ECOhana- a little background

Aug 29, 2011 by Robyn Petterson | Story Popularity: 1


Here at our fledgling homestead in Honolulu, we are fortunate enough to have roughly 780 sq. ft of growing space. The tired, compacted soil proves to be a slight challenge though. We were told my Marianne, one of our neighbors, that the tenants here before us poured kerosene on a cactus plant they didn’t want. Major rehab in order!

There are a few existing trees, including avocado, starfruit, Tahitian lime and some kind of Hawaiian tangerine. Gorgeous red hibiscus and tiare (Tahitian gardenia) add beauty and fragrance to the space.

Our plans include dwarf fruit trees; like banana, coconut, and with hope- an ulu tree. Our gifted papaya is thriving without much attention. Within the raised bed we are building, there will be varieties of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chives, squash, sweet potato, pak choi, pepper and more.

According to one of my favorite resources, “The Urban Homestead” by L.A. homesteaders and authors Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, there are '5 essential projects' of an urban homestead. These essentials are:

1. start a compost pile
2. wormi-cast (what our 3 1/2 year old calls vermicast)
3. mulching
4. build a raised bed
5. build a self-watering container, or in our case; rain water catchment

ECOhana will be adding a few more “essentials” to this list as we grow and
with little money, we will be implementing all of these essential projects onto our little plot. If you want to do the same, I highly recommend Coyne and Knutzen’s informative and funny guide. I picked mine up from Asagi Hatchery, try to purchase your copy from a local business too!


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  1. Olin Lagon says:

    Wow sounds like a great plan! Yikes on the kerosene method of killing plants. Good luck with the homestead. May many more like this bloom.

Would you kokua and log in? All features are turned on when logged in. Mahalo!