Homegrown lunch

Everything but the peanuts is from the farm

A post shared by Belle Chai (@ourhawaiifarm) on

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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Spring cleaning

Recent conversations with my sister and my best friend in Texas, I realize I too need to do spring cleaning.  I started this weekend, and got the bathrooms done, and mopped most of the floors and yes, the baseboards too.  I need to do the windows.  This is the chore I least like, because one, I think our home has more windows than actual walls, and two because of the weather and all our little critters who scratch at the doors and windows to be let in or let out, they just don’t stay clean that long.  It seems such a wasted effort for so little value.  But I will get to that too.

So the garden – things are blooming and growing everywhere.  Our clove tree is really taking off.  I pulled a bunch off this morning and put in our dry rack.  It’s been hot and dry here, so they will dry out within a few days.

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We have a lot of avocado trees and have a number of different varieties.  Many of the trees are just loaded.  We will have a bumper crop this year.  There are so many on the tree, some of them reminded of me of wind chimes hanging from the trees.

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We have lots of papayas.  We have a number of varieties of those too.  We have this one variety that is really big and long.  We planted those to make green papaya salad.  One papaya will make a large bowl of salad big enough to feed and entire family of 4.  We have  strawberry papayas which are really sweet.  We have this one papaya tree that is so low to the ground that the papayas actually touch the ground.IMG_0746

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I caught a picture of Angel today.  She literally stood there and posed.  As soon as I snapped the picture, she walked away.  We call her angel because of her white wings.  See the white spot on her side, well she has one on the other side of her body too, so it looks like she has wings.

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She’s a hair sheep.  Hair sheet have hair instead of wool.  She actually gets wooly looking, but the hair molts and comes off.  The sheep will sometimes rub against the fence to help the process.  She has completely molted, so she’s looking really pretty.  The sheep who haven’t completely molted, don’t look as pretty.  Angel’s hair will get longer and form a thick coat, and then she’ll molt again.  My sister is always asking me to send her the hair, but it just blows away.  It’s not like it falls off in big chunks; although sometimes there are larger pieces.  The only hair we usually see is the stuff that is stuck to the fences, but it’s not that much; way too little to spin into yarn.

On a sad note, we lost all our new baby ducklings to a mongoose.  I almost didn’t write about it, because it was just so sad.  But this is farm life, and while we have a beautiful piece of property, sometimes things happen. We are reinforcing all the remaining duck mama houses to help prevent this from happening again.  We also have a number of traps set up.  Another mama had 5 ducks, and they’re all doing well.  We have two more ducks sitting on eggs now.  We always lose a few ducks during the season, either because of mongoose or some other animal, but we’ve never lost that many so quickly.

And finally, I finished making the jaboticaba liqueur I started about a month ago.  It made a little over 3 bottles.  It’s got an almost wine-like quality to it.  I haven’t quite decided if I like it yet.  I think with a little club soda and lime, I can make it a nice refreshing drink for the summer.

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