Evaluating New Windbreaks and Cover Crops for Tropical Fruit Crops

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $12,206.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Jane Teves
Puakala Farms
Jane Teves
Puakala Farms

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: potatoes, sorghum (milo), soybeans
  • Fruits: avocados, bananas, berries (blueberries), figs, citrus, melons, peaches, pineapples, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, onions, peppers, radishes (culinary), tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals, trees


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: chemical control, cultural control, mulches - living, physical control, mulching - plastic, trap crops
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    The purpose of this project is to expose farmers to options for windbreaks and cover crops, two tools lacking, especially on Molokai where high wind conditions are a fact of life. Windbreaks studied will include Ironwood Casuarina equisetifolia, Dwarf Brazilian Banana Musa paradiaca and Panax Polyscias guilfoylei, while cover crops studied will include 10 cultivars of Perennial Peanut Arachis glabrata and A. pintoi. The project's audience will be three classes of native Hawaiian beginning farmers totaling almost 30 participants. Each will have one-acre cleared, and each will develop a production map to farm ½ acre. In order to help them understand a total system of farming, and other options, the project will include on-farm trials, including new crop testing, seed increase and variety trials, as well as production systems for two tropical crops, Dwarf Apple Banana and Hawaiian taro. Handouts will be developed highlighting the different aspects of the field day.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objective is to transfer technology to native Hawaiian beginning farmers on windbreak and cover crop applications in Hoolehua, Molokai, focusing on windbreaks Casuarina equisetifolia, Dwarf Brazilian Banana Musa paradisiaca and Panax Polyscias guilfoylei. A observation trial featuring 10 Arachis glabrata and A. pintoi accessions will expose them to this potential cover crop and green manure for tropical orchard crop systems. Other aspects of native Hawaiian family farm will be incorporated, including on-farm trials, new crop testing, seed increase, the use of fencing for deer control and production systems for Dwarf Apple Banana and Hawaiian dryland taro.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.