Food-producing agroforestry landscapes for Hawaii

Agroforestry for food security and healthy environments

There is a growing movement towards the use of perennial food plants in private and public landscapes. This project took place 2011-2015, bringing together expertise from throughout Hawai'i to train professionals in food-producing agroforestry landscapes.

The project resulted in a book that is available for free download (see below). Also, five workshops took place throughout Hawai'i during the first half of 2015 and many of the presentations and some photos are available for download

Project sponsors

This project is a collaboration of Agroforestry Net and Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network with sponsorship of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

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Free publications on food-producing landscapes in Hawai'i and other Pacific islands

Agroforestry-Landscapes-cover-200pxThese publications focus on low-input, self-sufficient, and sustainable techniques for growing food in the Pacific. They cover a range of time-tested traditional agroforestry systems, modern agroforestry systems, local sources of soil fertility, pest and disease control, livestock, and getting started with planning and implementation. 

Download the publications below or purchase the book Agroforestry Landscapes for Pacific Islands at Amazon.com

Sustainable-Pacific-Systems-cover-160pxSustainable Traditional Agricultural Systems of the Pacific Islands by Harley I. Manner. Covers key patterns in traditional Pacific agroforestry systems and presents example agroforestry systems that could be adapted in modern day. Locally Available Resources Radovich-cover-160pxEnhancing Soil Function and Plant Health with Locally Available Resources by Ted Radovich, Archana Pant, Amjad Ahmad, Craig Elevitch, and Nguyen Hue. Focuses on the use of locally available resources to enhance soil function and plant health in the short and long term. The emphasis is on a description of the inputs, pros and cons of use, specific conditions in Hawai‘i and recommendations for food producers.
Sustainable Pest and Disease Control-cover-160pxPest and Disease Control Strategies for Sustainable Pacific Agroecosystems by Hector Valenzuela. Covers recommended production practices that may be used in agroforestry systems of the Pacific and tropical regions to create resilient production systems and enhance and protect the natural resources on the farm. Livestock in Agroforestry Fukumoto-cover-160pxSmall-scale Livestock Production in Agroforestry Landscapes by Glen Fukumoto. Covers integration of livestock into Pacific Island environments, including local fodder and sustainable waste management. 
Growers Guide Pacific Agroforestry Elevitch-cover-160pxGrower’s Guide to Pacific Island Agroforestry Systems: Information Resources, and Public Assistance Programs by Craig Elevitch, Garien Behling, Michael Constantinides, and James B. Friday. Describes ten of the most important agroforestry systems of the Pacific Islands and associated practices supported by technical and financial assistance programs through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and other state and federal programs. Includes a resources section (technical guides, periodicals, organizations, and species information). Getting Started Agroforestry Elevitch-cover-160pxGetting Started with Food-producing Agroforestry Landscapes in the Pacific by Craig Elevitch. Introduces Pacific agroforestry systems in general, and presents the benefits of these systems compared with monocultures and ornamental landscapes. Covers water issues, soil fertility, selecting an agroforestry system, establishment, maintenance, species selection, crops and example systems, and recommended resources. 

Food-producing-cover"Benefits of perennial edible landscapes: A primer for agricultural professionals" How can we address common obstacles to home grown food? What are the benefits of food-producing perennial landscapes? How can people grow food in their home landscapes without increasing their costs? This primer addresses these questions and offers guidance for promoting food-producing landscapes.

Policy-Brief-cover"Food-producing agroforestry landscapes for Pacific Islands: A policy brief" summarizes the main conclusions of this project for policy makers.

Workshops

Creative agroforestry for food production in home, farm, and community landscapes

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Agroforestry landscapes are models of productive, low input systems that have sustained people for centuries in Hawai'i. Farmers, homeowners, and communities are rediscovering the many benefits of agroforestry. This workshop gave participants an introduction to best practices in establishing and maintaining a working agroforestry landscape tailored to their needs. Presentations combined traditional, modern, and local knowledge to enable participants to get started on their own systems, avoiding pitfalls. The workshops took place in 2015 on Moloka'i (March 21), Kaua'i (April 25-26), Maui (June 12-13), Kona (June 20-21), and O’ahu (June 27-28). Over 240 attendees and 30 presenters participated in the five workshops. A selection of workshop photos and presentations is below.

Topics included:

  • Important Pacific island crops and agroforestry practices
  • Enhancing soil function using locally available resources
  • Pest and disease prevention strategies
  • Food forestry for home and commercial use
  • Advice and techniques for landscapers
  • Hawaiian cultural perspective on Pacific Island agroforestry 
  • Strategies for converting to agroforestry systems
  • USDA NRCS assistance programs that support agroforestry practices
  • Integrating livestock and poultry
  • Local experiences in agroforestry system implementation

Workshop presentations

Amjad Ahmad, UH CTAHR Local sources of soil fertility Molokai, Kauai, Maui, Kona
Tom Baldwin, Uluwehi Farm Bountiful agroforestry landscapes using natural methods Maui, Kona
Colleen Carroll and Talia Abrams Encouraging more food-producing landscapes Kauai
Bino Castelo, Botanical Manager, Kaua‘i Mini Golf Cultural dimensions of Pacific Island agroforests Kauai
Michael Constantinides, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agroforestry Assistance through NRCS Oahu
Craig Elevitch, Agroforestry Net Reconnecting to Pacific Island agroforestry landscapes Molokai, Kauai, Maui, Kona, Oahu
Craig Elevitch, Agroforestry Net Modern agroforestry practices for increased yields and lower risks Molokai, Kauai, Maui, Kona, Oahu
Glen Fukumoto, UH CTAHR Small-scale Livestock Production in Agroforestry Landscapes Oahu
Ranae Ganske-Cerizo, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agroforestry Assistance through USDA NRCS Maui
Uncle Sol Kahoʻohalahala Cultural roots of Hawaiian agriculture Maui
Natalie Kurashima, Department of Botany, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Traditional Hawaiian agriculture systems of Kona  Kona
Neil Logan, FARM Center From pasture to perennial food forest Kona
Matt Lynch, Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design Restoring and Regenerating Agricultural Ecosystems Oahu
Harley Manner, University of Guam (retired) Sustainable agricultural systems in the Pacific Islands Maui
Sara Moore, Livestock specialist with Farmworks Hawaii Integrating livestock with tree crops Kona
Laura Nelson, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agroforestry Assistance through USDA NRCS Kona
Seth Raabe, manager, Mahele Farm Utilizing disturbance and local resources in tropical agroforestry Maui
Ted Radovich, UH CTAHR Local sources of soil fertility Oahu
Milan Rupert, Nursery Manager Kaua‘i Nursery & Landscaping Installation and maintenance of food landscapes Kauai
Matt Stevenson, USDA NRCS Small-scale Livestock Production in Agroforestry Landscapes Kauai
Hector Valenzuela, UH CTAHR Pest and disease prevention in agroforestry Kauai, Maui, Kona, Oahu

Workshop sponsors

The "Creative agroforestry for food production in home, farm, and community landscapes" workshops were presented as a collaboration of Agroforestry Net and Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network with sponsorship of the USDA Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program in collaboration with local partners.

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Contact information

Craig Elevitch
Agroforestry Net
PO Box 428
Holualoa, Hawaii 96725 USA
E-mail: craig@agroforestry.net