‘Ohi‘a Forest Farm integrates the diverse native flora existing on the site with other crop trees in the understory, mainly coffee plants.
Participants arrive at ‘Ohi‘a Forest Farm at the farm entrance, a road lined with a wide range of tropical fruit trees.
Trisha and Denver begin with an introduction to the farm in their front garden.
Trisha describes the thought behind preserving the native plants, which was carried out by hundreds of hours of painstaking hand labor. She also described the benefits of coffee cultivation in the understory.
Participant handout. (download pdf)
Entering the footpath entrance to forest from home driveway.
An area recently cleared of exotic species. All the clearing was carried out by hand so as to protect the existing native species. In some areas the Christmas berry had grown into a tangled mass of branches 10 m (33 ft) deep. After hand removal, the brush was either burned or composted under large tarps.
An area planted with coffee. The coffee trees were planted in open areas left after clearing the invasive species.
Denver discusses groundcover trials that have been successful. Some groundcovers have worked very well, and others failed. Weledia is an example of a groundcover that became rampant and created problems.
Coffee beans maturing on tree. Yields are lower than open-grown coffee due to the high shade levels, but the yields are thought to be more consistent from year to year.
In addition to preserving native Hawaiian species and providing a commercial crop of coffee, the farm is a very pleasant place for nature hikes.