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Archive for June, 2013

More pictures

Below are two more pics
The first is of Mark Hansen and the frame of the center room his home that he is going to build using Cal Earth’s Super-adobe building techniques. His design is a groined vault, where two vaults meet and make an X. We helped him work on stabilizing the walls of his water catchment for about 3 hours. Then he gave us a tour of his garden.

On our way home, we stopped at a lovely farmer’s market. When we got home, Mark and I worked on our composting system that will be the length of the North wall.

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Below are pictures of our breakfast the past two days (soursop), and one of our new drive from the street. You can see pretty far in!

Soursop is tangy and sweet. It is tasty and a lot of work to eat, similar to jackfruit in that respect but the taste and texture is totally different. To eat soursop, the fruit is cut in half and then with a spoon, scrape or separate a piece, put in mouth and chew. That sounds pretty self explanatory, but each bite is chewy, like a natural fruit chewing gum. Some bites have a seed inside the fruit, inside a thin sack.

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New driveway to our pad!

On Tuesday, the long awaited driveway was put in on our property. We have recovered from the huge amount of work required to prepare for it (see last post). On Monday and Tuesday mornings, we cut 50-100 Ohia trees that were in the path of the driveway or on the home site. The diameter of the largest trees was 4-6 inches and length about 30 feet. We saved every tree we cut and made 4 piles/stacks in different places. The tallest pile is about 4 1/5 feet tall. We will use the Ohias for building. On Monday afternoon, a 16’x 8′ platform was built for Max, so our porch is approximately 8’x 8. Today, we organized our front porch and put the tarp up. We also did errands (laundry, Keaau Transfer station,
pallets, grocery shopping, & Walmart).

Our new driveway is fairly flat but full of large and small rocks, which make it very difficult to walk on. As or when it settles, we will need a couple of loads of 2 inch rock to even things out.

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Yesterday was Sunday. We had a nice church service and our friend Glenn Johnson from 13th Church in LA was there at the Hilo Society. Below is a list in order of where we went/what we did on Sunday:
KTA (laundry soap)
Laundromat (4 loads)
Church
Gas
Lunch
Credit Union
Bike store (unplanned stop to see what they carried)
Home Depot (4 plywood, 13 8′ 2x4s, 2 16′ 2×4, 2 kinds of nails)
O’Reilly’s (tye rod ends for our truck)
Keaau Natural Foods (veggies)
Kurtistown PO
Kurtistown General Store (fruit)
Home

We got home around 4 pm. We did some work trying to level the pallets that we put in place on Saturday but realized that the pallets were not supporting the 2x4s. We met a contractor, Rob, in Home Depot who lives 2 blocks away. We called him at 8:40 pm and he happily agreed to come help with the project.

MONDAY MORNING:
Up at 5:30 am. Began work right away cutting Ohia trees. Stopped for breakfast at 7 or 8 am. Later stopped for lunch around 11:30/12. We had finished cutting the Ohias from the drive (but they all still need to be moved).

Rob showed up just as we had finished our salad. As discussed the night before, on his way to our place, Rob stopped at Home Depot and picked up 6 80lb support piers and 2 8’4x4s. He helped us build a solid 8’x 16′ platform for 3 hours (12:30-3:30 pm).

The third major project of today was the migration of “Max” and the rest of our “camp” to the new area. While the platform was getting built and nailed down, my job was to empty Max out except for the full size plywood box/bed that Mark built in ’06. While waiting for help to move the bed, we dismantled Max. Our very good neighbor friend named Andrew helped us move the bed and reassemble the structure in the dark!! After many thanks and Andrew left, Mark and I worked quickly to put the food and tool boxes, chairs, and other things on the platform under the tarp. JUST AS WE WERE DOING SO, it started to sprinkle! The precipitation lasted only a few seconds, but still, we were amazed and grateful that it never sprinkled or rained during the building of the platform or migration of Max. The tarp went on and I checked the phone for the time and it was dead. We have taken to eating meals in the truck (comfortable chairs, the armrest/console serves as a fine table for our salad bowl, windows, mosquito protection, etc). So I plugged in at 9:25 and the phone resuscitated at 9:28 pm. We ate our delicious spinach, mung bean sprouts, sprouted lentils and other legumes, dried cranberries, raisins, and sunflower seeds salad. We have just now reached 100% charge on our phone and it is 11:29 pm. Time to brush teeth. Tomorrow, Rod will be here between 8-9 am w/ his machine to clear our drive. Love you all!

Ps. A big thank you to Andy McVey for the headlamp and flashlight–we use them both EVERY night! Thanks also to Jennifer for the care package! We are so grateful!!

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Big day!

Post Office stop
Ace hardware stop (exchange rake and purchased 6 foot, 16 lb steel bar with a point at one end and a chisel blade at the other for cutting roots and trunks of ferns)
Breakfast in the car at the zoo- we were over an hour early. Breakfast was one of our mamey sapotes. Taste is similar to pumpkin pie or yams or a blend of both. This time, the fruit was so easy to get off the skin and off the seed. We ate 1/2 for bfast and 1/2 for lunch.
At the zoo with P.E.O. Sisters and Brothers in Law–Mark and were 1 of four couples who got all questions correct on the scavenger hunt. Our prize–animal crackers!
Tree Fern rescue– our new bar proved very helpful!! Rained enough to get us filthy and thoroughly soaked!
Got home and unloaded all 10 ferns. We got three kinds of tree ferns!
Got into dry clothes and we are now at a favorite restaurant: Spoonful Cafe!

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Below are pics of jackfruit and how we “peeled” and ate the fruit. White “strings” held each section of fruit and a seed was inside each section. So after peeling the strings back/cutting them off, Mark would separate the seed from the fruit and cut that piece of fruit in half- one bite for each of us. It took us two mornings (yesterday and today) to finish the whole thing. Today, while mark worked at peeling and preparing, I read aloud from a book about native Hawaiian plants and specifically about Polynesian crops.

The taste, we think, is similar to artificial banana flavor in some candies, such as “Now and Later”, but it has been MANY YEARS since either of us had any such candies.

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Rod is our new guy for clearing our driveway! He has a 45 ton International bulldozer w/ a 13.5′ blade. He was referred to us by several people and we like him.

It is good that the work didn’t get done last Friday because we had only scheduled a small excavator and we added another leg to the driveway this morning. We will hand clear that portion today (Thursday).

Friday morning is a P.E.O. event at the zoo with Mark. Then we will collect tree ferns at a forest preserve. Invasive eucalyptus trees were planted there and will be clear cut. The Forest and Wildlife people issue free permits for removing tree ferns (Hapu’u) from that preserve. We think growing and clear cutting is the opposite of preserving the land, but we are glad to rescue these ferns. The trunk gets about a foot taller every ten years. A ten foot trunk would be a 100 year old tree fern, and MUCH too heavy to put in our truck.

One week ago yesterday was King Kamehameha Day, and with a permit, we harvested 10 tree ferns. The largest was a 4-5′ trunk which we named King Kamehameha and we got it from the “K” road. I posted several pics of last week’s tree fern adventure on Facebook.

Saturday all day and Sunday afternoon, we’ll focus again on preparing for the dozer. We need to disassemble, move, and reassemble Max so that the high spot it is on can be cleared and flattened.

Much love to all!!

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