Oahu Master Farmers To Share Experience, Food At Workshops

The Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council plans a series of farmer workshops this summer, including a trip to an aquaponics garden in Mililani.

Each of the five workshops features talk story sessions with master farmers, a tour of farm operations, presentations on related topics and resource materials. Fees and one-week advanced registration are required at the council’s website, oahurcd.org. Workshops run from 9 a.m. to noon. For details, contact Jolie Wanger at 622-9026 or email her at jolie.r.wanger@oahurcd.org.

Workshops are listed below.

* June 21 – Sustainable Agriculture with Paul and Charlie Reppun, Waianu Farm. Learn about taro cultivation, organic farming and sustainable agriculture, and be treated to a plate lunch and discussion of farm-to-table dining with owner-chef Mark Noguchi of Heeia Kea Pier General Store and Deli. Guest speakers are Ben Vinhateiro of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Hector Valenzuela of the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). Fee is $15.

* July 5 – Value Added Products with Dean Okimoto, Nalo Farms. Learn about farm diversification through value-added products, cooperative ventures, the UH Agriculture Incubator Program and farm loans. Guest speakers are Steven Chiang of CTAHR and Jason Shintanishi of Farm Services Agency. Fee is $5.

* July 19 – Aquaponics with Fred Lau, Mari’s Gardens. Learn about growing food using nutrient-rich water from fish culture to irrigate and fertilize plants. Experts Luisa Castro and Clyde Tamaru of CTAHR also will discuss food safety and water quality considerations. Fee is $5.

* Aug. 2 – AgriTourism with Kyle Matsuda, Kahuku Farms. Learn about diversifying a farm’s business through agritourism and better understanding the process of establishing such a business. Includes lunch from the farm’s cafe. Speaker is Lani Weigert of Hawaii Agritourism Association. Fee is $15.

* Aug. 16 – Direct Marketing with Ed and Jonas Otsuji, Otsuji Farm.

Learn about the process of bringing food to market through the use of community-supported agriculture programs, farmers markets and other direct marketing techniques and bring home a box of fresh veggies. Guest speakers are Lisa Asagi of Farm Bureau Farmers Markets and Jill Nordby of Holoholo General Store. Fee is $15, including veggie box.