Busy, busy, busy

This week was crazy busy at work, the weekend couldn’t come soon enough.  I think this is the first weekend in 3 weeks we don’t have to be anywhere.  That means one thing, we have a lot of catching up to do on the farm.

David got out on the boat Monday for a solo fishing trip.  He launched out of Laupahoehoe.  It doesn’t have the best ramp, so conditions have to be pretty perfect to go out, and it was.  I helped him launch, but he got in all on his own.

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He caught hapu’upu’u (Hawaiian sea bass), opakapaka (pink snapper), and kawakawa (mackerel tuna). He dried the kawakawa, and then we had Chinese style hapu’upu’u and opakapaka.  This is my absolute favorite way to have fish.

You steam the fish in ti leaves with ginger and garlic, my husband adds onions too.  Then when it’s cooked, you pour hot steaming peanut oil over it, add a little shoyu, and it’s done.  Actually it’s perfect.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  It’s a really good way to cook white fish.  I’ve never done a tuna that way, and am not so sure how that would work.

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David finished the dry house this week.  That’s where he dried the fish and we have some coffee in there now drying as well.  Well almost finished, he needs to add some more screening on the left hand side.  He did a great job.  It’s going to serve us well.

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We had our morning coffee on the porch and then got to picking coffee early before it got too hot.  We picked out about five gallons in a little over an hour.  I processed the coffee, and am super happy to report that we had very little beans damaged by the borer beetle. We’re doing a really good job of staying on top of treatments.  It’s only 11:00 a.m. and it’s already super hot, so I took a quick break to jump in the pool, so some laundry, and blog.  This afternoon, we’ll be picking bananas and pretty much the last of the dragon fruit for drying.  We have a little fish left from Monday so we’ll be having fish for dinner … Chinese stye of course.

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Ducks and Chickens

A few months back, I posted in the blog about one of our ducks that we had to hand raise as the mom rejected it.  We ended up getting a couple of chicks from our neighbor so we wouldn’t have to raise it alone.  IMG_0884.JPG

We lost one of the chicks early, but the other one survived.  He’s a rooster, and he’s really beautiful as far as roosters go.

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This is them now.  I’m not sure if the chicken thinks it’s a duck or the duck thinks it’s a chicken.  But I guess it doesn’t really matter, because they’re buddies and are pretty inseparable.  Perhaps they could teach us all a little about diversity.

We’re winding down on mango season.  This year we had a nice size crop, we gave a few a handful, but kept most ourselves.  Our mango trees are still young, so hopefully in the next few years, we’ll be seeing a larger yield.

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The tree that this came from is small, but we got two small “seasons” out it this year.  We had a nice batch of about 10 mangoes, then about a month later it flowered again, and we had a few more.  This is from the second batch.  It’s a Rapoza mango.  Not only is it a beautiful looking mango, but one of the most delicious varieties.

The hubby is almost done with our new dry house.  It’s so hot in the house even though it’s not finished, he limits his working time to early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  I walked in it just to test the temperature, and man was it HOT.  It was already a warm day yesterday, but inside that room, I’d say it was a good 10 degrees hotter.  I’ll do a temperature test once it’s finished.  It’s going to dry that coffee (and fish, and herbs, and tomatoes ….) so fast.

We’re still experiencing draught conditions on the property.  We’d love a good rain here.  Hilo has been getting a lot of rain, but unfortunately it hasn’t made it up to the coast at all.  While we have some irrigation, we don’t it over the entire farm area, so yesterday morning, we had to hand water a lot of plants.  David scooped buckets of water from the ponds, while I had the hose watering the coffee and cacao.

IMG_1068.JPGThis is from this morning – a side view of some of the farm.  You can see the grass is brown.  Yesterday I was walking around barefoot.  The grass is crunchy and HOT, I had to run up and get my slippers.  We had a guest yesterday on the property and we were talking about our Ohia tree.  I picked a blossom to show him, and then remembered that according to Hawaiian legend if you pick a blossom it will rain that day.  There are different versions of the legend, but in both the picking of the blossom represents the separating of the lovers Ohia and Lehua, and Lehua (the blossom) cries for her love.  But alas no rain, at least not at our house.

