Organic Gardening Maui Hawaii

Aloha from a lovely upcountry evening, with crickets chirping in the yard, and the Night Blooming Jasmine perfuming the air.......

Today was a very warm day on the Valley Isle. I am still hoping we get more rain before summer really kicks in. I have to spend a fair amount of time watering in the summer months. I hope one day to get my cistern restored so I can use it for the garden during drought times.

For now, I use the drip hoses in different areas of the yard...in fact, they run along the back fence where I have papayas, pineapples, bananas and a mango tree. I also wind them in and out of the vegie garden to make life a little easier. I used to bury all of my compost, mostly around the base of the fruit trees, but also in the garden. I am now feeding most of the compost to the ducks and chickens.....looks like they are pretty happy about the treats.
Every now and then, the compost does not get buried deep enough and I get many little papaya sprout surprises. Some of my best papayas are the volunteers that pop up here and there around the yard. The sunrise and solo papayas are on the breakfast table regularly. The seedless Mexican papaya is still producing, but at the end of it's cycle. It has been a great producer, and I'll be sorry to see it finish. However, I have recently planted three Jamacian papayas that I am excited about. I'm told their fruit is sweet and quite large.
The tasty little upcountry peaches are ripening and falling from the tree this week. It looks like another bumper year, lots of sweet peaches to garnish my morning fruit salads. I also have been getting fresh coconuts lately and grating the fresh coconut meat into the morning marvel. I have a Samoan coconut tree in the yard, but it will be awhile before it bears fruit.

This week I also also have a HUGE amount of bananas "going off". They are a Chinese variety, a nice sweet flavor with a firm meat. The best nanas I grow are the Apple Banana variety, my favorite., The little apple flavored bananas are so sweet! In about 10 days I will be cutting down another large banana stalk to hang. Once a couple of them turn yellow on the tree, the whole tree comes down, and the stalk is hung to pick from. By then, a "keiki", a baby tree, will have started growing next to the the producing tree. Bananas are almost like weeds...one has to really keep on top of them to stay in control. They just keep on expanding and expanding.

It was not really a wet enough winter to have very many tangelos this year. I am going to have to start watering them to increase the production. The fruit is so juicy that it will fill up a cup when squeezed. Ants sometimes find their way up some of the citrus trees and and create a sticky mess that results in a black substance on the leaves. I am using cedar chips around the base of the tree to keep the ants away. I then have to clean the leaves with the Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. They look a lot better now that I worked on them a couple of weeks ago.

Organic gardening in Hawaii takes some effort and creativity. I like to do companion planting when there is room and the combination works. I have found that my comfry plants attract the leaf eaters. I always have several comfry plants growing in different areas to keep the bugs busy and distracted. It is a sure bet to find the little leaf beetles in the comfry patch and pick them off by hand. The ducks are quite content taking care of the bugs that I don't want to keep around.

I also have really expanded my pineapple zones as well. I am mixing them in with the papayas and some begonias. They take so long to produce fruit, a few years, that I don't usually dedicate too much space to just pineapple. I prefer to mix it up a bit.

I'll write some more about organic gardening in Hawaii in the next few months. I love spreading the word and sharing the bounty. If you can't be here to eat it, hopefully you'll enjoy seeing photos and reading about all the ono food from the Valley Isle.


Aloha for now,
Cherie


Geckos in Hawaii...The Mo'o

Anole Hawaiian Iguana GeckoAloha...

I am posting shots I took of some of the geckos of Hawaii. I see the green on on the red ti leaf a lot more these days. It's called the Anole. This bright green gecko likes to sunbathe and is usually visible during the day doing "push ups" out in the sun. The males do this display to claim their territory. The Anole is a type of iguana.

The first geckos I met, and most enduring, were the "house gecko." They may startle a visitor, but these are our friends. They can eat up to 5 mosquitoes or termites a minute. I have seen them do battle with much larger insects as well. They actually will eat their young (yuk). The males are very aggressive with each other. I've heard that this type of gecko has been in the islands for 1500 years...they came in with the canoes. Their eggs are tolerant to salt water, and may have also floated in to land.House Gecko in Hawaii

House Geckos chirp at night, so you know they are on the job. They like sugar water and honey, and they are a bit messy with their droppings. I have one who lives behind a painting that remains lit. I guess it is good pickings in that warm, lit area. I prefer them on the lanai where they can keep any other bugs from coming into the house....but...in the tropics, that is impossible unless you poison everything...and I don't. One or two house geckos is a good thing. They are considered good luck.

The Jackson chameleon is really wild looking. It looks like a mini triceratops with it's three horns. They use the horns for show and battle. While the males are showing off, the females are bearing young live, no eggs. Jackson chameleon in HawaiiThey move very slowly and grab with their "thumbs" They blend so well, it is often difficult to see them. This Jackson is shedding it's skin.

The Mo'o (Hawaiian for Lizard) is an ancient mythological being that appears in the Hawaiian creation legend. It was considered sacred and was respected as a communicator to the gods. The Mo'o is depicted in a lot of art and tattoos of Hawaii.

It looks like a good garden day, so Aloha for now!!

Cherie