E Komo Mai! Welcome to Conscious Maui’s Fruit of the Month Blog. This month we will share a bit of info about the Guava, an invasive yet delicious fruit growing here, there and everywhere on Maui. It is delicious, free and surprisingly healthy, so eat up, or drink up cause it is great in smoothies too!
Last month we shares some of what we know about the Soursop. This one is really worth reading so if you missed last months featured fruit of the month, click here to learn more about Soursop, it could save a life!
What is Guava:
Guava is an abundant tropical fruit on the Hawaiian Islands. Common Yellow Guava is known as Kuawa, and Strawberry Guava is known as Waiawi in Hawaiian. Guava is native to Mexico, Central America and the north part of South America. There are many varieties available but to keep it simple lets focus on Yellow Guava and Strawberry Guava the two most available kinds here.
Where to get Guava:
Guava, an invasive species, can be found growing in public places. I would love to say you can eat the guava you find growing in the wild but since it is consider invasive it may very likely have been sprayed with a harmful chemical. So picking guava for consumption along the highway is not advised. Even though you may see or smell them when you are on the road, be advised of this. Many of the chemicals, herbicides/pesticides etc. on the market are systemic, meaning the chemical is in the plant and can not be washed off. So it is going to be safer to eat the guava growing in your own yard or in the yard of a friend that does not use such chemicals in the garden. You can often find guava for sale at your favorite grocery store or a roadside stand. The farmers market is very likely to have it for a very reasonable price. Again it is important to choose wisely what goes into our bodies. Remember what we learned in kindergarten; “You are what you eat!”. Guava grows itself abundantly. Let’s always remember to practice abundant growth, be like the guava.
When to Harvest Guava:
Almost all year round guava can be found. Although guava is an invasive species, in a time and place where food is expensive, it is nice to have to have something so readily available to eat.
There are several varieties of guava growing in the Hawaiian islands and the growing seasons overlap. Also, thanks to the many varied micro climates of the Islands, the ripening times are staggered. Guava growing in one place can grow faster than one of the same species being grown on another part of the island.
Aloha! Welcome Back to Conscious Maui’s Featured Fruit of the Month Blog. Join us while we talk story about the Soursop, how to eat it and why it is so healthy.
Last month we covered how to enjoy a Mango without making a complete mess. We also went over the why Mango is healthy and the best places are to get them on Maui. If you missed last months featured fruit of the month click here to learn more about Mango.
What is Soursop:
Soursop aka Graviola, Guyabano, or Guanábana, thrives in warm humid locations within USDA zone 10, making parts of the Hawaiian Islands ideal for growing this delicious fast growing super-food.
Where to get Soursop:
Specialty grocery stores or farmers markets often have this fruit. Do you or a friend have a soursop tree? Since the fruit is so large it is great for sharing. Soursop makes a great healthy gift. They grow so large it may not be possible to eat an entire one by yourself. Canned juice is also available but may contain added sugars or other chemicals. It is also being sold in the refrigerator section of some grocery stores as a meat replacement.
When to Harvest Soursop:
The soursop tree can grow up to 20 feet tall in the right environment and will be half as wide. Harvest in Hawaii is between June and October. The fruit can grow quite large almost 12 inches in length weighing close to 10 lbs. When ready to be harvested and eaten the skin will yield slightly to pressure. It must be said that the size of the fruit is not an indicator of when it is ready. It has been my experience that size of the fruit is based on the conditions of the soil and the weather and not based on the time spent on the tree. Read more »
Welcome to Conscious Maui’s Fruit of the Month. Today we are going to share some info about the delicious and nutritious Mango. Learn how to eat a Mango without making a complete mess. Unless, you are cool with mango juice on your elbows you may like this trick. Last Month we talked story about the Jackfruit. If you missed it click here to learn more about Jackfruit.
What is Mango:
With so many varieties of Mango it is hard to try them all. Some are stringy in texture, some are not stringy at all and many are somewhere in between. The same can be said for sweetness and juiciness.
Where to get Mango:
From the tree in your yard, a friend’s tree, the farmer’s market, fruit stand on the side of the road or a grocery store. Make sure to get a locally grown mango if dealing with a grocery store. There is no reason to ship fruit half way around the world when it can grow right here!
When to Harvest Mango:
Maui is fortunate to have a long mango season due to many micro-climates. Sometime around summer Mangos start to show up. First, on the hotter Lahaina side then as that season slows down the Mangos upcountry start to do their thing. Depending on the variety of the mango and its location, Mango can be enjoyed between June and December.
Mango trees can grow up to 60 feet tall. Here is to grow a manageable Mango tree from seed. Once the young tree grows about hip high cut the terminal bud, in other words snip off the top to force the tree to start branching out where you can comfortably reach the fruit. With proper training/pruning a mango tree can be kept a manageable size, but this attention must start with the very young tree.
