Categorized | Agriculture

Natural farming pioneer offering isle workshops (May 1-2)


Farmers on Oahu and Hawaii Island have an opportunity to learn a method of natural farming developed by South Korean Master Han- Kyu Cho in a series of workshops.

The completely sustainable system uses micro-organisms found naturally in local soils to convert organic materials into minerals and nutrients plants can utilize, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers. The same method allows livestock farmers to produce animal feed on-site, raising chickens, pigs and cows without foul odors.

Cho’s method has been used with great success in more than 32 countries including Korea, according to Mike DuPonte, extension agent with the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

“Farms using natural farming no longer have to purchase expensive fertilizers and use significantly less water,” DuPonte said. “The method developed by Master Cho over four decades can reduce costs by as much as 60 percent, providing a healthy business model for small and large farms.

“Widespread natural farming may revive the agricultural industry and allow it to once again be a major contributor to our state’s economy,” DuPonte said.

The workshops are presented by Cho Global Natural Farming-USA and sponsored by the Hawaii FFA Foundation, Partners in Development Foundation-Kohala Intergenerational Center, the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture, Ulupono Initiative and Kamehameha Schools.

Times and locations are as follows:

* OAHU: Plant agriculture
9 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, April 28
Windward Community College
Hale Akoakoa 105
45-720 Keaahala Road

Registration: $60, including lunch

* BIG ISLAND: Plant agriculture
9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday May 1
Kohala Intergenerational Center
North Kohala
54-3853 Akoni Pule Hwy.

* BIG ISLAND: Livestock agriculture
8:30 a.m.-noon, Sunday May 2
Kohala Intergenerational Center
North Kohala
54-3853 Akoni Pule Hwy.

Registration: $75 for both days; lunch included Saturday.

To register, contact Leanne Okamoto at (808) 938-5398 or Erika Cedillos at (808) 884-5838. Onsite registration is available beginning at 8 a.m. on a first come, first served basis.

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