Nature Farming at Wheeler Elementary

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2001: $13,460.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Joe Lee
Wheeler Elementary School

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: soybeans
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), peppers, tomatoes


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, intercropping, multiple cropping, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, stubble mulching
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, focus group, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, market study
  • Natural Resources/Environment: hedgerows
  • Pest Management: biological control, prevention, row covers (for pests), mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, community services, employment opportunities, sustainability measures


    The rationale of initiating a nature garden project is to improve student learning and well being thereby improving test scores in reading and math. It also raises awareness in the community for alternative and sustainable funning to enhance their way of life. Tests results conducted by the State of Hawaii Department of Education in May 2002 indicate that Wheeler Elementary has improved in math and reading. A strong partnership with the Mokichi Okada Association (strong proponent of nature fanning) and military groups (98% of Wheeler students come from military families) continue to flourish.

    Project objectives:

    (a) to expand student learning and encourage career choices in agriculture
    (b)to promote good stewardship of the land
    (c)to enhance farmer's quality oflife
    (d)to disseminate and encourage application of nature farming

    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.