Don’t waste what is valuable

We have had a very dry January. I know California has been a different story. I feel for the state, with all that devastation wreaked by nine atmospheric rivers within three weeks. You want precipitation at manageable amounts in appropriate timing. Even in our dry season, we should get some rain. Ideally we’d get a soaker every once in a while.

We got a few sprinkles a couple of days just before the one day with a thunderstorm directly over us. We only received 3/8-inch of rain, though, which was something, but less than hoped for. This post’s feature photo was taken on that day. Many of the tree’s leaves had been hanging down due to lack of water, and they had been starting to turn yellow.

We’ve been waiting for rain and forecasts for more rain so that we can stump. Stumping is tough on the trees. We don’t want to stump when they’re already stressed from lack of water. And we don’t want to stump if they won’t soon receive water. With dry farming you’re at the mercy of the weather. This business isn’t profitable enough, or rather, it isn’t yet breaking even, to justify the costs of irrigating. As I mentioned in the last post, anytime after the winter solstice, i.e., as the days begin to lengthen, would be a good time to stump and give the trees more time to recover from the treatment and grow. Hopefully, conditions will be good for stumping in February.

On another note, I’ve noticed that the pocket garden in Kailua-Kona that I wrote about in July 2021 has been going the wrong direction for a while. Pocket gardens utilize open spaces of dirt that might otherwise remain bare. Now it seems like the pocket garden has been destroyed or maybe vandalized. I don’t know the story. It is 1-1/2 years from the time I took the last photo, lush and green, in this 3-photo gallery. In the first two photos, taken recently, the tall, light brown trunks are papaya trees. You can see how much shorter they were in the July 2021 photo. Some of the now tall papaya trees are still standing, with fruit, but other papayas have been knocked down and trunks cut into smaller pieces. The dirt looks dry and there’s no taro, turmeric, ti plants, or citrus. Anyone reading this know what happened?

I will close on a more positive note, inspired by UH. [Side note: I introduced my uncle as my uncle Harold to a friend yesterday, and he corrected me and said, “I’m UH.”] I dropped off some bananas and took a quick photo of just one of his pineapple stands. If he eats a pineapple, he does not let the crown go to waste.

The Japanese have a word for the sense of regret they feel when something valuable is wasted: mottainai (もったいない). It can be translated as “don’t waste anything worthy” or “what a waste,” and has come to represent the island nation’s environmental awareness.

Rooted in the Buddhist philosophy of frugality and being mindful of our actions, mottainai came to prominence in the post-war days of scarcity and is now handed down from grandparents to grandchildren.

Excerpted from the World Economic forum

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