Course on agroforestry for Hawai‘i Island residents, held on five Saturdays starting March 14

The first session will explore the concepts and practices of agroforestry that are most appropriate for farms and ranches here on Hawai‘i Island.

Zach Mermel
Zach Mermel

INSTRUCTOR:  Zach Mermel of OLA Design Group

COURSE LENGTH: 6-hour sessions, over a series of five Saturdays (30 hours total)

LOCATION: College of Agriculture Building, Room 102, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, the adjacent UH Hilo greenhouse, and various agroforestry sites in East Hawai‘i

Session 1: Overview of Agroforestry Practices for Hawaii’s Farmers (March 14th).
In this introductory session, we’ll explore the concepts and practices of agroforestry that are most appropriate for farms and ranches here on Hawai‘i Island.

Session 2: Useful Agroforestry Plants for Your Farm (March 21st).
This hands-on session will cover how to propagate a wide range of multifunctional plants, which you’ll get to take home at the end of class.

Session 3: Integrating Animals Into Your Agroforestry System (March 28th).
Join us as we explore different animal-based management strategies, including silvopasture (the integration of livestock, forage production, and forestry) and intensive rotational grazing.

Session 4: Right Plant, Right Place: Intercropping and Other Strategies (April 4th).
We’ll explore the environmental conditions preferred by different plants, and how to gain multiple yields, simultaneously and over time, from a parcel of land.

Session 5: Diversified Farm Development (April 11th).
In this engaging design session, learn how to thoroughly analyze the resources and constraints existing on your farm site. We’ll then explore different farm design solutions that take into account the unique conditions of your site, through the lens of agroforestry.

Zach Mermel bio

Zach Mermel of OLA Design Group – born and raised on Hawai‘i Island, Mermel’s work and education in ecological design have taken him to a wide variety of climates and ecosystems across the United States — from Mediterranean California to the temperate rain forests of Cascadia, to the desert Southwest and the cold temperate Northeast. Having a passion for life-long learning across many disciplines, Mermel’s undergraduate studies blended environmental science, economics, and social psychology. He also holds a masters degree in ecological land planning and design from the Conway School. Mermel’s working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), AutoCAD, and other digital design software is complemented by basic and advanced trainings in permaculture and ongoing explorations in Hawaiian biogeography.


Cost: $325 bundled rate for all 5 sessions or $75 per class session.

To register

Call the College of Continuing Education and Community Service at 974-7664 for more information or to register.