Volume 12: June | July | Aug 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


Aloha Kākou, welcome to the Summer 2012 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

We thank outgoing Interim Dean and Director Sylvia Yuen for her service to CTAHR these past two years, and welcome in-coming Dean Maria Gallo on July 16. Interim Dean Yuen was a strong advocate for sustainable agriculture and will continue to serve the CTAHR and UH as Special Assistant to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood.


Dr. Gallo joins us from the University of Florida-Gainsville and brings an impressive skill set to CTAHR. For more information on Dean Gallo please see: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=5055

This issue of Hanai'ai is all about diversity. Our featured farmer this issue, Susan Matsushima of Alluvion Inc., is an excellent example of diversified agriculture's important contribution to the long term viability of Hawaii's economy, and a reminder that non-food crops "feed" Hawaii in important ways. Dr. Linda Cox provides more details about a standardized matrix to evaluate the sustainability of Hawaiis diverse agricultural systems. Also, our research updates from CTAHR faculty and collaborators highlight the importance of diversity in soil biology and crop genetics to promote healthy systems, the integration of best management practices to protect water quality, the importance of livestock and aquaculture to diversify our food systems, and the negative impact that slimy pests can have on our farms.


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


Feature Farmer

Susan and Chad Matsushima

Alluvion, Inc., Haleiwa, Oʻahu



Area under production: 20 acres with two acres under cover (five other farmers also work on the property).


Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 30 years, 16 at this location


Crops grown/products/services: Alluvion is a plant nursery, a full florist, a gift basket fulfillment center, and a plant rental company.


Number of employees: 15


Read the full article here.


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




HOT TIPS: Alluvion


Working together works! Hawaiʻi is so small that unless we work together and help each other as farmers…we will not succeed. We cannot be bad-mouthing our neighbors and other growers. We must work together to make Hawaii’s agriculture succeed.

Alluvion Website: http://www.alluvionhi.com/

Read More

Growing Your Business


National Efforts to Evaluate Agriculture’s Sustainability

By Dr. Linda J. Cox

The need to develop a sustainability evaluation system for agriculture in Hawaiʻi was discussed in the last issue. In this article, information about what has been done to develop such a system at the national level is presented. Field to Market, The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, has been working to develop such a system since 2009 and their work is summarized here.


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

The Giant African Snail

Scot Nelson, email: snelson@hawaii.edu


The giant African snail (Achatina fulica) is the most ecologically devastating land snail in Hawai’i because it severely damages a wide range of plants. The rapidity with which a foraging population can multiply and then decimate crops is disheartening and costly to affected farmers and gardeners. This article details the diet, damage, and methods for managing this parasite.


READ the full article here.


Waimānalo Farmers Implement Best Management Practices for Improved Water Quality

Jean Brokish, O‘ahu RC&D, email: jean.brokish@oahurcd.org


Waimānalo Stream is a highly altered, impaired waterbody. Sediments and nutrients from the watershed enter the stream at a rate faster than they can be assimilated and recycled. The Waimānalo agricultural community is committed to protecting local water resources. A recent project led by the Oʻahu Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) evaluated water quality in Waimānalo and provided funds to help farmers implement priority conservation practices in the watershed. This article summarizes what was done and the impact the project had on the local water resources.


READ the READ the full article here. article here.

The Challenge of Maintaining Soil Organic Matter

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


Soil Organic Matter (SOM) typically accounts for 1% to 6% of a mineral soil and your soil will be healthy and productive if the SOM is high. Maintaining a high SOM in warm, moist tropical soils is difficult. This article explains what SOM is, what it does, and how to increase it.


READ the full article here.


The Secret of the Allelopathic Effect of Sunn Hemp for Suppressing Plant-parasitic Nematodes

Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu, Inga A. Zasada, and Brent Sipes, email: sipes@hawaii.edu


Biocidal compounds in the soil that are released during plant decomposition can suppress pests in the soil, which is a process called biofumigation. Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a good candidate for biofumigation because it releases a compound that can paralyze nematodes. This article summarizes factors that might affect sunn hemp’s ability to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes.

READ the full article here.

Preliminary Screening for Virus Resistance in Organic Field Grown Tomatoes

Jensen Uyeda, email: juyeda@hawaii.edu; Ted Radovich, email: Theodore@hawaii.edu; Jari Sugano, email: suganoj@ctahr.hawaii.edu; Koon-Hui Wang, email: koonhui@hawaii.edu, Mike Melzner, email: melzer@hawaii.edu; and Linda Cox, email: lcox@hawaii.edu


Organic field grown tomato production is very challenging due to heavy pest pressure and the restricted use of effective pesticides. Three viruses, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), and pepper mottle virus (PepMoV), pose major challenges for the State’s tomato producers. This article presents results from an organic field trial to screen six commercial cultivars reported to have resistance to TYLCV and TSWV.

READ the full article here.

Nutrition Benefits of Fish Consumption

Corilee Waters, email: WattersC@ctahr.hawaii.edu


Fish consumption, which is the primary source of the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA, is associated with numerous health benefits. Research indicates that the median intake of fish in Hawaii is 5.3 ounces per week, which is below the recommended intake level of 8 oz per week by the American Heart Association. Healthy Seafood Hawaii is a project funded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to bring better seafood nutrition into the homes of Hawaii consumers and this articles summarizes the multi-pronged approach being used to achieve the goals of this project.


READ the full article here.

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 


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



Kaua‘i Livestock News (Stevenson)




CTAHR Accomplishments Report: July 2010–June 2012


Organic Update

Workshops | Conferences | Meetings

Protecting Beneficials in Hawai‘i and the American Pacific


O‘ahu RC&D


Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Producing Quality Fruit for the Future of Hawaiʻi


Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Four Hawaiʻi projects were funded by WSARE for 2012

  • Producer Grant: FW12-034, “Grapes for Tropical Hawaii,” Principal Investigator: Ken Love, Hawaii, ken@mycoffee.net; $17,370.
  • Professional + Producer Grant: OW12-041, “Effectiveness of Beauveria Bassiana on Coffee Berry Borer in Different Agroclimatic Zones,” Principal Investigator: Elsie Burbano, Hawaii, eburbano@hawaii.edu, $49,403.
  • Research and Education Grant: SW12-040, “Low-input Integrated Management of Tomato Viruses in Hawaii,” Principal Investigator: Mark Wright, Hawaii, markwrig@hawaii.edu, $297,296.
  • Research and Education Grant: SW12-114, “Secondary Effects of Behavior-based Pasture Management,” Principal Investigator: Matthew Stevenson, Hawaii, stevenso@hawaii.edu, $37,125.


Dr. Linda Cox has been awarded a scholarship to attend the WSARE Conference “Strengthening Agriculture's Infrastructure: Adding Value, Breaking Down Barriers, Increasing Profits.

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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