Sunday, June 27, 2010

Please Send Your Love

The other day one of Dan's regular produce suppliers, Lisa from One Song Farms, invited us to come and check out her farm. One Song provides organic produce to local grocers and has a small CSA. She, along with her partner Sun don't consider themselves farmers but concerned citizens! They freely share their extensive knowledge with budding gardeners via tours and a workshop the first Saturday of every month tailored to the needs of the attendees. Sun came to Kauai 20 years ago and was told organic farming was impossible here. The sugarcane and pineapple plantations having depleted the soil making farmers have to start below ground zero and recreate healthy soil. Sun has proved them wrong again and again.

Saturday morning greeted us with heavy rains that had begun late in the night; it's the beginning of hurricane season. We threw our raincoats into the jeep and hurried off for the 20 minute drive to Moloa'a. By the time we got there the sun was out and Lisa was in the garden. Walking into Lisa's garden was like walking into a safe, beautiful haven. Everything is neat; the walking paths have no weeds, the plants are meticulously mulched, no decay anywhere in the garden, there are no pesky bugs and the plants are thriving and healthy. It just makes you take a deep breath and let it out long, slow and easy. Ahhhhh.

We spend three hours there, learning about garden techniques (I guess like anything, there are a lot of different ways to get the same result), exotic plants, medicinal plants and of course edible plants. In the end we decide to go to the workshop this Saturday and I tell her I want a "food forrest". Jillian has one on front of her kitchen, about 1500 SF of edible plants growing wild like. It's not laid out like her gardens, the plants live like they would on the forrest floor, together. I can't have one that big but during this tour I had a clarifying moment. I just got mad that I had to buy produce when I could easily (ish) grown enough for Dan and I. I want to be able to go into my yard and see what's ready and cook it up for dinner, like I did in Colorado - only better.

Further north in Hanalei, we stopped at the other Papayas to give Chris, the produce manager there, some CSA flyers. I gave him some of my personal chef ones as well. As we walked through the parking lot in the rain we bumped into Jamie and his Jack Russell Pikie. Pikie was cradled in Jamie's arms after having run off. He invited us to his pre birthday party next Saturday at his house. We planned on going to his upcoming event, he is a DJ and will be mixing for his birthday at a local bar Saturday night.

Inside Papayas I meet Chris for the first time. I have heard a lot about him since Dan replaced him at the Kapa'a store. He is happy, easy, friendly and quick to laugh. While he and Dan talk shop (what kind of cooler is that, where'd you get those habaneros?...) I meet the owner of this Papayas, a slim mature lady who has really great energy. She is out going and having a great time, no matter what she does. From running Papayas to meeting new people, it is clear to me that she is having fun doing it. I see two of our friends walk in together, although they don't know each other. One is Natalie, our coconut girl. The other is Christina Southwick. She and her husband Tom have been here for 16 days. We were supposed to meet them at Hands Across The Sand, in Hanalei Bay but took to long at the farm. The event is to protest the oil spill put on by Surfrider Kauai. From New Zealand to Kauai everyone joins hands and the same time. Tom, 62 and retired from Starz, laughs as he recalls that his hands were covered in chocolate syrup because some folks doused themselves in it to represent oil. He isn't sure how many people were there, a lot he says noting that he and Christina were 66 and 67.

It's Bouchons for lunch and this slowly reveals itself to be a mistake. Sixty minutes later we are served mediocre food. Me fish tacos and Dan fish and chips. The nice waiter gives us a bowl of their clam chowder, apologizing for the delay. The chowder is the only thing worth coming back for!

We get a quick nap in before we go to look at a new place to rent. Our place is too small, too dingy. My folks are coming out in October and I'd like for them to stay with us. As it is, they couldn't even eat dinner with us. At the moment we are not sure if we can swing it. It's about $200.00 more a month than we are currently earning and that would make us financially vulnerable. Dan and I are making a renewed, concerted effort to bring in more money and in about 2 months, I believe we could afford this place and save some money. We have so many possibilities (to supplement our current jobs) that I'm afraid listing them would be tedious for the reader! I spoke with dad this morning about the details of their trip. When I told him about the place he said he wants to give us the money he would otherwise spend on hotel and car rental, making the place affordable for us. Technically, we can afford it but we don't want to dip into our savings. We want to create a financial situation where we are earning more than we are spending, what a concept huh? When he presents this generous offer, I am stunned into silence, overcome with emotion. Pride pokes us as Dan continues the search, finding a lot of places that are affordable and take pets! Hopefully soon, we can get a bigger place with a deck!!

Lovely Faith, Jillian's daughter

with a gianormous leek

Dinner; homemade whole wheat naan with sauteed scallions, thyme, mushrooms and goat cheese.

baby geko

One Song Farms

Lisa shows Dan the Chinese long beans

Spinach is very hard to grow here, especially in the summer. Lisa is trying it with a cooling screen. The soil can reach 112 degrees 2 inches below the soil during the hot summer sun, the screen reduces the temperature by about 35%. It looks like it's working and Dan is really excited, his customers are asking for it.

On the far left between the trees and bordering the garden are asparagus plants. Yippie!!!

Lisa caught talking about the Chinese long beans she holds in her hands.

Amaranth going to seed for seed saving.

Butterfly ginger smells like heaven! Similar in smell to jasmine or gardenia. I would love to have some of this by my bedroom window...someday!

Lisa and Sun don't use plastic cell trays preferring soil blocks. They are more time consuming; you mix the soil with water, the mold cuts 6 at a time, and Sun (previously in construction) makes wood trays to contain them.

They sprout and go straight into the ground. These are baby beets. List is proud of her beets, getting up to 4 pounds each while maintaining a sweet, tender characteristic.

All we can remember about these beautiful seeds is that they are poisonous, the ripe fruit is not.

This rosemary was up to my waist, garlic chives thrive in front.


Dan's favorite lettuce, Canasta.

Dan and his love of all tiny creatures.

I wish I got a shot of the tree. A huge, sprawling shade tree called an ice cream tree. Eating the fruit is similar to eating ice cream, in a less surgery way.

This is a two year old Jackfruit tree. Doesn't Dan look good! =)

The greenhouse is open on both sides allowing for air flow.

In Hawaii the Noni is reputed to have legendary healing properties.

Our possible new place. These pictures were taken with Dan's iPhone so they're not that great. The living room view shows the forrest canopy and the ocean. Imagine being able to see the sun set over the ocean every night! Tile is through out the house except for the bedroom where there is carpet.

Nani, the owner, is standing in front of the sliding door that goes to the wrap around lanai. Dining room table included.

Angels sing to me when I look at this kitchen! Tiled counter tops and solid wood cabinets provide plenty of storage space. I could finally unpack all my kitchen stuff! A large double sink with a high faucet. A microwave, and a full size fridge WITH and ice maker, oh the memories. 

The view from the lanai. The phone was not able to capture the ocean, where it's all whited out.

The roomy bathroom has two shower heads!

We would even have a parking spot under the generous carport. Send us love and prayers so we can get this place!!