Sunday, September 29, 2019

New Roof

Finally...finally, we are starting the roof project. The current roof is only 15 years old, but due to the erupting volcano, it is significantly damaged in spots. We've patched it here and there, and could go on patching it for years, but we figure that right now will be our last opportunity to afford a new roof. If we wait another 5-10 years, we'll be too old to do the labor, thus making a new roof cost 2-3 times as much. No, now is the time. 

Back in July we measured, configured, calculated, and gave it our best guess, coming up with a materials list. Biting the bucket, we ordered. $8000. Ouch! That hurt. Thankfully it will our last roof. That's the only thing we could think of to make the bite feel better. 

Last week the materials arrived. It looked like an awfully small pile for that much money. Ouch again. 

First small section complete before the rain started. Yes, we've changed the color to dark green. 

Yesterday we started. We choose to start with the back lanai roof, which actually had morphed into the hallway. This was the worst section of roof with spots eaten away by the vog and acid rain. When we (David and I teamed up on this project, though David did most the hard work) removed the roof screws, several were so damaged that they twisted off and had to be removed by hand with a visegrip. Tedious work. Inspecting the house underneath the roof, all looked sound. Thankfully no repairs needed. 

Because of possible rain, we took the roof off panel by panel, replacing it as we went. Thus the need for two people. The worker (David) and the go-fer (me). And yes, it began to rain. Of course. So the day was cut short. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Greenhouse #1 Update

The cucumber/zucchini greenhouse is spent. This one is Greenhouse #1. Time to tear out the old plants, rejuvenate the soil, and plant again. I sowed the seeds for those plants on June 6th in the mini-greenhouses. They grew there as seedlings until they were transplanted to the large greenhouse on July 1st. On July 16th I harvested my first baby zucchini. The first cucumber was picked on July 29th. By August 25th the plants were starting to fail, so I removed the poor looking ones, keeping the healthiest of the group. Last week I finally called it quits. The plants looked terrible. They were over mature, brittle, had lost most of their leaves, and were no longer flowering. I kept them in the greenhouse just long enough to harvest the last of their fruits. 

Tired old plants ready to be pulled out. 

There were a total of 9 cucumber plants and 7 zucchini. From these I harvested 102 cucumbers and 41 zucchini. I find this to totally amazing because prior to this experiment I had produced only a few cucumbers and zero zucchini. All previous attempts had succumbed to pests and disease. 

Cleaning up the greenhouse, I pulled the plants, pulled or cut off all weeds, and found two humongous overly mature cucumbers hiding down along the bottom of the greenhouse covering. So they brought the cuke total to 104, although these two giants went to feed the chickens instead of us.

12" slicer cuke, and 6" pickler. 

I'm right now in the process of adding soil amendments, which I will lightly till in before replanting. A five gallon bucket of fresh sheep manure per garden bed (each bed is 50 square feet). A 3 inch deep layer of homemade compost. A good sprinkling of dolomite lime, because my soil is deficient in available calcium. 

Cleaned up and ready for soil amendments. Crusty, the black farm dog, is helping. 

The soil in this greenhouse is in the process of being improved and built up. The cukes and squash were the first crops from this soil. So I was impressed with the yield. Of the cukes, the Saber variety was by far the most productive. The other varieties suffered from the soil not being up to par. Of the zucchini, Desert far out did Golden Glory and Black Beauty. Again, I suspect the soil fertility is to blame.  I plan to retry all the various cucumber varieties again, and I'll grow Desert and Golden Glory again. But in place of Black Beauty, I plan to try Partenon zucchini instead. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Diary Entry

I haven't made a daily diary entry in awhile. I like to post a diary occasionally just to let those interested in a homestead or small farm life know what day to day might be like. I composed this Monday evening. 

Early dawn wakes me up. The start of another day. After completing the usual morning routine, what does the day hold now? Rain. Yuk. Rain, which turned out to last all day. 

