Monday, August 29, 2011

Jennifers Reflective Thoughts's time for me to pipe up again.'s hard to believe four weeks have passed...time IS speeding up. 

Recap- I was so psyched to do this in the beginning and enjoyed the process most of the time. I definitely had some cravings and sometimes was really sick of washing the harvest and preparing our meals day after day- I like to eat out a couple of times a week so this was a withdrawal for me. I so enjoyed perusing the gardens and seeing what was ready, what we could create. I enjoyed my time with Eric, cooking and caring for the garden. I can spend much more time than I do now in the garden...maybe when I make that commitment I will lean to an even more appreciative attitude. I found myself feeling so much gratitude to the plants for providing SO much. And SO much gratitude to Eric for keeping it all together. He is amazing..many people when they see our gardens ask if we have help. No siree...we have Eric with tremendous energy, a more than positive attitude and a heart full of love for his garden and providing for his family. A beautiful man, a gentle man. Today I told him he was a 'gentle man' farmer.

It is HUGE to know that we can do this. We have learned to be more creative with 'whatever we got' and to inJOY the results. We have vowed to eat more from the garden into the future, and are letting ourselves use coconut milk and mushrooms, and whatever else from the market can make a meal just right. We have a solid garden basis now and will continue to create and inJOY. Life is full, blessed and GOOD. 


Our Month is Complete - Just the Beginning!

Well Jennifer and I just completed 4 weeks of "Eating What We Grow".  We DID IT!

Preparing Apple Bananas for the Dehydrator
However, it is just the beginning of our journey into self-sufficiency.  Now that we know we can feed ourselves, we are free to explore the subtleties what to produce and fine tune how to make fabulous meals right from our land.

Fresh OJ, White Pineapple, Purple Sweet Potato and Squash

Eggs with salsa, and Purple Sweet Potato Hash Browns
For those who think this is impossible, or that this can only be done in Hawaii, or you don't have enough land.... check out this video where one family is totally self-sufficient on one fifth of an acre in Pasadena.  No excuses.  It is simply a matter of deciding to do it.

One of the best things about eating from your gardens is the freshness of the food.  Korean Natural Farming produces the most nutritious food, filled with vitamins and minerals.  Dr. Park always says that to get the same amount of nutrition as an apple grown the old fashion way before modern fertilization practices, you'd have to eat 40 of todays apples.  So eating this way is the most healthy way to eat.  No need to have government inspectors looking out for your safety or to worry about what went into your food, anti-biotics, preservatives, hormones, fungicides, pesticides... whatever.

Baked Pumpkin Squash and French Green Beans

Not only is it healthy, it's FREE.  Thats right my grocery bill for August was ZERO, nada, nothing, zip.  And I spent nothing on fertilizer too as all Korean Natural inputs are found right on your land.

Honey likes Bananas too
Even my dog likes it.  No store bought dog food for her.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven

Salad and Chicken Soup
I love the weekend when I can just hang at home.  Today was a spectacularly beautiful day, blue skies, some billowy clouds, lush green fields, deep blue calm ocean.  Drake visited today and about 5:00 I drove him home.  Right when were entering Hilo a rainbow graced the harbor.  Half circle to start, then turning full and by the time we reached Drakes house it was a brilliant double rainbow.  Lucky we live Hawaii.

This morning I harvested an older hen and made Chicken Stock with my new slow cook electric crock pot.  It was the first time using the crock pot and it worked very well.  We are off the grid and get our electricity free from the river so I was pleased that the crock slow cooked all day and didn't take much power.  Even though the hen was older the slow cook process made the meat very tender.   I added pumpkin squash and beet leaves to about a third of the stock to make tonights dinner.  I poured off most of the liquid to have Chicken Stock for future soups.  I kept most of the meat and vegetables in a separate container for a undetermined creation for tomorrow night.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day Twenty-Six

Eric from his computer
We're almost at the finish line.  So thinking about what I've learned.

