Monday, September 29, 2008

Photos from 1928

Helen,Fran,and Johnnie Bender 1928.

My Grandma Fran grew up on a farm in Seattle, Washington. Her mom, Marie Aline Bannwarth, came from France to California when she was 14.Franny's father, Great Grandpa Bender, was from Bohemia. Grandma's parents met in Seattle. Grandpa Bender's father raised Arabian horses in Bohemia, but they left their ranch to escape Jewish persecution.Grandpa Bender played 4 instruments, and was in one of John Phillip Sousa's many bands. He played clarinet,trumpet,violin, and the French horn. On the Bender farm there was a lovely brown Jersey cow,and 4 horses, but mostly they sold wholesale chickens to the markets in Seattle.Great Grandma Marie was a beautiful lady. She was always helping people. Marie would let unwed mothers stay with her, because back then they had to hide in shame. Great Grandpa and Grandma had a fruit orchards, and acres of vegetables,but they did not sell the extra produce,and fruit, they would can,preserve,and give the extra away to people in need. To be continued...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Was an old Keawe tree I think. The roots are bleached white from the sun, and a shiny black crab lives hidden there. He lives in the rock the roots are holding. He peeks at me thinking I don't see him.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Deep Thoughts

I am sitting here waiting for the kids to finish Tae Kwon Do, pondering the meaning of life, and SNL came to mind. I am a little irritated with their Sarah Palin skit, but anyway, back in the day, there was "Deep Thoughts". Anyone remember "Deep Thoughts"?
When "Deep Thoughts" came out, there was no internet. The only one I could remember from Saturday Night Live was "The crows seem to be calling my name thought Caw."
Now we have the Interoweb, and we can look things up, like Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, Kava, potato cannons, and how to play the koto
We must have been really stupid back when we had to read books, memorize things, and actually remember something.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Do you have a shoe box in your closet?

This little girl is sending a gift filled shoe box to a needy child this Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child delivers gift filled shoe boxes to children in need around the world, kids who have never had a Christmas gift in their lives, kids who are living on rubbish heaps, kids in war torn countries, and children who are orphans, or have survived natural disasters.

Do you have a shoe box in your closet? You can send a shoe box too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kimchi Blue

This lovely tank top can be found at Urban Outfitters. It comes in another color too "port". Very nice.
I like the rosettes, and I love that it is made in the good ole USA.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Aquaponics in Hawaii

I got this forwarded to me by my pastor yesterday.
I had been dreaming about something like this for a while now, and want to post this for anyone who might be interested.
Someone please do this so I can be happy for you, and a little jealous.

Commercial Aquaponics Training

October 18th and 19th, 25th and 26th in Honokaa, Hawaii
Four days/32 hours of classroom time and hands-on learning at our

Why Take This Training?

· Eat Well:
Feed your family and friends with the highest-quality, freshest
organic food on the planet! When you feed yourself, you are paying
yourself retail price for the food. Always feed your family from your
farm before you sell to others; it gives you the best financial return
for your work, and the freshest food.

· Do Well:
The small commercial system you will learn to build in this course
grosses from $6-8,000 per month on operating expenses of $800 per
month, and costs under $20,000 to build. This pays off the
construction cost of the system in 4 months of growing and puts you in
the black in the first year.

· Save The Planet:
This system uses 70% LESS energy than farming in the ground (either
conventional OR organic), to produce an equivalent amount of
vegetables. Instead of being petrochemical based, the energy is all
electrical, which means it can be run from alternate energy systems
such as solar panels, wind turbines, and hydro electric. This is the
first and only farming system in the world that doesn't require
petrochemical energy. It's also organic. In fact, it doesn't allow the
farmer to cheat at all, because any pesticide or chemical applied to
the vegetables goes to the fish next and kills them. The fish are the
canary in the coal mine and force the farmer to farm organically.

· Save The Planet Again:
With the addition of a catchment tank and a pump, the system supplies
all of its own water in any region with more than 50 inches of rain a
year. Even if you don't install the catchment option, the system only
uses 1,500 gallons of water for a vegetable production of 1,500 pounds
per month. Help conserve valuable water resources.

