News


FROM SUSTAINABLE BIORESOURCES, LLC

Discovery Harbour, Hawaii, USA

 

Aloha!

Unfortunately, our website renovations will take much longer to complete than expected.  We have a small staff and are busy with multiple projects so the very time consuming work of developing and keeping up a complex website will continue to be delayed.  In this section, we will try to keep our site visitors and followers informed about recent company developments and upcoming events.


 

April 22, 2017 (Earth Day)

We are Joining the March for Science

The March for Science is a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and the role it plays in everyday lives.  It main goals are to call for science that upholds the common good and to call for evidence-based policy in the public’s best interest.  The March for Science does not seek to protest a specific person or party, but a growing and alarming trend of anti-science agendas and policies in politics discrediting scientific consensus, restricting scientific discovery and its applications to society.

 

Sustainable Bioresources affirms our strong support for the mission and principles of the March for Science because they are closely aligned with our company’s ethics and core mission.  Here in the Islands the mission of the March for Science Hawaii “celebrates the scientific process mai ka lewa lani i luna a ka papakū i lalo loa (from the heavens above to the earth below).  We celebrate science as a foundation to explore life, understand the universe, foster global well-being, and advocate for it to be open, inclusive, and accessible.

 

The March for Science will take place in Washington, DC on Earth Day (April 22, 2017) and satellite marches will take place in nearly 400 locations in the United States and around the world.  As of this writing we are aware of four marches planned in the State of Hawaii:

Hawai’i Island – Hilo (Rescheduled for April 21)

Kaua’i – Lihue Twitter: @ScienceMarchKau

Maui – Kahului

Oahu – Honolulu

If you agree with us that it is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted please consider joining the March.  Refer to the March for Science website for a march location near you.

While these marches will consist of thousands of steps they are only the first in the long journey that we must make together to protect science, its ability to contribute to the societies it serves and protect our planet.  The journey must include seeking new and enhanced paths of communication toward improving public education, appreciation and engagement with science and scientists.  These paths must be two-way, and walked and spoken with the Spirit of Aloha. At the end of the journey, ties of mutual respect between scientists and their communities will be built and greater investment and trust in science will follow.

 


March 30, 2017

Annual Meeting Announced

On Friday, March 31, 2017 the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Bioresources, LLC will be held at the company’s offices in Discovery Harbour, Hawaii.

 


March 14, 2017

HUBZone Approval Received

HUBZone is a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) program for small companies that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).  We are pleased to announce that as of this date Sustainable Bioresources, LLC was approved by the SBA for certification as a “qualified HUBZone small business concern (SBC)”.  This certification greatly improves our access to Federal awards.


 

November 2016

New Moringa Research Project Starting in Gambia

We have provided a large collection of moringa seeds of multiple species and varieties from diverse international sources for field trials planned in the Republic of the Gambia in western Africa.  This project will be carried out by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Gambian students and coordinated by the PCV agricultural sector leader.  Plans are to distribute the seeds by three different modes:

  1. Students from around the country attending agricultural sector training classes will take a selection of seeds back to their home villages for planting and will be asked to provide feedback on how well they grew. While this activity may not be supervised, it will provide an exceptional opportunity to collect growth data from many locations with diverse temperature, humidity, salinity, soil types and other growing conditions.
  2. At main Peace Corps training site in the village of Massembeh, seeds will be planted in a large fenced compound. There PCV staff can provide oversight of operations, water and monitor the trees.  A live moringa seedbank will be established there, with several trees of each variety in their own section.
  3. A selection of seeds will be taken to the ecovillage of Sandele for planting in a fenced enclosure. This will provide additional data from on the Atlantic side of the country.

From these trials, we hope to collect species and variety-specific data on seed germination rates, tree growth rates, disease and pest resistance, palatability and value as fodder.  Analyses of the data from the planting trials can be used to inform selection of the best species and varieties for various regions and applications, and production of locally adapted trees for larger scale production plantings.


 

September 2016 – April 2017

Maya Nut Germination Tests Completed; First Small Plantings for Hawaii Trials

We are in the early stages of investigating the potential for development of Maya nuts (Brosimum alicastrum) as an agroforestry crop in Hawaii.  In September 2016, we imported about 200 seeds from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Subtropical Horticulture Research Station at Miami, Florida for germination testing.  Testing was concluded in early 2017.  While the results were disappointing the testing protocols produced about 40 apparently healthy seedlings.  We are now distributing these to volunteer growers on Hawaii Island (initially at Ninole, Discovery Harbour and South Point) and the University of Hawaii on Oahu and will be collecting growth data on the trees.  We also hope to enter into a partnership with the Maya Nut Institute for collaboration on additional research.

 

Photo of Maya nuts (Brosimum alicastrum) for planting

Maya Nuts Before Planting
Photo © 2016 by Edward Rau
Use licensed under CC BY-SA

 

Photo of a potted Maya nut tree seedling, Brosimum alicastrum, at Discovery Harbour, Hawaii

Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) Seedling 
Photo © 2017 by Edward Rau
Use licensed under CC BY-SA


Winter 2016 – 2017

Outdoor Hoodia Cultivation Experiments Terminated

Drought conditions persist in our area.  By mid-March of 2017 we have received a total only about six centimeters of rain for the season.  Even with these abnormally dry conditions almost all our hoodia plants grown in outdoor containers continued to contract severe black spot (anthracnose) disease infections, and varieties without soft rot resistance succumbed to it.

We have now planted in the ground or in outdoor containers approximately 3,000 hoodia plants since transferring our research nursery operations to Hawaii.  This inventory included several species and numerous varieties imported from our Maryland facility and many plants grown from seed produced in Hawaii.  Various cultural practices and several different fungicides were used on the plants to prevents control anthracnose infections.  Despite these interventions all the hoodia plants, including those resistant to bacterial soft rot eventually contracted anthracnose.  From this experience, we have concluded that it is not feasible to grow hoodia to maturity outdoors at our location.  All outdoor growing operations except for limited production of seedlings have been terminated.

Hoodia grown in our research greenhouse continue to thrive and several very promising cultivars have been developed.  No new anthracnose cases have been observed in greenhouse plants even though several infected plants from outdoors were housed adjacent to uninfected plants in the greenhouse.  The progression of infections on outdoor plants brought into the greenhouse slowed or stopped. We surmise that the lack of wind, rain and spider mites that transmit spores may account for the apparent lack of transmission indoors.

This winter brought an unexpected and unseasonable heavy bloom cycle, especially in our F1, F2 and F3 generation Hoodia gordonii hybrids.  Wild types of this species are typically dormant, prone to rot in moist soil and do not bloom in the winter months.  The exceptional rate of winter growth, flowering and seed production suggests that these hybrids have the traits we have been seeking for cultivation under conditions of artificial cultivation.  Below is a photo of one of these exceptional hybrids.

 

 

Hybrid cultivar of Hoodia gordonii in winter bloom

New Hybrid Cultivar of Hoodia gordonii in Winter Bloom
Photo © 2017 Edward Rau