Kohala Field System ‘Sweet Spot’

The Kohala Field System, as seen from the air. The field system stretches along a rainfall gradient that is just below the crest of the Kohala Peninsula. This gradient is the ‘sweet spot’, which receives just enough rain to allow for dryland farming of sweet potato, but not too much to leach out the nutrients in the soil needed for adequate growth. The linear ridges you can see in this photo were built of stone and earth approximately 600 years ago, and placed perpendicular to the wind in order to create a low windbreak. These breaks may also have been used for growing sugarcane and banana, which would have broken the wind even further, and sheltered the tender sweet potato plants below. The field system, and all of Kohala, was an incredibly productive garden in antiquity. Malama ‘aina.

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