It’s 12:30pm Monday, August 28, a beautiful day, but evolving. Most of this month, we’ve been getting a little bit of rain each day, sometimes nothing measurable, a lot of 1/16-1/4-inch days, and not even half an inch in any one August day. This is low for August. But it’s enough to keep the plants satisfied, and not so much that weeds completely take over.
When we look at the land, towards the ocean, we see a lot of yellow now. It looks like the coffee tree leaves are yellowing. But it’s actually a lot of coffee berries in the yellow stage, going from green to red. There’s a lot of fruit. Yay!
The pigs have been around nightly. They’re very busy rototilling. Before, it was just below the house. Lately it has been by the road, just above the house. They’re not ripping many plantings out, but a few. They’ve rototilled so well that there’s lots of loose, rich soil, so we just reposition/replant the toppled plants and add the soil we often have difficulty getting to.
On an ornamental, impractical note: orchids. Each of the Hawaiian islands has a nickname, and the Big Island is known as the “Orchid Isle.” Many years ago in California, I used to feed the orchids I had with the pink or the blue food, according to the growing or flowering season, and I’d rarely get blossoms. I consulted Bea who said I was probably giving them too much attention. She said to ignore them. And maybe they just needed more bright, indirect light. From that point on, I stopped feeding altogether and experimented with getting them more appropriate light. And it worked! Lesson learned: fuss less. Get the plants that can thrive, or at least live, with my care.
Here in Hawai’i I had my orchids where I really did ignore them and many blossomed. But I moved them to the courtyard about two years ago when we had a long dry spell. I can better notice them if they’re in our courtyard. I’m so happy that many, and many different varieties, have been blossoming. There were a few sad casualties of special orchid plants given to me by the kupuna man who often displays his spectacular blossoming plants at the Daifukuji altar.
Yesterday the Daifukuji Orchid Club had their first sale since pre-COVID. Doors opened at 8am. I was planning to be there at least 15 minutes early but didn’t manage it. When we arrived, parking was already pretty full. At 8:04 we got in line, and estimated there were 40-50 ahead of us. It made me so happy to visit a small club’s show and sale. You can get varieties you can’t easily find, and you get good value.
We picked up a box and collected various plants we wanted to buy. I didn’t expect really inexpensive (most were $5/piece) handmade pottery, too (plates to set a pot on, pots, etc.). We just quickly filled our box, taking pictures of the image/info on the plants we bought (many didn’t have blossoms), paid, and put them in the car. Then we went back to see the showcased orchids. Here are a few photos from the event to get a visual taste.
The club has nice t-shirts, too. I love the orchid drawing on the back so much, years ago I bought one for Bea. And then a few years later, I had forgotten about it, and bought her another one. Ha ha!!
Lastly, some updates and a few photos of some non-coffee plants. Between the two of us, we have at least one plant from each of the many Master Gardener seed germination trials we did back in February. Even one of my ho’awa seeds is still surviving. We were told the ho’awa seeds would take approximately nine months to germinate. We each planted 18. Hubby’s came up a few months before mine, and he got and still has five. I got two after six months, and now one disappeared (I think something ate it). We harvested two little pineapples grown in pots in our courtyard (pigs dig them out of the ground outside). They were tiny but delicious. The purple sweet potato (started from one store-bought potato that got ignored in the pantry and sprouted) had been doing very well. It has been a great ground cover in two spots in the courtyard. We had occasionally eaten the greens from the plant tips. And it kept away another pesty ground cover weed that tended to take over. Like I’ve mentioned before, I think of it all as a learning process.
2:15pm … now there are gray skies and light rain.