After a well needed vacation from the farm, Darren and I returned home this week to sunny Colorado. Fortunately for us, Darren's sister (who lives on Maui), had her wedding there on the winter solstice. John and Jinelle, our trusted interns did an excellent job caring for the farm and harvesting for the winter CSA. Our night time temperatures have been averaging from around -5 degrees to 12 degrees here at night, but all the veggies are growing strong, especially now that the days are slowly getting longer.
While on the Islands; we visited farms, met farmers, and shopped at farmer's markets. For a wedding gift, we bought a CSA share through Neil at Sanctuary Farm in Kula, Maui. We found his information on Localharvest.com and like our farm, he farms without the use of tractors and chemicals and follows the philosophy healthy soil means healthy plants equals healthy people. Neil gave us a great tour of his small but very productive farm. His orchard was breathtaking and he fed us some of the best fruit we had on the islands! Unfortunately, we did not take any pictures of his beautiful farm that over looks the valley from a couple thousand feet up.
After Maui, Darren and I finished up our vacation on Kauai, the garden island. On our day of arrival we headed over to the Koloa Farmer's Market, man what an experience. The market starts at noon, but you should get there at least 15 minutes earlier to get in line before Branch (maybe the market manager) blows the whistle signaling the opening of the market. Its quite a show waiting behind the cones, getting a spiel about the market from Branch, walking down the road with hundred other people to the market, then rushing in to your favorite vendor before they sell out.
Darren and I also enjoyed many hikes around the islands. On Maui we hike up into the Haleakala volcano at 10,000 feet and walked through bamboo forests. On Kauai we trampled through mud in one of the most beautiful places I had ever been to, the Napali Coast. Darren found morel mushrooms, however not enough for a meal. We hiked with a neem tree farmer, an iron man competitor and many wild goats.
Taro, definitely not my favorite
I called these giant asparagus stalks, but I have no idea what they are.
The silversword only grows on the Haleakala volcano on Maui
Longans, we couldn't eat enough of these, there awesome!