First Steps (June 2004)

June, 2004

Here we are in the very begin­ning of our trans­for­ma­tion of this love­ly piece of land. Small steps. We placed putting in a veg­gie and herb gar­den at the top of our list. We’d grown used to hav­ing an abun­dance of fresh food right off the land, so we want­ed to get that going right away. It’s time and mon­ey well spent, con­sid­er­ing the price of organ­ic pro­duce, the supe­ri­or nutri­tion­al val­ue of our own pro­duce, and the ways in which our lit­tle gar­den con­nects us to the com­mu­ni­ty.

The view from the roof of the house show­ing the new veg­gie bed. Anahola Mountain is in the dis­tance.

 

We are also begin­ning the huge task of prun­ing the lychee trees, nine of them we have, which in a good year will yield hun­dreds of pounds of the deli­cious fruit. We will need to fig­ure a few things out to take advan­tage of that by next year’s har­vest.

A small-seed lychee, just laden with fruit. This will be har­vest­ed this week, and prob­a­bly sold by the side of the road. There has been a steady stream of neigh­bors ask­ing for fruit from this tree.

We are also begin­ning the huge task of prun­ing the lychee trees, nine of them we have, which in a good year will yield hun­dreds of pounds of the deli­cious fruit. We will need to fig­ure a few things out to take advan­tage of that by next year’s har­vest.

Here, Lisa pre­pares lychee for sale. These are the fat­ter, large-seed vari­ety. We did quite well with these just set­ting up by the side of the road.

We brought from Kipahulu a bunch of seeds and starts. I built this sim­ple nurs­ery to pro­tect the seedlings and cut­tings while they’re get­ting start­ed. This may be my favorite thing about grow­ing plants: once you have a plant, you can make more by prop­a­gat­ing. Some plants are hard­er than oth­ers, but it is a thrill to cut off a piece of a plant and get it grow­ing as a new plant. Equally excit­ing is sav­ing the seeds pro­duced and grow­ing those. By this process, we are con­nect­ed to the plants we grew and cared for dur­ing our stay in Kipahulu.

This is our lit­tle nursery/shadehouse. The rick­ety struc­ture it sits in front of we will make into a screen house to grow fruit that would oth­er­wise suc­cumb to the fruit-fly: pep­pers, toma­toes, sum­mer squash.

I am work­ing on a list of plants we want to get grow­ing on the land. Our goal is to have a very diverse array of food plants, culi­nary and med­i­c­i­nal herbs, oth­er use­ful plants and orna­men­tals.

Established Plants

  • Lychee
  • Vanilla
  • Eggfruit (Sapote)
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Navel Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Macadamia
  • Mango (com­mon)
  • Niu (Coconut)
  • Surinam Cherry
  • ‘ʻUlu (Breadfruit)
  • Noni
  • Liliko’i (pas­sion fruit)
  • Banana (tall apple)
  • Koai’a
  • Ti
  • Pigeon Pea
  • Cardamom
  • Strawberry Guava

New Plants

  • Lavender
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Basil (African, Cuban, Genoese)
  • Mint (spear, choco­late)
  • Kalo (Taro)
  • Papaya (waimana­lo, )
  • Culinary Ginger
  • ‘Olena (Turmeric)
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes
  • Chile (Habañero, Jalapeño)
  • Katuk (Sauropis)
  • Hemp Vitex
  • True Yam (Dioscorea)
  • Wild Yam
  • Madre de Cacao (Gliricidia)
  • Okinawan Spinach
  • Gardenia
  • Galangal (Thai gin­ger)

Yet To Be Planted

  • Lemon Grass
  • Bamboo
  • Albizzia
  • Cacao
  • Coffee
  • Black Pepper
  • Tamarind
  • Rollinia (Sapote)
  • Avocado (select vari­eties: spring, sum­mer bear­ing)
  • Tangelo
  • Neem
  • Banana (Williams, short apple, cuban red)

Cooking and prepar­ing food is a hob­by (and some­times pro­fes­sion) Lisa and I are quite seri­ous about. We will often plan fair­ly elab­o­rate meals just for the fun of it. Oftentimes we are inter­est­ed in exper­i­ment­ing with a new ingre­di­ent or new way to use a famil­iar one. When you grow your own food, you of course can’t grow every­thing you need, but it’s fun and good prac­tice to see how a com­plete and deli­cious meal can be pre­pared with what you have avail­able from the gar­den. Since we’re very inter­est­ed in how to eat well, health­ily and inex­pen­sive­ly, these infor­mal meals are exper­i­ments in devel­op­ing a per­son­al cui­sine that ful­fills these ambi­tions.

Meet Wiki, one of three cats here at Haleloa, defend­ing his place at the table set with a meal of veg­e­tar­i­an faji­tas.

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