The full name of the document is “Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry: Farm and Forestry Production and Marketing Profile for Tea (Camellia sinensis)”. It’s online at agroforestry.net (or directly to the PDF).
I contributed a bit to the document, with some reviewing, an illustration of using ginger as a mulch, and some notes on economics. I’m quite happy with the result, which in 32 pages manages to describe a great deal of what someone needs to know to grow tea in Hawai’i, and process and market it. There’s also some eye-opening statistics about tea in the rest of the world, where the cost of production can be 50x less.
A lot of this information is hard to come by unless you have one of the tea textbooks (the spotty Hajra book from India, or the wildly expensive Willson book from the UK), so it’s great that much of the important knowledge is now online for free.
Meanwhile, our tea continues to grow with astonishingly well. I am baffled by the textbooks which say tea should be “pruned back once every 3–4 years to a height that is comfortable for plucking.” Our tea only takes a few months to go from flat hedges to a wild, tall, profusion of growth. If this keeps up, it will need serious pruning twice a year just to keep it harvestable. Perhaps more frequent and aggressive plucking would help keep it under control, but there there are many other things on the farm (and building the new house) which distract from harvesting. One thing is for sure: the conditions here are very, very good for tea. The soil (just compost, biochar, & mulching) and wet Hamakua weather seem to be perfect.