Tag Archives: small farms

Ark of Taste Seeds from Baker Creek!

A couple weeks ago, I was at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds headquarters in the Missouri Ozarks.  I sat down in Jere Gettle’s office and spilled the beans:  I had been selected as a Slow Food USA Delegate to represent Hawaii at Terra Madre.  I was shaken, and excited about the prospects.  I had just given a speech a couple days prior at The Spring Planting Festival that explained how heirloom seeds assisted me in finding growing solutions that resist pests, disease, and drought here in Hawaii.  Some of those solutions were found in Ark of Taste seeds.  Take a look at Slow Food’s Ark of Taste .  These are historic vegetables that were in danger of extinction.  How do we keep them going?  Grow them, eat them, put them in our markets, our menus, reconnect them with our lives.  They have been around a long time…for good reason.  They are resilient, and delicious.

I am thrilled to report that Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has now donated an entire case of Ark of Taste heirloom vegetable seeds to assist in getting me to my Slow Food USA delegate position in Italy…yes, it is in Italy!  Check it out here:  Terra Madre  Two years ago I was cheering for some of my favorite family farmers as they packed their bags and went off to represent all of us.  Now it is my turn to do so.  I will be posting more in the future, but let’s get back to the seeds.

Since funds are being collected to get me that very long way from Hawaii…all the way across the globe to Italy, I am trying to make fundraising fun, and also have some serious perks for the Hawaii community.  What better way to celebrate along with our USA delegation, and be with us in spirit as we represent in Italy, than to be growing Ark of Taste seeds in your gardens? Kind of a seed solidarity!  Jere and Lisa let me go though the vast array of seeds and seek out Ark of Taste varieties that had a strong chance of thriving in Hawaii.  I made my selection, and they have shipped them here.  This generous gift will be helping me, and the seeds will be helping the community here in Hawaii.  Everyone wins!

I have put together a GoFundMe funding page where you can put me to work! That is right, put me to work.  For every action there is an equally loving action performed.  You can send me off to an Italian rare beans cooking class at Terra Madre…then I will give a rare beans class for Hawaii students or adults.  You help put me on a plane to Italy…I will help put food on our communities tables through food pantry donation.  Win, win…win.  I am curating Ark of Taste seed packets into baskets for a silent auction (more on that later) and individual seed packets will also be sent out to those who sponsor at any level $20 and over!  You can also sponsor, and have your seeds donated to a school garden, or a Hawaii gardener.   I have a list of people who will make good use of these seeds! Slow Food is all about community, so please assist in my efforts at building community.  Follow along too on my farm Facebook page and you will see how much is happening.  So think about what you would like to see in the community.  Pick your favorite schools, pick your favorite community action and I will teach what I know.  Thank you for your time, your support, and thank you to those who read this and are currently clearing space in their garden to grow Art of Taste vegetables…it all matters.

Small Steps to Save Water on the Farm

Drought comes and goes, so what better way to get your farm or garden ready, then by taking some small steps now.  You will already have a water saving style in play if and when you have a dry season, year, or series of years.  Being a zero-waste farm is a great way to think of ways to give things a second chance, be it containers, or water, the main reuse featured here. Thinking in terms of water reuse will become natural when you think of water every time you turn on the hose.

Here is a quick and efficient way to make fruit fly traps.  For those of you in areas like Hawaii, fruit fly trap making is a critical part of most farms.  It is a great way to reuse plastic cups and bottles as well as reuse soapy water from the drain of the hand wash sink.  I use Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soaps at the farm and at home.  Each bar goes a long way and there is a scent for everyone.  Peppermint is a really great one for scrubbing up after stinky jobs like composting fish.  The pure soap make for a great soap water base that is used in the bottom of your fruit fly trap.

DSC_0365

Simply catch the soap water as it comes out of the modified drain pipe, then pour into your homemade fly traps, and insert the appropriate fly bait.  Soapy water is used to keep the flies from climbing back out of the trap. The middle and last images are house/bottle fly traps used to control fly numbers near the compost/fish emulsion station.  All are made using items that were free and needed a new use.

DSC_0369 DSC_0367 Jumbo fly trap near compost

Hot dry weather means flies of all kinds are in peak numbers at the farm. The flies drown quickly in the soapy water, and are then composted. Your fly numbers will be kept in check.

Rinse water is used to rinse many buckets in a “bucket to bucket” reuse before it is reused to make a diluted fertilizer as in my video above, or water seedlings and for rooting cuttings. Plain non-soapy rinse water can also be poured into shallow trays for the birds, bees, toads, and lizards that patrol the farm and help in so many ways.

I challenge you to fill a few buckets as if you are in preparation for the water to be turned off, then see in one day how many ways you can use those few gallons.  You may be surprised how far it will go.  We will all thank you for it.