Organic Gardening Maui Hawaii

Aloha from a lovely upcountry evening, with crickets chirping in the yard, and the Night Blooming Jasmine perfuming the air.......

Today was a very warm day on the Valley Isle. I am still hoping we get more rain before summer really kicks in. I have to spend a fair amount of time watering in the summer months. I hope one day to get my cistern restored so I can use it for the garden during drought times.

For now, I use the drip hoses in different areas of the yard...in fact, they run along the back fence where I have papayas, pineapples, bananas and a mango tree. I also wind them in and out of the vegie garden to make life a little easier. I used to bury all of my compost, mostly around the base of the fruit trees, but also in the garden. I am now feeding most of the compost to the ducks and chickens.....looks like they are pretty happy about the treats.
Every now and then, the compost does not get buried deep enough and I get many little papaya sprout surprises. Some of my best papayas are the volunteers that pop up here and there around the yard. The sunrise and solo papayas are on the breakfast table regularly. The seedless Mexican papaya is still producing, but at the end of it's cycle. It has been a great producer, and I'll be sorry to see it finish. However, I have recently planted three Jamacian papayas that I am excited about. I'm told their fruit is sweet and quite large.
The tasty little upcountry peaches are ripening and falling from the tree this week. It looks like another bumper year, lots of sweet peaches to garnish my morning fruit salads. I also have been getting fresh coconuts lately and grating the fresh coconut meat into the morning marvel. I have a Samoan coconut tree in the yard, but it will be awhile before it bears fruit.

This week I also also have a HUGE amount of bananas "going off". They are a Chinese variety, a nice sweet flavor with a firm meat. The best nanas I grow are the Apple Banana variety, my favorite., The little apple flavored bananas are so sweet! In about 10 days I will be cutting down another large banana stalk to hang. Once a couple of them turn yellow on the tree, the whole tree comes down, and the stalk is hung to pick from. By then, a "keiki", a baby tree, will have started growing next to the the producing tree. Bananas are almost like weeds...one has to really keep on top of them to stay in control. They just keep on expanding and expanding.

It was not really a wet enough winter to have very many tangelos this year. I am going to have to start watering them to increase the production. The fruit is so juicy that it will fill up a cup when squeezed. Ants sometimes find their way up some of the citrus trees and and create a sticky mess that results in a black substance on the leaves. I am using cedar chips around the base of the tree to keep the ants away. I then have to clean the leaves with the Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. They look a lot better now that I worked on them a couple of weeks ago.

Organic gardening in Hawaii takes some effort and creativity. I like to do companion planting when there is room and the combination works. I have found that my comfry plants attract the leaf eaters. I always have several comfry plants growing in different areas to keep the bugs busy and distracted. It is a sure bet to find the little leaf beetles in the comfry patch and pick them off by hand. The ducks are quite content taking care of the bugs that I don't want to keep around.

I also have really expanded my pineapple zones as well. I am mixing them in with the papayas and some begonias. They take so long to produce fruit, a few years, that I don't usually dedicate too much space to just pineapple. I prefer to mix it up a bit.

I'll write some more about organic gardening in Hawaii in the next few months. I love spreading the word and sharing the bounty. If you can't be here to eat it, hopefully you'll enjoy seeing photos and reading about all the ono food from the Valley Isle.


Aloha for now,
Cherie


Ono Hawaiian Grinds

Aloha Folks,


People who live in Hawaii know without a doubt, that ono (delicious) food in Hawaii is easy to come by. One of my reasons for this post today is to help spread the word to visitors that eating your way across Hawaii is a perfectly acceptable pastime.


I am 1,000 percent behind our local farmers and coffee growers. I buy local as much as possible, and grow a fair amount of the fruit that I serve for breakfast. I hope to have fresh duck and chicken eggs available for guests in another few months as well. My little bed and breakfast farm is growing.


Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Maui Agriculture Festival at the lovely 60 acre Tropical Plantation in Waikapu at the base of the lush West Maui Mountains.

I spent a few hours sampling goodies in the booths, buying flowers, and watching the beautiful hula dancers. The Taiko drummers were getting ready to perform as I was leaving. I am posting a shot of them in preparation. It really was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.


I am also posting a picture of Jessie from "Coffees of Hawaii", on Molokai. Jessie was recently a guest at Hale Ho'okipa Inn and she shared samples of all the delicious coffee at breakfast. I prefer tea to coffee, so I cannot speak from experience, but my guests all raved about their morning coffee.

You can order on line at Coffees of Hawaii. If you can't make it to Hawaii, some of our best products can make it to you. Treat yourself and check out a few to sample. Other choices would be Maui Grown Coffee and my webmaster's favorite organic Kona coffee.


Kumu Farms from Molokai also had a booth at the Ag Fest. I buy papayas from these folks when I don't have any ripe ones. They yeild 20,000 pounds of papaya each week. The Kumu Farms has been in operation for almost 30 years and they also grow many of the fresh herbs that are in the markets.


O'o Farm in upcountry Maui offers an Organic Lunch Tour. They grow fine organic produce and supply two top restaurants on Maui, Pacific'O and I'O. Visit their web site to book a lunch tour for part of your upcountry adventure.


See what I mean, and this is only a small portion of all the ono grinds available on Maui. Check out the great magazine called Edible Hawaiian Islands. I really love this publication. The photos are always awesome, and there are some ono recipes as well. How about Coconut Ginger Chicken Soup? I may try that out tonight...I have to pick lemon grass from the garden for this yummy soup. If you'd like to subscribe and stay in the know about good food in the islands, you'll love having this hardcopy magazine http://www.ediblecommunities.com/hawaiianislands/subscribe/subscribe.htm


We are becoming known for our great foods on Maui....the world is finding out what we have always known. I want to do my part in spreading the word.. OK, now I am getting hungry, so I will say Aloha, a hui hou.


Come, work up an appetite on Maui, you'll be soooo happy that you did.

Cherie