At the start of our rainy season, we almost received two inches in March. We had five inches of rain in February, supposedly the end of the dry season. An acquaintance in Pahoa on the east side of the island said they got 30 inches of rain in February. Last year we only had 50 inches of rain for the entire year (measured Oct 2021-Sept. 2022), and 70 inches the year prior.
The coffee on our fruit-bearing trees look pretty good. And the trees look pretty healthy despite not getting great rain in March. They have leaves. They have berries. They aren’t drooping from thirst.
UH (Uncle Harold, if you’re new to this blog) frequently tells us that he talks to his trees. For example, “Hi, little mangoes. Grow to be big mangoes.” His friends asked him if the trees talk back to him. Yes. “What do they say?” “I’m thirsty.” “Something’s biting me.”
Sunday, April 2, before 7am, we saw a big mama pig and her litter of seven piglets that we’ve been seeing lately. You realize you’ve had a break from pigs when all of a sudden they return. The photos are blurry since they were quickly taken with a phone from a distance.
On to the hard life of the red plumeria. We now have three pieces of the same red plumeria in three different locations. Maybe the pig attacks will be a good thing in the long run. Maybe many years from now we’ll eventually have three red plumeria trees.
In the photo on the left, taken today, is Take 1. It was broken by pigs in early 2021 at what’s now the base of the two branches. That broken off top branch was put in a pot, protected in the courtyard, and allowed to grow roots and was even developing flowers. Two years later it was planted outside the courtyard and Take 2 was quickly taken down by pigs. In the photo on the right, Take 2 is in the foreground, circled, a four inch stump, the bottom part of the branch, with roots in the ground. Take 2 could eventually grow to be like Take 1 now appears. Take 3 is what was broken off, has no roots, and was stuck in the ground and surrounded by the cage. This red plumeria tests the humans’ ability to maintain peace with the pigs. Like I mentioned before, this red plumeria isn’t even amazing. It just has sentimental value, and we want it to survive.
The seed pods from our mgambo tree that we planted in December 2020 have burst open, displaying their pretty red color and the grey velvety seeds. It was three feet tall in November 2021, and 7.5 feet tall one year later. We’re growing this tree for the novelty of the red seed pods and the seeds.
Lastly, our rollinia tree is doing well. We even have at least a dozen flowers. The tree is large and growing vigorously, but young, so we aren’t sure if fruit will develop or if they’ll develop to maturity. We’ve still never even tried the fruit, so planting it was a leap of faith. We’ve had cherimoya many times, and this is supposed to be similar, some say better. They are soft and very perishable. We’ve occasionally seen them for sale at various farmers markets, but some were small and brown, and others were large and cost about $30/pound. So, we still haven’t tasted them.
It has taken us two tries to get this rollinia rolling along, since the first tree got abused in the paranoia about Little Fire Ants. Hubby, unbeknownst to him, buried his reading glasses (needed to see teeny ants), which he found when he dug out the first rollinia five months later and planted the second rollinia in the same hole.
Now we’re on our way to becoming Master Gardeners! Ha ha! We have to “keep it real,” as they say. We are willing to learn, and there are so many opportunities to learn … mistakes, successes, experiments, observation, reading, studying, etc.