Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Wainaku Grass deep beneath Garden Bed

  I just spent four hours double digging a garden bed that had become overtaken by Wainaku Grass.  It is also known as "Torpedo Grass" as it sends out roots very deep.  It must like anerobic conditions as it most often travels along the clay just below the prepared garden.  This makes it very difficult to combat.  You just can't weed the surface.  One must turn the entire garden bed, one shovel full at a time, throwing the dirt in such a manner as to expose any roots that may be in that shovel full of dirt.  So each shovel of dirt must be sifted through to pick out the roots.  Even the smallest root left in the garden bed will grow and be the nexus for the invasion.

Garden Bed after de-Wainaku process

Master Cho suggests no till.  However, Wainaku is so aggressive, I'm not sure desired plants could compete.  I won't till this bed again.  I'll let the insects dig their air holes in the soil, the microbes establish their environment, and I won't disturb it.

Wainaku Roots

During this process I did notice that the soil just under the weeds was very healthy.  It was darker in color, and in granules.  It also had lots of worms.  This must mean that the weeds are adding fertility to the soil.  I used all the weeds and roots removed from the garden bed to mulch a near by avocado tree.  Thinking that these have lots of good nutrients.

Monday, June 25, 2012


rice rinse water surrounded by milk
LAB, Lactic Acid Bacteria, is an ingredient we use frequently in Korean Natural Farming and it is easy to make.  Rinse some rice, keep the water, let it sit for a day or two.  Then pour a little (one part rice rinse water to 10 parts milk) into a jar of milk.  Don't refrigerate.  The kurds will separate in a day or so.  Pour off the liquid and mix with equal parts brown sugar.  This is liquid will keep for months and is used in almost all our plant sprays.

Lactic Acid Bacteria are very effective in improving ventilation of air in soil and highly effective in growth of fruit trees and leaf vegetables.  It has a pH of 2, possessing strong sterilization power.  LAB decomposes or chelates minerals stuck to soil and not easily dissolved, making them easy for plants to absorb.  When plants absorb lactic acid, body fluid is adjusted within the plant to increase the disease tolerance and withstand heavy rain without becoming soft.

If I ever have a tummy ache or the runs, a take a sip of LAB and in no time I'm normal.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Time

Today's Harvest
Summer is here in full swing.  Jennifer and I hiked down to the beach in Volcano's National Park to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  We spent 4 days watching the tide go in and out at a remote beach enjoying the solitude.  When we returned we had fresh ripe tomatoes, lychee and zucchini waiting for us.

IMO #3 pile growing mold
I've been taking it easy this year, backing way off of last years gardening pace.  Yet we still have lots and lots of food.  Above is an IMO#3 pile, two days old, growing micro-organisms like crazy.  A thin layer of IMO#4 on garden beds between plantings, and weekly sprays of CHO spray is all that the plants require to pump out large volumes of nutritious food.

Preparing Pig and Chicken Feed
Drake has been feeding our pigs and chickens.  Here he is cutting papaya, and he'll add a tiny bit of store bought feed, and add OHN, and a hand full of IMO#4.  He lets it sit to ferment for a day before feeding to the animals.  The animals get much more nutrition out of the same amount of food and they do NOT exhibit hungry behavior as they did before he went to a 24 hour ferment of their feed.

Common living and kitchen begins to rise
Troy and Drake are working daily to construct our additional agricultural dwelling.  The 3 detached bedrooms are almost complete and the common living and kitchen is beginning to take shape.