National Science Foundation – EPSCoR’s ‘Ike Wai; and National Science Foundation ICER/ASPIRE
2017 – 2021
Jenny Engels, CO-PIs: Leah Bremer, Kim Burnett, ʻAnoʻilani Aga, and Henrietta Dulai
Sheree Watson, Christopher Wada, Nate DeMaagd, John McHugh, and Barbara Sumida
This study focuses on a researcher-farmer collaboration in the highly urbanized Pearl Harbor area of Oʻahu aimed at understanding the historical and current challenges and opportunities facing a culturally and economically spring-dependent watercress farm. Whereas many other agricultural areas in Hawai‘i have been converted to urban development, this small farm continues to produce the majority of the state’s watercress, despite some decline in yield over the years. In order to understand historical and potential future yields, we analyze factors believed by the farm to be important drivers of crop yield, including groundwater pumping, pest outbreaks, and climate changes. We combine this with a year of intensive spring sampling on the farm to evaluate water quality, which is a key driver of watercress yield. Collectively, this research demonstrates that the opportunities and challenges facing urban agricultural systems shift through time, and that recognition of the non-crop-yield benefits of these systems to urban communities may be essential to their long-term survival.
Engels, J.L., S. Watson, H. Dulai, K.M. Burnett, A. Aga, N. DeMaagd, C.A. Wada, J. McHugh, B. Sumida, and L.L. Bremer. 2020. Collaborative research to support urgan agriculture in the face of change: the case of Sumida watercress farm. PLOS ONE 15(7):e0235661. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235661
Kim, A. 2019. Sumida Farm, UH Researchers Collaborate on Water Sustainability. https://hawaii.edu/epscor/sumida-farm-uh-researchers-collaborate-on-water-sustainability/