Sustainability

Garden of Eden, Er, ‘Ōla‘a

Like many of our friends and neighbors, we’ve begun to do a bit of vegetable gardening to lessen the strain of our ever-increasing food costs. I had attempted to do some square foot gardening a few years ago, but never really got off the ground with it. It now is more of a necessity than a luxury, I dusted off the tools and started the effort all over again.

All of the veggies started off with seeds planted and kept on our l?nai. I had a pair of 2′ x 3′ plastic tubs that I had bought for my previous efforts, and following the instructions in Mel Bartholomew’s book (and additional information on his website), my wife and I started our little plot. Both of them are elevated with a couple of hollow tile blocks.  It didn’t take long for the seedlings to be of appropriate size to transplant. We also added a few 5 gallon pots for cucumbers because of the needs of their root system. They have produced about 10 cucumbers in just under a month after planting seeds. The tomatoes (regular and cherry), bell pepper, lettuce and spinach are also doing well, though no where near as well as the cucumbers.

I’ve also been taking better care of keeping the area under some of our fruit trees (tangelo, mango and avocado) weed free to encourage their production, and they’ve been doing much better as well. We’ve added some ipu (gourd) seedlings as well which we and perhaps my Hawaiian music students can use to make some ipu.

For some reason it seems like less work now that it used to be, even thought it is done more out of necessity. We’ve added some carrots and squash to the collection of seedlings growing on the l?nai and they should be ready for transplanting soon. Watering is rarely an issue – we usually get some rain in the evenings or middle of the night. We’re anxiously awaiting our first fully home-grown salad.

OK, Scott, it’s your turn for a post.

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