Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rain, Rain, Rain

Moving from the Eastcoast, I really noticed that the weather patterns here in Hawaii change from year to year. I as used to weather patterns following the same general routine fom year o year back in NJ. I've been keeping rainfall and hi/lo temperature data since moving here and don't see any consistent pattern from year to year. Some years the rain comes during the winter, others in the spring. One year most of the rain came in the early fall. The only pattern I've seen so far is the tendency to cyclic drought years. Right now it's been raining fairly consistently since winter, and it's early summer now. So this year has been quite wet. But note that I'm just talking about my own little niche, specificity the homestead, not the seed farm. I'm in the odd little spot that doesn't follow the normal rules like the rest of the island. 
(Mud!  Not a usual condition here.) 

Having this much rain here is great for the trees. I would venture to guess that the ground water reserve has been thoroughly replenished by now. Since I've heard predictions of an El NiƱo forming late this year, an upcoming drought is highly likely. With all the rain now, the trees should do just fine through the drought. It's a relief knowing that all my fruit trees should do fine. Toting water to them all would be quite a chore. 

The rain has also made all my new plantings successful. I have been able to just put cuttings into the ground and pretty much walk away. Almost every sugar cane cutting has rooted. Same with the sweet potatoes, ti, taro, hibiscus, and assorted others. This year I don't have to pamper new banana trees. Every fruit tree took without extra care. 

I built two new hugelkultur type beds, lining the bottoms with logs and branches. So this rain will give the wood a good steady, slow soaking. That's excellent for hugelkultur beds. 
(Water filled holes developing in the pastures.)

But all this rain has its downsides. Soggy ground that's slippery. Water laying in spots in the pastures. Sheep tracks actually getting muddy.....a first for the homestead. Water puddles in the driveway that seldom dry up. The toads have set up permanent housekeeping! And parasite problems with the sheep and goat. I've resorted to deworming them every 20 days. 
(Filling holes in with gravel.)

Another downside.....hubby is sick of it. He's tired of the wet. 

Major downside.....very little sun. When you're homestead operates on an off grid solar electric system, that's a big deal. Luckily we expanded the system this past year, so we don't have to resort to running the generator every day. But we are having to run it more often than usual. 

But am I complaining about it raining? No! Not really because the opposite is worse. Drought. 

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