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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Home Again

It’s been a few weeks since my last entry.  We went to Boulder to see my daughter graduate with her Master’s Degree.  We spent about a week and half  there.  The weather was beautiful and warm for most of the trip, but the last two days we got a snow storm.  The snow was beautiful, aesthetically speaking, however practically speaking it was COLD, and we lost power for a bit.  Overall the trip was wonderful.  I’m happy to be home, back to our little homestead.  It’s clear summer is right around the corner, it is has been hot.

So what’s growing right now …

lots of tomatoes (I’m super excited about this!), white mountain apples, Anna apples (we only have about a 10 on all the trees combined), figs, asparagus, blackberries, pumpkins, papayas, lychee (mostly from my in-law’s yard!) and … vanilla!  Our vanilla plant flowered!  I’m not sure how old it is, but we never thought we’d see flowers.  The bug that pollinated vanilla orchids is no longer around, so vanilla has to be hand pollinated.  The flower opens for one day only, so you have to catch it at just the right time.  I’ve hand pollinated about 6 flowers so far.  Let me rephrase that, I’ve attempted to hand pollinate 6 flowers.  I’m not sure if any took, you have to be super gentle.  So here’s the issue, our orchid plant is growing up two royal palm trees we have, and the flowers are really high up.  AND, I’m scared of heights.  Between David and I, I watched the youtube videos of how to pollinate the flower, so the job at this point is mine.  I think I’m doing it right, but it’s a really fragile job, and you can lose the pollen so easily.  We’ll see what happens.  If we get any vanilla beans, I’ll be excited.

Here’s a recent harvest from a quick morning trip to the garden.

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You can see some of the orchid flowers just above the end of the ladder.  That’s a 20 foot ladder although it’s not all the way up.  We didn’t plan for the orchid to grow that way, it just did.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s pretty amazing.