Homegrown lunch

Everything but the peanuts is from the farm

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I would love one day to be almost entirely self sufficient on our farm at least food wise.  There are certain things I can’t grow or make at this point, so I know that this won’t  happen for awhile unless I completely change my diet.  I’m not opposed to that, but while we have a lot of fruits and vegetables that we do grow, it is seasonable, and I’m still learning to be better at canning and preserving foods for later.  So one month we’ll have a ton of pumpkins or a ton of dragon fruit, and one tends to get tired of eating the same thing over and over again.  But today I started small, lunch was entirely farm produced minus the peanuts in the papaya salad.

Quickie papaya salad recipe:

Green papaya grated (there is a special grater for this, see picture below, it’s the light blue handled tool), one large size tomato, one lime, green beans (I substituted moringa beans), fish sauce, and a little chili pepper if you like.

We have a large mortar and pestle that is perfect for papaya salad.  Par boil beans (about 4 or 5 large beans).  Cut tomatoes in quarters and cut lime in quarters.  Put green beans, tomatoes, lime, chili pepper in mortar and start grinding.  Add a little fish sauce.  Fish sauce is salty, start with a little and add to taste.  Grind a little more, and then slowly start adding the green papaya.  I usually use one large green papaya.  This will serve about 4 people as a side salad or two people if this is your main meal.  Keep pounding the pestle until everything is thoroughly mixed.  I add about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce total, and usually squeeze a little more lime in at the end.  Garnish with peanuts.  I do this all to taste.  My husband likes salty and spicy, so he usually adds a little more chili pepper and fish sauce then I do.  Start at small, because if you add to much, the only way to save it is to grate more green papaya.

Papaya salad #greenpapayasalad #hawaiilife #farmlife #homesteading

A post shared by Belle Chai (@ourhawaiifarm) on

The drink above is turmeric, ginger limeade sweetened with honey.  I squeezed about 6 limes for the pitcher.  In addition I boiled two cups of water with two tablespoons of turmeric and two tablespoons of ginger.  I let it cool, strained it and added this my lime juice.  I added more water to fill the pitcher and honey to taste.  A nice healthy refreshing drink for the summer.

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Moringa

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We have a number of Moringa trees on our property.  These trees grow very easily here.  They’re native to South Asia, and are a draught resistant plant.   You can eat everything on the moringa tree.  The leaves which are small and round are highly nutritious.  Eaten raw they have a peppery taste to them.  I like to put them in soup.  It’s a little tedious picking all the leaves off, and because they’re small you need a lot of them.  The leaves have the following nutrient value:

  • 9 times the protein of yogurt
  • 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
  • 15 times the potassium of bananas
  • 17 times the calcium of milk
  • 12 times the vitamin C of oranges
  • 25 times the iron of spinach

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The plant also has bean pods.  You can eat them when they’re smaller, just like a green beans, or if you wait until their slightly larger, you can eat only the inside of the bean as the outer shell becomes too fibrous.  It’s still really good this way, and in fact, I actually prefer them.

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skinny beans in the bucket, larger ones on the table

You can eat the Moringa flowers as well.  They can be eaten raw or  lightly cooked, but you can’t cook them too much as they lose their nutrient value.  Eat too many, and you might have to make several trips to the bathroom.  They too are quite nutritious.  They have a lot of calcium and potassium, and are known to reduce inflammation in the body.  The flowers can be made into a tea as well.  They’re also not supposed to be eaten if you’re pregnant, however they are good for nursing moms.  Always good to check these things out if you’re pregnant or nursing.

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And finally the bark, yes the bark can be used as well!  There are quite a number of medicinal uses for this as well.  There’s a process to make it into a paste.  I haven’t done that yet, and probably won’t until I do further research.  I have, however, eaten all the other things off the tree.  They’re also a really pretty tree, especially when it’s flowering.

Other happenings around the garden …

We picked the first red coffee beans, they’re in my in laws yard, but we’ll be getting ours very shortly as well.  So it’s officially staring our processing season.

And most exciting … I wrote a little about our dragon fruit, but the really exciting part is we have bees!!! Lots of bees.  I’m not sure if they’re coming from a neighbor who keeps bees or they’re wild, but they’re pollinating the flowers and doing a bang up job if I may so say myself!!

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all kinds of bees too.  I love having them around!