$456
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11
backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, February 22 2013 5:52 AM UTC +00:00
Rachel LeyvaBy Rachel Leyva
First created
Rachel LeyvaBy Rachel Leyva
First created
$456
pledged of $6,500pledged of $6,500 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, February 22 2013 5:52 AM UTC +00:00

About

What Is It That I’m Trying To Do?

The purpose of this project is to get the 4th book in my series of gardening how-to books published.

I have already published 3 of the proposed (10 in total) books myself but find that I'm needing a little extra help getting the 4th book completed.

Covers of the 10 planned books.
Covers of the 10 planned books.

 This book is called Making Compost – A Picture Guide - How I Make Compost And Compost Tea In My Hawaii Garden.

Making Compost - A Picture Guide
Making Compost - A Picture Guide

The purpose of the book is to educate and assist gardeners by putting in layman’s terms how I make compost and compost tea.  Concise information will be accompanied by full color step-by-step photos demonstrating what I do. Topics addressed are as follows:

  • What is Compost?
  • What Can You Compost?
  • Making Compost
  • How To Use Compost
  • What Is Compost Tea And Why Should You Use It?
  • Making Compost Tea
  • How To Use Compost Tea
  • Names and contact information on local and international composting & organically inclined clubs and societies.
  • A source guide with contact information for supplies, locally and internationally.
  • Recommended further reading for more in-depth information or just plain good reading on the subject.

I believe my book is important because it encourages and empowers gardeners to garden more effectively.  These days the temptation to use a quick fix is everywhere.  For Example, if your rose bush has powdery mildew you might be inclined to reach for the nearest fungicide to treat it.  However, that is only a temporary solution and the problem will return as soon as the fungicide breaks down.  Why not treat your rose bush in a manner that works in conjunction with nature, utilizes ingredients readily available to you in your own garden, doesn’t contribute to global pollution and helps you grow really beautiful roses. 

The idea is to design books that help make gardening fun.  Many people I meet are overwhelmed by their gardens and intimidated by how fast plants (& weeds) grow here, in Hawaii and other tropical locations.  I'm trying to provide enough information for the reader to gain an understanding of how plants grow and compost works without overwhelming them with extraneous data.  Personally, I've always found photographs helpful and I think they add authenticity to the subject at hand if the writer is also the doer.

 How I Will Do It?

I started this project in late 2010.  I knew I wanted to profile ten different plants plus compost and would have to publish each title individually until I could save up the funds to compile and publish them all together under one cover. 

It took some time to research how I was going to create each book and where I would have them printed.   After trying several different formats I settled on a style that I thought complimented the photographs and accompanying text making the books easy to understand and fun to read.   It was important that the ‘look’ be instantly recognizable to anyone who might have read the first books.  With the template set and I plan to continue the style and format with this book. 

Vireya Rhododendron
Vireya Rhododendron

I take all the photographs myself.  I write all the content myself, with one exception of the 3rd book, Growing Orchids, where I co-authored with my son, Jurahame Leyva.  These books are 100% original work based on my experiences gardening and growing plants on my three acre property on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

The book will be fashioned like the others - condensed but easy to understand information coupled with lots of great photos.  I am unsure of the final page count at this point as there are still some “sequential composting photos” to take and editing of the content.

Growing Daylilies
Growing Daylilies

I opted to self-publish using Createspace.  This way the books could be printed on demand and I could avail myself to Amazon.com's worldwide network of distributors and affiliates.  It took a couple of tries uploading my first book to work out the bugs of matching my template with Createspace formats.  Once that was done and the template was set I had no trouble uploading the second and third books.   I anticipate that the subsequent books will go as smoothly.  Like the other books in the series this one will be softcover, full color, 8.5” x 11” and approximately 24 to 50 pages.  The idea being that it is a quick read.  READ+SEE+DO.  

 How Will The Funds Will Be Used?

 Kickstarter funds will be used for:

  • Supplies associated with setting up demonstrations to photograph.
  • Supplies associated with printing ‘working and draft’ copies.
  • Printing, purchasing and distributing finished copies for pledge rewards and local vendors. 
  • Advertising the book.  I can't help people if they don't know the book is available.
What Are My Qualifications To Complete The Project?

As far as writing / photographing, editing and publishing this project I feel I am well qualified as I have successfully completed 3 similar projects.

What qualifies me to write on this subject?  I have been involved professionally in horticulture for more than 30 years, working for others and in my own nursery for the past 14 years.  I do not possess a formal degree in horticulture but rather from ‘the school of hard knocks’ – ‘trial & error’ and so forth.  A large part of my knowledge comes from observation.  Most people don’t have or take the time to wait and see how something turns out.  That’s where the value in my knowledge lies.  I am saving the reader the trouble of a lot of trial and error by sharing my experiences.  What has worked well for me might work well for you, too.

Growing Orchids
Growing Orchids

I have a personal and special interest in this particular book, Making Compost.  I have seen firsthand how bad advice, coupled with chemical solutions for crop management, have produced damaging results and loss of production.  On a small scale, like your back yard, good culture and pest control are easy to achieve without having to pull out the big guns every time something doesn’t look like it’s growing right.  There are better, safer and more effective ways to garden and they include the use of compost and compost tea.

