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Migrant Worker
3 December 2006


Pulper Weeds The is always plenty of work to do on a Kona coffee farm.  For the past months we've had a migrant worker living with us.  Hart is actually my brother-in-law and he's in the process of moving from Missouri to Colorado.  With a month between jobs, that was the perfect time for him to earn a little extra cash working on the farm.  I did my best to keep him busy, not easy because he is a fast and proficient worker.

We started with the barn's roof trusses on the morning he arrived.  The trusses themselves went on in a few hours but that was followed by days worth of installing all the bracing, more painting and finally installing all the roofing plastic.  There's only one small section of roof that isn't installed yet and that's the secret roof access hatch.  Shhh, don't tell anyone, I want to build that on my own when nobody is looking.

The barn has been a priority for so long that many of the farm chores were getting neglected.  Any time I was busy and Hart had a few minutes, he'd grab the weed eater or jump on the mower and find a neglected corner of the farm that needed some manicuring.  After a month of his hard work, the place looks more like a golf course now than a farm, I only hope I can keep it that way for awhile.

Dig1 It's also the height of the harvest season so no migrant worker can escape some time behind the coffee pulper.  I took full advantage of the help to pulp as much coffee as possible.  Unfortunately the good pulper isn't set up and working yet so everything had to be run through our little pulper.  It is much more labor intensive than the good pulper will eventually be.  A couple hours of picking out unpulped cherry is about as much as anybody can take in one sitting.

Cement Of course there's always plenty of digging to be done too.  I've made unsuspecting visitors dig so you can bet that paid labor would get to know the rocky ground we have here in Kona.  The first digging exercise was leveling out an area for a retaining wall and footing for the barn stairs.  It wasn't a huge amount of digging but still enough for a blister or two.  The second major digging job was spreading mulch.  We could use the tractor to fill the trailer but shoveling the mulch back out of the trailer had to be done by hand.  We filled and emptied that trailer at least a half dozen times before finally calling it a day.

Other work we did include finishing a rock wall, building a mailbox, installing a water trough for the goats, fixing the electric fence, pruning some macadamia nut trees, fertilizing all the fields, installing some window blinds, and cleaning up so everything looked good for farm tours.  Of course you can't forget all the little daily tasks such as walking the goats to and from their pen.  We did manage to find some time for playing and relaxing.  Those pictures will have to wait until next week's post.


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