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Food-Producing Agroforestry Landscapes For Hawaii

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

Creative Agroforestry Workshop logo 360pxAgroforestry 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 offers participants an introduction to best practices in establishing and maintaining a working agroforestry landscape tailored to their needs. Presentations combine traditional, modern, and local knowledge to enable participants to get started on their own systems, avoiding pitfalls. With a little knowledge and experience, the end result can be a landscape that provides high productivity, social & cultural values, and beauty, now and for generations to come. Join us for an interactive and lively learning experience! Please register early, as space is limited. 

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Newsletter 65 - November 2014

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Aloha!

Farmers markets are a main driver of our local food economy. For many small producers, farmers markets are the perfect entry place for selling their extra produce and developing a product line for other retail or wholesale venues. Farmers markets are where consumers can connect face-to-face with producers, a connection we all know is integral to the nourishment of local food. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) joins consumers directly with growers on a subscription or membership basis, another strong driver in our local food system.  

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Can I Grow a Complete Diet?

 MG 0740Yes, you can grow and enjoy a complete diet! Choose a wide variety of crops for each nutritional group to fulfill your energy, growth, and micro-nutrient needs.

Good nutrition is essential to human health, yet the complex details of human nutrition need not be fully understood in order to grow the foods you need to create a balanced diet.

When we consume food our bodies derive energy and essential nutrients from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates provide energy through sugars and starches, proteins are necessary for growth and repair of the body, and fats provide a very concentrated source of energy. Additionally we benefit from vitamins, trace amounts of minerals, and an assortment of plant-derived molecules called antioxidants that help protect our bodies from disease and damage. The precise quantities required from each group are continually debated, however, as a general guideline the following numbers can help you to understand and plant for your nutritional need.

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Again, Another Way

IMG 4089The trajectory that we are on was not developed in a year or a hundred years or a thousand years.  It is project of long millennia of choices and intentions.

Here is one of the challenges for civilized humankind: to learn (again!) from the animals and the plants, rather than use them like dead matter or animate machines for our needs and ends.  They can be sources of inspiration for adaptive techniques and technologies; they are keepers of a kind of quiet wisdom we are only beginning to appreciate.

The cow knows how to live on cellulose, the deer and the horse, too.  They know how to live outside, in all weathers, needing only the barest essentials.  They will still be here long after our fossil-fuel-driven civilization grinds slowly to a halt.

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Rotating your crop

Hhu derkohlreift-cabbageCrop rotations can help reduce problems inherent to monocultures.

I’d like to make a bold statement that the majority of commercial farmers in Hawaii don’t practice crop rotation. By not rotating our crops, we create our own problems that can be the cause of own demise. Monoculture is the simplest form of farming because you only have to understand all aspects of one crop, so you can grow it well if you choose, but in the process, you create insurmountable problems for you, the farmer, and your crop.

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