Who Is On My Team:

This project is my baby.  I came up with the idea to write simple yet informative how-to gardening books because notwithstanding there being thousands of gardening books out there already I was continually being asked how I gardened.  Visitors to my nursery and garden are constantly amazed at what we’ve done.  I thought it would be helpful to share my sometimes unconventional gardening methods with the rest of the world and perhaps make gardening fun again for people who thought it too difficult.

I designed the book’s template, cover, content (other than co-authoring with my son on the orchid book) and took all the photos and created any drawing artwork needed.

From Growing Orchids, an orchid mounting demonstration
From Growing Orchids, an orchid mounting demonstration

My son, Jurahame Leyva, is my invaluable sidekick and champion.  My first book, Vireya Rhododendrons, was the one with many wrinkles and the most challenging.  I couldn’t find a printer locally who was affordable and I was about to give up when Jurahame suggested I try Createspace.  I had to re-gig my template several times before it would be accepted.  On top of that we live in the middle of a rainforest and internet connections and speed were dubious at best.  He helped me transfer my files to a data traveler and transport my precious first book down to my mother’s house eleven miles away and upload using her super speeding cable internet.  After much trepidation and drama the book was successfully uploaded, a good proof was finally received and we were off and running.  It is unlikely that I would be writing this today if not for his constant encouragement through adversity and praise and/or constructive criticism and smarts on the computer.  My second book’s file, Growing Daylilies, got so big that it crashed my computer.  He cleaned everything up for me and helped me get published a second time. 

My daughter, Lily Leyva, is my art & design critic and all around handy helper for those times when I could use an extra hand.  Those are her lovely hands you see holding the compost on the cover of my book.

From the Vireya Rhododendron Book Jurahame, Lily & Grandpa Bill under some of our vireya.
From the Vireya Rhododendron Book Jurahame, Lily & Grandpa Bill under some of our vireya.

How Far Along Is The Project?

This project is really in the early stages, gathering research together and writing content, but because we have an established and reliable template I believe progress can be made quickly once Kickstarter funds are received.  As I mentioned above some pictures are on hold pending the ability to stage progressive and sequential photography ie: watching a pile compost.

We plan on having the book completed and ready for shipping to fulfill pledge rewards not more than 3 months from receipt of funding.  Ideally, it will occur sooner but we want to leave some margin for the unexpected.

What Rewards Am I Offering?

I’m offering softcover copies (as described above) of this book project, Making Compost – A Picture Guide - How I Make Compost And Compost Tea In My Hawaii Garden and previously completed titles listed below.

  • Vireya Rhododendron – A Picture Guide - How I Grow Vireya In My Hawaii Garden
  • Growing Daylilies – A Picture Guide - How I Grow Daylilies In My Hawaii Garden
  • Growing Orchids – A Picture Guide - How We Grow Orchids In Our Hawaii Garden

 The pledge levels are as follows:

$1.00 – Thank you kindly for your support. 

$5.00 – A photo thank you card featuring a picture from one of my books.

$25.00 – One book of your choice and a photo thank you card.

$40.00 – Two books of your choice and a photo thank you card.

$55.00 – Three books of your choice and a photo thank you card.

$70.00 – Four books of your choice and a photo thank you card.

You will be surveyed at the end of the pledge drive for your preferences.  You might enjoy one of each or all the same book to give as gifts for gardening friends.  It is totally up to you. 

Books will be shipped via USPS Priority mail within the U.S. and by USPS first class mail internationally.

Everyone who pledges will have their names included on my Mahalo Kickstart! page on hawaii-gardener.com and added to my e-newsletter list.  Those who pledge $25.00 or more will be included in a special supporters' page in the book.

From Vireya Rhododendron
From Vireya Rhododendron

With support from generous Kickstarter supporters like you my project will be successfully funded and the project completed in good time.  

I'm very grateful that you chose to take the time to visit and read about my books and hope that you will find it a worthwhile project to support. 

Mahalo!

Rachel Leyva

the Hawaii Gardener

Risks and challenges

What Are The Risks & Challenges?

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. There’s no doubt that mishaps could happen along the way. The good news is that I think I’ve managed to iron out most of the issues that have caused me problems in the past such as; configuring templates to match the printer’s and enormous file sizes causing computer crashes and incompatibility. The only issue that remains problematic is electricity. We live off power and are totally dependent on solar electricity. Three months of solid rain could interfere with my project somewhat. But my dear parents, who have been 150% (to the tenth power) behind my project, have assured me that there is room in their office anytime I need it.

One of the beautiful things about nature is that it never stops. My compost will still compost, even if the lights go out. Mushrooms will continue to fruit. The worms will continue to munch away at the goodies I’m going to leave for them totally oblivious to the fact that I will be taking notes by candle light or driving down to mum’s to download pictures from my camera. It will get done, one way or the other.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Mahalo for your support!

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    Thank you kindly for your support. You'll receive a photo thank you card featuring a picture from one of my books.

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    You're A Gem! Your choice of any 1 book from my gardening how-to collection and a thank you card featuring a photo from my book. Plus, a thank you in the book.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    You're Marvelous! Your choice of any 2 books from my gardening how-to collection and a thank you card featuring a photo from my book. Plus, a thank you in the book.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    You're Wonderful! Your choice of any 3 books from my gardening how-to collection and a thank you card featuring a photo from my book. Plus, a thank you in the book.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    You're Awesome! Your choice of any 4 books from my gardening how-to collection and a thank you card featuring a photo from my book. Plus, a thank you in the book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)