We have two large malabar chestnut tree that produce for us currently. This species of tree originated in South and Central America and does very well in the Hawaiian climate. The chestnuts themselves come in a large pod. When ripe, they drop from the tree and crack open. Some people bag the pods so they don’t fall on the ground, but the pod is so sturdy and the nuts don’t appear damaged in the fall, it seems a waste of effort. I will say if we don’t get to them fast enough, wild pigs have been known to find their way inside the farm to eat them. Inside the pod itself you’ll find a number of chestnuts. Botanically speaking the Malabar chestnut is not related to any of the other chestnut trees. But their nut is delicious to eat. My husband thinks they are better than macadamia nuts! While the nut can be eaten raw, they taste really good roasted in a little olive oil and sea salt.
Because we like them so much, we have started growing more of the plants. I really like the way the tree looks too. It’s shaped a little different than your regular tree. I hear they can grow quite tall, but there are a number of varieties, and so far our’s isn’t huge. They also produce a beautiful flower as well.
We have loads of mulberries right now. I learned recently that mulberries are part of the fig and breadfruit family. Mulberries are super easy to grow here. When in season, we can pick all day long. The berries should be picked when they’re dark purple, not red. Mulberries are a good source of vitamin C and have more C than oranges. As a fruit, they provide high levels of protein and iron. Mulberries have many health benefits from building bone density, preventing cancer, aiding digesting, and reducing stress. Not only can the berries be eaten, but the leaves can be used to make tea. I haven’t made tea yet from the leaves, but I use the berries to make jam and often put them in scones.
We picked a bunch of berries today. We’ve been freezing them, so when I have a large batch I can make some jam.
It’s been dry and sunny for the last week. David was able to drain and repaint the pool. We filled it up yesterday. It looks so nice. Much improved from the last photo I shared.
With the dry weather, I’ve had an opportunity to explore the farm and see what’s growing and sprouting. We have so many flowers on our mango and avocado trees. There are flowers on the jaboticaba and cherry trees, and new flowers on our allspice tree. And for the first time, we have some flowers budding on our clove tree. I’m so excited about that. Cloves take a long time to produce the flower, they say 10 years. Ours has been growing for longer than that. We also have a flower on our giant lilikoi. It’s beautiful. I’ll write more about the giant lilikoi once we get actually have one. But here’s the flower.