adventures on the farm

For the most part, leaving the city behind has been a blessing. No more crowded streets or drunks pissing on the grass in front of our cottage (wait …

that was me!) No more battles for parking spaces and waking up to ambulance sirens. Of course we miss a ton of things only Honolulu can offer as well. Our friends … heyyyyyyyyy guys. The food, so MANY GREAT RESTAURANTS! And of course our little cottage, with our manageable garden and the bike-ability of our former neighborhood. That self-contained convenience and accessibility that a city offers is one of a kind. Funny thing, because I never figured myself for a city girl.

You know that saying, ‘Farmin’ aint easy’… it’s true. Hug a farmer, seriously. This permaculture concept that Kahuna Valley Farm has going really gets me going. The horse, sheep, chickens, ducks all working together and providing the farm with protein, fertilizer, cuteness. It’s all about harmony, and if we can have a system here where each element complements another or benefits the ecosystem then we are making progress. You know, aspiring to be a sustainable farm is pretty difficult.  Eliminating inputs like imported feed and fertilizer are sure bets. Here at Kahuna Valley Farm we are fortunate to have Java Kai, the local coffee shop, allow us to collect their kitchen waste and coffee grinds to use for chicken, sheep and duck feed as well as to make compost. And the compost is gold. Trade secret.

As for my role here on the farm, just figuring out the routine slowly. I have responsibilities to keep the animals fed and happy, the aquaponics system circulating (I caused a fish kill last week when the pump switched off and I didn’t notice) and run the weekly farmers market. Which, believe it or not- leaves me with very little time to write, read or go surfing. Well it should be said that I am also graduating this semester, building a tipi dwelling and planning a wedding. Always loved a full plate! Couldn’t ask for a better place for the children to learn and grow, and adapt to a more self-sufficient and minimal lifestyle. The adventure continues …

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farm foraged Kauai Thanksgiving

A day in the barn kitchen with animals and children at our feet. On the return- a feast with all ingredients sourced directly from the farm, or foraged for on Kauai! 100% local. Cassava chips & guacamole, imu duck, kalo leaf & coconut stew, sweet potato mash, stream caught crawfish stew, kale salad, banana crepes, coco-Lilikoi and lemon-basil sorbet, tahitian lime pie with Mac nut crust. The many lovingly prepared dishes that guests brought that were also made from 100% locally sources ingredients. My sister, Joanna, sliced the neck off of 34 salvaged wine bottles carefully selected for their shades of green and blue. These are what we planned to toast our good fortune and bounty with Koloa rum and coconut cocktails. But with a wobbly 5 gallon jug sitting on the back of a quad, we were destined to have an assortment of Hawaiian beer and wine in our wine-bottle glasses instead. Of course, my family spent Black Friday muddy and up to their knees in coconut flakes, cassava peelings, chicken poo and other sorts of heavenly farm fortified goodness. Sure beats standing in a line well past bedtime waiting for the doors of an arbitrary marketing scheme to open.

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Raised bed planting


A raised bed planter box is a convenient way for us to grow healthy edibles without (we rent) digging up too much dirt. As we scavenge for most of the materials for the planter, we can start our seeds. Here, we’ve started- pak choi, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, squash, dill, and a mesclun mix in jiffy peat pots. Found watering them with the spray bottle was time overkill. Now the seedlings are resting in an inch of water in a shallow tupperware where they can draw water up as needed.

 

 

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