My original goal was to see if we could feed ourselves.  Secondly, I wanted to know what we needed more or less of to make our diet wonderful.  Thirdly, I wanted to see what effect it would have on us both physically and psychologically.

As to the first goal, we succeeded way better than I thought we would before we started.  We had a wide variety of foods to choose from and our meals were varied for the most part.  We have enough planted to feed our family and more.

We have the right amount of bananas and papaya and other fruits planted.  We enjoyed that it was pineapple season and having oranges, lemons, and limes is nice.  One key for someone else trying to do this is to have sugar cane.  It blends with every other fruit, and satisfies any craving for sweets.  Plus sugar cane is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  I have too much taro.  It goes a long way.  However, if all else fails, taro is a dependable staple that fills you up and provides most dietary needs.

I purchased two macadamia nut trees and another lime from my sister's nursery and planted those this evening.

The key to having greens and lettuce is to plant a little bit each month.  I will consolidate my greens and vegetable gardens in the future, planting closer and more intensely.

The physical effect was that I lost 10 pounds.  I feel much better in that I feel lighter and more energetic.  I used to huff and puff toting my fat ass up the hill to the upper garden.  Now I skip up the hill.  That, my friends, is a BIG deal.  At 58 years old, to walk up hills effortlessly is NICE.

Psychologically I did pretty well.  I had a few cravings in the first weeks, but it was overshadowed by my determination to see this experiment through.  I am torn because I miss some of the old foods, but feel so good I don't want to return to the unhealthful habits.  I hope I can strike a good balance in the weeks and months to come.

Day Twenty-Five

New bed topped with IMO#4 and chest high taro
Another great day in paradise.  Jennifer and I had a tasty fruit smoothie for breakfast to start our day.  Then off to work, poi and hard boiled eggs for lunch.  Some fresh white pineapple for snacks.

Next years pineapple crop using weed mat

I finished putting IMO#4 on the garden bed I prepared yesterday then topped it off with lawn clippings to protect the IMO from direct sunlight that would be harmful to the microbes.   Look at the health of the taro plants in the bed next to this new one, they are chest high.  The cassava plants are thriving.   I was able to sneak in a flight on my paraglider before dark on a perfectly calm evening in Onomea.  Life is sweet!

New sugar cane with cassava

Dinner was a salad, cassava with pesto, and taro chips with guacamole.

cassava hash browns
taro chips, salad, salsa, guacamole

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Twenty-Four Days

Heading towards the final stretch.  Started the day with a fruit bowl and some home made yogurt from our neighbors raw milk.  Very wonderful! Then off to work.

Jennifer making fruit bowl and yogurt breakfast
When home I was able to prepare about a 200 foot long by 4 feet wide garden bed.  It has never been planted before but had been spaded about a year ago.  I added bio-char, dolomite lime (calcium and magnesium), horse manure, some wood shaving that had been inoculated with IMOs.  Then I tilled that in and shoveled and raked the bed into a uniform and even garden bed.  Tomorrow I'll add a thin layer of IMO #4 to the top surface and cover lightly with grass clipping.  I'll use this bed to transplant the small taro plants that surround the big corms when I harvest them.  I did the same preparation to the two rows that are next to the one I prepared today and they are thriving with cassava, sugar cane, sweet potato and taro.

new tomato plants in greenhouse
lettuce and purslane in greenhouse
These pictures are from two of my four greenhouse.  One has new tomato plants starting to be trained up on bobbins.  There are thirty two tomato plants and each week I trim off all suckers except the growing tip and clip to the bobbin.  This method produces 4 tomatoes per plant every ten days and will keep producing for months.  I am just now abandoning my other tomato greenhouse as those tomatoes have been producing since about February and are now a bit tired.  The picture on the right is young little manoa green lettuce and purslane a very nutritious addition to salads.  Google it.

