Agricultural productivity of Kratky’s non-circulating hydroponics method in cropping specialty vegetables for limited resource grower in Manu’a.

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $17,000.00
Projected End Date: 03/01/2021
Host Institution Award ID: G226-19-W7501
Grant Recipient: Mauna Lata Creative Farm
Region: Western
State: American Samoa
Principal Investigator:
Toni Leano
Mauna Lata Creative Farm


  • Vegetables: cabbages, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces)


  • Crop Production: continuous cropping, food product quality/safety, greenhouses, nurseries, nutrient management, season extension, shade cloth, water management, water storage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance, workshop, youth education, outreach
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture, feasibility study, market study, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: rain catchments, water management
  • Pest Management: cultivation, cultural control, prevention, sanitation, weather monitoring
  • Production Systems: hydroponics, organic agriculture, permaculture
  • Soil Management: composting, nutrient mineralization
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, community development, community planning, employment opportunities, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, public participation, quality of life, sustainability measures, urban/rural integration

    Proposal summary:

    Agricultural productivity of Kratky’s non-circulating hyrdoponics method in cropping specialty vegetables for limited resource grower in Manu’a.

    This project aims to research and quantify the key benefits of Kratky’s non-circulating hydroponics system for a limited resource grower in Manu’a; promote healthy foods and lifestyle on a remote island; and develop sustainable agriculture for a rural community.

    The project will take place on a 4.5-acre farm on the island of Ta’u-Manu’a, one of the five main islands including two coral atolls that make up the territory of American Samoa. The opportunity to implement Kratky’s non-circulating method will pilot a new and modern method of farming on the island.

    Research will be based on production of pok choi and lettuce varieties in greenhouse conditioning, quality of produce, and quantity.  Comparisons to current farming methods will provide data that will evaluate and develop agricultural growth.

    The Manu’a islands have a high percentage of its population being of Native Samoan ancestry and continue to preserve their rural lifestyle. The quality of life and food security of the people are currently dependent on an undsteady import of foods from the main island Tutuila, which is also the territory’s port of entry. 

    Heavy rainfall expose plants to dense forest environment and pests, causing plant damage, disease, and competition to fast growing weeds.  Poor farming techniques, and limited resources on island are factors to significant losses, reduced production, and a stand-still of agricultural growth. 

    Education and outreach will include two field days so that participants are able to demonstrate a pre and post harvest community outreach, and sharing the research results via social media outlets. Field trips will be hosted for the local schools to share new farm methods and a means and sustainability.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    List of Objectives:

    1. Research how to maximize quality, production, and pest management of pok choi & lettuce, using Kratky’s Non-Circulating hydroponics System.
    2. To quantify economics of vegetable production, including the following parameters: cost of seed; cost of establishment; nutrient contributions; monitor for pest & disease; management costs; produce yield and quality.
    3. To encourage sustainable and modern farming methods amongst rural farmers and the community in the region and beyond.

    We will accomplish these objectives with the help of technical assistant and local agricultural professionals.  Training and visits to local hydroponic farms on the main island of Tutuila are anticipated.  Observation of agricultural practices and apprentice opportunities will prepare farmer in organizing and managing up coming project.

    This project will provide valuable experiences to the farmer, technical staff, visitors and limited resource growers in Manu’a, through the sharing of information at farm demonstrations, workshops, and dissemination of research findings.

    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.