Small spaces: Crops galore in a backyard

On her house site in Hualalai Colony, Celeste Makrevis has planted a virtual forest of edible plants. In less than 10 years on the property she has replaced most of the original grass and ornamentals with some of her favorite edibles. Today she is harvesting from 48 coffee trees, nine vanilla vines, five cacao trees, a prolific minicado (dwarf avocado tree), several citrus varieties, as well as a diverse collection of other tropical fruit trees and a good sized vegetable garden.

Warm weather ideal for disease

Be alert. We have fungus among us as well as bacteria, virus and other disease causing organisms associated with the hot summer weather. We think of these primitive life forms as being on the bottom of the food chain, but they are really on the top since some feed on higher life forms at every level.

Picnic, anyone?

July is National Picnic Month, a time when summer travel — a day trip to another town or a cross-country adventure — often involves eating in transit. Sometimes the food choices are unhealthy or expensive; other times there aren’t many options at all. When you pack your own food, you can eat whenever and wherever the spirit, or hunger, motivates you. This can be healthier on you and on your wallet.

How much house you can afford depends on where you live

Your ability to own a home is affected by where you live. Even people with modest incomes can afford homes in Decatur, Illinois, the metropolitan area with the nation’s most affordable houses. At the other end of the affordability spectrum is the San Jose, California, metro area, where high incomes are outmatched by stratospheric home prices.