To provide information to the public about home gardening using
science-based research and to offer continuous educational
opportunities for University of Hawaiʻi trained Master Gardeners
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Projects
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners Greenhouse and Demonstration Garden and Orchard
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are continuing to develop our
Demonstration Garden and Demonstration Orchards. We are beginning
preparations for an open house for area home gardeners in Spring 2018.
Open house planning is being led by Kathy F.
Led by Master Gardener Ed, the team is continues to plant the
Demonstration Garden to showcase plants grown from University of Hawaiʻi
(UH) seeds. Future plans include developing labels for plants grown in
the garden and trees grown in the orchard.
Greenhouse activities include planting the UH seeds for the
Demonstration Garden and propagating vanilla orchid plants. An
automatic solar-powered watering system has been installed. Led by MG
Bob S., MG and MG Trainee volunteers, along with MG Coordinator Ty
McDonald, replaced cloudy sections of the greenhouse roof to optimize
sunlight for seedlings.
Plans are in place to involve the 2018 MG Trainees in the
Demonstration Garden & Orchard and with the 2018 Master Gardener
Open House. Plans are being developed for teams of 2018 MG Trainees to
create additional theme-based demonstration garden plots.
Our class devoted to Master Gardeners teaching the Trainees about our
Surinam Cherry Orchard, Demonstration Garden and Orchard was a big hit
with the 2017 MG Training Program group, so we plan to continue that
with our 2018 class.
Collaboration with Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners attended the workshop training
presented by BIISC and Plant Pono and are participating in local nursery
surveys. The purpose of the surveys is to recognize exemplary
nurseries who voluntarily act to protect their nursery and their
community from the threat of invasive species. We are utilizing a
notebook with illustrations and information about highly invasive plants
on the Big Island for teaching during our outreaches and Helpline. We
are also reaching out to the public about highly invasive plants through
our Facebook page
Surinam Cherry Research Project
Data analysis of our collected data identified best and worst
performers in the Surinam Cherry Orchard. Flowering and fruiting
patterns of the various trees were also identified. Meanwhile, we
continue our orchard maintenance and fruit collection for this research
project. We utilized the Surinam Cherry orchard during our 2018 Master
Gardener Volunteer Training Program for our specialized pruning
Vanilla Orchid Project
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are growing vanilla orchids in our
greenhouse. The Vanilla Orchid Team pollinate the orchids as they bloom,
fertilize the plants, harvest and process the vanilla beans, and divide
the plants as necessary. We sell some of the vanilla orchid plants at
our outreach events.
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Field Trips
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners regularly participate in tours of areas
of interest to home gardeners. On our most recent field trip, we toured
La'i'Opua Preserve in Kailua-Kona. There we had an incredible learning
experience seeing native Hawaiian plants in their natural setting with
native plant expert Jill Wagner. Some of our experiences are chronicled
on our Facebook page
Interested in Becoming a Master Gardener?
Each person enrolling in the Master Gardener Program commits to
completing 39 hours of instruction plus 9 field trip hours, an
open-book Midterm and Final Exam, plus 40 hours of volunteer service
within 12 months of completing the Master Gardener instruction. To
continue being Certified as a Master Gardener, on-going service of 30
hours of volunteer time is required every year.
Classes are held at The Kona Cooperative Extension Service
office in Kainaliu, with field trips and workshops in the area. The
application period for the 2018 Program is now closed. The next Program
will be held January – April 2019.
In addition to being available in person, by phone and
via email, Master Gardeners are
available to home gardeners at various community outreach events. We not
only give free home gardening advice at these outreaches, we have
available for sale UH seeds, fruit fly traps, lures & bait, and
Master Gardener grown plants. Stop by and see us at the following