hawaii.gov

 GoFarm Hawai'i: Farmers' Perspective

Two years ago, inspired by a TED talk on the  Go Farm program, Claire Fallon decided to try her hand at community farming to help strike a better balance against her obligations as a director and private yoga teacher. Today she leases a quarter-acre plot in Waimanalo to which she devotes upward of 20 hours per week raising pumpkins, corn, okra and other delectables that she sells to local restaurants.

Read here.

FMI: GoFarm, email: info@gofarmhawaii.org     

 GET Local Initiative

  Nancy Ooki, Lynn Nakamura-Tengan,
  Kylie Wong, and Julia Zee 
  University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

 The GET local initiative is working towards a healthier food system for Hawai'i and builds upon the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)'s fundamental strengths at the intersection of agriculture, food, nutrition, and health. A new collaborative initiative by University of Hawai'i extension agents across the state was launched to strengthen connections within the food system and to support local agriculture. The effort focuses on opportunities to learn about the origin and production of local food commodities; the science and research behind food choices; and information on nutrition content, availability, and healthful uses of local products.
Read here.

FMI: Nancy Ooki, email: ooki@hawaii.edu

Publications & Programs

For sustainable and organic production systems

New from CTAHR

From the Agribusiness Incubator (AIP)

Outsourcing Your Back Office

AIP and Erik Shimizu

When you are actively involved in your business operations, your focus should be on growing your business. Although thinking about doing paperwork might be the last thing you may want to think about, it is absolutely critical to your business. To eliminate burdensome requirements associated with human resources, payroll, and accounting, you might want to consider hiring other companies ("outsourcing") to perform these important business functions. Read here.

FMI: Erik Shimizu, email: erikms@hawaii.edu

Organic Update

Organic Field Day Presentations

Presentations from the field day held at CTAHR's certified organic plots in
Waimanalo are available online


U.S. Organic Sales Set a New Record in 2016

According to the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) 2017 Organic Industry Survey reported organic sales in the U.S. at $47 billion in 2016, an increase of $3.7 billion from last year. The organic food sales account for 5.3 percent of total food sales in the U.S.The survey also showed that organic is creating jobs as employers are reporting an increase in full-time employment. Read here.

Organic Certification Cost Share Program

The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides organic producers and handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost of organic certification. Certified organic producers and handlers who have paid certification fees may apply for reimbursement of up to 75% the incurred costs. The maximum reimbursement per scope of certification is $750 and covers the period between October 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017. Learn more with the OCCSP Fact Sheet Submit your application by Oct. 31, 2017 to your local Farm Service Agency or read more Here

Organic Farming Research Foundation has just released funding priorities for its next grant cycle

Don't miss out on funding in these priority areas:

1. Soil health. Topics of interest include nutrient balancing, crop rotations, and fertility management focused on reducing environmental impacts.
2. Innovative weed control. Topics of particular interest include weed control related to climate change and changing weather patterns.
3. Management of emerging insect and disease issues.
4. Livestock health. Topics of particular interest include livestock and crop integration and best practices for grass based livestock production.
The request for proposals and application instructions will be available on OFRF's website. Here


Hawaiʻi Farm and Food Newsletter

Download for free through Apple apps here. 
Or obtain a hard copy by visiting a
Hawaii Farm Bureau farmer's market

or become a member!      

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 currently producing organically. Let us know what you want to see featured by emailing


The Leaflet by the Kohala Center

For the past 17 years, The Kohala Center has sought solutions to contemporary island challenges by respectfully engaging the 'āina as a source of wisdom and guidance. In this issue of The Leaflet, we celebrate people and communities working toward a better future for Hawai'i through their relationships with the 'āina itself.Read here.

Hawaii Farmers Union United- State Convention

Oct. 6, 7, 8 West O'ahu   

Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is a grassroots, producer-driven organization that believes strong family agriculture is the basis for thriving rural communities. Their annual State Convention will be held over three days in West Oahu. Day one will be at UH West Oahu campus and the following days will be held at Kahumana Farm in Waianae. The theme of this years convention is "Cultivating Change" and will explore the concepts of Aloha Aina and Malama Aina to create the regenerative agricultural systems we envision for Hawaii Nei. Find out more and register for the conference Click here for more information.                        


Kahumana Farm Festival

Oct. 7, 11am-6pm Kahumana Farm,
Waianae, O'ahu,

The 5th Annual Kahumana Farm Festival is a celebratory gathering and fundraising event hosted to financially diversify and support the rigorous mission and goals that the Kahumana Farm Community continues to provide. FREE event bringing community together to celebrate and promote local agriculture, crafts, education, artists, and music.Read more here.                        

Aloun Farms 17th Annual Pumpkin Festival

Oct. 14-15, 21-22, and 28-29, 8:30am - 5:00pm
Aloun Farms, Kapolei, O'ahu

Aloun Farms is proud to present an Ewa Picking
Good Time @ The 17th Annual Great Kapolei Pumpkin Picking Patch! Aloun Farms would like to invite your family to join in during this fun-filled family event! There are tractor pulled hayrides, pony rides, farm style food, picture booths, games and fun for everyone. Aloun Farms and their sponsors are dedicated to educating and sharing agriculture and its potential here in Hawaii. Come spend a family day in the country and visit Aloun Farms. Read more here.

Insectary Plants for Fruits and Vegetable Crops Field Day

Oct. 28, 9-11:30am
Poamoho Research Station, Waialua, O'ahu

This field day aims to introduce and demonstrate different insectary plants or settings that can attract, feed, and shelter insect parasites/parasitoids and predators to enhance natural biological pest control on specialty crops. Free insectary seeds and insectary settings will be given out at first come first serve basis.
Read more here.                        

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (WSARE)

New Call for Proposals for Graduate Students

A supplemental Call for Proposals for the Graduate Student grant program has been released. The Graduate Student Grants provide a maximum of $25,000 and may last for up to two years. Submission deadline January 12, 2018..

Western SARE provides grants in several categories:

1. Professional Development Program Grants- proposals due Nov. 2017
2. Farmer Rancher Grants- proposals due Dec. 2017
3. Professional + Producer Grants- proposals due Dec. 2017

For more details on submitting a grant application
click here.                        

2017 Videos Worth Viewing

Conservation Generation: Conservation Generation is a new short film by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) about four young farmers and ranchers in the arid West. The Colorado River irrigates 15 percent of the nation's crops, making the conservation efforts of Western producers crucial to the American food system.

To browse all other SARE videos click here.

 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:


or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators Dr. Ted Radovich (theodore@hawaii.edu) and Jari Sugano (suganoj@ctahr.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.

To continue receiving this newsletter, please confirm your interest by updating your profile/email address (see link below). 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,

Jari Sugano and Dr. Ted Radovich
Giselle Bryant, technician and editor

Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

In this Issue

Featured Farmer

Alex Sou, Aloun Farms, Kapolei, Hawai'i

Area under production: approx. 3,000 acres

Years farming in Hawai'i: The Sou family has been farming here 40 years

Crops grown:avocado, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, limes, onion, sweet corn, pumpkin, watermelon, won bok and more!

Fertility management: Crop rotation and fallowing, but looking to incorporate cover crops. Regular monitoring of soil fertility to make efficient fertilizer use..

Read full article here

Mahalo nui loa to Alex Sou for this interview and photos.


from Aloun Farms

Diversity agriculture and come to our patch to pick a pumpkin!


Categories: current