For dinner Jennifer and I enjoyed sauteed french green beans, sugar cane juice with a half a lime, and a fresh green garden salad.

cane juice, french green beans, and garden salad

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day Twenty-Three

They say it takes twenty-one days to develop new habits and leave old ones behind.  Although Jennifer is really ready for this to end, I am not.  She misses her chocolate and lunches out.    I think she is hungry a lot more than I am because she has not really embraced the diet from our gardens. However, she eats very healthy any way.  Me on the other hand had lots of bad habits, coffee and alcohol to name just two.  After three weeks I really feel good, much much better than I did three weeks ago.  And beyond that I like my new foods.

Tonight I cracked macadamia nuts so that Jennifer could make pesto also using our fresh basil and lemons. We had it over cassava hash browns.  (we grated the cassava in her food processor - effortless)  We also had fried eggs with home made salsa and some avocado.  Delicious!

cracking macadamia nuts for pesto
I need to get more creative using my taro.  To this end I used our champion juicer to make poi - which I will have for lunch tomorrow.  We have so much taro in our gardens.  The Hawaiians basically lived off the taro plant.  It is incredibly nutritious and easy to grow.   I've been having it for lunch most days and it does a good job of getting rid of any hungry feeling I get about mid-day.

taro before becoming poi

Abundance - Day Twenty-Two

These photos were all taken this evening.  Jennifer had the agricultural industrial kitchen thing going after an evening harvest.  Fruits, vegies, greens, reds, roots.  Plenty to eat, it is a matter of changing our diet to "Eat What We Grow."

pineapple, kale, tangelo, lime and sugar cane juice

Beets, tomatoes, beet tops

French green beans and beet tops

Cassava over Purple Sweet Potato

Tomato, avocado, orange, lime, lilikoi, pineapple, ginger, turmeric

Apple banana


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Three Weeks and Feeling Great

We reached the three week mark today.  I spent the entire weekend on the property gardening and just loved it.  No need to leave, no need to go to the store.

It rained all Sunday (great gardening weather) so in the afternoon Jennifer and I felt like watching a movie. But you can't go to the movies without a snack, so we got creative and made taro chips.  Jennifer has a mandoline which is a device to slice very thin and uniformly.  It worked great on previously steamed taro to make ultra thin slices which we then fried in coconut oil.  We added a little sea salt and voila, home made taro chips.

Taro Chips
For lunch and dinner we had pumpkin squash soup.  We steamed the squash then put them into the vitamix blender with home made yogurt and sugar cane juice.  As Jennifer remarked, " very savory".

Pumpkin Squash Soup

We have plenty of food.  So we are not about to starve.  The biggest change is the change in our diet.  If Hawaii is to become self sufficient in it's food production it is not enough to grow our own food, we must "eat what we grow."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Terrific Twenty

Today is Saturday and I had so much energy I couldn't believe it.  I had a larger than normal breakfast and then headed out to garden for the day.  I didn't even feel the need to stop for lunch.  Normally I can only work for a couple of hours before needing to rest for a bit.  But that wasn't the case today.  Wow.  I just kept going.  It has been about three weeks and I am ten pounds lighter.  I just don't feel lethargic or old like I used to.  It is amazing.

Breakfast, eggs, taro and tangelo juice
For breakfast Jennifer and I had fried eggs with pesto and taro slices fried in gee with fresh tangelo juice.  It was a new way to prepare taro and I really enjoyed it.

Jennifer was having yoga friends over today, so we pressed 2 gallons of juice out of just three cane stalks.  It is amazing how much juice comes out.

I redid a long garden bed this morning.  First I pulled out all the taro plants cutting two thirds of the corm off and all the leaves except one.  I planted these in another previously prepared garden.  After weeding I filled a cart with bio-char, IMO wood shavings, horse manure, Dolomite (calcium and magnesium).  I dug this mixture into the long bed, raked the bed smooth and put a thin coat of IMO #4 on top.  I like to have prepared beds ready to accept transplants when they are ready.

