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.





Author: Belle Chai

Farm girl wannabe, enjoying life on the Big Island. We have a small five acre farm along the Hamakua coast. While we have a few crops we grow to sell, we are trying to create a self sustaining lifestyle on our little piece of paradise. I set up this blog initially to help me keep track of different things we grow and how well they’re doing, but recently decided to go public with it. I enjoy reading other hobby farm sites, and thought sharing our story a little might inspire others as they have inspired me.

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