..... Move yesterday's laundry water down to the greenhouses. Charge it with compost tea, then water all three greenhouses, even the empty one. The empty one is ready to prepare for replanting. I don't want the soil in it to dry out between crops, so I water it along with the other greenhouses. 
..... While I'm in that area, I harvest two pallet boxes of potatoes -- Yukon Gem and Caribe. After removing the spuds, I cart fresh compost to the boxes and mix it in. It took 6 wheelbarrow loads to tup up the boxes. Lots of mixing, lots of effort. I should have waited for a dry day so that I could have used the rototiller, but I was eager to replant these boxes. Once ready to replant, I sow each with bean seeds. After all, how many more days will it be raining? One never knows, especially when there is a weather system spanning the entire island chain. I don't want to wait. 
..... Still in the area, I harvest lima beans, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. It's always rewarding to harvest something. 
..... I still have time to work on harvesting bamboo poles before lunch break. I don't know what name this bamboo has, but the poles are 1 inch in diameter, solid cored, and tough as heck. A lopers won't do it. So I bring out the battery operated sawsall. Yes, it's still raining, but it's slowed down to a misty drizzle. So I can use the sawsall as long as I protect it and don't lay it in the rain. Zip. Zip. Zip. Hack down about 40 poles. Putting the sawsall back into the truck, I grab the hand pruners. I don't have enough time to clean up all the poles, but I get about half done. 
... Lunch break. Heat up a pot of homemade soup that I made last night, and trek down to town to share lunch with hubby. After lunch, spend the next hour taking care of business in town, plus pick up slop buckets full of waste food from the local restaurants. With the addition of cooked rice, this will be the chickens' dinner tonight plus their breakfast tomorrow. 
..... Back at the farm, I put the slop & rice onto the outdoor cook stove. I'll come back in about a half hour to turn it off. Next, I finish up cleaning the bamboo poles. The thick poles get moved to the pole storage spot next to the greenhouses. The thinner poles, which get used for plant stakes and markers, get piled over by the garden beds. All the trimmings get cut up into 1 foot long lengths, then go into the hugelpit that I'm filling alongside the driveway. 
..... Interrupting my "fun" with the bamboo, I check on the chicken's dinner slop. All four pots off the stove and into hayboxes to complete their cooking. By dinner time they should be cool enough to feed, though still warm. The hen's have gotten use to eating warm meals. 
..... The hugelpit is due for a layer of manure. So, armed with old feed bags, I head back to the back pastures to gather up donkey manure. It takes an hour to gather what I need. After dragging the bags out of the pasture, I drive them down to the pit. It doesn't take long to fling the manure about. Job done. The 3 pits are ready for the next layer of weeds and trimmings. But that will be another day...actually days
..... With still a bit of time left, I head over to pond to harvest the excess pond plants. Loading them into buckets, I drive them over to compost bins, adding layers to the bins I'm working on filling. I'm totally soaked by now from the rain and pond water, and I'm running low on energy. Time to slow down and think about calling it a day. 
..... Before heading back to the house, I pick up the fallen macnuts (a 5 gallon bucketful) and lilikoi (23). 
..... Back at the house, the first thing I do is dish out the chicken feed for the girls. Next are the kenneled dogs -- clean up the pen and add fresh litter; fresh water; fresh food. Give each dog a brushing and give them fresh blankets. No walks today due to the continuing rain. Yup, it's still raining. 
..... Time to clean up. Shower. Dry clothes. Next .....
..... Process the morning's harvest. Macnuts get washed and set on a tray under the house to dry. The lilikoi are washed, then juiced. The juice goes into the frig. The peppers are sliced and popped into the freezer. The tomatoes will be for tonight's dinner, with the extras going into the freezer for future soups. The limas will wait to be shelled later tonight. I go outside to harvest some green onions for dinner. 
.... Feed the cats. Check the solar batteries. Feed ourselves. Shell those limas. Look back on the day and give myself a pat on the back for jobs well done. Line up a few tasks I'd like to do tomorrow -- tasks that could be done despite the rain. Oh crap, I just remember that I have a truck appointment at Nissan tomorrow, over in Hilo. Well, that shoots the day for any farm work. But on an upside, I get to pick up the new riding mower. Yes, I'm breaking down and getting a riding mower again. I need more grass clippings than I can mow with the regular lawnmower. I'm not giving up the push mower. It's a great form of cheap exercise. No need for a membership at the gym! I need a goodly volume of grass clippings, which a riding mower will deliver in a hurry. I used one before, so I know that it doesn't take long to get a whole truckload of clippings quite fast. And now that I am getting older, I just might make the riding mower a permanent piece of farm equipment this time around. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rat Damage

Rats are a constant "neighbor" I have to live with. Being in the tropics plus living next to a macadamia nut farm, it's totally impossible to completely avoid rats on my farm. 

