Whether it’s with the plants, animals, WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), or maybe former ideas on what you thought you knew about Hawaii, organic gardening, or life for that matter…the philosophy here on the farm remains: “out with the old and in with the new”.
We are currently down one chicken, who tragically drowned in the water tank and a few crops from the garden that have been harvested, transplanted or as I like to say; “put out of it’s misery”. In the mean time we have gained two more dogs, more veggies in the garden that we have transplanted in, an extremely vocal rooster who randomly showed up (who could blame him with 24 red-hot single hens strutting around), a WWOOFer from San Francisco, a temporary return WWOOFer from Philadelphia along with future arrivals from Sweden!
I also decided to re-locate my living situation. No longer am I tucked in the yummy smelling trees but I now have a beautiful view of the ocean, electricity, and a bathroom close by. (I probably just sounded like a typical spoiled American, but trying to accurately hang your rump off a balcony at 4 AM every morning, only to get even more mosquito bites in places you don’t want, can be quite the morning endeavor).
I actually use a composting toilet here. These are used to reduce water usage, capture nutrients in our wastes, and to avoid putting nutrients and potential pathogens into environmentally sensitive areas. It may sound complicated and weird, but it’s really not. After you’ve done your business, you add a cup of peat moss which absorbs any liquids and eliminates the odors. “Out with the old…”, right?
As far as food production things are going really well. Since we sell starter beds, we are constantly planting new seeds. Once we plant these in organic potting soil we put the beds in the “cave”, which allows little light so that the plants can germinate. Once the soil shows signs of seeds sprouting, we move the beds out to the greenhouse to get more sunlight. We keep the beds in there long enough to keep track of the seed growth. Being in a more environmentally controlled area for the first month or so gives the plants a better survival rate and a chance to get strong. Once these plants grow stronger and bigger, we transplant them into the garden outside. This system seems to keep timing right on and produces a consistent cycle of food.
There’s always hard work to be done in Waa Waa. The property is an hour and a half south of here and was recently obtained. We are slowly restoring the house and greenhouse on the property as well as clearing the trees, grass, and weeds around the property. Everything around here seems to be therapeutic whether it’s gardening, eating healthy food, or wacking the hell out of things with a machete.
As I mentioned before, we are lucky enough to have a vehicle to use on the weekends to go on our own adventures. A week ago, John (from Canada) and I had the amazing experience of snorkeling with dolphins in Captain Cook, which is on the other side of the island. This past weekend we also camped at one of my most favorite places so far on the Island, Waipio Valley. Visiting this place is like a picture straight out of The Lord of the Rings. Any place that has mountains, waterfalls, rivers, millions of trees, edible and delicious fruits, the ocean, and wild horses is a utopia in my book. If you ever visit this island, you MUST go here and you MUST snorkel with the dolphins. There are actually 14 valleys total that line the northern tip of the Big Island and I plan on hiking them as soon as I can.
I have appreciated so much all of the wonderful and encouraging feedback from everyone! Half the fun of all of this is being able to share my experiences and gained knowledge with others. There is still MUCH more to come as I plan on sharing a guide to some of Hawaii’s most delicious exotic fruits, homemade recipes for some of the inexpensive, yummy, AND healthy (seriously) meals and deserts we have here at the farm, and a recipe for an all-natural and no-expense shampoo to use here on the Island that may just compete with a bottle of Paul Mitchell shampoo…
Until next time,
Chelsea: aka. Hawaiian Farm Girl
Find out more about WWOOFing and how you can volunteer your time at organic farms all around the world.
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