The Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will present a one-day workshop on regenerating Hawai‘i’s agricultural lands with breadfruit agroforestry offered on two consecutive days from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 and again on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the NTBG Harrison Chandler Education Center in Kalāheo.
“Breadfruit trees have always been grown together with other crops in the Pacific Islands, until very recently,” said Breadfruit Institute director Dr. Diane Ragone. “We are now focused on teaching prospective and current growers not only about the great value of breadfruit for human health, but also about the benefits of integrating breadfruit with other crops for better overall environmental health.”
The workshop “Breadfruit Agroforestry: Regenerating abundant, resilient, and profitable landscapes” is part of a major effort by the Breadfruit Institute to promote cultivation of breadfruit that can regenerate degraded agricultural lands while supporting local growers and businesses. Breadfruit is increasingly recognized as a part of a healthy local diet, replacing imported starches such as potato and grains. Growers, processors, sellers, chefs/restaurateurs, consumers, educators, policymakers, and others interested in regenerating breadfruit are encouraged to attend.
“We’re at a crossroads in agriculture where we are addressing several challenges at the same time: growing more food locally with less dependency on outside inputs in ways that are adapted to increasing weather extremes,” says Craig Elevitch, director of Agroforestry Net. “Combining traditional Pacific and modern agroforestry techniques and a rich crop selection makes breadfruit-based agroforestry an attractive approach for innovative growers who are ready for the challenges and benefits of a diverse crop portfolio.”
Workshop topics include Regenerative Organic Agroforestry, breadfruit varieties, companion crops for agroforestry, crop spacing and management, breadfruit tree care, nutritional benefits of breadfruit, products and commercial markets, and economic planning. Additionally, workshop participants will have the opportunity to visit the NTBG’s breadfruit agroforestry demonstration site at McBryde Garden.
Workshop presenters include Dr. Diane Ragone and Noel Dickinson (Breadfruit Institute), Craig Elevitch (Agroforestry Net), Heidi Bornhorst (Pruning for Productivity), Paul Massey (Regenerations International Botanical Garden), and Dr. Carmen Nochera (Grand Valley State University).
The workshop is co-sponsored by Patagonia Provisions® and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and presented by the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden, and Agroforestry Net.
The two back-to-back workshop days on Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10 offer the same content, giving working participants two options for attendance.
The registration fee is $35 per person and includes workshop materials, refreshments, and lunch. Advance registration is required, and space is limited. Visit breadfruit.info for more information and a link for registration.