Home is my happy place

I’ve been on Oahu for a week on business and the weekend before we were there visiting family.  It’s nice to be home.  I got up early and exercised.  This is actually quite a big deal for me because I fell of the exercise wagon awhile back, and couldn’t even see the dust of the wagon anymore – that’s how long it’s been.  I started back up on Oahu because our training started later than I normally go to work and since my commute was an elevator ride instead of a 40 mile drive, I had plenty of time to go to the gym, no excuses.  Except for the first two days of having difficulty walking because my legs were so sore, I was happy to start this routine again.

So now back at the homestead.  I took a nice stroll through the farm with my camera to check things out and just enjoy the morning air.  So some happenings:

Tangerines:

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This may not seem that exciting, but to me it is.  All along my drive to work and through Hilo town I see houses with mature tangerine trees that are just LOADED.  They have so many tangerines they don’t know what to do with them.  But alas ours at home have none or very few every year.  We have two trees.  Well this is the year, we’re going to get tangerines!  Lots of tangerines.  I’m so excited to finally have them.  Not sure what it can be attributed to, but we are definitely seeing more bees than we have in awhile so I’m sure that’s part of it.

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I stumbled across this gorgeous little bird’s nest in our soursop tree.  It was high up, so it was hard to get the shot in focus, and although I didn’t capture the whole thing, I liked the way this photo came out.  This bird did a lot of work on her little home.

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I fed the ducks, geese, geese and chickens.  For the most part the birds all get along.  I love the variety.

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I picked some black raspberries for breakfast.  We’ve got a bunch right now.  I can always get my husband to pick these with the promise of fresh scones.  This is a thorny little plant, but the berries are worth a poke now and then.

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Our red bananas finally have a bunch.  I’ve never had them before, but I believe they’re more of a cooking banana.  More on those once they’re ripe.

We have a pumpkin vine starting again, which will be nice for the holidays.  We have lots of guava, so I’ll probably be making some more jelly soon.  The new coffee plants my husband planted in our new coffee field are growing so well.  The dragon fruit season is winding down.  We still have quite a few, but not a ton for selling.  The starfruit is loaded as is the breadfruit.  I ended up bringing about 60 breadfruit into my office to give away.  I didn’t realize there were so many breadfruit lovers.  It is a versatile fruit.  In addition to the tangerines, our other citrus are doing well, and we should have a number of different types of oranges this year.

Today is just touching base and putting things away from two weeks of travel.  Tomorrow, coffee bean picking … maybe some black raspberries scones first!

 

 

Garden recap

We spent last weekend in Honolulu with family.  The minute we got home, my husband was in the garden- feeding animals, checking on plants, watering, etc.  He didn’t even take his luggage out of the car.  It’s been a very warm summer which just zaps any energy and I find it hard to do anything in the garden without wanting to take a nap 5 minutes in.  This weekend, was similar.  I had a business trip that I left for Sunday afternoon, so Saturday I spent picking coffee and doing household chores.  As you know, we’ve made the decision to do all our all coffee producing.  We’ve purchased all the major equipment, and my husband has been working on one final project – a room to dry coffee.  We currently have a large three tier dry box where we dry our coffee beans.  It works quite well, but in inclement weather there are some issues.  Recently we visited some friends who have a “dry room”.  That room was HOT.  It would dry coffee a lot quicker than our current system.  So we decided to build our own – well my husband decided to build his own.  I was called in to hold two beams in place, but the rest of the work is his.  He’s poured the cement and framed it.  It will be on a much smaller basis than our friends, but it will serve us well.  I’m curious to see what will be done when I get back.

 

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I went right back to work after last weekend was over, but my husband had the week off and went fishing with our son.  I came  home Tuesday to the feast above.  Three kinds of seared fish and two sashimi with fresh avocado.  It was kawakawa, ono (my favorite, it’s the white one), and rainbow runner.

But now I’m in Honolulu for the week.  Here’s the view:

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It’s actually a way better view than it appears, however, I’m scared of heights and was afraid I’d drop my phone over the edge if I got too close!  You can actually see the sand and people in the water, but again, I was too scared to take that picture.

 

Home away from home 

We are spending the weekend away with family on Oahu. Our son is taking care of the farm. Couldn’t help myself but had to make some guava jelly while we are here. Isn’t that what everyone does on vacation. I brought some jars with me because last time we were here I couldn’t find canning jars anywhere. We must’ve gone to four stores before someone found an old case all dusty on some back shelf somewhere. Then store clerk asked what I was going to do with the jars. She looked at me like I was from another planet when I told her I was going to make jelly!!