Veggie Variety Workshop for HAF Farmers

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hawaii Agricultural Foundation's Ag Park at Kunia tenants were treated to a 2 hour workshop on vegetable varieties and pest management at partner Monsanto's main offices in Lower Kunia on October 21. 16 HAF farmers attended the classroom and field demo presentations. HAF farmers are currently growing many vegetables that they are familiar with and eat often, but it is important to them to be able to meet the expectations in their customer base, who may be looking to buy other types of vegetables.

The workshop allowed the farmers to get hands on experience with some of the varieties they may choose to grow, and the field component gave them the chance to not only see for themselves how well certain types of vegetables perform in this area, but also gave the growers face to face time with vegetable, pest, and soil specialists who gave them advice and answered questions. Discussions centered on how to amend the soil, which crops were most challenging to grow, what pests were seen on the crops, and ways to mitigate the pest pressure without spraying. Farmers received seeds for different varieties of green onion, head cabbage, and cucumber.

The workshop and field demo was a wonderful opportunity for our Ag Park growers to learn about different vegetable varieties, how to improve their soil, and ways they can employ low-tech pest-management methods. These techniques will help them improve their marketable produce options and manage pests more efficiently, which are critical needs in the small producer community.

The Ag Park, a collaborative effort between Monsanto Hawaii, Island Palm Communities and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, is designed to benefit small local farms.