Monday, February 22, 2010

February, wind, rain, seeds and growing things

February 22 –

Ran into A. as I was parking this morning. I explained to him that I had moved the gas canisters and I asked him if he could do a dump run. He had J. and G. helping him load up the rubbish into the yellow pick up truck.

I could hear etm speaking with someone in the house so I grabbed the kitchen waste and the rye seed and went below.

Picked up culls of pepper. More leaves are showing the brown tinge. This time when I examined the leaves I could see the yellow dots that mean aphids. I’ll need to bring dishwashing liquid spray the plants.

Took the new hoes to shed. I broadcast rye seed on the raised area between beds #7 and #8.

Transplanted green onion to beds #8 and #5. Showed T. how to thin onion and where to transplant. She worked on beds #3 and #4.

Moved out some of the cukes from croweded hills to bed #4.

I gave T. packet of bush beans to plant on bed #8 and #9.
T prepped the area at end of nursery, will be planted with tomatoes.
T. showed me where port a potty has crack on roof. Looks like something fell on it. In the cleaning last week several sheets of heavy black plastic came to light. I suggested that she use that temporarily.
T and J. left at noon.

I seeded two pots with green onion, three pots with swiss chard and two pots with maui onion.

Cleaned out the mauka cattle water trough and re-filled. Nearly hurt myself wading through the grass. You can’t see the ruts, which were all full of water today. I was soaked from the knees down by the time I reached the fence.

Called Hawaiian Earth Products. They have compost with manure, some with steer, some with chicken. Cost is $43 a cubic yard (standard pick up bed). They are open 7:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Saturday and it isn’t necessary to call ahead if we only want one load, just call in with a credit card number the same day. Material is at their Campbell location, past the Costco gas. 

February  21 –

Signed up to be a beta tester for AgSquared. This is a proto-type of online farm record keeping software. The description is very positive, could be exactly what I need to track from seed to market.

Researched sunn hemp. Found several articles and publications on CTAHR’s website. It looks positive, can plant year round, seed available locally (one pound for $2.75). Plant reaches a height of four feet in sixty days. Can cut the green growth when in bed or just early flowering for maximum nitrogen and lay it on the bed (as the woman in the dvd did with her rye) or can plow it in. 

February 20 –

Mixed up fruit fly bait. Sprayed as directed around peppers and loofahs.
I also sprayed in garden on tree leaves nearest the gourds, which are blooming. No need to spray around cucumbers until they bloom. I have noticed  fruit fly damage on the yellow pear tomatoes so I sprayed the bait there as well. I need to make a fruit fly trap and hang in that area.

I picked up all the damaged peppers and fed them to chickens. It is very important that any fruit fly damaged fruit is fed to chickens or bagged and placed in garbage. It can be buried in a hot compost pile, but if laid on top, the eggs will continure to mature.

The tomato cages were difficult to count in the store and difficult to sort out in the field. Finally got them separated and had eighteen, which is ok. I used the cages on the largest tomato plants. Will need more cages in another week or two.

Moved some cucumbers to beds from over crowded hills. Transplanted green onions from nursery to bed #8.

I planted bean seeds in nursery, so I left the hen and chicks in the green coop.

February 19 –

Did the supply trip to Home Depot. Purchased tomato cages, duct tape, hoes, wire, a few packets of bush bean seeds, spray bottles, etc.

February 18 –

I was walking around to check yard as I thought I would have T. and J. come up and work in yard, when I found that T. had same thought and she and J. were weed whacking around edges and the back area.  I showed T. a spot to start a compost pile.
Asked T. to move flowers to the area around tree.
Etm asked T. to move avocado to area where mango had died.
I showed T. the begonvilla and asked her to plant along makai fence. Later I walked with her and showed her the section of fence and how close to put the plants. Told T. that they could finish at house and then if time on Friday spread wood chips in garden.

Spoke with etm, she will buy the supplies from Waimanalo Feed Supply and I will go to Home Depot. Also discussed moving the cement posts and putting a garden box in between them. Stated I will obtain a notebook so that we can track produce harvested and used by house or me or T. and J.

Moved 13 posts of fukuda mesclun mix to aquaponics.
Took three cuttings of basil, one of grape tomato and one of eggplant and placed in cinder rock in the aquaponics bed.

Tree trimmer dumping a few loads of fresh chips below.

Noticed that more habenaros are falling from plant. When I examined the fruit closely I could see the puncture mark and the softening of the flesh. Cut a few open and eventually found the maggots. I think this is fruit fly damage.
Researched types of fruit fly and I am fairly certain this is caused by Malaysian fruit fly, not a common type but the only type of fruit fly that attacks peppers at sea level.