How to eat Mango:
Eat everything between the skin and the large seed. The seed is shaped like a well used bar of soap. There are a few ways this can be done. Some ways are easier than others depending on the species, your teeth or fingernails strength and with how much of a mess you are comfortable with. Some people will bite into the side of the mango and peel the skin off then eat the fruit off the seed. Once you learn where the seed is in a mango, a knife can be used to cut lengthwise down either side of the seed, then cut a grid or tic-tac-toe into the fruit without cutting into the skin, using the skin like a little bowl, then scoop the fruit out with a spoon. Or using a knife the skin can be peel and the fruit can be cut off the seed.
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Welcome to our “Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month” Blog series. Hawaii is an amazing place to have an adventure. Wherever we go and whatever we do there is always a first time and a first impression. Experiencing new foods is no exception. There is some pretty unique looking fruit available on the islands, I encourage you to explore the fun and exciting realm of exotic fruit. To learn more about last month’s featured fruit, Lilikoi, click here.
The first time I had papaya I was very young, and to me it tasted terrible. Years later I tried it again and meh. I didn’t love it but knowing it was healthy – I ate it. Then, I got to Hawaii and re-discovered Papaya to be one of my favorites. The point I am making is that our taste buds change and no two fruits, even from the same tree, taste exactly the same. As far as knowing what to expect, know this, papaya can be pretty inconsistent. Please let me share some of what I have learned about papaya.
What is Papaya:
Papaya fruits vary greatly in shape, size, and flavor. They can be round or oblong and weigh between 1/4 pound and 12 pounds.
When to Harvest Papaya:
Papaya is a fast growing plant that is easily grown from seed. Some varieties will reach 30’ in height and provide fruit in as soon as 6 months. One plant will produce almost year round for up to 3 years at which time the plant will become so tall that harvesting will no longer be convenient. For this reason it is important to continue planting those seeds in order to maintain a consistent rotation of delicious papayas.
How to eat Papaya:
The papaya should be firm and give slightly to pressure. Cut the papaya in half long ways. Scoop the seeds out. You can eat the seeds, they have a peppery flavor and are great for digestion. The papaya can be eaten with a spoon using the skin as a bowl or peeled and cut into slices or chunks. Compost the skin, and eat, blend or plant the seeds. Enjoyable blended in smoothies or on its own.
There are several varieties of papaya and often even 2 papaya from the same tree will taste different. This is one of those foods that may need to be tried and tried again because you never know what you are going to get. If your papaya tastes a little to flowery, squeeze some lime juice over the fruit. Mmmm, delicious! Read more »
Whether you live on Maui or are here on vacation the farmer’s market is something worth exploring. If you come to Maui for vacation be sure to include the farmer’s market as a must do activity, especially if you are a foodie like me. Not sure? Read on, give me a chance to convince you that there is a reason the farmer’s market is the place the locals really go.
1. No Carbon Footprint – Almost no fossil fuels are used in transportation of local produce to the farmer’s market. Maui is about 2,400 miles from the Mainland. Fuel consumption for food to travel by air cargo from the Mainland to Maui creates an obscene carbon footprint compared to the 15 minute drive from Kula to Pukalani in a van or pick-up truck.
No packaging! If produce is needing to be bundled, take kale or chard for example, some of the Maui farmers use the biodegradable stringy material from a banana tree to create bundles. Brilliant! Bring your own basket or bag. In fact, bring more bags than you think you will need. I often have to make two trips back and forth to my car because I find so many amazing things to try. And I have a family of only two! Read more »
Fruits and vegetables are only as good as the soil in which they grow. Back in the old days the soil contained more minerals and nutrients. Plants don’t create their own nutrients, they take it from the soil. Eventually the soil runs low of nutrients, that is why it is so important to put organic nutrients back into the soil. Composting is especially beneficial when farming on land that is repeatedly being used to grow food crops.
Most households generate a generous amount of compost every day. The kitchen produces an abundance of Coffee Grounds, Tea grounds, Egg Shells, Banana Peels and many other fruit and veggie scraps. When deciding to compost you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. For the sake of this blog I will share three of the simplest ways that I know.
1. Dig a hole and throw it in. Either cover the hole with dirt or an upside down trash can to keep critters and pets out of it.
2. Start a pile. The beginning of the pile can be grass clippings, small sticks and twigs and then garden waste. If you want to make better but more complicated compost, add some dirt from the yard to the pile. This way is likely to attract rats so keep this away from your home. In the spirit of being a good neighbor, this is not an option unless you live on a couple of acres.
3. Make a large compost basket. This can be done by building a frame on top of a pallet. and wrapping the frame with a wire mesh. Chicken wire works and is a more affordable option as opposed to a hardware cloth. Read more »
From a very young age children in Hawaii are taught a very important concept called Kokua.
Kokua is the word the people of Hawaii use to describe the spirit of kindness accompanied by a desire to help one another, without expecting anything in return.
Showing consideration and kindness towards others in the community without expecting anything in return is part of what makes life on Maui so satisfying. This is Kokua.
Whether you were born here, transplanted here or just stopping by for a visit you are part of the Maui community.
To learn other Hawaiian words visit our blog titled Everyday Hawaiian Words and Phrases.
Here are 3 examples of ways to practice Kokua: Read more »