Here is a video we found very helpful in learning the no-dig gardening techniques we used featuring Myk Rushton, mahalo Myk.
It is always a good time when harvesting mea kanu. Especially when you can ho'okupu and share makana to others. Mahalo to my 'ohana for all the help and support and love. All these mea kanu came from the side of the house where we had a small mala kalo and some veggies in home-made bigger pond liner pots otherwise known as smart pots. The growing area is no more than about 3 feet by 10 feet. So me, my brother Maka, Jenny and the kids had a great time harvesting, cleaning, prepping some dishes and sending our friend home with some fresh greens. We mostly harvested kale, pele leaf and lu'au. We had enough to make some meat, lau and coconut milk dishes and some salad. Mahalo ke akua.
Aloha Everyone. I just wanted to take a brief moment to share my thoughts on Kalo. I feel that Kalo is so important not only as a food source but also as a source of identity, cultural re connection and healing. I had a blast trying to grow the baby kalo in a little 2x7 foot area and from these plants were able to produce enough keiki to give to Jerrick when he wanted to start his mala and some to take to my mom and dad's place and plant there. Everyone should try and grow some kalo, even if you have a small space. If you are thinking about it, start! The kalo will grow, the 'ohana will grow and your space will grow. Mahalo Haloa.
I thought I would just share the picture of the aquaponics system coming together. I want to share all the juicy nuggets with everyone on what I learned but that is going to take a little while to put up on the blog. Maybe after I finish the papers for school. Looking forward to sharing with everybody the whos, whats, wheres, whens and whys. Mahalo nui loa to Leina'ala Bright and David for all the help and support you gave me. You guys are the best.
The last step in the no-dig gardening process is planting the vegetables. I stayed pretty conservative in what I put in the garden. Basically I put some won bok, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin and some collard greens. You simply need to move the straw that is on top to the side, did a small whole in the dirt layer and add the saplings straight from the starter pots. If there is a little root ball, then just break it up a little and then put it in the hole trying not to lose too much of the soil mixture, then cover the hole and pull the straw back. That was all there is too it, mahalo again to my brother Maka for helping me and we will ch
Next comes the layering of carbon, nitrogen and mineral materials. I actually bought some stuff and I was able to reuse stuff we had. I saved some grass and weed clippings from the lawn mower and raked up some old mango leaves we had in the yard. I bought a 1/2 bale of straw and hay from Kaneohe Feed Supply because I was interested in experimenting with these materials. This step can be done according to your preferences with which materials to use, I basically took the best how to videos I could find, found correlations in their processes and made up my own. Basically my layering is as follows:
(Carbon) Hay-cover, water
(Mineral) Soil/Compost-spread, water
(Carbon) Dry Leaves-spread, water
(Nitrogen) Dry Grass Clippings-spread, water
(Mineral) Clay soil, spread
(Mineral) Cinders, spread, not too much, water down
(Mineral) Top soil/Compost mix
(Nitrogen) Green Grass Clippings, not too thick, water down
(Nitrogen) Hay-fluff up high, keep leveled, water down
(Carbon) Mulch-water down
(Mineral) Top soil, water down
(Organic Matter) Food Scraps/Worms
(Nitrogen) Weed/Grass Clippings-5-10 cm, level, no lumps, water
Be sure to soak each layer with a good amount of water before adding the next layer. Also the layering presented in this blog starts with what is on top of the no-dig garden then goes to what is on
No-dig gardens are simply a layered compost pile used to grow plants. It is pretty simple to build and there are a few really good videos online to help you. Mahalo to my brother, Maka, for helping me with this project. The layering process consist of nitrogen, carbon, and mineral components. I will explain more about the layering in part 2. In this part I will be talking about collecting resources, framing the garden and covering the ground. It is important before starting to get all of your supplies together. From this experience I learned that not having a layer available can get really annoying. So basically have enough nitrogen (grass clippings, hay, urine treated leaves or compost), carbon (dried leaves, straw), minerals (compost, top soil, crushed river rock, chicken manure) and organic matter (vegetable food scraps, earthworms). You will also need all of your cardboard (soaked in water) and yard tools ready. First lay out the frame for the garden by using rocks or wood or anything to show you a line to follow. Next break up the ground up the ground within the framed area using a pick, shovel or digging pitchfork. After the ground is broken, use the wet cardboard to cover the area of the garden. Be sure to cover the entire area and if possible add two layers. This will help prevent weeds from growing through the cardboard and into the garden. After this you are ready for part two.
Raymond Kaimana or "Mana" is documenting his journey as he researches and practices a hybrid of Hawaiian Planting techniques, Permaculture and other planting strategies.