The main problems with rats are...
... Crop damage. They will chew on macadamia nuts, gourds, pumpkins, pipinola, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Probably there are other crops, but I notice the damage in these fairly regularly. 
... Electrical wiring damage. I don't know why they are attracted to electric wiring, but I've come out to find wires chewed completely in half by rats. 
... Urine & feces contamination. These furry guys constantly pee and poop. This is a serious danger since I live in a region noted for leptospirosis and rat lung parasites. 

A rat ate a bit, then moved on. 

It's amazing how much rats can eat in one night. Was this one rat, or did it have company? 

It's easy to determine if rats are the culprits,. You can see the double side-by-side grooves created by their front teeth. 

Ridding the area of rats is difficult. These rats live mainly up off the ground, making setting effective traps challenging. Plus rats are smart. Once they have seen a dead rat squashed in a snap trap, they often avoid snap traps from that point onward. No bait will entice them to risk a snap trap themselves. The electric zapper traps work far better, with the rats not learning the avoid them quite so rapidly. But you can't set them out in the open where it will rain on them at night. A havahart type trap will work for the first few rats, but they figure itout and avoid it. The trashcan/water/seesaw traps work ok for the first couple rats, then they avoid them because they can see and hear the distressed rat. So out foxing rats can be difficult. 

I didn't mention poison. I don't use poison for a couple reasons...
... We have an endangered hawk here that could be killed if it ate a poisoned rat. 
... I have farm cats and dogs who could get into rat poison even if inside one of those supposed pet safe contraptions. I've seen my dogs chew open steel cans, so a plastic box wouldn't deter them any.
... My own cats and dogs could be poisoned by eating a poisoned rat. 
... Poison never goes away, at least not for years and years. I don't wish to add toxins to the environment. I know that this philosophy is just like spitting into the ocean -- it won't make any difference in the scope of the world because of the massive pollution the rest of the world pumps out. But at least I know that I didn't contribute rat poison to the insanity of the current world destruction. 

Our cats give us some control. We often find a dead rat a day someplace around the house. So they are pretty successful in intercepting rats trying to get into the house. 

By the way, the dogs are ineffective. Our rats are roof rats. They don't like being on the ground. Like squirrels, they prefer trees and high a roof. Our dogs don't have access to tree tops and roof heights. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a given here in Hawaii. The air carries a lot of moisture. Plus a lot of various fungus and mold spores. So rusts and various mold diseases regularly cycle through. Some years are worse than others. And I actually saw one year where there were no fungal diseases, but it was our worst drought year too since we moved here. That's no longer the situation. Things are back to "normal" and we see bouts of various fungal diseases routinely. 

I've tried battling powdery mildew in the past, usually with zero luck. I've learned a few things since then. 

1- When possible, grow varieties that have some resistance to powdery mildew. 
2- You can't cure powdery mildew once it's there. 
3- Start treating early to prevent powdery mildew. 

I still haven't settled upon my preferred line of attack. I tried the milk trick, but it failed. But then, I didn't start early enough.  I tried the urine trick and also failed. But again, powdery mildew had already infected the plants. Eventually the light bulb went on and I realized that I need to prevent powdery mildew, not try to cure it. 

I plan to try experimenting with various treatment methods, but for now I have resorted to sulfur spray when I first saw a few early dots of mildew on the greenhouse plants. Spraying once a week has kept the powdery mildew in check for most of the least well enough for them to produce their fruits (cucumbers, squash, and now tomatoes). I plan to continue with the sulfur for now, but later this year I'll purposely plant susceptible plants out in the main garden just so I can conduct an experiment. 

What to use? I've seen suggestions for...
...diluted milk
...diluted urine
...compost tea
...neem oil 
...baking soda (I added this after "P" emailed me)
...various commercial chemical fungicides 
Ideally I'd like to come up with a spray that this farm can produce for itself, as opposed to buying.

What poor victim will I use in this experiment? I'm thinking of summer squash. I've seen them succumb before the poor plant even gets its first female flower. Most open pollinated cucumbers are almost as bad. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Growing My Own Biomass

Today I purposely sought out biomass (also known on this farm as weeds, trimmings, and other organic trash) to finish filling one of the compost bins. Finding biomass is fairly easy with our 20+ acres. But I know of some farms where that wouldn't be so simple. And I thought to myself, "I'm glad I didn't bulldoze this land clear of vegetation like I've seen so many other people do." 

I purposely leave brush and other plants so that they will grow back. Yes, I could just remove the brush and be done with it. But then, I'd be removing a valuable resource - biomass. Here's an example. 