I mowed about a third of my extensive lawn.  Then I  sprayed Cho's flowering mixture on all my plants including all the fruit trees.  I have a new toy, a real tractor and it has a 50 gallon sprayer driven by the PTO.  Yesterday I brewed a compost tea from IMO #4.  I added worm juice (from our worm farms), fermented plant juice, oriental herbal nutrient, brown rice vinegar,  water soluble calcium (made from egg shells), water soluble calcium phosphate (made from bones), fermented fish acid, and sea water.  My new sprayer worked great and made it easy to spray my plants,  The cool thing about spraying with Cho's home made ingredient is if the mist blows on me, it is fine because you can drink each and every ingredient.  I took the remainder of the spray solution and soaked it into the garden I prepared.  This will activate that garden and is recommended.

pumpkin squash
After a wonderful afternoon flight I transplanted lettuce and beans into a bed in the upper garden.  Coming back to the house I stomped around the weeds where we have some pumpkin squash planted and discovered about six perfectly ready squash.  What a nice surprise as it will make a fantastic soup.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day Nineteen

Another great day.  Hawaii is such a fantastic place on Earth.  Jennifer and I are blessed to be here and enjoy it's abundance and to steward the land.  The Hawaiian society was totally sustainable before Captain Cook arrived.

Today's world is so confused.  It seems our society is breaking apart and the divide among us is so great.  So it is up to me to honor my fellow human, who ever they may be.  It is up to me NOT to marginalize anyone or any group.  There was no word for "right" in the Hawaiian language, only "kuleana" the word for responsibility.

Day Eighteen

Bertha is pregnant
Ho hum just another day Eating What We Grow.  Getting very routine.  I've been eating an almost vegetarian diet and I must say I feel very good.  However, a little steak or pork might be welcome once in a while.  Both of my two cows are pregnant so hoping to double my herd soon.

Today's menu: Fresh fruit smoothies in the morning, a couple of hard boiled eggs mid morning, sweet potatoes for lunch and big green salad for dinner, with a lime sugar cane pre-dinner cocktail.  Somewhere I had a glass of guava juice and some dried pineapple slices and dried bananas.

I fed the chickens before I went to work, worked at my job all day, and in the late afternoon went paragliding from my front lawn for a half hour (perfect conditions), then worked until almost sunset taking the wainaku grass out of a garden bed I am reconditioning.  Looking forward to the weekend so I can spend more time in my gardens.

I made a down payment on a 72' by 32' greenhouse structure today.  Thinking about getting a couple of pigs. (I love bacon)  Master Cho has a way to raise pigs without any foul odors.  We visited Mike and Liz Hubbel yesterday and their pig pen has absolutely no foul smells.  The pigs live in a deep litter system with microbes that eat the poop.  Amazing but true.

Mama pig and baby piglets 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day Seventeen

French Green Beans
While harvesting for dinner with Jennifer last night it occurred to me that I haven't shown any pictures of our gardens.  So tonight I'll show a few.

Black Eye Beans
These beans grow very easily but are a little hard to get out of their shells.  They have provided several meals this month.
Sweet Potatoes in front of Taro
Sweet Potatoes are easy to grow and do not require much nutrition.  They grow by planting about 8 inches of the vine leaving just two or three leaves above the soil.  Taro also grows very easily.  A single corm puts out 8 or more keikis for future planting while the main corm provide several pounds of nutritious food.

Sugar Cane
Sugar Cane grows easily and fast.  Just putting an 18 inch stalk into the ground quickly sends up many canes.  In 12 to 18 months this clump of canes are ready to harvest.  Each cane stalks provides close to a gallon of juice.  It is a great drink and is very nutritious and jam packed with vitamins and minerals.

Basil and Swiss Chard

Basil grows so well.  Its flowers attracts bees which we hear are in trouble here in Hawaii and around the globe.  It makes wonderful pesto.  We use swiss chard for stir fry along with sweet potato vine tips and beet tops.

