Coffee picking

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We’re in the heat of coffee production.  Yesterday my husband and I picked approximately 30 gallons of cherry in 5 hours.  We were super grateful it was overcast, otherwise it would’ve been painful.  A few months ago I wrote about starting the season, and how I was “excited” about picking and it being a meditation practice in its own way. Yeah, well that feeling is OVER.  Even back then I knew that “excited feeling” would pass.  We currently have about 50 trees and have started a new field with 75 more.  While they won’t be ready for a few years, in the midst of our picking, my husband and I questioned our reasoning (and our sanity) behind planting more coffee.  We do plan on doing this in our retirement, but we’re not retiring in the next two years.  We just keep telling ourselves, “it’s a season, it’s not all year round, we can do this”.  Yes, it’s awesome to have your own coffee, but it is a lot of work.  Yesterday we also packaged some of our roasted coffee, the first of our coffee this season.  This is also the first of our coffee in two years.

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In the 30 gallons of coffee beans, I only saw 4 beans that had a sign of coffee borer beetle.  4 beans!!  We are so happy.  We will continue to organically manage the pest the best we can, and hope we are able to sustain our efforts in combatting this bug.

So that 30 pounds of cherry we picked yesterday … well that was only one of our fields, we have another field to do today.  To be completely honest, I’m not looking forward to it.  But this weekend looks to be the peak of our season.  We picked a lot of coffee on the trees, so we won’t be picking as much in the coming weeks.  Although we did spot some new flowers growing on a few of the trees …

I will admit all this hard work has had its benefits, because for the first in a while, we enjoyed a cup of our very own “Kalopa Makai Farms Estate Coffee” yesterday.  There’s nothing better than that.

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Rainy days

I can’t count the number of times we have had a beautiful sunny week, then end up with a rainy weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually love rain, but it’s not conducive to working in the garden, especially if it’s a hard rain.  This morning, we could see that it was going to be overcast, and unsure of what the day would be, we got out there early and planted about 150 purple asparagus starts.  David did the hard work of digging the trenches; I spaced the starts out in the trenches, and covered them with the dirt.  It was perfect weather for this kind of work, and we got it done fairly quickly.  This was good because then it started to rain harder and even got a little chilly.  I didn’t get a chance to take a picture because of the rain.  The news forecast expects snow on Mauna Kea tonight!

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Yesterday, I picked some lemons and made a really simple lemon pie.  See the recipe below.  I forgot to take a picture before we dug in and started eating it, it was so pretty, that I took a picture anyway.

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Make a simple graham cracker crust and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.  I used 1 1/2 packs of the crackers and a stick of butter.  The filling is:

3 cups sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg yolks, and 2/3 cup of lemon juice (next time I’m going to use limes to make it a little tarter).  Mix that all together, pour into the baked crust and bake another 10 minutes.  Let it cool on the counter and refrigerate before eating.  You can top it with whipped cream and lemon slices, but both David and I aren’t huge fans of whipped cream, so I left that off.

It was super easy to make and set really nicely.  I will definitely make it again just because it was so easy.

Jaboticaba

 

 

 

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We have two jaboticaba trees on our property.  One has never flourished.  The other, however, when in season bears a ton of fruit.  Okay maybe not an actual ton, but a lot.  The jaboticaba grows on the trunk of the tree.  It’s odd looking.  It almost looks like some sort of wart or growth on the tree.  I actually know people who won’t eat it because of this very reason.  It is a shame for them, however, because the fruit is delicious.  It looks a lot like a dark purple grape, but the skin is much thicker.  When eating, you can eat the skin, but most people don’t as it’s a little tough and slightly bitter.  Rather you simply pop the whole thing in your mouth,  pop it open with your teeth and suck the pulp and seeds out.  Then you spit the skin and seeds out.  It doesn’t sound too attractive but it is really good.  People make jelly, wine and liqueurs out of it.  The wine process is a bit time consuming and to be honest I’m always nervous about the fermenting process, so I haven’t tried that yet.  We picked two large baskets full of the berries.  I made some jelly and am in the process of making the liqueur.  This jar will sit for a few months before I strain it and add a simple sugar syrup to taste.

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Jaboticaba can fruit year round if taken care of well.  This is our second batch this year.  Once ripe, they don’t stay fresh long.  So it’s important to pick quickly, else they’ll simply fall on the ground and rot.  Jaboticaba is native to Brazil.  It has high levels of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-aging properties (who doesn’t want that??).  It is also a good source of Vitamin C, B1, calcium and phosphorous.