Saturday, April 23, 2011

Getting Ready for Easter

Good Friday is always a day of contemplation and self-denial to remember Jesus' sacrifice.  Holy Saturday feels like a null space, a waiting space, but of course, I have a lot to do at the same time to get ready for a celebratory dinner tomorrow, so it is a more mental and spiritual waiting than a do-nothing waiting.

I will need to make mayonnaise today (I actually hate mayonnaise, but I wanted to make a broccoli casserole for my vegetarian daughter) and bake hot cross buns and maybe some easter egg shaped sugar cookies.  My son has his first behind-the-wheel official driving lesson today, so I have to run into Hilo and sit for two hours, because with gas at $4.55 a gallon, I am sure not going to make two 45 mile trips to take him down and pick him up!

Yesterday, I transplanted some jalapeno peppers and today, I need to do some bell peppers.  I would like to start some new seeds today, too, but not sure what I will add to my collection.  I noticed some of my tomatoes had blossom end rot, which I figured is because my husband has been watering them too much - but just in case it was a calcium deficiency, I crushed up egg shells and add a few crushed and dissolved calcium pills mixed with powdered milk and top dressed those pots.  We'll see if it works.

My husband planted the olive trees, and we had yet another eye-opening discussion on how to configure our land.  Our lots, like most in this section of the island, are long and skinny.  There are vast tracks of land and not many roads - so lots tend to be thin on the road side, and long.  We also live in a not very nice area - there is a "subdivision" down the road which is pretty wild, so we left a swathe of garbage trees between our house and the road. There is about an acre to an acre and a half up there which is pretty much just unused and a bit unusable since it was scraped clean of top soil by a bulldozer.  It would need a lot of manure to make it usable, and the fencing would need replacing even if we used it as a dry lot turn out for either the sheep or the horses.  There is a stretch of great grass that connects that part to the rest of the land, but it is right next to our driveway, and apparently, that is where the bulldozer is going when we buy one.  

I was thinking we could repair/replace that fence and maybe keep the rams up there when we needed them separate from the ewes, or we could keep the horses up there when it gets very wet in the back pasture - no top soil means hard clay, less mud.  We can't leave any small portable animals up there - like lambs and ewes, because they would get stolen, but rams and horses are less easy to move.

My husband absolutely disagreed with all my ideas, and has some big plans for digging ponds, making streams, using windmills to pump the water from the low pond back up to the high pond to make water flow for a lo'i (wet taro patch), moving the taro to a bigger ma'a (dry land taro plot) in the back pasture.  As cool as a lo'i sounds, I object to take both a taro patch out of the back pasture and taking a pond area out of the barn pasture, particularly if you are not going to give me more pasture area!  I am still wondering where I am going to fit in the 1/4 acre garden I have been requesting for awhile now.  Apparently, in the future at some point, we're going to knock down the garbage trees and extend my garden into that area, since for some reason, we need a lawn.

I am trying to be patient.  I know from experience that it will probably turn out great, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this year, once again, I will not have a big garden.  It is getting pretty late in the year to even get started.  At least, I have the greenhouse for a few things.  My usual (tiny) plot whose soil I have carefully built up with banana leaf mulch and composted manure is on a hill and - as you know - washes down in heavy rain.  His plan is to dig it out and make it level, which means I am going to lose all my built up soil at least for this year.  I still wish we'd put the garden on the flat bit on the other side of the house.... I know, I sound whiny; I am trying to stop and be grateful.  I just feel such a sense of urgency about getting a big garden in.

On that note, I had a discussion with my 16 year old who is very into computers - he said manual labor is  over and that we should have robots to do all the farming.  I told him that I thought, on the contrary, small family farms are not only the past, but will be the future of agriculture and the health of our communities.  I do lots of sitting around and thinking in my day job (figuratively - mostly I am walking around and thinking on my feet, really), but it's important for me to come home and work with my hands - and I am still thinking there, too.  I have had some of my best thoughts while shoveling manure.


RAILBIRD said...

When "negotiating" with a contrary spouse, I have had some success doing the following:
When there is a choice between two alternatives, A or B, and I like "A" the best, I suggest "B" then meekly agree to "A" when spouse recommends it!

Lisa Mi said...

Wow! I'm still trying to redo our garden. The rubber tree roots choked out the two boxes on the edge and killed most of the plants. I think we will have to raise the beds instead of using bottomless boxes.I read an interesting article in the Hawaiian Air magazine about William Aila, Sr. and his thoughts on organic farming at Ma'o Farms. Did you ever hear of using kukui leaves as a compost? We have lots here, so I may try that. There was also a good article on the Kalo Man, Jerry Konanui and his thoughts on kalo cultivation.

I'll try to call you when I am in Hilo next week for MM. I understand about the always thinking thing - I have the same affliction. ;-)

Renee's Reality said...

I totally know how you feel about being patient. We moved out here June 1, 2006. My mind was going crazy with ideas of what I wanted to do. I spent alot of time and money on things that eventually were ripped up and replaced. 2 years ago we had a pretty big argument over chickens...because I wanted them NOW and he said we weren't ready....but I was getting impatient. Last year was the first year I felt like we are on the same page and moving in the same direction. I've learned ALOT of patience :)

Grandpa said...


I see that you are making progress with the blog too - love the new look - very bookish!

Life on The Farm

NancyDe said...

Railbird: unfortunately, I was the first to speak, so A was already out there before I heard about B. We need to sit down and draw the "Big Plan".

Lis, it must be because of where we went to high school - the thinking thing, I mean. If you have a chance, I would love a call. Tree roots can be a pain! Raised beds would do well in your yard. Or you can even go with some containers on your big lanai area, maybe. Mostly everything I have right now is in big pots in the green house.

I would think kukui would do well for compost. Anything dry - I use the staghorn ferns, and banana, and even waiaiwi leaves - layer it with green waste and kitchen waste (anything Kula won't want).

Renee: definitely sounds familiar - things I do getting ripped out, check, been there.

Grandpa: yeah, I do love my books! Thanks for the Easter wishes!

Renee's Reality said...

LOL @ RAILBIRD! I know exactly that feeling :) My hubby will give me too choices and when I pick one he will say "Well I like this other one better for the reason being..." and we end up ALWAYS going with now after 7 years of being together, I'm getting it figured out to choose the other option first :)