Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Johnny’s Visits Hawaii (continues)

Johnny’s Commercial Sales Representative, Lainie Kertesz, recently traveled to Hawaii to visit commercial farmers and farmers markets on the islands. She documented her travels, which we turned into a three-part Blog series. Below is part three of this series:   

Kona, Hawaii
Kona: The "Big Island"

Kona, HI
I timed my trip to participate in an Organic conference in Kona, "Growing Organics: Moving Hawai'i's Organic Industry Forward," sponsored by the Kohala Center


According to their website, "The Kohala Center is an not-for-profit, independent, community-based center. The Center was established in direct response to the request of island residents to create greater educational and employment opportunities by enhancing—and celebrating—Hawai‘i’s spectacular natural and cultural landscapes... three core areas of work have emerged: energy self-reliance, food self-reliance, and ecosystem health. These areas of work involve basic and applied research, policy research, conservation and restoration initiatives, public outreach and education – all carried out through local, regional, national, and international partnerships."


Specifically, the "Growing Organics: Moving Hawai'i's Organic Industry Forward," conference was to examine what interest exists, and what supports were needed, to further the growth of organics in Hawaii. Organic agricultural producers in Hawaii currently do not have a local organic program office where they can obtain information on aspects of Organic production. 


The 150 conference participants spent the day networking and identifying where more support was needed. The final report and other relevant documents from this conference are available here.

Kona, HI


Thank you for joining us as we revisit Lainie's trip to Hawaii! We hope you enjoyed the 3 part series.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Explore Our Fast-Growing, Diverse Greens


Johnny's is pleased to offer greens from all corners of the globe.

 

All of our greens varieties can be grown to full size and many can be harvested at the baby leaf stage for salad mixes where they add wonderful flavors, textures, and colors.

 

Create your own custom mixes or try one of our popular, easy to grow pre-mixed selections.


  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Johnny’s Visits Hawaii (continues)

Johnny’s Commercial Sales Representative, Lainie Kertesz, recently traveled to Hawaii to visit commercial farmers and farmers markets on the islands. She documented her travels, which we have turned into a three-part Blog series. Below is part two of this series:

Oahu, Hawaii
My time spent at the Oahu Farmers’ Markets:

I was introduced to Pamela Boyar and Annie Suite by another Hawaiian contact who described them as "...amazing women who helped make Hawaii's underground/direct sales for small farmers possible…and I suspect at some time in the future they will be made saints." These two women manage five farmers' markets around Oahu for vendors selling their own, locally produced products.  I was quite surprised to find out most of the other "Farmers' Markets" around the islands are often re-sellers of products 'from away' rather than locally produced. 

Pamela and Annie took time out of their busy days to take me around to visit at least 10 farmers who sold at their markets. The farmers they introduced me to were quite diverse, both large and small farms growing either aquaponically, hydroponically, or in the field. I was fortunate to experience the Hale'iwa market where there are over 40 vendors at this bustling market.

After spending time on Oahu, I had limited time to make many visits, but did get to see two of Johnny’s the largest customers on Kauai; one hydroponic and one field operation.

Kauai, HI

Stay tuned for part three of Lainie's Hawaii Blog series- coming soon!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Explore our Container Herbs Pinterest Board

Did you know that Johnny's is on Pinterest? Explore our new Pinterest Board, "Grow Professional-Quality Container Herbs."

Visit the Johnny's Pinterest Page
Container herbs provide some distinct advantages to growers of all abilities — commercial growers and their retail customers, as well as home gardeners.

Along with the versatility and portability that container herbs provide, herbs in containers offer added longevity and marketability.

Select specific varieties with demonstrated container performance 

For additional information on growing container herbs from Johnny's Research Team:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Johnny’s Visits Hawaii

Johnny’s Commercial Sales Representative, Lainie Kertesz, recently traveled to Hawaii to visit commercial farmers and farmers markets on the islands. She documented her travels, which we turned into a three-part Blog series. Below is part one of this series:


Oahu, Hawaii
I recently spent two weeks visiting several of the Hawaiian islands, and more miles in a car than I thought possible. 

A little background on growing in Hawaii: 
· Even with a twelve-month growing season, I was surprised to learn that Hawaii imports 85% of its produce (The University of HI plans to conduct a new survey around this import figure).
· Much of the produce grown, primarily lettuce and greens, is sold to the resorts for fancy salads for tourists. Here at Johnny’s, 10% of our total lettuce sales are to Hawaii.
· Some crops are not cost-effective to grow in Hawaii, or are difficult to produce, such as field-grown fruiting crops like tomatoes and peppers, due to insect and disease pressures. 
· There is a mounting interest in growing Hydroponically and Aquaponically for more controlled growing conditions.

My first stop in Hawaii: Oahu: MA’O Organics 


MA'O Organics motto is "no panic, go Organic". MA'O's mission is to empower young people to become leaders and to make their island home a more food-secure place to live. The organization is in its 10th year of offering Youth and Leadership training internships for 17-24 yr-old Hawaiians who are pursuing Agricultural Studies.  Beginning with a two-year Youth Leadership Training, interns can go on to a second two-yr Step Up Training.  After completion, Graduated interns can choose to go on to admin work, or to become co-managers and managers at the farm. The diverse produce raised on the 23-acre farm is distributed through a local CSA as well as to markets such as Whole Foods and Foodland in and around Oahu.

Oahu, Hawaii


Stay tuned for part two of Lainie's Hawaii Blog series- coming soon!