The life here in Hana is simple. Hard work is the most valued skill among the majority of the people here, but a close second comes living off the land. There is a plethora of fruit trees and various ways to eat from what grows here on the island. Katie and I have gone foraging a couple of times, back into the jungle of our property in search of guava and papaya. We have avocado trees here on the farm, as well as ulu, noni, citrus and starfruit. Even though as a human population we seem to take and take from the Earth, she still seems to provide, and for that we are grateful.
We are experimenting here on the farm with growing our own food as well! We’ve worked almost every Sunday for a few hours on our keyhole gardens. Krista, who owns the farm, is a master gardener. She crafts workshops for us to learn to feed ourselves starting at the seeds. We’ve been growing various types of lettuces, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions as well as squash, taro, and broccoli. We have a plethora of herbs, as well as Hawaiian chili peppers, which really pack a punch. My favorite thing to make is a huge farm salad from everything we have growing.
Our keyholes were built before we arrived, but they are a unique style of gardening. The structure is built on top of the ground with layers of cardboard, compost, rocks, and soil. There’s a compost tube in the middle that feeds nutrients into the soil. We’ve been experimenting with diatomaceous earth and eggshells to keep away bugs and pesky chickens, and it all seems to be working. There are few things more satisfying than being responsible for where your food comes from.
In addition to our vegetable endeavor, we’ve also been making our own bread and hummus! Trying to make things from scratch as much as we can has been a delicious learning experience. My favorite meals we’ve had as a farm so far have been fresh pizza in our very own cinder-block oven, spicy starfruit salsa, and vegetarian beet tacos. Our neighbor Angela, who’s Hawaiian, taught us to make traditional lau-lau. It’s steamed pork, ulu, and taro leaves wrapped inside ti leaves. It was delicious! We don’t eat much traditional Hawaiian food besides ulu chips and fruit, but we love to try new things when the chance arises.
-written by Marion Boreros