Our Specific Plans and Accomplishments:
Front and Back Orchards having been completed, we pressed on with development of a hill considered by many as “unfarmable”, to put in a young citrus orchard. The challenge on this very steep hill was our footing, therefore, the safety of each noble individual handling a chainsaw, or spotting one using it. The trees came down, and were rolled, tossed, pushed and prodded to the bottom of the hill. A 4-foot terrace was cut into the land for each citrus tree planned, and a young tree planted on each. 30 trees, 30 mini-terraces! This is our orchard on Citrus Hill: different varieties of oranges, grapefruit, tangelos, lemons and limes. In a few years each tree can be expected to produce approximately 300 pounds of fruit – 9,000 pounds of fruit coming off that hill!
We have also put in some of our own avocado starts, and some low-bearing Samoan coconut palms, both along the riverbed. Many papayas have been planted on Citrus Hill while the citrus orchard is growing into maturity, along with gliricidia, a nitrogen-fixing tree whose leaves, branches, and root output will help to feed our fruit trees – food for our food right in the same community. We now have several useful and diverse plants that have been gifted to us to put in the ground, as well as more of our own papaya and avocado starts. After a little more research and education, we will start putting in some edible and buildable clumping bamboo.
Blog from 2009:
As of January and February, 2009, we have been in the process of cutting down trees again, or as we see it, assisting trees to come down. We are focusing on two areas we call the “front orchard” and the “back orchard”. These are Rose Apple trees, from 30 to 50 feet tall. About 7 have come down in the back orchard which was already pretty clear from a prior clearing almost two years ago, and now finishing up with another 10 or so in the front orchard. We are preparing to plant 26 fruit trees right away. Most of the holes are dug, work performed with picks, and depending on the type of tree from 15 to 25 feet apart. The trees going in are: Abiu, Akee, Black Sapote, Cacao, Cinnamon, Jackfruit, Langsat, Red Mountain Apple, Soursop, and Starapple. The branches and trunks of the trees will be left in the orchards to decompose, becoming the food that these trees will be needing in about two years. We have also had to clear some white/yellow ginger, much greenery, to allow access to the tree sites. The ginger will be cut and placed at the base of the trees to provide immediate mulch.
Seedlings purchased and in place in our nursery for about a year’s growth prior to putting in the ground are: curry leaf, turmeric ginger, nutmeg. Next planned is citrus: orange, tangerine, tangelo, grapefruit, lemon and lime, along with cashew, macadamia nut, star fruit, star apple, breadfruit, a couple of trees with edible leaves, plantains, more bananas, and a variety of taro that cooks quickly in comparison to others, with edible leaves and stems.
Our terracing work is described in “sustainability”, “terracing”. Work-in-progress to start our vegetable gardens in raised beds. Some of the vegetables we will be starting include: Greens, lettuces, Egg plant, Herbs, Green beans, Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, Beets/Carrots (root crops), Kohlrabi, Turnips, Arugula, Head cabbage, Broccoli, Okra, Pumpkin, Taro, Purple sweet potatoes, Kale, Cilantro, some peppers.
Our General Plans: