Weeks Thirty, Thirty One, and Thirty Two (25 August – 14 September 2014)
Finally! We made it! The third and final part of a mini-series within this greater blog. It is the hat trick, the trifecta, the Triple Crown. Yet, I still have not captured all of the events of this period. (I am saving a few for thematic postings later down the tumblr road.)
For the sake of expediency, and to allow me to move on to even more current events in the next posting, this installment will be brought to you as a photo montage with only some dull, but refreshingly brief, commentary. (I know, I know…some of you live by my regular injections of jolly, verbose drivel, but you will just have to wait until the next post for more witticisms.)
Veterinarian? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Veterinarian!
That’s right. Living in an agricultural community, you can score animal vaccines over-the-counter, turning a $50 to $100 vet visit into a simple $10 purchase. She didn’t feel a thing…
Preparing Sugar Cane Starts for Market
A gracious member of our church congregation had us over one day to see his impressive collection of fruit trees and to teach us how to juice sugar cane. (Talk about a work out!) He sent us home with far more of this tasty grass than we could ever use or plant on our property, so these extras will go to farmer’s market. (We also came away with other saplings to plant on our property…everything from mountain apple to coffee. We will see what sticks after being plopped into place.)
Silence Of The Lambs
So…you have heard me talk about the abundance of free food on this island. This is another example.
Each month, park ranger sharp shooters cull the herds of local wild sheep to keep the population in check. The carcasses, still warm, are air lifted to a central location for citizens who have signed up for the free meat. Family friends invited me along to learn the ropes.
Chopper Making a Delivery
Culled Animals Examined By Waiting Takers
East Coast City Slicker Skinning His First Animal
Processing the Carcass
Butchering The Meat
Unused Parts Go Into A Freshly Dug Pit
I have to say that walking through the sandy, desolate area where this scene replays each month reminded me very much of the time I visited the infamous Killing Fields in Cambodia…teeth and bones scattered about and crunching underfoot. These remains, of course, were not human. That said, the smell of death and frequently encountered bones, not to mention the sandy, easy to dig soil, would make a fantastic place to stash a body… Should one be in need of stashing a body here on the Big Island. Just sayin’.
I FOUND MY TRAILER!!!!
Snagged for less than my mentally-fixed price. Safety inspection and registration good into 2015. Ball hitch thrown in at no extra cost. Sold by a retired Department of Energy employee with whom I shared in common a thing or two, and with whom I sat around and jawed for about an hour after making the transaction. He promised to invite our family to his church in the coming weeks.
Cacao Pods Gifted By Family Friends
These are the beauties from which one extracts cacao beans, the foundational material for all of your chocolate and hot cocoa. These were hanging from a tree in our friend’s yard. Our youngest has expressed an interest in growing this gift from the Aztecs and, in order to open a mocha drink stand, she wants to grow coffee too.
Speaking of coffee, we found a wild coffee tree growing on the side of the road near our house and we have started planting beans from this tree into pots. Meanwhile, out of the blue, a neighbor who has a small coffee farm offered to pay us to pick beans on his property. Another income stream!
As of this writing, our family has picked 400 pounds of the dark master. At 75-cents a pound, that makes for good gas money.
I plan to do a separate post entry on new friends and neighbors at some point, but I’ll throw this picture in at this juncture for no particularly good reason. Along with bags of fresh roasted, locally picked coffee and back yard passion fruit, this is typical of the types of things that neighbors have dropped off at our property lately when they stop in for a visit.
That brings to a close, for the most part, the account of these three incredibly action packed weeks. Stay tuned for the future thematic posts that will include a few more tid-bits from this time period and rest assured that things have not slowed down. Wild pig sightings and drug deals on our little country road, the hauling and shoveling of 2,000 pounds of mulch, and the planting on our property of everything from lemons to jack fruit to taro are just a few of the many tales to come.