· For Those Of You Who Are Already Farmers:
There are no weeds. There are no soil pathogens or pests. There is no:
tilling, cultivating, fertilizer spreading, compost shredding, manure
spreading, plowing cover crops in, irrigating, or tractor shed
required. For that matter, there is no tractor, tiller, fertilizer
spreader, compost shredder, etc. There is also no dirt needed: it
works just as well on pahoehoe lava graded flat with a D9 as on
fertile soil. Seeding and a large part of harvesting labor can be done
sitting in the shade, in a Costco tent, or if you prefer, standing and
working at waist level. The only consumable inputs to this farming
system are fish food, fish fry, seeds, and potting media.

· It's Easy and Simple:
My wife Susanne and I have never farmed before (only small home
gardens), and are now producing 4,200 pounds of vegetables and 600
pounds of fish a month from the three systems we've built in the last
year. We've looked for why this is "too good to be true", and in an
entire year of operation, haven't found it. This really works.

· Movable Feast/ Movable Farm:
The whole system can be disassembled and moved to a new location. For
the first time ever, the farm is movable and not tied to a specific
piece of land. This means you don't need to own the land or even have
a traditional long-term lease in order to farm profitably. Although
longer term leases are desirable, you could make money even if you had
to move the operation every few years. It is much easier to lease a
piece of land for 5 years than 25. Owners like to make money off the
land, but don't like long leases that won't allow them to sell the
land if they need to. The short-term lease will allow them to do this
and lease the land to you. And in the meantime, you may earn enough
off the farm to buy the land it's on.

· It's Fun:
We've had the time of our lives planning, building, operating, and
talking about our aquaponics systems. They're hip, slick, and cool.
They're sustainable. Be the first on your block to have one. Imagine
the crowd surrounding you at parties to hear about your cool,
sustainable, energy-efficient aquaponics system. And the fish and
vegetables you farm and bring to a potluck will disappear before
anything else does.

Aloha from

Tim Mann
Friendly Aquaponics, Inc.
PO Box 1196
Honokaa, HI 96727

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Urgent report on Hurricane Ike

Samaritan's Purse staff and volunteers are out in storm-ravaged neighborhoods along the Texas coast, helping people recover from Hurricane Ike.

Three Disaster Relief Units along with a convoy of support vehicles and equipment moved into Texas on Monday. They are based at Santa Fe in the Galveston area; Friendswood, between Galveston and Houston; and Port Arthur.

Staff and volunteers have begun removing felled trees from homes and yards, clearing debris, patching roofs with heavy-duty plastic, making emergency repairs, and cleaning out thick mud and debris from flooded homes.

Hurricane Ike officially made landfall in the Galveston area just after 2 a.m. local time on Saturday as a powerful Category 2 storm. It slammed the Texas coast with 110 mph winds and towering waves, knocking down trees, flooding thousands of homes, blowing out windows in Houston's skyscrapers, and cutting off power to more than 3 million people.

The storm, nearly as big as Texas itself, blasted a 500-mile stretch of coastline in Louisiana and Texas. It breached levees, flooded roads and led more than 1 million people to evacuate and seek shelter inland. Hurricane winds battered the coast for hours before and after the storm's center came ashore.

As they begin to work in Texas in response to Hurricane Ike, Samaritan's Purse is continuing to help people in Louisiana who were impacted by Hurricane Gustav. A Disaster Relief Unit remains in Donaldsonville, where it has been since September 2.

If you would like to help please call 1-800-528-1980

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I feel like I have so much to write about that I am not able to write. I picked these Noni fruits on the way back from the farmers market in Seaview on Saturday.

Noni is a natural pain reliever and is a blood cleanser and an antiseptic. I attended a class taught by a Hawaiian medicine woman, and she demonstrated how to apply fresh noni to large wounds. She has treated injured surfers with excellent results. Noni helps to reduce bruising and infection.

She takes a ripe (not rotten) noni and breaks it in half. Then she wraps it in a paper towel. Let the juice soak the towel, and apply to the wound leave the noni on for as long as you can. Apply a new one if needed. She even showed how you can use a Ti leaf to hold the noni in place.Do not apply the fruit directly to the skin as some people are sensitive to the seeds.

I personally have used noni to treat a head ache. I like to make one quart of fresh lemonade with honey and add the juice of one noni. My head ache will go away with just one glass of noni lemonade. A teaspoon of noni juice will wipe out a cold.
I also have had success giving noni to my chickens when their poop is runny. Noni has been known to rid animals of intestinal worms, so I give it to the chickens for that reason too, but I have not done any tests on them to see if it really works.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gardening with kids

Here is Isaiah when he was 2 and a half. He planted the sunflower himself.
He did not actually care about the flower. He liked digging in the dirt, and he really liked that Star Wars space ship he is holding.

