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January 5, 2010

On Friday the kuleana group talked about the basics of gardening here at PQ. We went over soils, the nursery, transplanting and companion plants and then did a full garden tour. The students were receptive, especially when it came to learning about bananas and sweet potatoes.  Students then harvested sweet potatoes from one of the beds.  The Malama group is coming up to do lessons in composting and bananas with the kuleana students soon, to further their knowledge and increase peer education.  In the afternoon, we planted hot peppers in the nursery.  We then moved out into the garden and planted turnips and chinese cabbage.

On Saturday Ohan students helped me carry to the greenhouse some de-nailed lumber for future use in making some raised beds. Then we all gathered in the old kitchen and had a canoe plant lesson. One student with knowledge in canoe plants began the lesson with a brief overview of what he knew. Everyone seemed present and engaged during the lesson. A senior field instructor then showed us two kava kava plants in the garden.  We went on a brief tour and talked about what beds to work on.  We checked on bananas ready to harvest in camp. Ohana students then set about weeding a newer bed with corn and beans and then replanted more corn in places where the first corn didn’t come up. Then we planted two kinds of lettuce to keep with our plant greens once per week rule. Next, field instructors lead students in prepping a bed and planting tomatoes, dill and marigolds.  Lastly, the harvester in the group completed her role by picking some arugula.

On Sunday the whole Ohana took a hike to the bamboo grove. We talked about bamboo and harvested some poles for future trellis construction. We also dug up some roots to plant in the lower Ohana, as well as a small piece of culm with emerging buds to lay on it side to see if it, too, will root. The excitement the students displayed was infectious, as they read past soloist intents that had been carved into the bamboo (and of course we did not harvest any of those culms). They also enjoyed the bamboo clump, the old stone fence and the possible grave under a large pile of stones. In the afternoon, we cleared a few beds around the pond and then planted all of what we harvested.

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