Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A winter garden

When we were considering moving to Hawaii, one of the possibilities that seemed most exciting was being able to garden year round. So that was one of the first projects on the list once we got here. There is a big flat area out in front of the house on top of the septic field that looked like just the right spot for a garden.

 A great spot, but it needed a lot of work to get it to the point of being able to plant. The dirt here is heavy red clay, so John mixed in gypsum and compost and has been working like crazy out there!

The rainy season is just starting and so we've had some torrential down pours. Each time it rains these gorgeous, tilled rows are turned back into solid hard pan. John has rented a rotatiller on 3 different occasions to get the soil to a point were we can plant.

Checking out the seeds that have been planted in seed trays.

I took these photos a couple of days ago and since then these trays have completely exploded with green plant life! We cut some pea shoots yesterday to put in our salad. Our first harvest!

Getting ready to plant.

Planting sugar snap peas.

Since these photos were taken we've planted so many more seeds. We've planted everything we like to eat and we'll just see what grows well! It's very exciting to see the seeds sprouting and growing so quickly. I will post garden photos periodically so you can see the progress! I do need to embrace this heavy red dirt. It's so sticky and slippery. When I'm out watering the garden, within minutes my shoes are coated in a thick layer of mud as is everything else. And this dirt stains like crazy. So I haven't been super keen to get out there and dig in. We are getting some mulch down in between the rows so that will help. Once again, it's just very different!

This weekend, while John was rotatilling the garden for the 3rd time (there was just no other way to break up the soil enough to plant), the rest of us went to the beach with some of our friends that live just down the road, right on Papohaku beach. Their names are Liana and Tim and they caretake a gorgeous property. Liana's cousin from Oahu was in town with her family so we joined them for some shell searching and a swim. Liana has chickens, pigs, a dog and a lamb (who thinks she's a dog). Ilio the dog, and Lucy the lamb joined us on the beach walk!

Lucy got a few funny looks! It's not everyday you see a lamb on the beach!

This beach is gorgeous. It's the one that's closest to us and we walk down here regularly to look for shells and watch the waves, but we've never swam here. This day we walked all the way to the north end of the beach where it's more protected from the wind and waves and it was a little slice of heaven! The water was so clear and beautiful.

Zara and JC pretending to be dolphins! This beach is 3 miles long... the longest white sand beach in Hawaii.

Thor getting rocked by a wave.

He came up smiling and didn't even get his hair wet!

After our walk we went back to Liana's for pasta and fresh pesto. She made the pesto the usual way but added lime... yum! It was delicious and the lime made it a beautiful bright green. I will definitely be adding lime next time I make it!

Every day this place feels more like home. We're spending lots of time with our new friends, seeing familiar faces almost everywhere we go and getting more familiar with our surroundings. Yesterday when Bella woke up, as she was lying in bed she said "I could almost cry, I'm so happy that we're in Hawaii. Look, I have some water running out of my eyes. That's because I'm so happy." It was very cute! We have our ups and downs most of the time we are really happy here. Aloha!


  1. Your photos are so amazing. Excited for you with such a large garden - sounds like John has put in a lot of prep work. I'm sure it won't be long before your garden is lush and bountiful.

    hee hee ... Love the pics of Thor and the wave - the look on his face at the end is priceless.

    Miss you, but so happy to hear that you're feeling more at home and making new friends. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Hugs,K

  2. Hi jacq,

    THe garden looks like a lot of work, but it will be amazing. I think you need some rubber boots, there is nothing you can't do in rubber boots;) I had a spare pair that I gave mom...wonder if she could bring some over for you, then no more muddy, red feet.
    Thanks for posting :)jb

  3. is that really a lamb? looks like a goat!! LOVE seeing the progress of the garden. do keep updating! looks like "a wonderful world" you're living in! love reading! keep posting! xoxo

  4. Garden beds look gorgeous! Can't wait to see once they are growing. I wonder if you can find a good supply of mulch material so you won't have to worry about weeding as much. I'm a big fan of rubber boots too. They are my latest favourite thing.

    Curious what is growing in those tall tubes. The pea shoots will be so nice to nibble on, will you do sunflower shoots as well? We're missing those just now and wondering if we should set something up to grow some in our sunroom. Enjoy, enjoy! I'm picturing you eating your own fresh greens in no time.