Outreach

In recognition of National Honey Month, Chef Alan Wong and the Adopt-A-Beehive program have teamed up with Sodexo to create a special benefit bento that has components utilizing UH Hilo honey from the apiary at the UH Hilo farm.

Alan Wong and Bob-Bob the donkey
Alan Wong and Bob-Bob
Chef Alan Wong and Reid Kusano
Chef Alan Wong and Sodexo’s Reid Kusano display the benefit bento.

Local celebrity chef, Alan Wong, has partnered with the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Sodexo Dining Services to host a fundraiser for the university’s equine program. The benefit will support the care of horses and a miniature donkey named Bob-Bob displaced by the recent lava flows. The animals are being kept at the UH Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory in Pana‘ewa, where student volunteers under the supervision of farm staff are providing care.

In recognition of National Honey Month, Chef Wong and the Adopt-A-Beehive program have teamed up with Sodexo to create a special bento that has components utilizing UH Hilo honey from the apiary at the farm.

“Bento Benefit for Bob-Bob” is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on campus at the breezeway outside the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (map). Chef Wong and Bob-Bob will be there. The $10 bentos will be available only through pre-sale (cash only). The pre-sale date is Monday, Sept. 17, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, on the breezeway.

It’s time to test your soil!

By Chantal Vos, Researcher, and Norman Arancon, Associate Professor of Horticulture.

Norman stands in large sweet potato field.
Norman Arancon collects leaf samples from sweet potato field. Photo by Chantal Vos.

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas, L.) production along the Hamakua Coast can be increased by addressing nutrient imbalances in the soil. Sweet potato is an important crop in Hawai‘i both for local consumption and as an export crop and more than 90 percent is produced along the Hamakua Coast on the island of Hawai‘i (Miyasaka and Arakaki, 2010). Most commercial sweet potato farmers on Hawai‘i Island do not test their soil or crops on a regular basis for potential nutritional problems. Fertilizers are often applied indiscriminately based on prior experience or current practice from other growers, whether these areas have been cropped for many years or are newly cleared for cultivation. Soil fertility is often not optimal, even on land that has never been cultivated with sweet potato (virgin land). During crop production, available nutrients are lost through leaching, run-off, and crop harvest. Nutrient balances are distorted, and fallow periods have demonstrated limited capacity to adequately restore and build soil fertility. This being said, fallows will generally reduce many disease and pest problems (Bennett et al., 2012).

Students in the UH Hilo ag class demonstrated a few very important basic concepts and skills in plant production.

By Aaron Shipman, Student, College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management, UH Hilo.

Two college students speak at the head of a class of students.
Hort 262 students teach Hilo High School students some basic methods in plant production.

As the semester rapidly draws to a close, the students of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, showcased their skills through community outreach. This year, the Introduction to Horticulture (Hort 262) class instructed by Norman Arancon, associate professor of horticulture, visited the students of Hilo High School supervised by their instructor Christian Atalig.

There was information on sustainable agriculture, farming, animal production, bee harvesting, and aquaponics by the students of horticulture, animal science, entomology, beekeeping, sustainable agriculture, value-added products and aquaculture.

By Justin Ziminsky.

Students holding goats wrapped in towels.
Animal science students and farm animal exhibits.

The College of Agriculture Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo opened its annual Ag Fair Day on April 27, 2018. The fair was very educational for students and visitors alike. There was a lot of information on sustainable agriculture, farming, animal production, bee harvesting, and aquaponics available for everyone by the students of horticulture, animal science, entomology, beekeeping, sustainable agriculture, value-added products and aquaculture.

Garden tours given by UH Hilo ag students are a regular contribution to Earth Day Fair celebrations since the gardens were established in 2009 by former students.

By Norman Arancon, Associate Professor of Horticulture.

Student speaking to schoolchildren in the garden.
Lehua Patnaude, student of AG230, led tours in the gardens by the UH Hilo library lanai during the annual Earth Day Fair, April 20, 2018.

Some 205 students from local pre-K and high schools all over the Big Island toured the gardens by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Library Lanai during the celebration of this year’s Earth Day. The gardens were showcased by the Ag230 students of spring 2018. This has been a regular contribution of the class to Earth Day celebrations since these gardens were established in 2009 by former students.

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo alumna Noelani Waters is a technician at the Hawai‘i Apiary Program of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. She tells us about her work.

By Noelani Waters, Alumna, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Tropical Plant Science and Agroecology Specialty, UH Hilo.

Noelani Waters holds some wood with a beehive covered in bees
Noelani Waters

Aloha,

My name is Noelani Waters and I am a College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management alumna who graduated in fall 2014 with a degree in agroecology and tropical plant science with a certificate in beekeeping.

Just before graduating, in October 2014, I was hired as an apiary technician with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Hawai‘i Apiary Program under the direction of the state’s head apiary specialist at the time, Danielle Downey. The mission of the Hawai‘i Apiary Program is to safeguard the beekeeping industries of Hawai‘i through the application of science-based regulations, regular monitoring and prevention of invasive honey bee pests, interactive educational opportunities, and open communication with beekeepers throughout the state.

Our program was officially established in 2011 and became a permanent part of HDOA in 2014. Though honey bees are not native to Hawai‘i, they have been here for over 150
years, providing a variety of excellent honey and, most importantly, critical pollination of local agricultural goods.

Students from Tropical Horticulture class spent a day revitalizing and beautifying potted plants and ornamental gardens at a local church.

By Kyle Jackson, Student, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Horticulture Track.

Students in covered area working on plants.
Hort 262 students reviving ornamentals at Malia Puka O Kalani Church.

Each semester, students of Introduction to Tropical Horticulture (HORT 262) engage in community service. On February 15, 2018, our class of 14 students set out to help Malia Puka O Kalani Church revive their ornamental garden.

The church is located in Keaukaha, Hilo, where almost half of the resident population is Native Hawaiian and 292 acres are devoted to Hawaiian Home Lands. The garden was initially started by a few parishioners of Malia Puka O Kalani in 2016 when Fr. Oliver Ortega was the parish priest. Different tropical ornamental plants such as bougainvilla, anthuriums, hibiscus and many others adorned the church on weekend services and then were returned to the garden for care and maintenance.

However, since Fr. Ortega left and the composition of the parishioners changed, most of the plants were left unattended with half of the potted plants dead and half badly needing repotting, pruning, watering and fertilizing.

We were given instructions on our mission for the day: beautify the church area by moving plants and shelves to a new area. Another part of our goal for the day was to improve the general appeal and health of the plants.

Two alumni volunteers assist UH Hilo entomologist in creating a digital accession database of the moth for the university’s web-based Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection.

Agrotis baliopa
Agrotis baliopa

An entomologist and two alumni from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have collaborated to create a digital accession database of an endemic moth collection donated to the university.

UH Hilo alumna Quinn Hamamoto (bachelor of arts in English), along with alumna Ellison Montgomery (bachelor of science from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management), and Assistant Professor of Entomology Jesse Eiben, who serves as manager of the UH Hilo Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC), collaborated to curate and digitize pictures of the endemic Hawaiian insects. The database is posted to the web as a way to raise awareness of the moths.

Topics include an overview of the law, how it affects local farms and production, and information about important exemptions and scenarios.

Luisa Castro
Luisa Castro

SPEAKER: Luisa Castro, PhD, agricultural food safety program manager for the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.
PRESENTATION: “FSMA: What You Should Know,” a presentation on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
DATE: Friday, February 9, 2018.
TIME: 5:00 p.m.
PLACE: University Classroom Building, room 100, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map).