A tradition

Mr Dreamy started a lovely tradition in our last day in Hawaii after the honeymoon just before we moved to New Zealand.

My father had been trying to cut down a tall, tall java plum tree which was sucking water out of the stream and threatening a cabin and a new planting of native trees.  The java plum was so tall that my father and a professional tree cutter had been working for hours to try to get a pull rope up in the first branch of the trunk so they could control the way the tree fell.

With our bags all packed and our paperwork in order, Mr D and I could only wait for our flight and enjoy the last few hours with my family.

With a little spare time, Mr D offered to try to get a pull rope through the tree.  He threw, and he threw, and each throw of the weighted end up the pull rope got a little nearer to the Y shaped branching in the trunk.

Finally, with one mighty throw, the weight sailed through the Y, and pulled the rope after it.

With the fall of the tree able to be controlled, my dad and the tree cutter took down the java plum with a chainsaw.  Mr Dreamy and I helped pull it to the right position, and then we ran and showered and changed and headed off to the airport.

The next time we visited, we were able to see all the new trees that had grown in the hole that had been created in the tree canopy.

So now, every time either of us visits, in our last hours on the farm, we do something that will be there, grown in and changed, but adding to the richness of the farm, the next time we visit.

On my last trip I planted tropical flowers in the woods (the ones I mentioned in this post), and tree ferns.

On this trip, my father and I planted a dragonfruit.

In case you don’t know, a dragon fruit is a cactus with evil, nasty, vicious thorns and  delicious fruit.  Our dragon fruit plant looks like this:

Sprawley and pokey.

It had grown into the nursery fence a bit, so we got to do a fun extraction job, and then got to carry the plant, my dad with the pot, and me carefully balancing the long tentacled branches, trying not to rip our skin open on the thorns.

Since the dragon fruit is a cactus, it likes dry, inhospitable land where not much else grows.  So we scrambled 50 metres up a steep, steep hillside to plant the dragonfruit in a patch of parched, rocky ground where it could sprawl to its hearts content.

The dragonfruit's new home. The photo doesn't show nearly how steep it is.

My father dug a hole in the loam of leaf mold that clung between the rocks.

My father is standing upright in this photo. The hill is just that steep.

I helped arrange the branches of the dragonfruit to best advantage, and tugged at the plant to help de-pot it.

De-potting. How did I get stuck with pulling on the thorny end?

With the plant in the hole, I clambered up the hill above it to push down more loam, and then found some rotting branches to help weigh and secure it as it roots into the ground.

The dragonfruits view down the hill to the farm proper.

It’s amazing how big a job it is to plant one plant when the plant in question is covered in thorns and wants to live halfway up a cliff with the rocks and the weeds!

Good work!

I’m really pleased with the job I did.  Next time I visit there may be dragonfruit, and now my mum won’t have to step over the thorny tentacles in her nursery, or climb up the hill herself to do the planting.  I just hope they find someone young and lithe and part mountain goat to help pick it once it fruits!

Battle scars

1 Comment

  1. What a great tradition! My parents live on a woodsy property, so it seems nearly every time I’m home there’s brush to be cleared or a fallen tree to take apart for firewood.

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