Jackfruit

Jackfruit is the largest fruit in the world.  We have two jackfruit trees on our property.  One of them is fruiting well.  It has about 10 fruit on it in various sizes.  I picked this one about a week ago because it had a large crack in it. It ripened over the week so I cut it open today.  WHAT A MESS!  I recommend before you try and cut one open yourself and process it, read how to do it.  I read a number of different articles and watched a few videos.  If you get it just right you can avoid the latex which is like glue, super sticky glue.  You can see it above in the picture.  You need to oil your knife and board before you start to help in the clean up process later.  Even oiling it didn’t make it easier.  I should’ve wrapped the handle in plastic before I started.  I saw that one video, but thought it a bit much work, but now, I wish I would’ve worn gloves, and saran wrapped my whole kitchen before I started.  There are three different parts to the fruit you can eat.  You can see the seed above, they’re supposed to taste like a nut when roasted.  There’s the pod, which is the orange pocket that surrounds the seed, which we are drying, and then there is the shredded looking stuff in between which you can make into a vegan pulled pork type of food.  Following is a picture of the pods which are in the process of drying, as well as the seeds and shredded pieces.  I’ve had dried jack fruit before, and really like it.  I’m going to be making the “pork” today and roasting the seeds.  We’ll see how that comes out.  Jackfruit can range from 10 to 100 pounds, there are record setting ones that are even larger.  I’d said this one weighed closer to 10.  I have a feeling I’m going to feel sticky for about a week, and this is after I scrubbed myself with comet.  I know I know, not good, but did I tell you it was a MESS!


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Asparagus

When we started our farm, we planted things we enjoyed, but we also thought about produce we could sell.  Two of our primary cash crops are dragon fruit and white pineapple.  We also experimented with different varieties of asparagus.  They do exceptionally well in Hawaii climate, and are a year round crop.  When not picked, the asparagus go to fern.  Most people wouldn’t even know it’s asparagus looking at it.  We started with 2500 crowns (starts) of asparagus and planted on not quite a quarter acre of land.  While it is still a future consideration for a cash crop for us, it is a little labor intensive for us, two people with full time jobs.  We hand pick the asparagus, which in an of itself is not difficult.  But asparagus grows fast.  We can pick in the morning, and then pick again in the afternoon.  Then there is getting the crop to the buyer.  It ended up being too much work.  My husband just mowed a field for picking.  Yesterday was the first day I could see some asparagus ready to pick.  I picked about 10.  I could see some more poking their way through the dirt.  This morning I went out and picked a bucket full.  And I know by this afternoon, there will be another bucket full.  If we don’t pick it, in about a week or so, it’ll all be fern.  

Once picked, we place it in a plastic bag or small pitcher with some water.  Asparagus lasts a long time once it’s refrigerated.  I’m going to experiment with canning some.  Since it’s a year round crop, my husband doesn’t quite see the purpose, we can get it when we want, but I’m going to try some pickling too, which I know he will enjoy. 

Our dragon fruit and pineapple are in season now too.  The dragon fruit should be ripening soon, and we’ll have a nice size crop this year.  Unfortunately we have someone or rather something eating much of our pineapple.  It’s a problem, we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with soon.  We had an unusual dragon fruit growing directly off the arm of the cactus.  The one on the top is how it normally grows.  My husband ate the other one, he said it tasted normal, it just looked a little weird.  Not sure how that happened, but nature does some surprising things sometimes. It’s just a reminder that in life it’s okay to be a little different.