Volume 17: Sept | Oct | Nov 2013

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

September | October | November 2013

Aloha Kākou


Aloha Kākou, welcome to the Fall 2013 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

As we prepare to enter the holiday season and end another year, it's a good time to celebrate some of the great projects CTAHR and its partners are a part of. At the core of this issue are articles on natural enemies, fertility and pest control, as well as great updates on marketing, seed saving and beginning farmer programs. Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter for upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, and Funding Opportunities.

We are very pleased to have the Boerner Family and ONO Farms as this issue’s Featured Farmers with over 40 years of healthy and profitable organic food production in Kipahulu, Maui. Chuck Boerner is also a long-term member of the WSARE advisory council, and a respected mentor to many of us involved in sustainable food production.

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


Feature Farmer

Chuck, Lily and Pueo Boerner ONO Organic Farms, Kipahulu, Maui


  • Area under production: approximately 65 acres
  • Years farming in Hawaiʻi: We have been farming in Kipahulu for 41years.
  • Crops grown, products/services: Volume-wise, most of our production is banana, papaya and avocado, but many crops bring income in to the farm, including: star fruit, bilimbi, star apple, cacao, pineapples, lychee, dragon fruit, longan, pohole fern, rambutan, sour sop, jackfruit, mango, tamarind, lilikoi, cinnamon, white sapote, chico sapote, guava, red and white mountain apple, breadfruit, peanut butter fruit, egg fruit, red coffee trees, durian, pink and white pommelo, chocolate perssimon, abiu, vi fruit, cherimoya, strawberry papaya, jaboticaba, surinam cherry, and many more!! Chuck also provides consultation services and farmers market in Hana seven days a week.
  • Fertility Management: For inputs we mostly use composted manures and some NOP compliant high nutrient fertilizers like Sustane, or a locally produced rendered meat product. We also rely heavily on leaf litter from large over-story fruit trees to return organic matter to the soil.
  • Pest management: We use several strategies to minimize pest and disease incidence and spread. Intercropping/species diversity is key, as is sanitation. Sanitation means that we remove diseased, infested or damaged fruit, branches, leaves etc. when we see them. For several crops we pick fruit early and finish ripening in boxes to minimize chances of damage by insects, disease and birds. We mow, mulch and plant densely to control weeds.


Read the full article here.



Hot Tip from ONO Organic Farms

Diversity is key! Diversity in crop species and varieties within species create a solid foundation for a resilient, efficient and profitable farming system.

Mahalo nui loa to Chuck, Lily and Pueo Boerner for this interview.

Photos: T. Radovich



Read More

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Wasps Nesting Block: A condominium to attract Natural Enemies of Insect Pests

Koon-Hui Wang and Jane Tavares, CTAHR-PEPS


As the honey bee colony collapse syndromes are becoming a concern, some researchers have begun to look for approaches to attract alternative pollinators to pollinator-dependent cropping systems. Building nesting blocks for leaf cutter bees, carpenter bees, and several other solitary bees have been promoted to attract these alternate pollinators. This article focuses on describing how to facilitate the use of a wasp nesting block in a hydroponic or aquaponic cropping system for insect pest management through conservative biological control approach. Read here.


Biological control of corn earworm – sunn hemp enhancement compared to mass releases of parasitoids

Roshan Manandhar and Mark G Wright, CTAHR-PEPS


Corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) is a serious pest of sweet corn in Hawaii. Managing this pest with insecticides is near impossible, and wild levels of natural enemies are inadequate to suppress the massive numbers of larvae that emerge from eggs laid onto corn silks. We recently completed work comparing the potential of enhancing natural enemy abundance using sunn hemp to create in-field insectaries, with mass-releases of lab-reared egg parasitoids. Read here.

FMI: Mark Wright, email: markwrig@hawaii.edu


Strip-till cover cropping and vermicompost extracts improve soil and plant health in a short-term vegetable cropping system

Archana Pant, Koon-Hui Wang and Theodore J.K. Radovich


This article summarizes the effect of strip-tiall cover cropping (STCC) and vermicompost water extract on soil food web structure in a short-term agroecosystem. Objectives of this study were to examine if: 1) drenching chicken manure based vermicompost tea could suppress plant-parasitic nematodes; 2) integrating STCC+SM with drenching of vermicompost tea could further improve soil health condition than STCC+SM alone; and 3) nematode community indices are good indicators of zucchini plant health. Read here.

