April 16, 2024

Seeds of Knowledge Planted at Community Garden Workshop and Clean-up Events

The Lāna‘i Community Garden was busy with activity last weekend as residents gathered for a workshop on best agricultural practices and a clean-up event. Both events gave residents the chance to learn about local farming and maintain the beauty of the communal garden space.

On April 5th, the garden transformed into a classroom where 30 residents gathered to enhance their gardening skills. The workshop attracted the largest attendance to date, with both current plot holders and backyard gardeners participating.

Featuring presentations by Assistant Extension Agents Rosemary Gutierrez-Coarite and Jensen Uyeda from the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in Maui County, the workshop offered valuable tips on improving soil health, such as:

  • Adding Organic Matter: Participants were advised to regularly add organic matter, such as compost or manure, to their soil to improve its structure, enhance water retention, and support a healthy community of organisms.
  • Protecting Topsoil: Speakers recommended using mulch and cover crops to help protect and enrich the topsoil, preventing erosion and suppressing weeds.
  • Soil Management Techniques: Participants were told to avoid excessive digging to prevent disturbing soil organisms and destroying soil structure. Instead, gentle handling with tools like trowels or forks was recommended, especially when the soil is moist to prevent clumping.

Attendees also received hands-on training in planting, fertilizing, and harvesting turmeric and taro. They learned the importance of using well-draining soil and applying mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds. Each participant was also given samples of black and green turmeric, taro seedlings, and a guide on the best organic fertilizers to use.

The following day, 20 residents came together for a garden clean-up, where they received free mulch, compost, and fertilizer. Lunch was also provided, and participants shared bok choy harvested from their own plots.The event was a chance for plot holders to connect and become better acquainted with their neighbors. Following the clean-up, gardeners thanked those who provided tools and resources that helped improve their plots.

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