When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you pigs, …

Things continue to chug along on the farm. Beans redden, get picked, then we wait for more to redden. Weed whack and try to stay ahead of unwanted growth. It’s not raining as much or as frequently, so that helps.

The pig saga continues. We aren’t the only ones with pig problems. Just standing in line at the grocery store we overheard a man talking about finally managing his pig problem, using an electric fence, of course. Turns out he was talking with my aunt’s nice ex-boyfriend from decades ago. Everyone knows everyone here.

We keep talking about our pig problem so you’ll have an understanding for the variety of problems on a Kona coffee farm. Dealing with wild pigs is frustrating, and I think it’s interesting to see the damage they do. And like all kvetching, maybe by putting the problem out there, it will elicit suggestions to solve the problem.

Most reactions are comments in the lemon/lemonade genre, pork flavor: “Time for a luau!” (got that one from a few people). “Kalua pig!” “Bacon!” “Carnitas” “Have you thought of making prosciutto?” “Just change the name to Bea’s Knees Coffee and Pulled Pork Sandwiches. That oughta scare them off.” “Special this month: Kailua [sic] pork with every order of medium roast beans.”

More tactical comments were … “You need a gun.” “You need a Volvo.” ????!!! Apparently one lady farmer in Northern California tried to (or successfully did) intentionally run into/over her pig problem. A friend on Maui, a self-described “fixer,” googled and sent a Big Island hunting website and said I needed someone like that. I had searched, too, but I hadn’t come across that site.

It turns out Justin Llanes lives up the road and he helps many people here with their pigs. When I described where we are, he knows exactly where we are and what the lay of the land means for pig hunting. My mom knew some of his ‘ohana from her childhood days. My cousins know many Llanes. I even met Justin’s uncle/godfather while both of us were getting into the water at Kahalu’u. I had chatted with him before about octopuses, but we exchanged names, coincidentally, the day after I had talked to Justin.

Anyway, I finally had developed two detailed pig plans with three different people (two related to each other). They’d hunt by bow and arrow and also take the animal(s). We had worked out the communication plan and strategy. Then, of course, NO PIGS. All was quiet on the farm. (Well, except for the coquis and crickets). Night after night. We hypothesized that maybe someone else had solved their pig problem involving the same pigs as our pig problem.

But, nope. They’re baaaaccckk. They came back two nights ago and last night.

A while ago my cousin’s husband showed up with a bucket full of ti plant cuttings from a variety of plants. Most had roots from being soaked in water for weeks. I had put each cutting in a pot with dirt and waited until they produced leaves so we could see what they all looked like. Finally we got to the stage of figuring out where we wanted to plant them. We placed them in their pots where they’d go in the ground to see how we liked them there and could envision them growing up. (Some are still in pots in places where there isn’t agreement). Waiting, patience, and procrastination were involved throughout this whole ti plant process. The majority were planted two weeks ago. Of COURSE, now that the pigs returned, even though there are three acres to wreak their havoc, they had to chomp, bulldoze, push over and/or drag a few of the small ti plants. Those same plants had been in pots for weeks/months, and they didn’t bother them.

The pig plans will have to be resurrected now.

Today I’ll leave you with a video warning hunters not to get hunted themselves, “Wild boar hunts the hunter.”

4 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you pigs, …

  1. We’ve recently redone our little front patio area: There are now flagstones with some nascent ground cover in the interstitial spaces. Every night the raccoons come and dig up the little plants in their search for grubs. Every morning I replace the little plants, tucking them back in their homes, and use a little brush to sweep the soil back off of the flagstones (I feel like the home plate umpire).

    As we’re travelling this week I’m not there to perform my part of this ritual, and I wonder what the raccoons think. And whether any of the plants will survive my absence.

    1. That’s what we had been doing with the pigs, too. Inspect the damage, repair, rinse, repeat. I hope your little plants survive!

    1. Leave it to Big Joe to know these things. “World-renowned Colombian singer Shakira says she was recently attacked and had her purse briefly stolen in Barcelona by two wild boars,…”

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