This project is titled “Alternative Vegetable Crops and Production Methods for American Samoa.” American Samoa imports most of the vegetables sold here. Local vegetable production suffers because of a lack of identifying the types of vegetables and their varieties that will grow easily in our local conditions. Another need here is to evaluate production methods that will increase local vegetable production, such as vegetable grafting, use of low cost covers to reduce damage from heavy rains and winds, utilizing locally sourced organic material for soil amendment, such as coconut coir, dry litter piggery compost and fishmeal.
Through randomized complete block design trials, we will identify new crops and their varieties that are heat, disease and pest tolerant in American Samoa’s tropical conditions.
We will evaluate grafting of tomato onto eggplant rootstock and bell pepper onto chili pepper rootstock for production in bacterial wilt affected soils.
We will evaluate the effect of low cost rain covers, drip irrigation and bird netting (reduce damage from excessive rains, exclude fruit piercing moth and bird damage) on tomato yield compared to the traditional , non irrigated field production method.
Educational & Outreach Activities
2 neighboring farmers visited the farm and composting and soil amendments were explained to them.
Feb 2018. One demonstration of 16 varieties of Oriental Squash was conducted. Five varieties did not thrive in American Samoa climate and conditions. Eleven varieties showed heat and disease tolerance. One variety, Winter Squash Hybrid Taiwan Honey, from Evergreen Seeds (http://www.evergreenseeds.com/wisqhytaho.html) produced fruit.
These farmers learned of 3 new leafy greens that they could grow in American Samoa (amaranth, malabar spinach, oriental mustard greens).
Three new leafy greens were identified that grew well in American Samoa.
Project is not complete. Evaluation of other vegetable crops is still needed. Outreach is still needed.