August finds us still here in Hawaii where the weather doesn’t change much and, at least in our zip code, COVID-19 is still being held at bay. The coffee is coming in nicely and we’ve finally got the entire farm mowed and under control.
2020-2021 School Year
Even with the COVID-19 count in our area standing near zero the school system decided to opt for 100% distance learning this year.
So we started a school.
The “Goodenough School for Exceptionally Talented and Beautiful Children” is a practical program that includes a dozen middle school children that usually attend the West Hawaii Education Academy.
They start the day by doing their online learning as quickly as possible, then move on to practical projects like DNA extraction, mushroom culturing, observation of Fibonacci Numbers in natural settings and, of course, outdoor activities like football, skateboarding and volleyball.
Last year we started several projects to improve the farm’s environmental
footprint. We installed 17 KW of solar power, 55 KW of battery storage and moved to solar hot water. During all of this construction we installed a ton of underground 3” conduit to capture and store rainwater for use on the farm.
This month we finally got all of the pumps, filters and treatment equipment out and hooked it up for use. We also hauled in a 2,500 gal tank. We now capture water from all 4,500 sq-ft of metal roofing and transport it to our tank for storage. This will eliminate our dependence on county water and, in combination with our solar array, reduce our carbon footprint substantially.
After reading about the various strains of coffee tested for growth here in Hawaii we decided to plant “Progeny 502”. This Coffee Type has an extremely high yield of the types of large symmetric beans that make up the “Hawaii Extra Fancy” coffee type. It is also extremely well reviewed by coffee aficionados having won numerous international cupping competitions.
We purchased two trays of seedlings a few months ago and have been growing them in forestry tubes here at the farm. They are getting bigger and healthier every day and we recently purchased a 60 lb jackhammer in anticipation of installing the first 500 plants on land we recently cleared.
It is nearly time for the first harvest here. Some of the coffee cherries are already turning red and we’ll be doing a first picking in the next couple weeks. We’ll keep you posted and, as always, informed about progress here on Guard Well Farm.
With Aloha,Josh, Kris, Audrey, Mo, Crookshanks and Cujo
Guard Well Farm
75-1097 Keopu Mauka Dr.
Holualoa, HI 96725