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Hot Hawaiian Chile Peppers

Hawaiian chili pepper.Hawaiian chili pepper.For many local folks, chile pepper water is an indispensable addition to a great local feast, and can add pizazz to meat, fish, and soup dishes. There are many variations of this condiment combining water, shoyu, different kinds of vinegar, and even garlic with lots of chiles.

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24th Annual Hawai'i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Sept 12 -- 14

The 24th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 12-14 at the Kahili Golf Course. All attendees registering before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of up to $75; visit www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org for details. The conference is open to the public.

Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the weeklong event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

The conference is titled “It’s All About Production” and offers a variety of breakout sessions, plus visiting researchers and agro experts. Professor Roger Leakey, crop physiologist, will give the keynote address, “The Domestication of Tropical Trees as New Fruit and Nut Crops.” Dr. Leakey is the former director of research at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry and professor of agroecology and sustainable development of James Cook University in Australia. 

Roger Leakey keynoteDr. Roger Leakey, renowned crop physiologist and agroforester

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Pulelehua, Mamaki, and Koa

Kamehameha-butterfly1Pulelehua (Kamehameha butterfly). The author spotted this butterfly in her garden near some mamaki bushes, which started off her interest in this topic.

There’s a beautiful trio playing in the woods. It's a native trio that has been here a long time. The players are the māmaki shrub (Pipturus albidus), the koa tree (Acacia koa), and the Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea), or pulelehua. If you have the right conditions, you can invite them to your garden, especially to encourage the pulelehua, whose numbers are diminishing, to thrive on the islands again.

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Letter to Sonny - Creating a Farm Business

 MG 3714In farming, the real test when you fall down is how fast you get up and move forward.

Below is a letter I wrote to a Hawaiian homesteader several years ago. He was interested in farming, but for some reason he had a difficult time understanding what he needed to do in order to create a farm business, and also wasn’t realistic about his goals. He was looking for solutions such as setting up a farm to teach others how to farm without having a basic knowledge of farming, or networking with others to get his farm started when he didn’t have any production.

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Breadfruit -- From Tree to Table Workshop

P1018612A lunch featuring breadfruit was provided by Café Pesto.

A half-day chockfull of ‘ulu workshop was held on the morning of May 10th, at the Ho’oulu Lahui site of the Kua O Ka La Public Charter School at Pu’ala’a, located next to the ‘Ahalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna.

The presentations were aimed at backyard and commercial growers, entrepreneurs, chefs and home consumers.

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Wahi Ka Niu - Break Open the Coconut

coconutsCoconut, one of the most important Hawaiian plants.

The coconut, niu, is a uniquely life-giving tree for humans, a mainstay if you live near a tropical coast. It produces the only seed that we can open to drink vital water, eat nourishing nut-meat, and even make healthy oil. The coconut palm’s fronds, trunk, and fruit all have many uses. “Every part of the plant plays its role in the Polynesian lifestyle,” says Momi Subiono, a Hawaiian ethnobotany educator from Kona.

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