SUBHEAD: After a hard day's work homesteading, snuggle down for sunset and the dusky onset evening stars and conversation. 

By Juan Wilson on 26 July 2018 for Island Breath  -
Image above: Detail of backyard panorama. On building hotwater panel, solar PV panels, rain catchme4nt gutter to 1,000 water tank. In yard foreground: pepper trees, two cassava, ginger. Midground: papaya, 12 cacao trees. Backgound: Macadamia nut and litchi tree, to right is corner of enclosed raised-bed garden.  Photo by Juan Wilson. Click to see panorama view. ().

Homesteading in retirement is hard work. In some ways harder than having a nine-to-five job forty hours a week. With the full time job eating out or buying prepared food was normal.

It's not as demanding as commercial farming, but there are dozens of tasks that keep piling onto the "to-do" list as well as many regular routines needed to be done frequently... even on a half acre lot.

Checking the fruiting plants daily is a daily activity. Avocado, mango and macadamia nut trees are seasonal.

It getting into macadamia nut season right now. We have three producing trees now. That's enough macadamia nuts in a season to get us through the year.

We make macadamia nut butter, and eat roasted nuts for snacks. We need to check under each tree a few times a day. In July it begins as a trickle of a few dozen in a day. Later we will be picking up a few hundred nuts in a day.  Lots of bending over.

In their own seasons are mango, avocado and always papaya. Other fruiting trees are oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, limes, lemons... and that's just the citrus. There are also a few oddballs like cacao, starfruit, litchi, noni, surinam cherry and Hawaiian chili peppers.

Plus, we cannot forget the staples like taro, cassava and breadfruit, plantain, banana, coconut.

This does not count the daily tending, weeding, watering and harvesting of our 16' by 32' raised-bed garden.

Nor does this work does includes the husking, peeling, chopping, drying, canning, and other processes needed daily to keep the plant production converting into usable fresh or storable food.

Are you having fun yet? Well don't forget the composting of plant waste, amending the soil,  trimming of trees, etc.

Homesteading is more than a full-time job. It's a life. And about the most secure and rewarding one.

We are inching our way back to the Garden of Eden. Don't be left behind.


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