Category Archives: Garden

Hawaii fruit and vegetable explorations.

Since I moved to Oahu from the mainland over three months ago, I’ve decided to embrace the new variety of produce that is available. I decided to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. There are some things that look interesting, but if I can’t learn its name, I don’t buy it because I can’t look up what to do with it.

I learned my lesson with that the hard way. For instance, papaya seeds, while having a nice peppery taste can cause some intestinal distress. Oops. I learned from a traditional Hawaiian healing book at the library that it was believed the the seeds prevented cancer so maybe it all works out.

Here’s a list of things I’ve tried so far. I may have forgotten a few.

Sea asparagus – salty but makes a good pesto.

Papaya – many varieties, good in smoothies. Best when really soft.

Apple bananas – nice, small size, a little less sweet but not that different from normal bananas.

Starfruit – nice garnish in cocktails. Juicy and light.

Pomegranate – sweet and colorful but a lot of work. Fruit caviar! Will stain your clothes.

Permission – several varieties, delicate when ripe, handle with care.

Egg fruit – dry, hard boiled egg yolk texture. Interesting and probably good mixed with something (I saw cheesecake recipes).

Some produce is only available for a few weeks so I missed out on trying dragon fruit and breadfruit as well as these red little sea urchin looking things whose names I never learned.

In my kitchen, almost any fruit or vegetable is likely to end up in the blender or juicer, so if I’m not crazy about one, toss it in with a banana and it’s all good.

pretty smoothie

Summer garden fun.

So, my little balcony garden is in full mid-summer bloom. There are loads of green tomatoes just waiting for the right weather to turn red. Some are a random heirloom variety, so I don’t even know what color to expect from them. Due to some building maintenance, the Earthbox they are in had to be moved for a few days and a few stems were broken, but everything is back to normal now. I’ve been using the railing instead of staking so they were flopped over, but they seem to have recovered.

2013-08-01 green tomotoes

The strawberries have sent shoots everywhere and are producing about a handful of berries a week. The herbs have provided some tasty pesto and mojitos. I must admit the flowers have been somewhat neglected as they aren’t my focus but they have new flowers.

So far so good.

Making live easier with container gardening

You don’t have to live in the country or suburbs to have a productive garden. If you are used to growing plants in the ground or not having a garden at all, there could be a bit of a learning curve, but with a little planning you can have a beautiful and bountiful patio or balcony.pots 2

These pots could be used for tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon trees. Use your imagination. To save money and your back, fill the bottom with a shelf or styrofoam.