Friday, December 30, 2011

Little hapu`u

I am finally in my "new" house and yes, I took this photo in my living room. LOL. I bought the ultimate "green" home. It's a great cabin and very homey. Most of it is made with salvage lumber and what you see is the result of my taking off 1 3/4" canec from the walls and 3/4" canec from the ceiling. Canec is pressed cane fiber impregnated with arsenic. So, you see why this was the first things I removed. The image is of the inside of the wall. Not a pretty sight but it's solid. The ceiling is now insulated and drywalled and I'm about to build a 2X4 studded wall and plan to insulate it with some R-13. That should warm things up quite a bit. That, and my new stove. :) I brought in this little hapuu (tree fern) from outside and it caught the light in such a pretty way that I HAD to capture the moment. It feels good to be in my own home. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aquaponics Update, April 27, 2011

I'm excited that folks at our Seicho-No-Ie truth realization seminar made a short visit to the house to see my "mini farm" this weekend. We checked out my aquaponics system, little chickies, bunnies, fishies, and even worms. I think the kids enjoyed feeding all of them and collecting eggs! Chicken eggs, that is! And we picked alot of lettuce and watercress for our dinner salad. It felt really, really good to share what I grew with friends.

That evening, we boiled and colored the eggs using natural dyes ... blue with purple cabbage, green with spinach, yellow with ground tumeric, yellow with onion skins, pink with beets, and red with red onion skins. To make green, we also mixed the purple cabbage and onion skins dye and it worked really well! It made a delicate green.

And we even had a taste test. Clifford, our chef for the weekend, tasted mainland eggs and my chickie eggs side by side ... and he said there is a definite difference and that my chickie eggs tastes like what eggs used to taste like! That's the biggest compliment ever!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shut out and shut down!

Lily is looking rather confused ... "NO CHICKENS ALLOWED!"

*fingers crossed*

Saturday, April 9, 2011


*Sigh* The chickens DID ... and ate every single morsel of my kale. It was fine yesterday and bare today. One more reason to keep chickens and gardens separate. Well, their eggs better be good now that they've had an extra dose of leafy greens!

Aquaponics Update - April 7, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Powdery mildew

Eeek! powdery mildew on my potted kale!
Milk treatment of powdery mildew on kale in my aquaponics bed

Powdery mildew ... powdery mildew ... powdery mildew. It's a funny word combination, isn't it? Anyhoo, this fungus ended up on my redbor and regular kale in my aquaponics grow beds (It also infested my long beans in my garden but I'm so tired of eating long beans, I'll let them have it). I found out diluted whole milk (1 part milk to 4 parts water) is an effective treatment so I tried it ... and it is working! For a soy milk kind of gal, I had to buy a half quart of the stuff! It looks like I will need to treat again because there are spots that I missed but I am pleasantly surprised by the results and there is apparently no harm to my fish. I mean, milk?! Really? Yeah, really! :D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waste and growing my own food

I used to waste a lot of store-bought vegetables! Know what I mean? I'm sure we all have that browning head of lettuce in our fridge and are watching 3/4 of our parsley or basil bunch turning right before our eyes. Such waste!

Wanna eat fresh veggies, reduce waste, learn about the circle of life, work outdoors, be more self-sustainable, live a healthier lifestyle? Consider growing your own food! No matter what the kind of garden, as Martha Steward says, "It's a good thing." I have an aquaponics setup but I also have fruit trees (tangerines, papapya, star fruit, pomelo, etc.) and traditional garden beds and I'm able to pick only what I need, when I need it. Of course, I have to eat more seasonably, but that's part of the circle of life and takes some getting used to. Okay, I know I'm spoiled because I have to constantly fight the urge to demand what I want when I want it ... but that immediacy is just an artifact of the un-sustainable nature of our food system. I have to remind myself of that.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Compost recruits

Fanciful mushrooms have shown up in my compost bed, including a forest of little strawberry papaya plants. Anyone need seedlings?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

1000 Awesome Things Blog

Need a reminder about what is so awesome about your life? Check out the 1000 Awesome Things blog. For me? My cayenne chillies are awesome! When morning sunlight hits them at just the right angle, they glow! That makes me giggle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vapur, the anti-bottle

I found these really great BPA-free, freezable reusable bottles at Ben Franklin tonight, for $7.99 (0n sale, $9.99 regular price). They're only 0.5 L so they are easy to carry around. Yeah, it's plastic but I figure that it's a great thing to carry on my off-island jaunts because they fold flat. I've been taking my Sigg aluminum bottles with me but they can be bulky, especially when space is a serious consideration on flights. They stand on their own and are made in the US and seem pretty durable.