Volume 21: Sept | Oct | Nov 2014

  • 2 August 2016
  • Author: Moore
  • Number of views: 2150

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

September | October | November 2014

Aloha Kākou


Cover Crops, Food Safety, Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement take center stage in this Fall 2014 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Join us on a trip to Kauaʻi to meet a longtime sustainable agriculture advocate and this issue's featured farmer, Jerry Ornellas.

Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which feature Publications & Programs, upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, and the Organic Update. Stay up to date with our weekly SOAP activities via our twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/SOAPHawaii. As always, 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, and we would like to hear from you.

Feature Farmer

Jerry Ornellas

Jerry's Farm,

Kapaʻa Homestead, Kauaʻi


Area under production: approximately 12 acres

Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 40 years

Crops grown: I grow longon as my primary crop. I also grow lychee and breadfruit and have begun preparing areas for both dry and flooded kalo (taro). Bananas used to be my main crop, but now I grow bananas just for home consumption because of banana bunchy top virus (BBTV).

Fertility Management: I use a combination of conventional and organic management strategies. I use mulch, compost and commercial fertilizers when necessary as indicated by soil tests. I foliar feed with kelp extract and conventional fertilizers when trees are fruiting.


Read the full article here.


Hot Tips from Jerry's Farm

  • Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole! Fit crop selection and management to the land.
  • Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. Create demand before planting.
  • All agriculture is local.


Mahalo nui loa to Jerry Ornellas for this interview and photos.







Read More

Welcome to CTAHR


Cynthia ReevesWe want to welcome Cynthia Reeves who joined the college in September as Maui County Administrator. She is a UH Master’s alumna, who comes to us from her previous post as National Program Leader in Nutrition and Health for USDA NIFA, where she provided strategic planning, policy analysis, and leadership for Extension staff and programs in all US states and territories. We can feel very fortunate that she will bring her high-level experience and skills to this position.

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Effect of Intercropping Three Legume Species on Early Growth of Sweet Corn (Zea mays)

Amjad A. Ahmad, Theodore J.K. Radovich, and Nguyen V. Hue, UH-CTAHR


Two field experiments were conducted in Hawaii to study the effect of three legume species intercropped with sweet corn, soybean, bush bean, and cowpea, and corn alone served as control, on the growth, relative chlorophyll content, biomass, and yield in sweet corn. We got more chlorophyll, taller plants, higher biomass, and heavier corn ears under corn/legume intercropping treatments compared to corn only. Corn/Cowpea performed significantly better compared to other legumes. The results suggest that lower competition and/or the contribution of fixed N in the corn/cowpea treatment, contributed to the better growth. Read here.


FMI: Amjad Ahmad, email: alobady@hawaii.edu

Evaluation of Various Pathogen Remediation Strategies for Soil and Soilless Farming Systems in Anticipation of the New Food Safety Guidelines

Jensen Uyeda, Jari Sugano, S. Fukuda, and J. Odani

We evaluated different corrective measures such ozone, UV, chlorine and peracetic acid to reduce the microbial activity of E.coli in irrigation waters. We feel all remedial treatments evaluated hold promise for soil and soilless farming systems. Water quality issues need to be taken into account when implementing a remediation program. Read here.


FMI: Jensen Uyeda, email: juyeda@hawaii.edu

CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship


CRATE is a USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) funded grant for Small and Medium-Size Farm programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that rely on efficient use of on farm resources and integrate natural biological cycles and controls that will eventually lead to promoting local community entrepreneurship in the tropical Pacific region. In this column, the CRATE team will publish recent project activities that will help local farmers to explore competitive and economically viable organic crop production methods.  


Evaluation of Microbes for Field Application in Hawaii

K-H. Wang, J. Sugano, J. Uyeda, T. Radovich, S. Ching, S. Mishra, A. Park, D. Meyer, M. Quintanilla, S. Fukuda, and S. Migita, UH-CTAHR


Sustainability of agricultural productivity on Hawaiian farmlands is dependent on maintaining or enhancing soil fertility and increasing on farm efficiency. Unfortunately, many short-term, intensive crop farming systems rely on frequent soil tillage that disturbs soil microbial activities which may eventually lead to a "tired soil." In terrestrial farming systems, introducing beneficial soil organisms could serve as a faster approach to restore soil health in disturbed agroecosystems. A replicated field trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of several commercially available soil inoculi as well as a farm prepared soil inoculum known as indigenous microorganisms (IMO) following the practice of Korean Natural Farming on a sweet corn agroecosystem. Identification of a good soil inoculum which local farm communities can easily acquire, multiply, and utilize may heighten the use of on-farm resources, recycle farm waste, while ultimately fostering soil health. Read here.


