Baby steps to diversify the farm, and a story

Life is going well so far this year with the coffee trees, so there isn’t a whole lot to report at this point. Weeding and managing weeds is where the most effort is going at the moment. It goes with the (rainy) season. You focus on one type of weed, regret that you weren’t more proactive, shake your head at the huge seed clusters and hope you’ve ripped them out in time. Wonder if you can still manage it purely manually without resorting to spraying, and persistently yank things out. Then you go to a different spot and wonder where all that other weed growth came from in just a couple of weeks, and how it managed to multiply so quickly. I mentally put a positive spin on it, “they’re sequestering carbon” and I rip them out and pile them on the ever-changing (growing and shrinking/decomposing) compost pile. This is located, regrettably (for aesthetics), yet practically, fairly close to the house entrance.

On the Master Gardener front … I discovered today that the third of four koai’a native tree seed germination attempts sprouted. Hurray! Two of the seeds were scarified, clipped with nail clippers; and two were just planted as is. One of my scarified seeds emerged in seven days. The second one to emerge was un-scarified at 1.5 months. Today’s is also unscarified and showed up at three months. I had given up on the last two but just left them alone in the tray, just getting natural rain and no other attention. Home Depot occasionally has native plants and trees for sale. Just last week I saw koai’a and a few other native trees for sale.

Our Criollo cacao seeds from a small-ish red pod that were planted a week ago are showing signs of emergence. We were recently at the Paleaku Peace Garden again, and I snapped a few photos of a different variety of cacao. The pod can grow right on the trunk and other major branches, not from stems, so I thought it might be interesting for you to see.

Here are a few interesting articles related to the agroforestry topic of my last post. Forecast Coffee is selling coffee grown in an agroforestry environment (not from Hawai’i, though). This other article talks about rain, coffee, and agroforestry, “To Make It Rain, Plant More Coffee Trees.”

Closing this post, I want to share that UH can now be labeled a nonagenarian. Congratulations, UH!! Nonagenarian is such a seldomly encountered word, when UH used it, we weren’t sure if that was the progression from septuagenarian and octogenarian, or if he was making it up. As in “non age” genarian.

UH loves mangos. I think again of the New York Times article, “‘Mango Man’ Is the Fruit’s Foremost Poet, Philosopher, Fan and Scientist.” An excerpt:

“We come, we eat mangoes, and we leave the world,” Mr. Khan said. “But as long as the world is there, this fruit will be there.”

Hubby used artificial intelligence tool Google Bard to come up with a special mango story on the occasion of UH’s milestone birthday. It’s pretty amusing, so I share it here:

“Uncle Harold, commonly known as UH, sat on a branch of the mango tree, looking out over the lush green countryside. He had been living in this village for many years, and he loved the peace and quiet of the place. The mango tree was his favorite spot in the village. He would often come here to sit and think, or to just enjoy the view.

Today, UH was enjoying the sight of the ripe mangoes hanging from the branches of the tree. He had been waiting for this moment for weeks, and he was finally able to pick some of the fruit. He carefully picked a mango and took a bite. The fruit was sweet and juicy, and UH savored the taste.

After he had finished eating the mango, UH sat back and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath of the fresh air and smiled. He was content with his life in this small village. He had everything he needed, and he was surrounded by people who loved him.

UH opened his eyes and looked at the mango tree again. He thought about all the years he had spent sitting under this tree, watching the seasons change. He had seen many things in his lifetime, but this tree had always been there for him. It was a symbol of his home, his family, and his community.

UH reached out and touched one of the mangoes. He smiled as he thought about all the good times he had shared with this tree. He knew that he would always cherish the memories of sitting under this tree, enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside.”

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