11/29/2007

Vegetable gardening, Honolulu style

There's a big community garden next to the Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu.

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Apparently, maintaining your garden plot is vital. Guy loved this sign; he wanted to move here and be in charge of it.

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At first I thought this was a little over the top. But after I thought about it, I realized the growing season is 365 days long in Hawaii. If you don't stay on top of the garden chores, things could get out of control pretty fast.

Let's take a look at what people are growing.

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Ah, I grow this in my garden.

African blue basil

'African Blue' basil. Do you grow this too?

African Blue Basil

Ordinary basil, Ocimum basilicum, is an warm season annual that likes a little more warmth than San Francisco summers have to offer. It will grow here, but a lot of people grow this hybrid perennial instead, or as a supplement. In addition to potager service, it has showy flowers that attract bees. (I actually have a variegated form.)

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So that's community gardening Honolulu. Let's now turn to home gardening. Guy's nephew's sister-in-law and her husband own a house in a very prim and trim development on Oahu's western side. They have a small garden, and grow some vegetables. (His name is Dave, so you could say this is, wait for it, Dave's garden!)

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Seems like an innocent enough little garden, doesn't it? Well, it's illegal! Their neighborhood association forbids vegetable gardening! I can't imagine why. Produce in Hawaiian markets, shipped from the mainland United States, or wherever else, is expensive and shabby. Banning vegetable gardening seems downright un-American to me.

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This pepper plant volunteered.

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And this is papaya. Papaya with lemon juice is my favorite Hawaiian breakfast.

dave's g

6 comments:

lisa said...

Illegal vegetables? WTF?! VERY un-American! Good to see they aren't listening to such rubbish. Love the lizard!

Annie in Austin said...

Oooh, Chuck - what a cool place!! I can understand the hysteria over nutgrass - horrible stuff.

The winged pea is pretty cool looking... Wikipedia calls it a "one species supermarket" and says it tastes like asparagus.

We saw different kind of plants and gardens on the big island - thanks for a look at another one.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

[the vegetable garden ban sounds un-American to me, too]

JvA said...

Yes. It should be illegal for homeowners' associations to outlaw vegetable gardens. Do you think they allow guns?

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Vegetables? Are you kidding, those are ornamentals... see all of the pretty leaves?! ;)

That little winged pea (I think--I saw one in the Seed Savers catalog I was perusing last night) is cute. I never realized that it didn't get hot enough in San Fran to grow basil... what's a typical hot summer day there, temperature-wise?

chuck b. said...

It would be a badge of honor I think to have a lot of "overgrown plants" warnings.

I would like that winged pea in my garden. I'll have to see if it will grow in cooler temperatures:

Cooler temperatures: I think the summer average in San Francisco is around 70 deg F. But that's average. It might range anywhere from 50 to 90 with microclamitic forays up to 100. Some parts of the City are warmer/colder than others. The west half of the city can go months without ever seeing sun through the fog and low clouds. Drive five minutes east and it's shorts weather.

Warm season crops need day after day of continuously warm temperatures. We might get a few warm days, and then a few cold days. So in San Francisco a 60-day crop turns in to a 90-day crop. This puts a lot of the great summer fruits like melons, corn, hot peppers and heirloom beefsteak tomatoes out of our reach. Fortunately, there are all these novelty varieties available, like 45-day cucumbers and super-sweet corn, that we can grow and harvest. Drive 30 minutes south and you can grow just about anything.

bam said...

I've grown that African blue basil. I liked it more in the garden than on my plate.

I'd guess that Dave's vegetable garden doesn't fall into the illegal category because it doesn't look like a vegetable garden.

What is the legal status of fruit gardens? ;-)