The best kids gardening project is to allow them to stick a seed into the ground, and then, you water it because if you don't water it it will never sprout.My kids don't remember to eat their cereal in the morning if I don't remind them, so there is no way they are going to remember to water a seed.

I found this web site about gardening with kids.
Just look at the lady in the picture, she looks just like my hall leader one year at BJU.
All these articles just don't look realistic. I would stick to a single seed, and preferably in a pot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kealani versus the volcano

On Saturday, we went to the Seaview Farmer's Market to sell Kealani's Kona Coffee, and on the way home we stopped to eat a little lunch and watch the volcanic cloud. The cloud you see is created by hot 2000 degree lava flowing into the cool pacific ocean.

The Farmer's Market was really interesting. I got some soap from the Filthy Farm Girl, some lovely fresh spinach, really red ripe tomatoes,fresh bread from my friend Noelle, and some of Breezes'Balm, a organic herb filled butter with a coconut lavender base for cuts, bites,bruises,rashes,sunburn,etc,and some really good chocolate chip,breadfruit scones, also from Noelle. Noelle's scones were very delicious, I could not taste the breadfruit, but it gave the scones a nice texture.

I was surprised at how busy this little farmer's market got. The market only allows organic produce,baked goods,food,and hand crafted items. There was fresh brewed coffee, sourdough pancakes,tofu scramble,chili,papaya salsa,cookies,cinnamon rolls, handcrafted jewelry,pedicures,haircuts,free bike repair,fresh carrot juice,wheat grass shots,miracle berries with unsweetened lemon juice,and unsweetened passion fruit juice. I tried a miracle berry and it actually worked. I did not believe it so I drank the lemon juice first. Then I ate one berry, and sipped the juice. It was a miracle, the lemon juice tasted very sweet.

I think I ate enough on Saturday morning to last me the rest of the week. I tried the Filthy Farm Girl Cardamom Rose soap today and now my whole bathroom smells like roses.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anonymous comments

If you have something on your mind, and it is not illegal, disgusting, or repulsive, don't keep your comment anonymous. Why bother stating your opinion if you are not willing to own up to it, or discuss the topic in a civilized manner?


The lovely design above is from I am thinking of it for recovering my throw pillows.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Obedient Chickens

The kids and I noticed that our cats will not listen to us, but will obey Andreas immediately, amazing considering he is a city boy who does not like animals. If he asks the cats to go out the door they will run out. If I ask Lovie to exit, she will look at me and say, "who are you?" then she will turn around and lick her backside.

Andreas saw Goompy on the porch Monday, so he walked to the door and said, "Shoo! Go to your room." Goompy jumps off the porch and runs to her coop instantly, just like a little military soldier. We all started laughing hysterically, and Speckle starts chirping loudly and making a fuss so Andreas walks to the window and tells Speckle, "You go to your room too!" I kid you not, she turns and runs to her coop too!
What does this mean? In Genesis 1:26 God says that man should have dominion over the animals. Maybe this is Andreas's special gift.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cilantro with Cockscomb Amaranth

I am growing cilantro and cocks comb amaranth from seed as you can see here. I am so excited because this is the first time I have gotten cilantro to grow from seed. I usually end up buying seedlings. Even better is the fact that these are from seeds I collected, and everything is organic.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

nienie and Finslippy

I just read on Finslippy about a family in need.
The mommy and daddy were badly burned in a plane crash. They have 4 small children.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Water conservation in Puna, Hawaii

At our house we collect water from our gutters into two water tanks. We do this because in our subdivision we don't have county water. This may sound strange to most people in the mainland U.S., but actually this is done in other parts of the world too.

I don't consider it a bad thing, because when other people are paying a water bill I am not. I also like the fact that we are not dependent on a water company. When it is raining I feel free to take really long hot showers.

We have 3 filters and we also treat our own water. I used to use chlorine, but now I use food grade hydrogen peroxide.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Other potato related blogging

I harvested my sweet potato patch. I was so happy when I finished digging, I had enough to give away to friends, family, and plenty for our dinner. Here in Hawaii we have a purple sweet potato variety that turns a bright lavenderish purple color when cooked.