HONOLULU - Gardening tips and advice from Fortunato Teho, former Maui News garden columnist, TV personality and Hawaii's foremost gardening expert for three decades, is newly available in a just-published book available from Amazon.com and by special order from other booksellers.
"Fortunato Teho's Hawaii Gardens" includes a collection of columns on planting and maintaining gardens in a variety of island living spaces.
Written by Teho's granddaughter Corinne Villa-Reise and her husband, Ted Reise, the book also tells the story of Teho's groundbreaking life and career.
“Fortunato Teho’s Hawaii Gardens” bookcover
He was the first Filipino to graduate from the University of Hawaii and, in 1948, became the first Filipino in Hawaii to become a naturalized American citizen.
His gardening columns were published in all the major newspapers and magazines in the state, according to a release. Teho also pioneered agricultural and garden broadcasting in the state of Hawaii.
Author Villa-Reise came upon the material while going through her grandfather's effects.
"As I was working on old family photos handed down to me by my mother and grandmother," "I came upon a trove of articles and memorabilia including articles my grandfather was planning to rework into a new book on sustainable gardening before he died in 1986." Corinne Villa-Riese said.
"We realized we had the makings of a companion book to 'Plants of Hawaii-How to Grow Them,' my grandfather's first book that became a backyard bible in Hawaii and sold more than 50,000 copies in his lifetime!"
Villa-Reise is one of 13 grandchildren of Teho and his wife, Susan. She now lives with her husband in Sequim, Wash., tending a backyard garden inspired by her grandfather.
While they caution that some material in the book may need updating, Villa-Reise calls Teho's thinking "visionary" in his uncompleted book.
"It was based on ideas of sustainability, simplicity and mixed use that wouldn't become popular for another 25 years," she said.
Among his tips:
* Indoor plants are best watered in the morning; don't keep soil continuously wet or plants will drown from lack of oxygen);
* 10 helpful tips to fight plant pests without using chemicals include garlic, basil and marigolds to deter insects;
* Vegetables and fruits that grow best in small urban spaces include lettuce, tomatoes and even taro.
"Fortunato Teho's Hawaii Gardens" is available from Amazon.com in paperback for $9.95; and as a Kindle e-book, for $6.95. Book resellers and institutions can order the book through their wholesalers or at CreateSpace.com.