We grow all of these wonderful foods with NO STORE BOUGHT FERTILIZER.  That's right, we propogate microbes to do natures work.  They break down the organic material and soil minerals and work with the plants roots to feed the plant.  This week while harvesting, I was blown away by finding large colonies of white mold on the plant roots.  These colonies are microscopic microbes in such huge numbers that they are visible.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day Sixteen

Aerial View

It was a calm afternoon, although a bit cloudy.  But still nice enough to take off from my front yard in my motorized paraglider and take a few aerial photos.  Our vegetables are grown in 4 of the 6 hoop houses and in the garden space located above our house which is fenced off from the wild pigs.  Although we have lots of space on our property, the gardens take up very little land area.
House, gardens, hoop-houses and Hanawai River

I got up early today and made some fresh sugar cane juice for our banana pineapple smoothies.  Jennifer had a taro burger for lunch and I finished off the chicken bean soup I made over the weekend.

Freshly harvested beets

Jennifer and I harvested beets, green beans and lettuce for dinner.  Those beets are the size of soft balls.  We also cleaned the beet tops and put them in the fridge for stir fry tomorrow night.

Before preparing dinner and while enjoying our lime sugar cane juice cocktail, Jennifer and I were reflecting on how blessed we are.  We know we can provide our own food as everything we've been eating for the last two weeks I grew.  This is no longer a fantasy.  When people hear what we are doing, they say it is "so cool."  But I know that most of them have some excuse to carry on as they always have and deep down believe they could never do this.  As I said in my very first post in this blog on Jan 1, 2011, this blog is for me.  It is about me finding independence and the power of self reliance, not what others do or don't do.  I am trying to "be the change I want to see."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day Fifteen

Diner, fried eggs with pesto and sauteed beet tops
Aloha! Jennifer here...

After two weeks (and I might add the halfway mark) I'm ready to make some comments. I have learned alot about what it means to 'eat what you grow'- the challenges 
and the positive effects. So I'll mention some of the hurdles. 

I'm amazed at how much time is consumed in consuming from the garden. There is the discussion about the menu, the harvesting, the cleaning (and I am a fanatic about that), the prep, actual cooking and cleaning up afterwards. For example, fresh guava juice is mighty ono yet it takes about an hour to make because you have to walk to the end of the long driveway, pick the fruit, wash it, cut it in the right size pieces and process it in the Champion. Then you have to pick the sugarcane, machete it into the right size pieces and process it. Well that keeps us occupied until it is time to prepare whatever else will grace our plates. Please don't take this as is a simple fact. I don't mind because I HAVE the time and the time is happily spent with Eric. So there are some logistic challenges. 

Another challenge is purely emotional...I MISS MY CHOCOLATE. I do have a periodic habit and the withdrawals have made it so apparent. As a matter of fact, in the first week, I would eat a hearty ono meal and be 'looking' for more. My body was 'looking' for sugar! I have a new understanding for obesity, and even how those unwanted libbies can sneak up on you. 

On the bright note, I am loving doing this with Eric. I have never done it before although I've done half a dozen fasts. We are supporting each other, creating together and finding another way to spend quality time (which I treasure). 

I highly recommend this to each and every one of you. It is an experiment, a change, an opportunity to know yourself more. And it is delicious and seriously healthy to boot.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Half Way

We completed two weeks on the program today.  Jennifer and I enjoyed dinner looking at a full moon rising over the Pacific, simply magnificent.  Our evening cocktail is one half lime into an ice filled glass then pour to full with fresh squeezed sugar cane juice.  We ate pesto (lemon, mac nuts, and basil), beets, french green beans and cassava.  We are both amazed how full we get, even though what we are eating is very light.

