The Food Provider ~ June | July | August 2014

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In This Issue


Aloha Kākou

Mushrooms, Moringa and Chickens, Oh My! These topics and many others are covered in this, the Summer 2014 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which features 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.

Featured Farmer: Paul & Charlie Reppun
Waiznu Farm, Waiahole Waianu Farm, Waiahole, Oʻahu

Area under production: approximately 10 acres

Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 40 years

Crops grown, products/services: Taro is our primary crop and other main crops are sweet corn, sweet potato, breadfruit, coffee and cacao. We produce poi and several value added products from the coffee and cacao. We produce honey and have begun producing greenhouse grown produce, particularly tomatoes. We also grow a wide range of tropical fruits mostly for home consumption.

Number of employees and/or family members involved: Both families are actively involved with farm operation. We don’t have additional paid employees outside the family, but we do have volunteer days.

Read the full article here.

Paul and Charlie Reppun

Hot Tip from Waianu Farm

Learn the basics of engine and automobile mechanics; it’s more important to have mechanic friends than farmer friends.

Mahalo nui loa to Paul and Charlie Reppun for this interview.
Photos: T. Radovich.

Sustainable & Organic Research and Outreach News

Maui Master Gardener Program:
Attractors, Repellants, Trappers and Pollinators – Insectary Plants

Maui Master Gardener Pollinator Garden

Lorraine Brooks, Maui CES Extension Agent, UH-CTAHR
Mary Matsukawa and John Torrence, MG Class of 2014

The 2014 cohort of Maui Master Gardeners completed their gardens and class work in May.  The class created four new gardens at the UH/Maui College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) site. The idea behind this year’s gardens is to demonstrate how plants can attract pollinators, repel insects that damage crops and also trap insect pests away from crop product. Read here.

FMI: Lorraine Brooks, email: llb@hawaii.edu

Small-scale Laying Hen Feeding Trial

Hen Feeding Trial

Matthew H. Stevenson, UH-CTAHR HNFAS

A series of backyard chicken raising workshops held on Kauai and Maui from 2010 – 2011 revealed a need for more information on feeding strategies for small flocks in Hawaii.  To that end, we designed a demonstration trial to test four simple feeding approaches many small-scale flock owners use for laying hens. Read here.

FMI: Matthew Stevenson, email: stevenso@hawaii.edu

Determining fruit fly (Family Tephritidae) host status of moringa tree pods, Moringa oleifera Lam., in Hawaiʻi

Moringa pods

Christine Lynch and Helen Spafford, CTAHR PEPS

There has been a growing interest on Oʻahu to find more ways to market and sell different edible parts of the moringa, since many growers already have moringa trees on their farms. This study has helped prove that moringa pods are not a suitable host for the four invasive fruit flies found in Hawaiʻi. Read here.

FMI: Christine Lynch, email: calynch@hawaii.edu

Mushroom Compost to battle against nematode pests on vegetable crops

Pleurotus ostreatus

Shelby Ching and Koon-Hui Wang, UH-CTAHR TPSS

Many farmers are looking for alternative methods to chemical approaches for managing nematodes in the soil. This project is exploring different approaches to use mushroom compost for the suppression of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) through: 1) direct incorporation of the mushroom substrate into the soil before crop planting, 2) drenching mushroom compost water extract into the root system after crop planting, and 3) amending mushroom compost into the growth media of transplant trays.  Read here.

FMI: Shelby Ching, email: chingsa@hawaii.edu or Dr. Koon-Hui Wang, email:

Quick & Applied Agricultural Trial:
Persian Cucumber (Beit Alpha) Variety Screening 2014

Persian cucumber

J. Sugano, J. Uyeda, S. Fukuda, S. Migita and K.-H. Wang, UH-CTAHR

Oahu CES establishes critical on-farm field experiments in conjunction with edible crop growers to tackle priority crop production issues that strive to improve productivity and profitability. This article summarizes a recent preliminary field trial evaluating 12 different varieties/hybrids of Persian cucumbers due to increased interest and popularity in the market place. Read here.

FMI: Jari Sugano, email: suganoj@ctahr.hawaii.edu

New Farmer Training Symposium

Statewide representatives of New Farmer Training programs met on May 27, 2014, on Hawaii Island to share their experiences and practices for practical agricultural training. Summarized here is information about Hawaii’s beginning farmer programs, their needs and challenges, and some links to New Farmer resources. Read more.

Publications & Programs



Q1 2014 CTAHR Impact Report

Biotech in Focus (from the Biotechnology Outreach Program, CTAHR)

Ulu/Breadfruit - photo: C. Elevitch

NEW 'Ulu (Breadfruit) Publications


From the Agribusiness Incubator

AIP logo

Cash Flow:
Determine how much cash you need to operate your business

A cash flow projection enables you to anticipate how much cash is expected to flow in and out of your business. It is a forecast of your company’s cash income and expenses on a periodic basis (e.g. weekly or monthly). Use it to predict cash shortfalls, financing needs, and to plan for investments and expenditures. Read here.

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

Organic Update

2013 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of CTAHR's organic extension and outreach at the Waimanalo research station by Dr Hector Valenzuela. The Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) at the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resouces (CTAHR) hosts an Organic Field Day at the college’s Waimanalo Research Station on Saturday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The field day includes variety trials of hot peppers and eggplant as well as educational displays on taro, ‘uala (sweet potato), papaya, and fertilizer types. Additional events will be held and announced via the organic listserv and posted to our events page.

