Pineapple, coffee, missile warning, medicinals herbs … missile warning???!

What a crazy weekend this turned out to be.  For those not from here, the national news minimally covered the missile scare in Hawaii.  So to quickly summarize, on Saturday at 8:07 a.m. we (we being people in Hawaii who have cells phones) received a warning text to our phones stating that there was an incoming missile, take shelter, this was not a test. The warnings subsequently came on the radio and on the television.  Hawaii has been preparing for such an event for months.  We get updates at work, and there is information in our newspapers regarding how we should prepare in the event this occurs.  Our sirens have been changed to include a new sound to indicate a missile strike. We’ve also been informed it would take 12 -15 minutes for a missile to strike us once launched.  To be clear it is a nuclear missile from North Korea that we are preparing for.  When that message came blaring across our phones, there was no reason to doubt it.  29 minutes later I got a text saying that there was no missile, it was a false alarm.  Talk about scary?! I really cannot verbalize adequately those 29 minutes, but it was bad. I had a lot of things planned for this past weekend, but the rest of Saturday was spent decompressing, and accessing my life.  Seriously, it was a life contemplating experience. I’m still a little shaken, and the family members I was able to reach during that period were left shaken as well.

IMG_0776.JPGHomework!

So Saturday afternoon after I felt a little better, I decided it was time to get to work on my medicinal herb garden. My daughter and I had recently visited the used book store in Kona and I bought some books on the topic.  I also have a few books on Hawaii medicinal herbs.  I went on-line to Baker Creek Seeds, a really good source of organic products, and purchased a number of seeds to start this garden. I took my hubby out, and showed him the spot I wanted to utilize for this purpose.  He’s all in.  I’m going to need some help with fencing, but hopefully I can do most of the planting myself.

IMG_0775.JPGThis is the spot (the before)

It’s right next to the piece of property my husband is preparing for more pineapple.  I’ll start the seeds in containers first.  I’m going to carefully document what I’m growing and what they are utilized for.  I haven’t quite decided how to organize the garden.  I’ll probably have a native section of just Hawaiian medicinals, but I’m thinking about organizing them in sections according to health, i.e., skin issues, stomach issues, etc.  We’ll see; I need to do a little research and get some inspiration in order to make this a really special spot.  I also need to research the Hawaii medicinals better, and find a resource for those plants.  I’m very excited about this area.

In addition to the medicinals, we’re starting a whole new section dedicated to just white pineapple.

IMG_0773.jpgThe new pineapple patch

If you’ve never had white pineapple, you’re missing a special treat.  You know how sometimes when you eat pineapple, it kind of burns your tongue a bit. The reason is does this is because it contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein.  I know this sounds bad, but it actually dissolves protein, so it’s literally eating at your tongue.  Your tongue produces new cells so quickly, that feeling goes away very fast once you stop eating the pineapple. White pineapple doesn’t do this.  I tried to find out why, and couldn’t locate any information.  But my guess is that it contains less bromelain.  Also known as sugar loaf, these pineapples are just the sweetest. It’s the only kind of pineapple we grow on our property.  In addition to just eating them fresh or putting them in smoothies, we also dry them and make a liqueur with the fruit.  My husband prepared the land today, and soon we’ll be planting the slips.  It takes about 1 1/2 years for us to get pineapples off the slips. Slips come out of the bottom of the pineapple after it’s done growing. Some people grow pineapple straight from the tops.  There is debate about what makes a better pineapple.  The tops take longer to grow, about 2 years.  We’ve found that tops produce smaller inferior tasting pineapples.  Others will argue the opposite.  But on our property, the best pineapple come from the slips. We have a few patches of pineapples already and get a nice yield, but we love them so much we wanted more.  It’s also one of the crops we sell.

Today, I picked the last of this yield of coffee. We do have some new flowers and beans on some of the trees, so we’re not completely done. It’ll be awhile before those are ready to pick, so for about a month or so, we have a reprieve from picking coffee!!! Yeah!!

IMG_0755.jpg

Otis swimming with ducks

It’s been a warm few days, so we’ve enjoyed the pool. We have no idea why, but recently the ducks have been coming up to swim. UGH!! They’ve got 5 ponds they can swim in down in the garden, and they come up to use ours??? Otis was NO help at all. On one level we’re glad he’s not chasing/killing ducks, but swimming with them? Otis, help us out buddy.

Holidays are over, guests are gone, and our daughter is back in school on the mainland. Things are quieter, but still busy, just a different kind of busy. Farm busy.

Advertisements

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.

Leave a Reply