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


Train the Trainers, Hawaii Public Seed Initiative

Lyn Howe, The Kohala Center


On September 13-15th, 2013, the Hawaii Public Seed Initiative (HPSI) held the last of its series in the 2 year Seed Production workshops. 25 participants from all 5 islands were chosen to attend the “Train the Trainers” held at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens in Kona. This 3 day workshop, designed to take seed saving to the next level with a “hands on” approach, focused on seed germination, seed storage, variety trials and record keeping, effects of microclimates on genetic expression, vernalization techniques for biennial crops, biosecurity, seed and plant diseases, vegetatively propagated crops and other more advanced seed production topics. Read here.

FMI: Lyn Howe, email: lynhowe1946@yahoo.com


Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 


NEW from the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii

From the Agribusiness Incubator


The Marketing Mix:

Attracting your target market through an integrated effort


By Steven Chiang,

Director, UH Agribusiness Incubator Program


Read the full article here.


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

Organic Update

Growing Organics: Moving Hawai‘i’s Organic Industry Forward

  • Monday October 28, 2013
  • 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • King Kamehamehaʻs Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi Island

A day of workshops and presentations for Hawai‘i’s organic food producers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and advocates designed to inform and empower Hawai‘i’s organic industry.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/archive/laulima/ or call The Kohala Center at 808-887-6411.

For New Farmers


GoFarm Hawaii Is Hiring

Help us produce Hawaii's next generation of farmers. If you have years of experience in commercial vegetable farming, are versed in organic farming methods, can operate and maintain small farm machinery, are a good communicator, and have a passion for developing new farmers for Hawaii, we want to talk to you! GoFarm Hawaii is a beginning farmer training program based in Windward O'ahu and is supported by Windward Community College, the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and UH's Agribusiness Incubator Program. More info at www.gofarmhawaii.org.


  • Part-time (with opportunity for full-time position), $26/hr. 
  • Contact: David Ringuette at 236-9265 or ringuett@hawaii.edu


Molokaʻi Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program


FoodCorps Hawai‘i

The Kohala Center has been chosen to be the host site for the state of Hawai‘i’s FoodCorps Program. FoodCorps is a national AmeriCorps program that addresses childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities. On September 1st, FoodCorps service members began working at eight schools on four islands. These service members will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems, where they will expand hands-on nutrition education programs, build and tend school gardens, and help bring high-quality, locally produced foods into schools. The Kohala Center looks forward to building this program throughout Hawai‘i. For more information, please contact Nancy Redfeather, Host Site Supervisor, at nredfeather@kohalacenter.org.


Interesting in growing, selling or processing 'ulu (breadfruit) as a food crop?

A half-day workshop for growers, sellers, cooks, consumers, and others interested in learning more about how to harvest, store, prepare and market breadfruit will be held on Hawai'i Island, Maui, O'ahu, and Kaua'i. Presenters include Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute and Craig Elevitch and Andrea Dean of the Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu project. This first-of-its-kind hands-on workshop is intended to help breadfruit become (once again) a common staple in Hawai‘i.

  • First workshop: November 9, 9:00 am -12:00 pm, Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, South Kona.
  • Workshops for the other islands will be held January 9–11, 2014.
  • For more information, visit www.breadfruit.info or call 808-960-3727.


Farmers Say Cover Crops Work

During the fall of 2012, corn yields increased 9.6% when planted after a cover crop, compared to side-by-side fields with no cover crops, and soybean yields improved 11.6% following cover crops. Because of this, and witnessed improvements to soil and water quality, farmers across the Midwest are rapidly expanding their cover crop acreage.


Farming in the 21st Century a practical approach to improve Soil Health



Digital Mapping and GIS for Small Landowners and Permaculture Design

Learn how to map your land using open source software and freely available data. This material was presented in a workshop at Oregon State University last year, and is now available on CD as a self-paced course. ($125 + $5 S/H).



Student Competition: Agricultural Innovation Prize

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced the launch of the 2014 Agricultural Innovation Prize in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Open to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students across all academic disciplines, the competition runs through spring 2014. Teams will compete for the chance to win $215,000 in prize money, with a grand prize of $100,000; making this the largest agriculture-focused student competition in the world. The contest encourages student teams to develop innovative plans to address social and agricultural challenges within food systems, improving the standard of living and quality of life for the world's population. Additional information is available at http://agprize.com



Webinar Portal for Conservation of Natural Resources

Subscribe to receive alerts about webinars from the USDA NRCS Training Library on topics such as bioenergy, cropping systems, soil health, and more.

Using Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Systems: This webinar will increase knowledge of high residue cover cropping systems in vegetable production.

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

The Summer 2013 issue of Simply Sustainable contains articles about innovative and diverse operations, proposed food systems research and development agenda, on-farm renewable energy, upcoming sustainability events and recently funded projects


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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