- Up at the farm, Jayanti and I spent some time last week clearing out an old cattle coral to use for expanded nursery space. The coral is fenced off with Eucalyptus timber built by the old Paniolo cattle ranchers. The space is partly shaded by a beautiful old Kiawe tree (Prosopis pallida), perfect for filtered light nursery space. Within the coral are two large metal water troughs that we intend to design and transform into cutting boxes.
This week in the nursery, there were many clients coming by, purchasing all kinds of edible plants and fruit trees, it was really busy. The Pitaya (either Hylocereus costaricensis, or Hylocereus polyrhizus? were getting quite overgrown, stretching out their arms and crowding the other plants, some arms even set roots down in other pots. Before these keiki were to be sold, I was given the project of pruning back the Pitaya and using the cuttings for further propagation. Here’s how it went:
I recently volunteered for the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership. We traveled up the mountain to plant endemic Hawai’ian species in an exclosure at about 4,000 feet elevation in the Ahupua’a (watershed land division) of Auwahi, on the southern flank of mauna Haleakala. We planted A’ali’i (Dodonaea viscosa), Halapepe (Pleomele auwahiensis), and Ulei (Osteomeles anthyllidifolia). These are three species that have evolved in this watershed for thousands of years. The area is on the Ulupalakua cattle ranch, and has been grazed and highly disturbed by ungulates for over a hundred years. What is left of the once diverse native forests is a sad site, but with support from volunteers like myself and others, there is hope in reforesting this beautiful mountain slope.
I am so excited to begin Air Layering more trees around the island! Here, Jayanti and I begin the step by step process of putting Air Layers onto trees.
We’ve decided to propagate the endemic and currently extremely rare native Hawai’ian tree Santalum freycinetianum, known as ‘Iliahi to the Hawai’ians, also called Sandalwood.
Jayanti and I took an adventure to the southeastern side of the island to gather some Air Layers that he had put onto a really tasty Lychee tree about 3 months ago. I believe this variety is known as The Emperor’s Lychee. I have yet to try it, but I’ll let you know how it taste when the season comes around next summer.
Acquired some Carob pods from a friend up country the other day! Ceratonia siliqua, an amazing tree-crop for the tropics.