Home Again

It’s been a few weeks since my last entry.  We went to Boulder to see my daughter graduate with her Master’s Degree.  We spent about a week and half  there.  The weather was beautiful and warm for most of the trip, but the last two days we got a snow storm.  The snow was beautiful, aesthetically speaking, however practically speaking it was COLD, and we lost power for a bit.  Overall the trip was wonderful.  I’m happy to be home, back to our little homestead.  It’s clear summer is right around the corner, it is has been hot.

So what’s growing right now …

lots of tomatoes (I’m super excited about this!), white mountain apples, Anna apples (we only have about a 10 on all the trees combined), figs, asparagus, blackberries, pumpkins, papayas, lychee (mostly from my in-law’s yard!) and … vanilla!  Our vanilla plant flowered!  I’m not sure how old it is, but we never thought we’d see flowers.  The bug that pollinated vanilla orchids is no longer around, so vanilla has to be hand pollinated.  The flower opens for one day only, so you have to catch it at just the right time.  I’ve hand pollinated about 6 flowers so far.  Let me rephrase that, I’ve attempted to hand pollinate 6 flowers.  I’m not sure if any took, you have to be super gentle.  So here’s the issue, our orchid plant is growing up two royal palm trees we have, and the flowers are really high up.  AND, I’m scared of heights.  Between David and I, I watched the youtube videos of how to pollinate the flower, so the job at this point is mine.  I think I’m doing it right, but it’s a really fragile job, and you can lose the pollen so easily.  We’ll see what happens.  If we get any vanilla beans, I’ll be excited.

Here’s a recent harvest from a quick morning trip to the garden.

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You can see some of the orchid flowers just above the end of the ladder.  That’s a 20 foot ladder although it’s not all the way up.  We didn’t plan for the orchid to grow that way, it just did.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s pretty amazing.

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Author: Belle Chai

Farm girl wannabe, enjoying life on the Big Island. We have a small five acre farm along the Hamakua coast. While we have a few crops we grow to sell, we are trying to create a self sustaining lifestyle on our little piece of paradise. I set up this blog initially to help me keep track of different things we grow and how well they’re doing, but recently decided to go public with it. I enjoy reading other hobby farm sites, and thought sharing our story a little might inspire others as they have inspired me.

2 thoughts on “Home Again”

  1. I missed your posts the last couple of Monday mornings! Tomatoes seem so ho-hum compared to all your exotic flowers & fruits; what are you going to do with them?

    1. When we get a lot of tomatoes, I make salsa, spaghetti sauce, and dry them. We had a nice bunch, but not enough to do all three, so I made salsa. We’re growing peppers in the greenhouse that are actually doing really well. They usually get eaten by bugs before we can pick them. Not this time though, so I was able to put them in the salsa. I think they’re Anaheim peppers, but I’m not sure. I should’ve tagged them, but I forgot.

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