Saturday, March 23, 2013

Homemade Trellises

Old storage shed frames made into trellises. (community garden location)

Trellises come in real handy in my garden. Lots of stuff can use them....beans, peas, malabar spinach, pipinola, squash, pumpkins, gourds, jicama, tomatoes, winged beans. Most of my pea varieties use short, simple fence trellises. But the gourds and pipinola need big, stout supports.

Keeping with the note of self-reliant, low impact, re-use/re-purpose lifestyle, I make my own trellises. I never buy the parts. Never. As a result, some of the trellises are rather unique, so say the least. Funky. Weird. But they work.

Guava poles + portable shed framing (community garden)
Guava poles are great for trellises. They last and don't tend to break. And landowners welcome me to remove guava. Free! Good price.

Old fencing works good. The vog here tends to rust fencing quickly, so livestock owners often need to replace it. Finding old but serviceable fencing is easy. Too rusty to hold cattle in, but fine for holding up vines.

Fishing nets. It's sad to see the amount of fishing net that washes up along the coast. Really sad, and bad. Most of it is tangled and torn beyond use, but with a few hours of searching, I can often come up with a pickup truck load of useable netting.

Portable shed poles and instant pop-up canopy frames. The framework is metal and can be reconfigured into interesting trellises. Though not as easy to come by as the other materials, I can often find some down at the dump after a windstorm. Some of our heavy tradewinds are not so kind to portable structures.

With the help of a hammer, nails, twine, and tape, I've managed to make jut about any type of trellis that I need.

Note: the photos are of trellises built at the community garden. Eventually I'll post some from my farm garden too,


  1. Aloha nui, Su!
    I just found your blog, and was instantly transported back to my dream of retirement to Maui. I failed, after five stressful years of trying to be accepted, being bled financially to near-ruin, and putting my dear wife through a hell in paradise. We are from the cursed haole race, despite my birth and adolescence in the Caribbean, where I felt totally happy with life on island time and island customs. The breaking point came with our parents' failing health, which made us through in the beach towel. It has been less than a year since we left, so I still miss the rainbows, the tradewinds, and the sun. I don't miss the racism, which broke my heart, as I had studied the dead language, culture, history and customs of Old Hawaii, only to find it was of no value. Growing veggies and fruit was so easy, and I gave away so much papaya, tomatoes, beans, kale, and herbs (too many to list!), but got back only rudeness and contempt. Why stay?
    I applaud you and your husband for having the fortitude to literally put down roots and thrive! Your triumph will continue, as you are now kama`aina no matter what some of the younger locals might opine. I sense that you have found ways to win friends there, and that ensures your success. Please keep up with your postings, as I suspect others on the Big Island and neighboring islands do read your blog, new as it is. Your experiences are fun to read about, including your veterinary/livestock talents.
    One small bit of advice, if I may proffer it: do get another pup, particularly if you can find a border collie, to learn from your beloved girl. I am in the process of getting a pup to learn from our Golden Retriever, who likely saved us from harm several times in Maui. He's like a son to us, and we want him to have a playmate for his time with us here on our central coastal Oregon ranch (also like paradise, just with a bit more seasonal weather).
    Mahalo for your posts!

  2. Aloha, Barry! thanks for your words.

    As much as I enjoy being here and doing what we are doing, I agree that dealing with the locals and the racism is depressing. I had to come to the nderstandng that there will always be people here that hate me just because I was not born here. Too bad..,for them! I'm actually a pretty nice person. Their loss.

  3. Do you suffer actual hate? or is it just a feeling? I never felt ostracized on Oahu but Oahu is big city. Here we have suffered some, let's call it, not exactly open arms, coming to our caretaker job here. After all we took away the job from a local person. The local person who drinks too much, has a record and can't pass a background check. But we're just as resented anyway. After 3 years we're still newcomers. But nobody is outwardly hostile. Some are friendly.

  4. Some racial prejudice exists in Hawaii, but it normally isn't much of a problem.