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Planting Trees
17 March 2008


Spring time marks the arrival of the rainy season here in Kona.  We still have warm, sunny mornings but the afternoons will often be cloudy with a good chance of rain.  That means spring is an excellent time to plant new coffee trees.

Planting In previous years, I have either dug the holes myself or hired a crew to dig the holes by hand.  This time the field to be planted was a little too rocky so I hired a machine to dig the holes for me.  The little skid steer had a hydraulic jack hammer mounted in place of the bucket.  Using the hammer, the little machine could pound its way through rock, punching a hole a little over a foot deep wherever I had marked the ground with paint.

It was still necessary to use a pickaxe, shovel and my hands to make the hole the right size for the trees.  I like to dig the holes a little deeper than necessary so I can add some fertilizer and lime to the bottom of the hole.  I add a little dirt on top of that so the roots don't get burned, place in the tree and fill the hole the rest of the way wish a few scoops of top soil (purchased by the trailer-full from the local soil place).  Even with the help of the machine, digging all the holes and planting the trees still took several days.

The last step in the process was to post some pictures here on the website.  Emily had been sent out to help and, being the clever kid she is, she brought her camera so she could take pictures instead of having to help dig.  Some of the pictures she took came out nice.  It's difficult to take pictures and get work done at the same time so having a photographer is helpful.  Emily also helped bring me the tools I needed, pick up the empty bags and she even moved some rocks.  This isn't the last batch of trees that need to be planted but it's good enough for now.


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