FMI: Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu

Suppression of Mites by Vermicompost Tea on Tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

S. Mishra, A. Park, J. Sugano, J. Uyeda, and K.-H. Wang, UH-CTAHR


Drenching plant root system with vermicompost tea is another approach to introducing beneficial soil organisms to agroecosystems. A field experiment was recently conducted to examine the effect of root drenching of vermicompost tea on tea (Camellia sinensis) plants infested with mites. In addition to its ability to increase plant available nutrients and plant growth promoting organic acids, research efforts have shown that vermicompost tea promotes high microbial activity in the soil which may lead to increased plant tolerance against stress and minimized pest damage of new plant growth. Read here.

FMI: S. Mishra, email: shova@hawaii.edu

From the Agribusiness Incubator


Target Markets:

Increase your sales by knowing who you’re selling to


By Steven Chiang

Director, UH Agribusiness Incubator Program


A Target Market is a defined group of potential customers that is the focus (target) of your sales/marketing efforts. The more you know about this group, the better you are able to reach them and address their needs, thus increasing your sales. Read here.

FMI: Steve Chiang, email: schiang@hawaii.edu

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 


Newly available as a FREE DOWNLOAD


Organic Update

USDA Awards Over $52 Million in Grants to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of over $52 million in support of the growing organic industry and local and regional food systems through five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant programs. Read here.


Organic 101: Connecting Farmers and Producers to USDA Resources

Consumer demand for organic products continues to grow across the country, representing a $35 billion dollar industry in 2013. To meet this demand, USDA has initiated a number of new and expanded efforts to connect organic farmers and businesses with the resources they need to ensure the continued growth of the organic sector domestically and abroad. Read here.

For New Farmers


Molokaʻi Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program Newsletters

Citizen Science


Bringing the Community Together


The Waimānalo Research Station welcomes Ilima Ho-Lastimosa as the new community coordinator for the Waimānalo Learning Center. Ilima is a lifelong resident of Waimānalo and a Master Gardener, and she has extensive hands-on experience in community development. She is already busy strengthening our existing relationships and developing new ones. In addition to her duties as the community coordinator, Ilima is currently a master’s candidate in the UH School of Social Work with a focus on behavioral and mental health, as well as the executive director and director of operations for God’s Country Waimānalo, the Waimānalo Ahupua‘a coalition that works to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian culture. Welcome, Ilima! CTAHR and the Station are lucky to have you!


Chicken Tractors


There is renewed interest in home egg production, in part due to the work of CTAHR extension agents Glenn Fukumoto and Matt Stevenson. About two years ago Matt came out to show CTAHR students how to build a chicken tractor Glenn Fukumoto designed. One of the cages was demonstrated at the Waimānalo station, and donated to Hawaiian Homesteaders when mongoose started killing the chickens. This piece is a report from one of the homesteaders who is now our community coordinator at the Waimanalo station. Read here.


For more information on building a similar chicken tractor, see:


Videos & Webinars


A Guide to Documenting Taro Varieties - with Jerry Konanui

Na Maka o ka ‘Aina - HawaiianVoice

Jerry Konanui gives an overview of how to document taro varieties using the list of plant descriptors found in “Descriptors for Taro – Colocasia esculenta,” published by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. From measuring the position and size of the leaf, to matching the colors of the petiole and corm flesh with botanical color charts, approximately 50 descriptors for each variety are recorded. Along with the scientific documentation, Jerry provides a wealth of cultural and historic information. His goal is to document as many of the Hawaiian taro varieties as possible for reference by future generations. http://youtu.be/Y1A0iqZHboE


Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)


View the fall issue of Simply Sustainable with articles on Montana producers testing cover crops, managing Iron deficiency in dry beans, project visits by Western SARE, and ag in Alaska.


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 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.


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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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