On May 14th, I flew with my husband to the Big Island of Hawaii, but my Green Bin had to stay home with the cat. I wondered how I would survive without it for nine days. But to my surprise and delight, a compost container, actually a crock with a ventilated cover, was sitting on the counter of the charming James Cottage on the Puakea Ranch http://www.puakearanch.com/ where I was staying. I was skeptical since it was white and not green but I was willing to put it to the test. I hoped to do a lot of feasting, cooking and composting Hawaiian-style on my vacation.
|White ceramic compost crock|
|Maximum charm, minimum counter space in James Cottage|
|Chard freshly picked from the garden|
|Typical melange of Hawaiian Compost in Earth Work Bin|
|Mangoes and Papayas at the fruit stand in Kawaihae|
At the Saturday Farmers' market in the tiny town of Hawi only two miles from the ranch, I found these irresistible mango tarts, large and small. I bought a small one and devoured it on the spot. The market consisted mainly of pastry and craft stands but there was one farmer from four miles away who sold beautiful vegetables. I bought only broccoli. The carrots were tough and woody, and I had chard and beets in "my" garden. No carrot tops for the white crock. And certainly no leftovers from the mango tart pictured below.
|Fresh Mango pie at the Saturday Farmer's Market in Hawi|
We were allowed to collect eggs freshly laid by hens in the chicken coop just a few yards from our cottage. We enjoyed these beautiful birds and visited often to scout for eggs which we boiled on our electric burner. Once, we made an omelet with basil, parsley, beet greens and chard from the garden. It was such a joy to harvest herbs and veggies to our heart's content.
|Freshly laid eggs|
|Stoveless cooking made easy|
(note white bin in background)
|Selecting garden herbs for an omelet|
olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, local ginger and just a bit of our Mai Tai cocktails. I coined the name Mai Tai Mahi Mahi for this recipe. Then we tried local Monchong and we were smitten. Mai Tai Monchong was equally delicious. We boiled local red potatoes on our burner and seasoned them with butter, parsley, oregano and salt. Great with fish, and simple!
|Our Favorite Fish Store where we bought Mahi Mahi and Monchong|
|The Trusty Grill|
|Beehive Ginger seen in the Botanical Gardenhttp://htbg.com|
It turns out that Hawaii is a very green state. On the Big Island there are recycle bins everywhere, containers and cups are eco-friendly, and farmers' markets abound. Wind turbines generate electric energy, geothermal power is obtained from nearby volcanoes Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and locally grown biomass such as eucalyptus is also used to supply the island with electricity. There is a highly visible and exciting green consciousness here.
|Recycle bins at Mahu Kona - A favorite local swimming spot|
|Takata Store, our local favorite|
I was very impressed with the white crock's composting performance but I'm happy to be heading home to my Green Bin and ample counter space. Aloha for now.