Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cows, Collecting manure and planting

February 10-

A. assisted by J. moved half filled the raised beds makai of house with wood chips. Next step is to order compost with steer manure from menehue magic.

T. seeded green onions and bulb onions directly into bed #3.
Gave T. the avocado and mountain apple trees to plant. Picked out areas outside of cow pasture fence, near the mauka gate.

Spoke with Corie, left the time sheets in the office in a yellow folder, very visible.

Sowed seeds in large black pots in nursery: two pots with basil (the seed looked old), two pots with cilantro and one with Hawaiian Chili peppers.

February 11 -

The green onions in nursery are poking through the soil.
The east-west mix in vermicompost is up in half of the cubes. Looks very good.
Cut a section of bird netting to fit the square bin. Placed two trays of vermicompost cubes in the bin and then covered with netting, secured on two sides. This should allow the seeds enough sun and rain, but will not allow the chickens access.

J and T finished clearing higher area makai of beds and T. shaped hills. Planted japanese cucumber and straight eight cucumber. I need to map out the number of hills. Also planted two hills of birdhouse gourd (the last of my seed) and three hills of loofah. T. seeded cilantro and hawaiian chili peppers in bed six.

The chickens had scratched up bed #4 in the nursery. There two plants coming up, in the general vicinity of where I had planted cucumbers. Today I did a row of hawaiian chili peppers, two rows of bell pepper, a short row of bulb onion, a few sunflower seeds and a large bed of the fukunaga mescluen mix.

As I won't be out on Friday I gave T a list of tasks:
priority to mulch around the new cucumber hills and the papaya trees in back corner
clear dead or bruised fruit from current tomato bush
clear weeds from around established tomatos
clear weeds from pineapple, onions and peppers
clear last high area and shape a raised bed
on friday bring down kitchen waste for chickens and check their water.
I also asked that she take some time to secure loose rubbish and other items around the shed as the wind was picking up. And if it does not rain significantly, she will need to water new plants tomorrow.

Called Corie, she will print out new timesheets and I can pick up from her. Meanwhile, i left a piece of paper for T and J to write hours today and tomorrow.

Skies were grey and it rained intermittently throughout the morning.
I asked T and J to take the yellow truck and drive into the cow pasture to fill a container with cow manure to toss on the compost pile. I went to open the gate and get them started. The cows were in the middle of the field but when they noticed the truck those cows came running. T stopped the truck and I was pointing out places where there was a lot of manure to shovel up and suddenly J and I were surrounded by cows. T gave a little shriek and jumped back in the truck cab. It was too funny. The cows saw the truck and they expected papaya to be tossed out. When they realized we did not have papaya, they kept getting closer, like we were hiding papaya in our pockets. We couldn't even shovel up the manure, the cows were all around us and despite banging the truck and clapping hands, they did not move. J and I got back in the truck and we tried driving away from the cattle but those cows would not let us escape. So I told Tita to just turn around and we'd drive back. But the cows would not move away from the truck. We tried backing slowly but the large bull would not move. That bull wanted his papaya. That was when I spotted a box in the cab with a few chicken pecked papaya. I showed the large papaya to the bull and then tossed it a few meters away, the bull went after the papaya and at last we could back up with hitting the huge beast! T drove back to a big manure spot and J and I got out to shovel. The cows followed us back but I think they finally realized that there was no papaya in the truck because they no longer crowded us. Once T was certain the cows were not coming close, she finally got out of the truck. Next time we want to shovel manure, we'll throw out papaya first.

T. showed me where she planted the trees. One of the spots we initially chose was not diggable, she hit what looks like cement, broken up concrete a few inches below ground level. T did a good job of marking the trees off with cement block so they won't be accidently run over or mowed.

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