Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Farm, Farm Bureau, fish, Fishing, food, Hawaii, hunger | Tags: Agriculture education, american farm bureau federation, beef, Farm Bureau, fish, Food, food distribution, hunger, pork, raising cattle, shrimp industry
On my recent American Farm Bureau Federation trip to Hawaii I got into a few discussions about the food available in paradise. When we are in such a lush area we may think that getting food would be no problem. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First off you have to remember that Hawaii has a limited amount of land that is suitable for farming. Much of the big island of Hawaii is covered in lava rock and has trouble supporting a goat. The areas that are in production are mostly for raising cattle. The largest cattle ranch in the United States is in Hawaii. Little of the island is either suitable, or gets enough rainfall for production of food.
While on Oahu we drove past large areas that do get enough rainfall, and do have good soil for food production, but these areas are fallow. Since sugarcane and pineapple production moved to other countries where labor is cheaper, no one wants to farm the land.
Hawaiian acres that are farmed are mostly used for the production of high cost items like coffee and macadamia nuts. There are areas that seed companies use to get a winter crop of corn or soybeans, but again these are high value crops. Very few are raising the staples needed for everyday life. There is an abundance of tropical flowers, but most flowers cannot be eaten.
You would think there would be an abundance of fresh seafood in Hawaii as they have a tradition of farming the sea. The shrimp industry is supplied by many farm raised shrimping operations, as well as both fresh and salt water ponds for fish production. Most of these are sold to tourists at roadside seafood shacks.
But my conversation with a chef in one of the larger restaurants in Honolulu showed me some cracks in the food supply.
- Despite having the largest cattle ranch in the country, there is nowhere to process these cattle. Cattle must leave the island to be processed, so there is no major source of locally grown beef.
- The islands large chinese population eats a lot of pork, but there are no large pork producers on the islands, and pork must be sourced elsewhere.
- While Hawaii seems to be a fisher mens paradise, most of the fish eaten in Honolulu is shipped from other countries.
- Despite the large amount of vegetables used in cuisine for those who like the oriental cooking preferred by so many in Hawaii, most is imported.
- Rice, a stable in most of the meals eaten in the islands, is not grown here.
The list goes on. In short, Hawaii is a land on the edge. One person I talked to estimated that there was enough food on the islands to last 5 days, perhaps less in the more populated regions. Wow, what will it take to put Hawaii over the edge, not much. In fact, Hawaii, like most other large cities in the world cannot survive long if we have a major transportation problem.
Our modern world has become so dependent on so few to be sure it is fed everyday. A shortage of transportation fuels would doom so many unprepared people. I live in an area of abundance of food, yet a large snowstorm can decimate the shelves of the local grocery.
Hawaii and its food supply is a warning. Where is your next meal coming from. Are you sure there will be food to eat if something happens to our food distribution system.
Filed under: family, fish, friends, garden, pond, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: family, fish, friends, Koi, painted turtles, pond, turtles, water garden
Today was the after wedding party at our house. Since most of Michael’s family had come a long distance for the wedding, we invited family members from both sides to our farm for the gift opening. This party was the reason I had been working so hard on the landscaping and pond.
The house had been cleaned, plants had been planted all around the house, and grass replaced. A pond with all of it’s plants and fish had been completed. The new porch had received new furniture. A large tent had been erected and decorated. We were ready to party.
Part way through the party I got a call that I had been waiting for. The turtles were coming.
Our town’s annual celebration has turtle races each year and I had been promised the turtles found by our landscaper after the race. In the middle of the party they were delivered.
Yertle and Crush were instant celebrities with all present except the Koi. Young and old peered into the pond to watch them. The Koi were visibly upset. They did not like these new neighbors.
The turtles are Painted Turtles common in our area. It is hoped that they will like their new home and assist me in keeping it clean. They definitely add a new bit of interest to the pond,
Filed under: fish, garden, house, pond, water garden | Tags: fish, garden, Koi, pond, screen porch, water garden
When I got my last Koi I was told he had one more he wanted to sell but could not catch it. Today I got the call that the elusive Koi had been captured.
It’s a beauty, a bit bigger than the other big one I got (over 12 inches) and definitely fatter. For a while it just hung around the upper part of the pond, then it went off to explore the rest of the pond, and see the other fish. We’ll see how they all get along in the pond. Since they all came from the same place originally everything should be fine.
Here’s some more pictures of the pond.
Notice the sign.
There are good views from both sides.
Work has started on the steps for the porch. Things should be ready for the wedding.
Filed under: fish, Fishing, Minnesota, summer | Tags: fish, fishing, kayak, lake, Minnesota
A weekend at the lake is all the down time I seem to be able to put together this summer. I had been hoping for another trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area but that has not fit in with anyone else’s schedule. So I settled for another week end at the cabin on Sand Lake. This weekend it was just three of us, my wife and mother-in-law, plus myself.
I spend my time fishing mostly, and the fish were again willing, if a bit small. This time it was the Northern Pike that kept me busy, although I only kept two decent ones. There were some Crappies and a Large Mouth Bass of decent size to add to the take. The best fishing seemed to be during cloudy weather and in shallow water. A cast towards shore and a quick retrieve of a 4 inch twister seemed to work best. A few Bluegill Sunfish would chase the lure if they were around, but they were too small to get hooked.
Since I mostly fished out of my Hobie Adventure Kayak it was easy to troll or work the shore. A few pumps on the “Mirage” drive and I could move along to the next part of shore, hands are free to hold the rod. The trick is always where to put the fish while taking out the hook. There is not much room except in your lap. For a small craft it is well set up for fishing. The addition of a landing net, fish basket and stringer, all hooked to the kayak, help to make fishing easier.
Sunday morning fishing was not as good as Saturday, but that was alright. I only needed to clean fish once that way. It leaves more fish for next time. Now I’m home and it’s time to get back to work. I hope you also had time to unwind this summer.
Filed under: fish, Fishing, Minnesota, School bus | Tags: fish, fishing, kayak, Northern Pike, sunfish
The day was not real busy. Yes, I had the morning bus route, and a couple of hours moving kids off to Kastle Kingdom for a few hours of play as school winds down, then what. Time to go fishin’.
Most folks around here get into a power boat of some kind and motor across the waves. I don’t have one. My fishing boat of the day was my Hobie Kayak. A Hobie Kayak has a different type of propulsion. Under the craft are what looks like penguin flippers, and you power them with your feet. It’s a great way to get some exercise and do some fishing. It really works great for trolling.
So I got all of my stuff set up, put the Hobie into the lake and I was off. Not much was happening until I came to a spot I know of as a sunny hot spot. A nice sunfish volunteered for the frying pan on my sunfish diver. I hung around for a few croppies and decided it was time to check out the rest of the lake.
My circuit of the lake yielded nothing until I got back around to that hot spot. This time a 3 pound Northern Pike took hold. Now fishing in a kayak for sunfish is OK, but put a 3 pound pike in your lap and things can get interesting. There is just no place else to put that fish. Luckily my dip net was handy and I could be sure he stayed put.
So it was a good afternoon fishing. I only kept a sunny and two croppies, plus that pike, but it’s something for dinner. I’ll have to give it a try again soon.