Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Post on Posting

The farm is along the ocean, those sheep belong to someone else

I know when my folks call to make sure I'm still alive, I have waited too long to post. I try to make my posts interesting to read and sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 hours for a single entry. We are starting to build some momentum on this lovely island that has cradled our hearts and filled our souls with joy and I have not had time to blog. We are so happy that we followed our dream instead of the status quo, it was undoubtedly the right thing for us to do. I am amazed that our days are filling out so easily. At the moment, I am running on about 2 hours of sleep so I apologize if this post isn't as polished as usual. Tomorrow I need to spend the day doing homework and class is all day Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kauaian Fresh now has a website. On my Mac using iWeb, I did it myself. Too cool! Dan and I finished it this afternoon. The saying "when you do what you love it doesn't seem like work" is resounding in my ears! I totally didn't care that I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about my work. I woke up at 2am and had to start working on it. When Dan got up this morning he proof read it, polished it up visually and got it on the interweb. It's 4:14 here in Kauai and I still haven't gotten any sleep, nether has my Mac!

Dan and I are both in school. Initially, he wanted to join me in the Seed to Table course, but we didn't want to spend the extra money. There has been a lot of outgoing money and nothing coming in. I spent Tuesday morning in the gardens learning how to weed, feed and cultivate. Stew, a 23 year old surfer from Oregon, was the only other student. We spent our lesson with Jillian the director of the program. She moved here because she wanted to guide ocean kayaks along the Na Pali Coast. Once she got here she learned that they don't hire women so she fell back on her career of farming. After showing us how to weed, feed and cultivate, we learned where the tools were kept, how to maintain them and how to read the to do list. The farm is along the northern coast, in Kilauea. It was fantastic spending the morning in the field, the sun on my back and a pitch fork in my hand. I didn't pay the extra money for the lunch program so I ate mine at the beach. That afternoon I spent the day with Eileen, the Field Manager and Stew. Casey, another student, joined us. We learned how to reform and prepare beds for planting. First, you break up the dirt with a pitch fork making sure not to turn it over and disturbing the microbiology going on underneath. Then you "reclaim your edge" using a tool that I can't recall the name of. It's a rake on one side and flat on the other, about a foot wide. You swing the flat part into the ground up to the edge and pull towards yourself piling the dirt into a mound. These beds are about 75 feet long and 2 feet wide. Once you have reclaimed the edge on both sides, you pull out the weeds, add compost, blend it in with a pitch fork and rake it onto a smooth mound. By the end of the day I was spent!

Everyone is required to come Wednesday morning for harvest. You can spend the rest of your hours on Tuesdays or Thursdays, student's choice.  It was really neat to harvest what was going to be in my CSA box. That afternoon we had a lecture on preparing for a garden. It was then that I realized Dan needed to be in the class. Jillian was talking about irrigation and utilities. When Dan set up our garden in Colorado, he spent a lot of time on irrigation. I signed him up after class. Once I got home and told him what we learned and that I signed him up, he was really excited. It's so fun building a new life together, dreaming, planning, learning, meeting people. The folks at the farm are fantastic and I really think we'll become a part of the community in no time. Kauai is so small, everyone knows everyone here! There is even going to be a luau at the end of class that we get to put on.

Thursday morning I was so excited about class, the people I met and my future I had to take the dogs for a walk to burn some of it off. It was a mistake, by the end I could barely walk. When I am at the farm, I should squat, but I found myself bending over because it's a lot easier to prune the basil that way. I also didn't have the proper foot ware. We ran errands all day... sigh...but we did get some decent shoes!

Friday we had some fun. We went up to Hanalei Bay which is my favorite place to go. Dan spent time on his surf board while I played fetch with Baxter and Lucy.

Baxter thinks this tactic will get him to go with me. It didn't work Wednesday morning but Jillian said we could bring them Tuesday and "see how it goes"


The farm lunchroom

kitchen stove and sink

kitchen supplies and fridge

My view at lunch, if you look closely, someone was trying to body surf in the crazy waves (center in the white foam)

cleaned hands

before weeding, feeding and cultivating


the greenhouse


baby red cabbage

Casey cleaning after harvest

Casey, Stew and Tiana clean the produce

The kids pitching in, writing on the "what's in your farm box" board. Full farm boxes line the tables.

the goats and wild boar get all the throw aways on harvest day

Eileen and freshly harvested basil


all the girls got a plumeria during class from the lei making guy

the lei maker lives in the teepee

My CSA box

I roasted the beets

sauteed the greens and made a gratin

Seared Mongchong with braised baby turnips

Quinoa CSA salad

Dan's creation,  roasted potatoes, sauteed greens and onion, cilantro pesto and poached eggs, YUM!