Lack of Progress

I was hoping that by now I would have my solar panels up and running. However, with some help it should only take a few days to get it running. I have all the solar equipment and a couple of pieces of electrical equipment to attach it to the breaker panel. I also have a heave wire that will carry electricity to the electrical panel. It is actually fairly high capacity and made for outdoors but I will enclose it in conduit anyway.

The part missing is the best way to mount the panels near the ground and allow adjusting them to 3 different angles. That will allow me to maximize power output as the sun moves during the seasons.

I am hoping the panels will offset quite a bit of my electricity usage, thus dropping my bill.

In the meantime, my neighbor Garys’ property is being cleared which is needed for his lease renewal. From here on out his farm should be productive. I took my tractor and mower over there to help and seem to have lost my main set of keys somewhere. They include a couple of post office keys and so on. Luckily I have a duplicate of most of them. With a less than enthusiastic will, I purchased a metal detector and will look over my trip to find them. The detector could be used on our few beaches but most of the rest of the island is generally rock and thus not that great to prospect. The odd coincidence is that I am watching a TV series called “The Curse of Oak Island” where they are using metal detectors looking for valuables!

I also have some work to do for my farm lease renewal.

I have to finish planting the areas where trees have died or not been planted. In all those areas there are already holes in the ground, however there may be a dead tree in the hole or rocks and dirt. Luckily they were dug on a grid and therefor easy to locate.

For coffee I have to grow trees. I’ll grow them at little cost, rather than pay $15 or so for a mature, ready to plant tree. I also want to plant more fruit trees and have a few other types not yet planted.

Some of my trees dies due to irrigation issues. The way the catchment tanks and pump were designed, the pump sucked up some debris which destroyed the pumps impeller. It was not an easy fix and a replacement pump will cost $1,000.

As the rows of trees have been weed whacked and cut with the tractor and mower. There is an underground 2″ plastic pipe that runs up the property. Then at various zones it doubles back down and off that second run there are stanchions every row. Attached to those are a plastic valve and then a drip line that goes down the rows to irrigate the trees. There are drip holes something like every foot and that is fine for the coffee. When the system was engineered I was thinking of being completely planted in coffee, where the trees are every 5 feet down the row. The fruit trees are 20 feet apart and thus don’t need emitters every foot. A better way would be to make a ring around each fruit tree with emitters but connect them with solid tubing between the trees to eliminate watering where there are no trees.

I have to replace the pump, divert water into the bottom tank and replace any broken drip lines.

The timeline would be to start growing trees first as they will take a couple years. That will require a simple greenhouse or an agreement with another farm to grow some for me.

Then I need to fix the irrigation line and when done, and when the trees are ready, have people clear out the holes so I can plant.

Meanwhile, today I ordered a bit of technology on Cyber Monday, had dinner with some visiting friends and fixed a neighbors electronic gate.

So while it may sound as though I have been busy, I feel I have not been very productive of late.

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LavaRock Farm, Captain Cook, HI

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