Diner, cassava, pesto, beets and french green beans
I spent the weekend gardening and except for walking the dog did not leave our property.  Today I went over our 4 small greenhouses including harvesting, suckering and trellising the tomatoes, made IMO #4, weeded several of my upper garden beds (three wheelbarrows full of weeds into my compost pile), spread stored IMO #4 on a newly prepared garden bed, feed the chickens and collected the eggs, and harvested sweet potatoes and cassava.

I woke early with a cup of ginger turmeric tea and then headed directly into the gardens.  I am a morning person, so this feels right.  I love working in the garden in the early morning while working up an appetite for breakfast.  Upon my return to the house, Jennifer made me a fabulous smoothie. She through in a surprise this morning with some frozen lychee we had in our freezer from an earlier harvest this Spring.

We had a calm relaxing lunch about 1:00 where we enjoyed home made cottage cheese, beets, and avocado with home made salsa.  Fresh squeezed Orange Juice was our refreshment drink.  Wow, great lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

One last note half way through the experiment.  I've lost ten pounds in 14 days.  That is 5% of my body weight! I am not starving myself, quite the opposite.  So how can this be?  I think it must be that I am not eating any fat or empty calories.  Losing weight was not my intention, it just happened.

truth in numbers

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day Thirteen

Fresh Squeezed OJ

I love Saturdays.  I don't have to go any where, and I didn't.  Jennifer and I and Drake had fresh squeezed Orange Juice and a hard boiled egg for breakfast.

I loved gardening today.  White pineapples ripen in late summer in Hawaii.  After harvesting the fruit there is a lot of new planting material to make new pineapples for next year including all the tops, suckers and the keikis from under the fruits.  Therefore I really needed to plant my new pineapple bed.  I laid down weed mat over a prepared garden including a top layer of IMO #4.  The weed mat should prevent the pesky Wainaku Grass and other weeds from coming up.  Pineapples take a year to fruit and weeding them is a royal pain.  Hopefully this works out.  The bed is four feet wide and about 40 feet in length.  Next August we'll have over a hundred  super sweet white pineapples which make the very best dried fruit treats.

I also harvested an older chicken today, my first meat in two weeks.  This is really the cycle of life on a farm.  If you don't eat meat, skip this.  If you do eat meat, this is how it is done, but by someone you don't know, probably in a factory.  Doing this myself gives me respect for the animals that I take for my nourishment as well as being assured that the animal was raised naturally without antibiotics or any other food factory tricks.

I grabbed a bird, hung it up side down by it's feet and it becomes calm.  Then I cut it's juggler vein with a knife and in a few short minutes it bleeds to death.  The next step is to dip the whole bird in some just boiled water for about two minutes to loosen the feathers.  Then it is easy to pluck the feathers off.  The next step is to remove all the organs and soon you have a bird like you see in the picture below or on your supermarket shelf.


I chopped this bird into my black eye pea and tomato soup.  That was dinner. Yumm!

Lunch was taro chunks which I am becoming quite fond of as it fills me up.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day Twelve

Six New Chicks
It takes 21 days for a chick to hatch after laying.  We have a seven egg incubator.  I take freshly laid eggs from under our sitting hens and put them into our incubator in my office and voila, 21 days latter we have up to 7 new chicks.  This is the forth time I've hatched chicks this way, and I plan to keep this cycle going.  This is seven birds every 21 days.  The newly hatched chicks need heat ( they normally tuck under their mothers hot body), so we keep them in the house in a box on top of a heating pad.  I feed them uncooked brown rice for the first week, Master Cho says this increases the length of their digestive tract allowing them to be more efficient in digesting feed over their life span.  After a week or so I integrate the new chicks into our flock first using a big cage to have the chicks get enough size to survive the pecking order of the big hens.

My plan is to begin eating some of the older birds as I replace them with the younger birds.  They stop laying after several years.  I think I'll harvest one tomorrow and put that into our black eye pea soup.  This is a good way to make sure my meat is healthy and naturally raised.

I had eggs today for breakfast, avocados and salsa in addition to my daily fruit smoothie.