For more information on CTAHR's Organic program, visit http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/organic/.

USDA announced that approximately $13 million in Farm Bill funding is now available for organic certification cost-share assistance. The certification assistance is distributed through two programs within the Agricultural Marketing Service. Through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $11.5 million is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, an additional $1.5 million is available to organic operations in 16 states including Hawaii. More information on the Hawaii organic cost share program is here: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/usda-organic-certification-cost-share-programs/

Dr. Jean Richardson, NOSB

In May 2014, the NOSB elected Dr. Jean Richardson as its new Chair. Jean was appointed to the NOSB in January 2012 in one of the three "Consumer/ Public Interest" positions. Jean is Professor Emerita, University of Vermont, where she taught Environmental Studies and Environmental Law.  She currently works with her family to produce certified organic maple syrup and is an independent inspector of organic farms and processors, as well as providing consultation on rural land use planning and serving as a Justice of the Peace. 

Read the full story at: http://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/

Thats the focus of a new book, Organic: A Journalist's Quest to Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling,  by Peter Laufer. Read the full NPR story at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/23/334073167/can-you-trust-that-organic-label-on-imported-food

For New Farmers

GoFarm Hawaii Logo

Congratulations to the graduates of GoFarm Hawai`i @ Windward's AgSchool2.  Ten months of hard work and learning has resulted in the development of some fine farmers, some of which are starting to farm their own land in Waimanalo and Kamehameha School's land, and some of which are entering the AgIncubator plots at CTAHR's Waimanalo Agricultural Research Station to begin their careers as real farmers! Read here.

If you are interested in becoming a production farmer in Hawaii, you should attend this seminar.  Hear about ag in Hawaii, hear about the experience of farming in Hawaii and going through the GoFarm Hawaii program from farmers and students.  Applications for the next cohort of students for the GoFarm Hawaii beginning farmer training program will be handed out at this seminar.

Now in our second year, this course is set up to target high school seniors and juniors and allows the students to enroll in the college early and get two college credits while learning about sustainable agriculture practices in Hawaii.  It is fun-filled and hands-on combining field trips, agricultural activities, and classroom work.  Dates of the 2014 Sustainable Agriculture Systems Summer Bridge are July 14-25 9am-4pm M-F.  Taking this class will give students a head-start into college and get them going in the right direction to pursue a degree in Sustainable Tropical Crop Management in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at UH Maui College. For more information contact Mailani (renesouz@hawaii.edu) or Malia (tms2@hawaii.edu).

Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program logo

Workshops | Conferences | Meetings

Sponsored by Makakuoha Cooperative, UH-CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service. For more information, call 567-6929.

The biannual SAEA Conference is the premier forum for the presentation and discussion of the scholarship of teaching and learning in sustainable agriculture education that brings together diverse educators, students, and scholars.


Dr. William Puckett, NRCS PIA Acting Director

Currently, Dr. William Puckett is the State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Alabama. He started with the agency as a soil scientist in Florida in 1983. With numerous awards and recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies, Dr. Puckett worked in several NRCS offices, including Washington, DC as the Deputy Chief for Science and Technology in 2007. His detail to Honolulu is 120 days and we thank Christine Clarke for her service as the previous Acting Director.

The NRCS will host a series of Soil Health Field Days and classroom sessions for NRCS employees and partners. The goal of the training is to better prepare NRCS conservation planners to improve soil health, and to share NRCS expertise with local agricultural producers and partners. Read here.

Statewide coffee extension agent, Ms. Andrea Kawabata recently launched a new website to host information on coffee production, the coffee berry borer (CBB), CBB management, funding opportunities, CBB publications, upcoming events and announcements, coffee pests and problems, as well as information on the Little Fire Ant in coffee. Please follow the website below to receive the latest information regarding coffee production issues in Hawaii.

Funding Opportunities

In an effort to connect local farmers with Kamehameha Schools’ agricultural lands, Kamehameha Schools and Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Foundation are proud to announce the second Mahiʻai Match-Up agricultural business plan contest.The competition aligns directly with Kamehameha’s Strategic Agricultural Plan and its efforts to increase food production for the local market.

For More Information: http://www.pauahi.org/mahiaimatchup/

The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) for fiscal year 2014, which offsets a portion of the costs of transporting agricultural products over long distances. The program allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any transportation costs.

For more information on the RTCP program, farmers and ranchers in the eligible areas can visit their administrative FSA county office or the FSA website.

View them all at: http://www.westernsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program WSARE

Utah State University and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) are proud to announce the selection of as the program’s new regional director. Dr. Roper is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Plant, Soils and Climate at Utah State University. A former Extension Specialist, he received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Washington State University. He plans to transition his experience and love of agriculture into his newly announced position as Western SARE director. Read the full announcement here.

Congratulations to our .

Dr. Roper with Dr. Koon-Hui Wang

The Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) to Manoa on June 6, 2014. Recent WSARE grant recipients were able to meet the new director and talk about their 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:

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.

Mahalo nui loa,

Jari Sugano and Dr. Ted Radovich
Jody Smith, e-Extension Manager
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources