Marshallese agroforestry calendar — El Niño
- This calendar shows how wind, waves and rain change during the onset and peak of an El Niño year, and the aftereffects of drought and reduced harvests the following year.
- The total El Niño phase takes about two years. When it ends, it does not cycle back on itself — it usually goes back to neutral or La Niña conditions, so go to the “normal” calendar.
- The Marshallese year is divided into two major seasons, Rak and An̄ōnean̄. The El Niño year makes Rak early and wet, and the following year makes An̄ōnean̄ very long.
- The calendar focuses on harvest times of traditional crops, because they are perennial (not planted every year). Harvests are small (fewer crops are gathered) during and after an El Niño drought.
- Prepare for possible storms and care for crops during the first, wet year, and plan ahead for drought in the second year..
- This calendar is intended to give a general idea of the effects of El Nino on the Marshalls. However it is not exactly accurate for each atoll because they are all different. Maybe someone could create a different calendar for each atoll. The northern atolls have a strong dry season and are more affected by the El Nin̄o drought.
Note: Giant land taro (wōt) and some other crops could be harvested year round; this calendar shows them with harvest seasons during An̄ōnean̄ because during Rak, people prefer to harvest breadfruit and true taro.