More of the usual type of updates

Kīlauea erupted June 3 for a few hours, and then it ended. We could tell something was about to happen by the increase in earthquakes (not that we felt any) for which we received alerts, and from the daily email alerts from USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). We had vog for days, but not too bad. And emissions are almost back to background levels. It came, it went.

Here are a few photos from the farm, starting from the newest, this morning (Sunday, June 9). I didn’t want to put the sweet potato slips or pieces in pots, because they need to be in the ground. But I feel like it’d be just feeding the pigs. I don’t know where we can put them in the ground, so they’re “temporarily” in pots. Once again … I’m in planting stasis.

My brain works like this … purple sweet potato, pigs, recent plant uprooted by pigs (ewa hinahina), native plants, koai’a. We received seeds for koai’a last year in our Master Gardener class. Those are the ones that we were told would germinate in nine months. Care for them like a baby. They germinated sooner than that. We planted three in the ground two weeks ago, without pig protection. Pigs can’t be everywhere all at once, can they? (I’m not sure about that …) So far, the two healthiest tree babies are still standing. One wasn’t doing well when it was planted and perished.

We finally went to the Koai’a Tree Sanctuary in Kohala. It’s surprising. It’s this patch of trees amidst a lot of pastureland. I’ll let you read more in this blog entry I found a while ago on bigislandview.com: Koai’a Tree Sanctuary — Precious Trees and Fabulous Views. The author is a professional photographer, and he spent more time on his write-up. There are also two beautiful, stately ʻōhiʻa trees in the sanctuary that are several hundred years old. Those trees made me understand why people would want to hug trees. And there were plenty of healthy, full ‘a’ali’i shrubs, which had lots of colorful flowers.

Our friend who was visiting (the reason we went) was constantly teasing Hubby and I about being Master Gardeners, as if we should be plant experts. I kept saying it means we’re interested in plants, we took a class, and we try to constantly learn more and give something back to the community. We aren’t the experts, though it gives us the chance to rub elbows with people who know much more than us.

I tried to germinate ‘a’ali’i seeds at home at the end of January, following the “recipe” in the Hawai’i native plant bible that we also use at Greenwell Garden. Not one ever germinated. We just planted some at Greenwell Garden, and two weeks later we had several trays of seedlings. So it can be done. I like having regular contact with the staff and volunteers there. You can ask, “what’s the secret?” and sometimes you get tips, and sometimes you just get a shrug. You try things out and you observe.

Since we’ve been at the koai’a sanctuary, days later when we were driving the mauka road (upper Mamalahoa Hwy) to Waimea, I noticed the dark green patch amidst all the grass, which is the sanctuary. The photo below shows a close-up of the patch, but you can see the dark green patch from much further away once you know what you’re looking at. I’m trying to imagine when the area was full of trees versus pastureland. Same with the wiliwili trees near Waikoloa Village. What would we do without these tiny forest sanctuaries?

A few updates on topics I’ve covered before … Greenwell Garden and the chickens …

And I’m impressed that the roaster I notified about the wrong island in their Kona Peaberry photo (shown here), has updated their photo.

They’re now showing the correct island. But they’re in the wrong district. They also have a copyright in the middle of their photo, so now you know who the roaster is, too. I wasn’t mentioning them by name before.

Any one know where this is? The first person I showed this to knew. No coffee grown there. Keep in mind we have super micro microclimates on this island. Only four miles away, they might receive 0.1 inch of rain overnight when we receive 1.5 inches. This photo is many more miles away, and in a different district.

2 thoughts on “More of the usual type of updates

  1. How forested was the island in the past? Has it been de-forested and then trying to re-plant in places (like in Ireland)? Super interesting one…and good on you for keeping the roaster honest 🙂

    1. I’ll have to look into the question about past forestation. I have a feeling based on things I’ve heard and read, but I have to more carefully research and answer.

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