Dozens of small sweet guava trees line the border between my neighbor and me. They grow rather rapidly, growing through the fence. If allowed to continue over the years, this would ruin the fence. So the trees must go, right? Well, that could be one solution. But the trees also provide a visual block, giving both of us some privacy. Plus they produce fruit that can be harvested. So rather than removing the trees, I opt to use them as an additional resource - a source of biomass.

Overgrown guava covering the fence. 

Once a year at fruiting time I trim the trees. I'll harvest all the greenery that encroaches on the fence. Some of the developing fruits are sacrificed, but these trees produce plenty, more than enough for me and my neighbor. By trimming at fruiting time, I can also prune away undesirable branches and open up the bushes so that we can harvest the fruits. 

Today I trimmed the trees and ended up with 9 trashcanfuls of trimmings. I had enough to top off the compost bin I was working on, plus extra to use in a garden bed I'm working on up by the house. And the beauty of this..... I'll be able to do it again next year. I don't have to do anything for 364 days a year to get this biomass. Nature does it for me. 

The overgrowth pruned back off the fence. 

I have large sections of ferns, gingers, and guinea grass growing which I regularly harvest for biomass. Some is chopped up for mulch, some for compost making. My neighbor has offered to remove these plants for me, but no thank you. They have a purpose, multiple purposes in fact. Besides harvesting for biomass, they help prevent soil erosion, help to build soil and increase fertility, provide some feed for the livestock, provide visual greenery which I find to be far more appealing than bare soil, and in the case of the ginger, have wonderfully scented flowers. 

Growing much of my own biomass benefits this farm, plus I don't have to drive soneplace else to go get it. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Greenhouse Update

I noticed a few dots of powdery mildew starting on the tomato plants in the greenhouse. Time to clean them up and do something about it. So I removed all affected leaves, thinned out the foliage on the bottom of the plants, removed a lot of spindly sucker branches, and removed some of the excess foliage jammed in the center of the plants. On the way I harvested a number of tomatoes. Plus I picked the sweet peppers that were ready for eating. Most of them are the mini peppers which appear to be earlier producing than the regular blocky types.

Lots of little peppers, 4 different varieties. Plus the two last cucumbers from this planting. 

What to try next on the powdery mildew? I've tried milk with little success. And various urine concoctions with limited success. I was going to experiment with compost teas, but I'm not prepared. So I went to the Ace Hardware store and bought some sulfur spray. With the sun not's actually raining, yet was the perfect time to spray. Everything in that greenhouse got a nice shower in garden sulfur spray. We shall see what happens with tomatoes. The sulfur worked ok on the cukes. I plan on spraying once a week initially. 

A medley of tomatoes, plus some blue potatoes. Yes, blue! 

Checking in the other 2 greenhouses, I saw that they needed work. #1 needed to be completely cleaned out and redone. Removing the old cucumber plants, I found two cukes fat green one and one white one. Ah-ha, cucumber salad with dinner tonight! I wasn't expecting to get anymore cukes. Anyway, I got this greenhouse cleaned out. Over the next couple days I'll drag in some bags of compost and till it in, refreshing the beds. I'll also add some dolomite lime, since I know from experience that my soil is deficient. (The tomatoes told me so with blossom end rot showing up on a few of the fruits.)

#2 still has lima beans growing, but things are going downhill. The Succotash variety is pau, so I removed them all plus their string supports. The Dixie Speckled Butterpea and Jacksons Wonder look to have one more picking left to go. By next week I'll pull them all out. But on the opposite bed, the Hawaiian  black & white landrace is just getting going. So of course I'll be letting them stay. 

One thing I discovered that is pretty cool. The Dixie Speckled Butterpea is sending up a second flush of flowers! I wasn't expecting that. Neither Succotash nor Jacksons Wonder produced more flowers. So it appears that with Dixie, I could manage the plants for a second crop. Interesting. These particular plants haven't been managed correctly for me to do this. They have sprawled every direction and flopped out into the walkway. So I will be pulling them out and starting over again. But this time I'll keep in mind that they might be producing a second flush of flowers. 

Last thing of the day, go check on the potato boxes. Blue Adirondack was ready to harvest. I got 4 pounds of tubers from only 1 pound of seed spuds. Not bad considering how wet it's been lately. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Increasing Yields

Get a bunch of food growers together, be they gardeners or farmers, and one of the things they will talk about is how to get more production out of a particular space. Gardeners like to brag about the number of tomatoes they got from one plant. Farmers like to brag about the units of the crop they harvested. It's all focused upon getting the highest yield for your investment.