February 17 –

Spoke briefly with etm before she left for Pearl City.
Walked down the hill to see rubbish and plastic bottles blowing all through the area between the shed and the nursery. T. and J. were in the garden doing unnecessary weeding (I cannot seem to explain well enough that they don’t need to dig up every blade of grass, that bare soil is not necessarily good.)
I asked them to pick up rubbish today, the wind was only going to get stronger, looked like a storm was coming. I had asked this several times before. But it never seems to happen. I see the same food container rubbish caught in weeds by the picnic table as had been there for weeks. This time I worked with them to get them started. I tried to explain to T. why it was important to keep the rubbish picked up:  the clean farm standard and that it should not be obvious that someone is living in the shed. I also said that I realize that trash blows into the area from the road and other places, but it still needs to be picked up.

J. pointed out two full containers of gas sitting behind picnic table and said A, had left them there. When I asked why didn’t they move the containers, I got no answer. As their very young daughter had been playing in the vicinity of the gas cans the previous morning, I don’t understand why they did not move the cans. I told them it was inappropriate for the cans to be there and they need to tell me about things if they don’t want to deal with it themselves. I don’t usually go in that area, so I never saw the gas canisters. I moved the gas canisters in the to most mauka corner of the outside over-hang area. I also moved two additional full gas canisters from within the shed to the same corner. (I later explained to etm where I had put the gas canisters)

During the clean up T. got in a tear and started going pulling all kinds of stuff out and at one point I asked her what was the point of moving junk from point A to point B? I said again that the point of the exercise was to pick up trash, of which there was plenty. T. got pissed and went off at me in Tagalog, which I pointed out to her was not very productive. When she calmed down we were able to talk about it.

Transplanted cucumbers from nursery to bed #7.
Many of the hills of cukes and loofah are sprouting.

February 16 –

The cuttings I began a few days ago are still green and look healthy.
Two of the loofah growing in nursery show signs of fruit fly damage. I removed the fruits. I’ve also noticed that the habernaro peppers are dropping before they ripen. There is a small amount of yellowing on the leaves.

J. & T. brought more manure from cow pasture. Dumped on compost and a bucket on the empty nursery bed.
Gave T. sweet potato and papaya to transplant to corner area.

Explained, again, to T. the need to clean the ecofeed bins and use two of them below and return the others to the original spot. I also said they need to pick up trash.

Green onions planted in pots are sprouting.
Moved 50 pots of east-west mix to aquaponics bed.  Cinder rock is nearly pau.
Planted remaining ten plants of east-west mix in bed #7.
Drew a rough map of raised beds to better track the plantings.

Bought domain names at etmservicesinc and matamoanaranchandfarms.
I need to print out the receipt and devise a standard reimbursement form.

February 15 –

Checked aquaponics first, as I do each day. Noticed that there were three pots where the plants had died.

Watered nursery plants, 10% of the manoa lettuce has sprouted.
At least 50% of the east-west mix has sprouted.
Watered raised beds, tomatoes look good.

Filled up cow water trough, makai side.

Received response from Tin Roof Ranch. They’ve actually had a few people ask to visit their chicken operation, so they are planning a “demonstration day” and will invite those who have expressed interest. However, they are leaving soon on vacation so it will not happen until they return. Luann said she would contact me.

Started a seeding/growth/harvest chart, using an excel spreadsheet.

February  14 –

Seeded the last of the Stevia seeds in a large pot on my lanai.

Researched possible funding for vetiver. Found on the Oahu RCSD website. Funds only available for farms in the Waimanalo watershed.
Site had page on green manure. Oats captures excess nitrogen but Sunn Hemp is a cover crop with “an excellent source of nitrogen”, cites a UH study. Needs further research.
Buckwheat was also cited as an excellent green manure., excellent information.

February 13 –

Brought lemon balm and catnip plants from my house and planted between cucumber hills and the makai cow fence. Also brought a tomato plant and placed in bed #7.

T. planted one packet of green onion and one packet of bulb onions in beds #5 and #7. 

Showed T. papaya plants that needed to be moved from nursery to corner area.
Asked T. and J. to shovel dirt over garbage on hillside. Also explained about cleaning out the ecofeed bins, using one below for returnable bottles/cans and one for trash bags. Mentioned the need to pick up trash before it blows around.

Took two cuttings from lemon balm and two cuttings from catnip and placed in cinder to root in aquaponics.

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