The Transformation Begins…

September 2004: It Begins to Take Shape

Key ele­ments have been estab­lished around the place by now: we have our veg­gie gar­den feed­ing us now, hot water com­ing in from the solar pan­els, plants start­ing in the new nurs­ery, and the for­ma­tion of a mas­ter plan for the house refurb.

The veg­gie gar­den receives quite a lot of our care and atten­tion— of course!— as we are high­ly moti­vat­ed to eat our own veg­eta­bles. At this ear­ly stage, we are buy­ing our com­post and amend­ments, but as the soil con­di­tion improves and our own com­post comes avail­able, we will be more self-sus­tain­ing.

Here we have the first glim­mers of a veg­gie patch, tak­en last June.

By now, we are get­ting most of our raw foods from the gar­den, plus herbs and chilis:

Things have filled in quite nice­ly here. The corn has come and gone, let­tuce and arrugu­la is being har­vest­ed, and we have plen­ty of fra­grant herbs. Small trees at far end of the gar­den plot are our papaya, which are just bear­ing fruit here… we will be har­vest­ing fruit from them in a few months.

The green fence is to keep out the wild chick­ens and most impor­tant­ly a pea-hen that has been gob­bling up our sal­ad greens. That can’t be allowed!

Photo tak­en in September.

The week­end of September 25th brought our good friends Rich and Virginia from Kipahulu here for an ener­getic work par­ty. Several giant steps were made towards com­plet­ing our first phase— loose­ly defined as the house refurb and estab­lish­ing our agri­cul­tur­al foun­da­tion.

Lisa and Virginia pre­pare the veg­gie gar­den for the next plant­i­ng.

There were four major projects for the week­end: new plant­i­ng in the gar­den, cre­ate the nurs­ery from a rick­ety old out­build­ing, build a tem­po­rary toi­let facil­i­ty, and install the solar hot water pan­els. Rich has a pret­ty impres­sive­ly wide range of skills, and solar ener­gy is among them… we decid­ed to get our solar up and run­ning right away since he would be here to set that up.

Here, Rich is prep­ping the plumb­ing on one of the pan­els for a pres­sure test. This was nec­es­sary because while the pan­els were await­ing instal­la­tion, the front glass was bro­ken on one of them. We replaced the glass with a sheet of plex­i­glas due to the expense of get­ting the tem­pered glass to the island.

In the fore­ground is our tem­po­rary hot water array under con­struc­tion.

Rich was able to get 90% of the instal­la­tion com­plete, I fin­ished it off, replac­ing the glass in the bro­ken pan­el, com­plet­ing the sup­port struc­ture and fas­ten­ing of the pan­els. We got these pan­els for a good price from an appli­ance recy­cler on the island. It is our inten­tion to use recy­cled and sal­vaged mate­ri­als wher­ev­er pos­si­ble. This is a tem­po­rary set up until a new roof is put over the car­port— the pan­els will then go up there per­ma­nent­ly.

Rich, Lisa and Jonathan take a moment to ass­es the fram­ing of the tem­po­rary loo.

We need­ed to build a tem­po­rary toi­let facil­i­ty for use while the house bath­room is being remod­eled. This will con­tain a com­post­ing toi­let and a wash basin, and actu­al­ly has a rather nice view of the gar­den and cit­rus trees. As of this writ­ing, this lit­tle room is still under con­struc­tion.

Virginia brought a wide array of plant cut­tings from their place in Kipahulu. Here some of them are in our new­ly-cre­at­ed nurs­ery. It’s so nice to have all the agri­cul­tur­al stuff orga­nized and cen­tral­ly locat­ed— on the left is a dry stor­age area for imple­ments, sup­plies and amend­ments. The floor is cov­ered in a tough, weed proof fab­ric, over­head is shade cloth.

Virginia brought us cof­fee, yacon, edi­ble hibis­cus, lemon grass, com­frey, sun­chokes, black and white awa (kava kava), and gli­ri­cidia. What a great selec­tion of use­ful and beau­ti­ful plants!

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