Night Blooming Cereus & Dragon Fruit

Aloha All,

This time of year one of my favorite flowers and fruits are gracing us with their beauty and bounty.
The Night Blooming Cereus is a spineless climbing cactus that produces large white blossoms with lush yellow centers. Their fragrance is quite intoxicating and perfumes the night air between mid- summer to early fall. The exotic flowers are short lived, blooming into the night sky and staying open and vibrant long enough for the busy bees of the early morning to collect their pollen and start the mysterious Dragon Fruit on it's path.
I thought one had to hand pollinate these flowers to produce fruit.
My Oahu guest told he as he was handing me arm fulls of this delicious and expensive fruit, that the bees and bugs do the work for him. I went to go check on mine, and low and behold, three little yellow Dragon fruit were growing!!! I was so excited! I just went back to check on them at sunset and noticed there was only one left. :( Maybe the ducks flew up on top of the orchid house and ate them? I don't know, but my excitement was short lived...I might have to bag them to keep them safe.

The meat is delicious, soft and moist a bit like a melon, but, they almost melt in your mouth.
"Broke da mouth" as we say..ono, yum..I'll keep trying to get fruit, and one of these years, I'll get to pick them off the top of my orchid house.

Thanks, Steve, for bringing the bounty from Oahu!
Lucky guests at breakfast these last couple of days.

Enjoy the garden, where ever it might be!

With Aloha,

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 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 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,

Upcountry Bounty

organic Hawaiian tropical fruit from the garden of the Hale Hookipa Inn Maui Hawaii Bed and Breakfast
Yum, yum Aloha....

This ono (delicious) organic bounty was picked from the organic garden of the Hale Ho'okipa today. My garden produces an abundance of food. The Winter Pears, avocados, are so creamy and filling, a meal in itself. I serve them in the morning for breakfast. My famous combo is avocado and chili peppa jelly on toast. I have made many converts at the breakfast table.

The papayas are also pumping out now that the rain has come. I had the good fortune of getting a Mexican papaya which produces really large fruit. In all the papayas I have served for breakfast, I've only found one seed from this variety. I'm wondering when I will come across another one to germinate. The Hawaiian sunrise papayas are my favorite, and are the sweetest.

It's been a bumper year for the lilikoi, passion fruit. I have three varieties producing fruit, and two more varieties that are keiki's, young plants. With lilikoi, the more wrinkles, the sweeter they are. (Ah, more good things to be said about aging...) The passion fruit has a very bold flavor, and it makes great toppings for cheesecake, or fish, and they really add a zing to my morning fruit salads. People wake up in a hurry when they slurp a passion fruit. I always get a little chuckle out of the surprised expressions.

Being such a dry and windy spring, most of my cherimoya blossoms sailed away on the wind. They look like little helicopters, and their fragrance is so special and subtle, like an apple, pear combo. The flesh of the cherimoya is white and super sweet. I call it ice cream fruit. The local name for it is custard apple. They have a very short shelf life because of all the sugar. I am usually trying to give away lots of them, or scrapping them up off the driveway if I did not get to them in time. But, it has been a precious few this year.

This tropical bounty is very satisfying...even so, I have to admit that I look forward to cherries in the summer, and apricots. I do have three special upcountry peach trees that are heavy with peaches in the summer.
We are so lucky to be able to grow year round here. Come on over for breakfast, you'll be glad you did!

Malama ka aina , care for the land...and it gives back to you.........

With Aloha,