What’s going on now, and where are we heading?

Hawaii state’s climate and sustainability. Here on the farm, August started with three days in a row without rain. That hasn’t happened since mid-April. We only had three days without rain in all of July, so those dry days were very welcome. We’ve since had some more sun and a few more days without rain.

We had some young visitors from California, however, who thoroughly enjoyed the days with late afternoon, warm rain. I looked out to see one with her face to the sky, arms outstretched, appearing as if she was reveling in the miracle of rain. This post’s photo is the 14 gallons of water they collected in a spontaneous hour of creative water play, gathering it from our rain chains and downspouts. I did a little disgusting slug collection in our courtyard garden with wooden chopsticks and ended up wet, too, but not drenched like them. We said they should take all that water home with them to California.

I had recently written about fires in areas experiencing drought here on the island, while we’re having some record rainfall. At the time I wrote about one in early July, and there had been one in early June. Then July 30 another one started, which is the largest fire ever on the Big Island, covering the Hāmākua and South Kohala Districts, that scorched over 40,000 acres. It ended up burning for over a week, and evacuations were ordered July 31 and August 1, including Waikoloa Village, because of dangerous winds. In the end, I believe property/home damage was fairly minimal, especially given the amount burned. It didn’t impact us much here. We could smell smoke on a few days, and at least one day looked like the old voggy days of past and created an unusual sunset. But in general, the winds weren’t carrying the smoke this way.

Over a month ago Governor Ige passed bills that are attempting to meet some of the goals of the state’s 2050 Sustainability Plan. Three of the measures were agricultural related, e.g., mandating incremental increases in locally produced food products purchased by state agencies, a state program, and schools.

Lastly, also related to the delicate ecosystem topic, here’s an article reporting on research that bees might be even more important to coffee than previously suspected.

Because arabica coffee plants are self-pollinating, the effects of bees and other pollinating insects on crop yield has historically been undervalued. 

To end this post on the status with our coffee, we’ve already had our first harvests for the season, two small ones. The majority of the trees still have green beans. We aren’t yet looking out and seeing lots of bright red cherry.

3 thoughts on “What’s going on now, and where are we heading?

  1. Good to hear that the wildfires didn’t impact your area. With all the rainfall you should be pretty safe, I guess.

  2. Sharlene, we need to know how it works that arabica coffee plants are self-pollinating. Maybe you can explain and illustrate that in a future post.
    And, yes, please send all guests back to California bearing water.

    1. Thanks, Jon. Here’s a link to the more adult version explanation about arabica being self-pollinating and robusta being cross-pollinated: http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/coffeeplant.htm. And here’s a nice illustrated explanation about self-vs-cross pollination. https://www.khanacademy.org/science/in-in-class-10-biology/in-in-reproduction/in-in-sexual-reproduction-in-plants/v/pollination-self-cross-how-do-organisms-reproduce-biology-khan-academy. When I see the illustration of pollination, I always think of my parents pollinating their cherimoya trees. They use a tiny paintbrush to collect pollen in the afternoon, then the next morning, they place that pollen onto the pistil. Like this: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-01-27-re-10-story.html

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