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Clearing Brush
25 March 2007

Tractor

Brush April 15th is getting closer.  Besides being tax day, April 15th also marks the beginning of the rainy season here in Kona coffee country.  During the rainy season we'll often have sun in the morning with showers almost every afternoon.  That combination of sun and steady rain makes spring a great time to plant new keikis.  Keiki is the Hawaiian word for 'small child'.  Kona coffee farmers also use keiki to refer to baby coffee tree.  Like human keikis, coffee keikis require plenty of care during their first year.

We have a couple fields that we plan to plant with more Kona coffee this year.  One field has already been completely cleared but the other still has some work that needs to be done.  It was previously planted with macadamia nut trees and several of the trees had been knocked down but never cleared.

Mulch In Kona, any section of land that is not constantly tended will soon be covered in weeds.  This section of field had a row of weeds as tall as the house and nearly impenetrable.  Waiting until the end of the dry season helped some because many of the weeds had died back but it still required the use of the tractor to clear it out.  Having the old trees buried in the brush made the task even more challenging.

At one point Valerie came out to watch me work.  After taking a few pictures she laid down in a nearby grassy area to relax.  She was daydreaming and watching the white fluffy clouds go by when she noticed me trying to sneak up on her with a pile of mulch in the tractor's bucket.  I tried to dump the mulch on her head but she managed to get away.  I need one of those silent, black, stealth tractors.




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