Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cows out again

February 1

Arrived at farm a bit later then usual to learn that Tl had left for the mainland and would be gone a week. Kl had arrived and was working on fence. Cows had got out again on Sunday. I began by assessing the section of fence where the cows had pushed through. Kl, T. and J. had begun clearing grass from fence. I asked them to totally clear the area, take out the old wire and re-place the poles and re-string wire, (only 20 - 25 feet) if they could string it tight. Kl. said he could do it. I placed emphasis on the sentence "no tools or excess wire are to be left out here".  I left the three of them working on the fence.

I spent much of the day moving lettuce from the seedling tray to the aquaponics table.

The three had strung four strings of wire and placed four poles, closer then necessary, but that's ok. Wire was tight and poles seemed solidly planted. Kl. said he would leave early, I told him that as Tl. was on mainland, there would be no more fence work until he returned. He would be called when there was work.

Pulled weeds around established tomatoes, T. assisted. Used sections of old chicken wire to support vines.

Still rainy and wet.

February 2-

Arrived at farm just as the rain began again. Each day I check the chickens, giving them food and water if needed. Since the rains began, checking the flooding in the garden is the next task. The water level has not risen significantly, the water just spreads throughout the grassy areas. Two tomatoes are partially submerged and have tried to shore up the bed in those areas. Sunday the cows had walked through a couple of the planted beds and eaten a significant amount of the established tomatoes. Oh, well, could have been worse. The beans are up and looking strong.  The cucumbers are turning brown.

Found T. in back corner, she had just finished planting additional papaya plants to replace those eaten by cows. Worked with T. and J. to clear an area on higher ground, nearer the old pig pen. Created seven hills and transplanted cucumbers from the nursery. These are a mix of long green cucumbers and the lemon cucumbers. Did this in a driving rain. T. reminded me a few times that it was raining. I showed her two areas that I want to clear in the next few days, to prepare for additional cucumber and tomato plants. T. and J. signed out, rain showed no signs of letting up.

I took the largest tomato seedlings and transferred them to the aquaponics bed.
Then home for hot tea, I was wet through.

February 3-

Amazingly it was not raining this morning. While the ground around the beds is still saturated, it is clear that the water has dissipated slightly. The cucumbers on bed four are dead, the effect of flooding. Bed one looks very good, some lettuce will be ready to pick in seven to ten days.

Marked edge of compost pile, kualoa side of the water tap, with upright sticks. There is a large dip there, so the vegetation can fill up the hole.

Cleared around the established tomatoes and the new cucumber hills. Pushed in large sticks to mark area around cucumber hills. Cucumbers look very healthy. Seeded bulb onion and Hawaiian Chili peppers in nursery beds three and four.

Ran the aquaponic system to circulate water. Plants look healthy. T. and J. not working today, family issue. Spoke with M. about vetiver. She will come by Monday at 8:00 am to look at the stream banks, make a proposal.

Additional things to do:
Add manure to compost pile.
Mongoose proof large chicken house.
Re-shape raised beds affected by flooding.
Hose stuck in ground by main water tap.
Lots of weeding.

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