Maui Business

Experts to Present Agroforestry Workshop

June 5, 2015, 8:13 AM HST
* Updated June 5, 8:34 AM
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agroforestry flyer mel stephens slimBy Maui Now Staff

Drawing upon the long traditions of agroforestry in the Pacific, a new workshop, “Creative Agroforestry for Food Production in Home, Farm, and Community Landscapes” will be presented on June 12 and 13 at UH Maui College and local agroforesty sites.

The art of agroforestry is experiencing a renaissance in Hawai‘i due to renewed passion for eating sustainably grown local food.

The workshop brings together agroforestry expertise from around Hawai‘i to offer participants an introduction to best practices in agroforestry or enhance their skills in establishing and maintaining a custom-designed agroforestry landscape.

The workshop is recommended for landscapers, nursery growers, agricultural professionals, farmers, ranchers, homeowners, agricultural extension, community planners and community development organizers.

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slim mel stephens Food producing landscapes-cover-640pxDr. Harley Manner, a pioneer of agroforestry science in the Pacific Islands, will summarize his 40 years of experience of the sustainable agricultural systems.

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Craig Elevitch of Agroforestry Net will present Pacific Island agroforestry landscapes as models for abundant, low-input food systems.

Seth Raabe of Mahele Farm will discuss his experiences utilizing disturbance and local resources in tropical agroforestry.

Natural methods for establishing and maintaining food-producing agroforestry landscapes will be presented by Tom Baldwin.

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How risks of pests and diseases can be reduced in diverse agricultural systems will be presented by Dr. Hector Valenzuela of UH Mānoa.

Dr. Amjad Ahmad, also from UH Mʻānoa, will present recent research about how locally available materials can enhance soil function, thereby replacing imported soil inputs.

Ranae Ganske-Cerizo of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will explain federal assistance programs that can be used in association with planning and implementing agroforestry systems.

Field tours on the second day of the workshop will highlight production agroforestry on a working farm, pioneering and succession strategies, a diverse fruit orchard, and agroforestry regeneration of degraded land.

The new book, Agroforestry Landscapes for Pacific Islands, introduces agroforestry practices for food production on farms, around homes, and in communities using techniques adapted from traditional Pacific Island agriculture.

Such practices have withstood the test of time in the Pacific to provide abundant productivity without requiring large inputs imported from off-island.

Agroforestry systems are also well-known to be less susceptible to pests and diseases, while providing greater total yields that conventional single-crop plantings.

Verdant agroforestry landscapes also exemplify the beauty of the Pacific and are a source of human, cultural and environmental health.

This 320-page book authored by 11 experts from throughout Hawaiʻi guides the reader in understanding the principles of agroforestry, in using locally available resources to enhance soil function, prevent pests and diseases, integrate animals with trees, and access federal assistance for agroforestry planning and implementation. Concepts are illustrated with 440 color photos.

“Creative Agroforestry for Food Production in Home, Farm, and Community Landscapes” workshop participants will receive a copy of the book.

The workshop will also be offered in Kona on June 20 and 21 and on O‘ahu on June 27 and 28.

To register and for more information, go online.

The cost of the workshop is $75 before June 6; $100 after June 6.

The workshop is sponsored by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and organized by Sustainable Living Institute of Maui in collaboration with Hawaii Homegrown Food Network.

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