For lunch I had a salad with green leaf lettuce and beets.

Jennifer is hosting her monthly Friday night yoga potluck tonight with donations going to help a needy family in India.  I harvested taro this morning before going to work and Jennifer crafted them into taro burgers for tonights main course.

Day Eleven

Cassava, beets, french green beans and guava juice

Yesterday I fought off a few cravings.  Things like driving by the Starbucks I would normally pull into and having it call out to me.  Or in the evening before dinner wanting to munch on a bag of chips.  Today wasn't so bad.  

We are a third of the way through our exercise and it is interesting to observe myself.  The first few days I was tired.  I had energy in the day but early in the evening I would be sleepy.  Eleven days in, that isn't the case.  My energy level is much higher than before.  I'm not stuffed like I sometimes was after a heavier meal.  I think the lighter eating is giving me a higher energy level.  I'm also getting used to sometimes being a little bit hungry.  Normally I'd just go to the store or fast food and fill up when I felt hungry.  Now I just have a little bit of healthy garden food or nothing at all.  At first it was an uncomfortable feeling.  Now I am used to it, and actually like it better.

No coffee and no alcohol are big changes too.  I use to kick start the day with a jolt of caffeine,  now I'm having some ginger turmeric tea heated in the microwave.  In the evening I use to bring it all down with several glasses of red wine.  I don't miss it.  In fact I feel really good.  Clear headed too.

Breakfast: papaya, banana sugar cane juice smoothie and two boiled eggs later.

Lunch:  Pineapple chucks, and taro with a spoonful of pesto.

Afternoon snack:  dried banana and dried pineapple.

Diner: Cassava, beets, french beans and guava juice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day Ten

Well the stock market crashed again today down 500, yesterday up 400, and down 700 the day before.  One thing is certain, that there is NO CERTAINTY in our future.  So this experiment is timely.  Because no matter what is going on in this crazy world I know we can feed ourselves without leaving home.

Breakfast was a papaya, banana, sugar cane smoothie and two hardboiled eggs.

Lunch was taro.

Afternoon snack was dried bananas and dried white pineapple.

Dinner will be sautéed green beans and cassava with pesto made from our basil plants.

Number Nine

Steamed Taro

I said I was going to talk about taro in today's post.  This particular white variety, Mauna Kea Kea was prized by the Hawaiians.  It is very mild in taste and doesn't take too long to steam, only about 20 minutes.  One corm is almost more than I could eat in a day.  I must have over a hundred taro plants with large corms in my gardens.  Every time I harvest the big corm, there are at least 8 little taro plants attached that must be replanted.  I always have an empty prepared garden bed ready to accept the baby taro plants.  Soon I'll be able to feed the neighborhood.

For today's lunch I had steamed taro with some left over green beens.  It is very filling and full of nourishment.  Poi (mashed taro) is the perfect baby food.  I won't bore you with my meals today as it was fruit till noon, and a salad for dinner.  Better to leave you with the Hawaiian legend of taro:

One Hawaiian legend tells of Wakea, Father Heaven, who bore a child with the Daughter of Earth. Born prematurely, the deformed infant, Haloa, was in the shape of a bulb. Wakea buried the body at one corner of his house. The couple’s second-born child, also named Haloa, was a healthy boy who would become the ancestor of the Hawaiian people. Haloa was to respect and look after his older brother for all eternity. The elder Haloa, the root of life, would always sustain and nourish his young brother and his descendants.
Early Hawaiians supposedly consumed up to 15 pounds of taro (as poi), per person, on a daily basis. It was such a revered source of nourishment that only men were allowed to grow it.
Even today, much of the Hawaiian culture is based on taro cultivation. For example, no one is allowed to fight or argue when a bowl of poi is open. According to Hawaiian custom, it is disrespectful to fight in front of an elder. And as the living embodiment of Haloa, taro is the “elder brother” of all Hawaiians