11.24.2015

I'm all shook up

In my early teens, I used to dance outside in the streets when the tornado sirens were going off. I had a thing for wind and destruction. Aquarius, air element, water bearer, any relevance? Whatever is going on, I've run through tornadoes, surfed hurricane surf, hunkered down below bush fires, built igloos in -80 F at the South Pole, chased a big shark with a big knife, come to close for a grizzly bear 5 times my size and jumped outside a hotel running in my boxers during an earthquake in New Zealand. That's only the tip of the iceberg. I understand homeostasis... and enjoy the comfort of it, but am often reawakened to my humanity by at the slightest change of the weather and unforeseen circumstances. 

I hear on the public radio chatter about being vigilant of terrorists and stuff like that, but honestly, I'm more thoughtful of a big meteorite, the big tsunami, and of when the sun burns out and fresh water runs dry, and while on the thought wave of life changing events I think of the big boar that lives in the valley just a few hundred below the lettuce patch....

He came within 15 feet of me today and the only thing between us was a patch of buffalo grass. For a few seconds there, I kicked up my boots and went ninja, because he came up on me before I had a sight on him. The bow was useless. A 150+ lb. boar marking his territory. My instinct was to get into boxing stance. The stink of wild pig. Half of me said breathe slowly and get him on sight, the other other half said run and the last bit of adrenaline pumping through my veins said to succumb. Not without a show I muttered to my inner dialogue. Dopamine release. I took a deep breath and put my finger on trigger with the right foot ready to kick and left foot ready to run. He slowly moved to the left out of the tall grass. I was hypnotized by the sun glistening through his back hairs. He was solid black with a steel-like shine. A nice hump above his forearms and tusks to show his strength. What an old, beautiful, protector of the forest. He huffed and ran away. May we share this land, and if you can Mr. Big, scare away all those piglets that are digging near the lettuce patch. 

After that, I laid against a warm pile of mulch compost to rest my legs and heart as the westerlies ushered in cold wind. The full moon rose. Suddenly, there was a crack of limb to the tree next to me and the chickens went wild. A pueo (guardian Hawaiian owl) swooped down from the Banyan tree and plucked one little chick off the ground and flew it high up in the tree to eat. A minute later it came down for another one, and then another. Mother hen didn't know what to do for the owl was so quick and silent. Deep in the woods I could hear pigs moving around. Not wanting any trouble I stood up and brushed the mulch off my back, then walked back to the truck along the moonlit gravel road. 

A more typical day on the farm... sunshine and lettuce. 


Weeding. 


Managing the feral pig population. 


Rosemary roasted wild ham. 


Turned into some of kind of German dish with carrots, onions and cabbage.


The same kind of taste one may find at Hanai. #hanaikauai @hanaikauai ... you know, all that .com # hash tag @ something BS. I'd rather teach my daughter how to grow lettuce and hunt pig and render lard before learning any of that immaterial binary logic nonsense, but hey, that's just me, and I'm halfway hypocritical for sporting it. It's tough being an old soul in 2015.  


Where local ingredients are masterfully put together into edible delights in somebodies kitchen. Not my kitchen, not your kitchen, not the chef's kitchen even, but somebodies kitchen and that's the essence of adopting a kitchen; hanai la cocina. Where's the cream at again? Oh yeah, in the pasture.


All is stellar. 


Then the wind blows, and the rain comes. Here comes our first big winter weather storm. No snow, but cold, wet, windy, penguin overcast days and nights that bring forth the croaks of frogs and cracking of falling trees.


Enough rain to keep the ground wet for 4 days after the last shower. 


I journeyed up to the farm the morning after the big pressure front passed by. 


There was an eerie fog all around. 


Beneath the cotton candy sky. 


The nursery tent uprooted and blew over the platform, only knocking over one table of keiki lettuce and breaking a half dozen posts. I was amazed that this was all. I've been inside the nursery during 50 mph winds, all was cool, this must have been stronger. 


This table sits on top thousands of lettuce plugs sowed by Yours Truly. Somehow, today, 5 days after the wreckage, half the lettuce is still alive and almost ready to go into the ground.


Shucks darn it.


But, the change made for a day of fun and camping out in the new shelter location.


The lettuce needs intense recovery. The ones that didn't get squashed got pounded by heavy rain. 


Recovery and rehabilitation began by removing the tarp and dismantling the entire structure. 



Two days later it was rebuilt and placed in a better location. The nursery is cleaner than before and more organized. Thank you wind storm from the far north!