I'm not immune. I like to get a particular amount of veggies out of a planting too. I grow a lot of my stuff in beds, pallet boxes, or containers. So it's easy to know what to expect out of a particular space. But it doesn't always happen. Lots of things can go wrong. 

One of the things that can go wrong right from the start is that the seeds don't sprout. Over the years I've gotten pretty good at getting conditions right for the seeds. So when I don't see them sprouting it's usually because the seed is dead. Dead seed is common enough. It's almost unheard of to get 100% germination. Normally some seeds don't live for a vast variety of reasons. But it doesn't surprise me when it happens. 

Last week I sowed bean seeds in the pallet growing boxes. I had harvested the potatoes and figured on growing a crop of beans before rejuvenating the soil in the boxes. I've done this before with success. So I checked on the progress today. Of the 10 boxes, 9 had a high percentage of success. One box had spotty germination. 

Only half the bean seed sprouted. Lots of empty gaps. So more seeds need to be planted to fill in the blank spaces. 

Now I could have left this as is. But as the title of the post points out, I want to increase my yield of beans from this growing box. The easiest way is to plant more bean seeds in the empty spots. Simple. 

I tend to always fill in empty spots in the garden beds. If it's seeds, it's quick and easy to poke some more into the ground. Yes, the plants will have a week difference in their maturity, but that doesn't matter to me. In fact, it's actuality beneficial because it draws out the harvest, rather than everything being ready to pick the same week. And if it's transplants instead of seeds, I usually have extra leftover seedlings in the mini greenhouses. 

Now all this sounds so simple. Commonsense, you say. But I don't hear many gardeners saying that they do this. They complain about a row being spotty, but didn't think about re-sowing the seeds. Farmers will often go back and overseed a spotty section of a field that failed due to excess rain, or some other reason. I'm not sure why gardeners don't do that. 

Anyway, today I sowed more Maxibel bean seeds in order to fill in the growing box. I have 10 bean varieties started : Maxibel, Pencil Pod, Royal Burgundy, Pauldor, Red Swan, Rocdor, Carson, Capitano, Black Valentine, and Purple Teepee. Not a whole lot of any one type, but it will give me variety. It will be a lots less boring than eating the same bean day offer day. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

I just became aware that there is a service that will recycle your trash for you. You pay a fee, mail your trash, and you can feel good that your trash isn't filling a dump. What? Really? Are people willingly doing this, pay cash, just to feel "all fuzzy" about this? Is this the ultimate "living green" scenario? 

To tell you the truth, I was really blown away when I discovered this. Now people can continue their consumerism lifestyle, without guilt, without remorse, just by giving their money to some company somewhere. Wow. 

I address the excess trash situation by....
....generating less trash in the first place! By not buying all the consumer crap, by not buying disposable items, by not buying stuff that can't be repaired, by buying less trash in the first place, I believe I do a lot better for the earth than trying to recycle my consumer trash. By using, I could completely disregard that my lifestyle is producing mountains of trash. 
....repairing items. I see scads and scads of repairable items being tossed into the trash. Much of it is cheap junk designed to be tossed, but some is more expensive and easily fixable. But I live in a throwaway society now, so lots of good stuff (not even broken) gets tossed into the trash. 
....repurposing. I've become a repurposer. I'm not the best, for sure. But I get better year by year. 
....buying used. I've become a regular shopper at the various thrift stores, church bazaars, recycling centers, etc. 

I'm not against something like, but I am amazed. People are already joining and using this service. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Pineapples - Changing Plants

This year my garden pineapple plants turned 5 years old. They're straggly, ugly, worn out plants. Time to pull them out. Commercial farms don't let their plants get this old. Why? First of all, they are less productive. The pineapple fruits themselves are smaller. Plus the plants are sprawling in crazy directions, interfering with one another. 

So it was about time to replace those old plants and that's what I've done. I yanked out all 58 of them. But I salvaged the suckers for replanting. Not all the old plants had viable suckers, but others had two, so in the end I'm planting just about the same number of pineapples as I threw out. 

Suckers? How come there are suckers? That's what pineapple plants do. They flower and produce a pineapple fruit, then that part of the plant becomes non-productive. It gets replaced by a shoot that grows out of the stem someplace below where the pineapple got produced. It becomes a full blown sucker that can either be allowed to stay, grow, and produce its own pineapple the following year....or be removed to start a new plant elsewhere. So when I removed the old plants, I cut off the sucker for replanting.

