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Agroforestry Workshop

UH CTAHR News Release

What is Agroforestry? Combining agriculture and forestry is nothing new, and has been practiced for centuries by the ancients, who practiced growing plants vital to their survival in forests while also enhancing what was already there. The Hawaiian garden is one example, with trees and plants that serve our food, fiber, medicinal, cultural, and construction needs in a sustainable system that continues to feed itself, including us.

March 21 is the first day of spring, and what better way to celebrate this special day than to learn about agroforestry concepts and applications on Molokai. Speakers include Craig Elevitch, Alton Arakaki, Fred Richardson, and another off-island speaker.

This workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at UH-Maui College Molokai Farm located in the Molokai Agricultural Park. There will be guided tour of the CES Indigenous Tree Forest on the facility after the workshop. The public is invited. For more information, call the U.H. Extension Office at 567-6929.

Agroforestry is part of a larger strategy for food security not only for Hawaii, but in many parts of the world. In China, medicinal herbs are grown under utility trees, and in areas such as the Solomon Islands, many varieties of native banana are a vital part of their agroforestry system. Permaculture was deeply influenced by agroforestry systems in the Pacific.

Agroforestry systems in the Pacific include an array of high and medium growing crops such as mountain apple, breadfruit, kukui, mango, avocado, koa, kou, kamani, milo, and puakenikeni. Understory crops include banana, sugar cane, citrus, ti, awa, papaya, cassava, taro, moringa, chayote, sweet potato, olena, mamaki, and assorted vegetables and flowering plants.

More for information on agroforestry, resources can be found at agroforestry.org and traditionaltree.org.

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