Posted on Aug 12, 2012

GARDEN DELIGHTS

August brings us back home and into the garden. Besides a daily visit to the beach to surf with Reef, the hours of the days are spent tending the garden and making jewelry. Waves are small kine so it’s knee high slaps and jumps when we do make it down to the beach.

Beyond the thrilling wave and wind conditions on Maui, the growing here is insane. There are much more people who have moved here for the farming than there are those who have left  their homes to windsurf here permanently.

It’s the beginning of the farming culture once you pass Ho’okipa and start heading out to Hana. People travel from all over the world to live on a Maui farming property where they can stay in huts and tend to vegetables and fruits all day. It’s because Maui provides year round growing conditions with multiple levels of climates. Kula is drier and cooler while the more you head out to Hana the more the tropical rain pours down. The greatest battle in Haiku is with the mold.

Our property provides us with coconuts which are always useful. Coconut water sells for a bomb at the stores and it is said to be a natural isotonic drink which is good for all the athletes on island. The meat of the coconut makes fantastic cookies and snacks. It’s also said that coconuts might be a natural thyroid regulator which is a good thing for those of us who have an insane history of thyroid disease in their families.

I’ve experimented with planting tropical fruit trees over the years. I’ve got lychee trees going off as well as starfruit, jackfruit, pomegranates and figs. The oranges, lemons bananas and papayas are more like weeds and barely need any tending. I love my jamaican passion fruit vine which delivers the most unique tasting sweet fruit that my son adores.

In the vegetable garden the fennel bulbs are going crazy. Which reminds me of a great recipe. I’m super into eating off the land as well as buying locally. This salad is awesome as I can find all the ingredients in my back yard.

Fennel, Blood Orange, and Avocado Salad

4 medium blood oranges ( I replace them with oranges from our trees and they taste just as good!)

1 large or 2 small heads fennel, with fronds

1 small shallot, minced

juice form 1/2 medium lemon

11/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar ( I used a white pinot grigio vinegar and tasted great)

1/4 teaspoon honey

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium advocados

From there you just layer the oranges (sliced like wheels thinly) on the bottom and stack the sliced avocado and then top with grated fennel. The salad dressing is best if you combine the minced shallots, lemon, honey and vinegar, add some pepper, fennel fronds and a pinch of salt and then add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil!

Also I have another trick for getting kids to eat kale and spinach.  All ingredient grow here on Maui and I can’t believe how easily they go down!

Pineapple, Banana, Spinach & Kale Popsicles

You just put together in a blender a small sugar pineapple, 3 fairly ripe bananas and a huge handful of spinach and another half handful of kale without the stems and proceed to blend until it’s all a nice fairly even green and them put it all into popsicle molds and set in the freezer! Best ever!

Mango, Papaya, Banana & Yogurt Pops

Or we do another version where we just blend mango, papayas and bananas with full fat yoghurt and pop that into the freezer and there we go. A natural healthy snack for the kids or for me!

I’m just getting back into making bracelets again and here’s a peek at what happens with my time when the waves disappear for weeks on end!

As for music… I love this brother and sister team, Rodrigo Y Gabriela. I saw them play in Tralee, Ireland years ago and it was one of the best small concerts I’ve ever seen! This is their tune; Hanuman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpI2JSn2o0A&feature=share