First, we wanted to send a million mahalos to all the people who came up to our Tantalus house to plant an abundant food garden on a perfectly sunny day in February. Only a couple months later and we’re already harvesting loads of basil, moringa, bele, nz spinach, chilis, eggplants, lemongrass, ‘uala, Chaya, katuk, arugula, kale, coffee, bananas, ginger, Olena, comfrey, kabocha, lilikoi, cacao and more to make beautiful salads and stir fried on a daily basis.
We were a bit worried with the El Niño drought emptying our water catchment and no rain for 2 months before our permablitz, that all the new vulnerable plants might not make it till the rains started, but everyone threw in to rip up boxes for cardboard sheet mulching, hauling in zoo doo and wood mulch, and bringing a few gallons each of water, and before we knew it we had a well laid out water resilient food garden with guilds of supportive plants. With a little creative use of dishwashing grey water, we were able to keep the plants happy till the rains started again in earnest in April, and they’re all now lush, verdant, and productive.
Right before our eyes a steep hillside covered in non-edible plants was transformed into a healthy terraced fruit and vegetable garden that was shortly pumping out tasty greens and herbs to make killer meals.
It wasn’t just the plants, we had an amazing lunch spread over which many fast new friendships were formed. With incredible local ginger beer, hummus, veggie burgers, salads, chocolate and more, how could you not bond with your fellow edible plant lover? We are eternally grateful for all the people that came up the hill to our place and in no time flat had help make us a garden that still grows great food, something Hawai’i sorely needs in terms of producing its own edible bounty instead of importing it all. The productive green garden we look out over every day when we leave the house combined with all the edible “weeds” that the surrounding forests provide is all we need to provide food for the 6 people in our house and keep us all healthy, dancing, and gardening till we’re 110!
Stacie & Nat