I've moved the pineapple growing areas out of the main garden. Being sprawling perennials, they didn't work out real well there. So I've de-grassed and mulched areas around some macadamia nut trees and alongside one of the pasture paddocks. As I acquire more pineapple tops, I'll open up more spaces for them. But not in the main garden. I'm happier having them someplace that's easier to manage. 

I'm still harvesting pineapples here and there from younger plants I have scattered about the farm. Those fruits will be the source of pineapple tops for planting. And if I'm lucky, perhaps some people in my community will give me a few more. You never know when you'll get lucky. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Recycled Flower Basket

An acquaintance stopped me in town today to give me a bundle of artificial flowers that she found at the local thrift shop. She knew that I loved flowers. When she spied the bundle, she just knew it wanted to go live at my place. So she spent all of one dollar and bought me this surprise. I was touched that she thought of me. 

Yes, I love seeing flowers. There's a feeling of happiness and peace that comes over me when I contemplate flowers. I can still recall the amazing feeling of being completely at peace when I sat below the blossoming cherry trees in Washington DC and watched the flower petals falling like snow around me. At other times I would visit Longwood Gardens and spend  hours, often the entire day, communing with the flowers. While my college friends often turned to drugs or music for escape from the stress of college, I went to Longwood Gardens. (Students got in for free back in those days.) 

To this day I'm attracted to flowers. So this gift of artificial flowers was much appreciated. As soon as I returned home, I snagged my onion storage basket from the kitchen, gathered moss from around the house, and created a hanging basket for by my front door. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Lantern Post -- Update

Finally the street number is up on the post. Looks pretty good, if I do say myself. I still want to cap the ends of the branches, but I haven't found what I'm looking for yet. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bon Dance

Our local hongwangi put on a bon dance this year. We haven't had one in our town for a number of years, so it was delightful to see it come back. What's a bon dance, you ask? It's a coming together for an obon celebration, a Japanese Buddist event which honors one's ancestors. There are lots of ways to conduct obon activities, and one is through traditional dances. 

Dancers circle a central raised stand. Taiko drummers accompany the music. 

One of the taiko drummer.

I don't know any of the dance moves, but hubby and I enjoyed the music and watching the dancers. 
Many of the people really got into the celebration, creating and wearing headbands, carrying lanterns, and joining the dancers. Not all the dancing was traditional. Modern type Bon dances, and even Zumba, were on the roster. Such fun! Most of the dances were accompanied by taiko drummers, a real show unto themselves. 

People had the opportunity to create their own headbands. 

Happy and ready to join the celebration. 

Before the event wound down, there was a parade of lanterns. People participated to honor an ancestor, or as a remembrance to a special event or person, as a thank you or blessing, or simply as a sharing in spirit of this event. 

This year's bon dance was well attended. It's a local's event, but tourists would be welcome. It's a shame there weren't more tourists there. They missed out being part of the Hawaiian Japanese culture. So if you ever come to Hawaii (or Japan) during August, look for a bon dance to attend. It's worth the experience. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Greenhouse Yield by the Dollar

To date I've gotten 59 zucchini. Around here, zucchini sells for $1 each. 

So far I've harvested 56 nice cucumbers. These also sell for $1 each at our farmers market. 

I've never seen fresh lima beans for sale here, so I don't know what their monetary value is. But I think I could get $1 for a sandwich baggie unshelled if I sold them. So I'll guess the limas to date could be valued at $10, and I've only harvested about 1/4 of the anticipated crop. 

Large tomatoes sell for $1 each. 4 medium ones for $3. Cherry tomatoes $3-$5 a sandwich baggie, depending upon the color and shape. I haven't the foggiest idea how many tomatoes I will be harvesting, so I'll skip adding their value into the total for now. 

Same for peppers. I can't add their value because I don't know how many I'll get. I've harvest 22 skinny frying peppers so far, but the main bulk will be the blocky types, which aren't ready yet. 

So let's see........
...zucchini -- $59
...cucumbers -- $56
...lima beans -- $40 
...tomatoes & peppers unknown

That's $155 so far if I had simply sold those veggies. Thats $155 for the first 3 months counting just 3 crops. I'm a long way from determining how long it will take for the greenhouses to financially break even, then turn a profit. But regardless, I'm quite pleased with this experiment so far. 

I have a feeling that those tomatoes, if all goes well, will be paying for the greenhouses.