Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Maui Farmer’s Union Meeting – Cutting a Jackfruit, Bokashi, and Other Topics

Pukalani, Maui - Several friends suggested that I check out a Maui Farmer’s Union Meeting, something that I had been interested in, but had never managed to attend.  I also don’t see myself as a farmer, unless weeds count.  The meeting was not just for farmers but for anyone interested in local produce, eating good food, learning about sustainability, and sharing gardening knowledge.  Non-members can attend as well, and one can join for a modest membership fee. There are also some gardening items, like bio-char and fertilizer, available as well as a produce/plant swap.  It was surprisingly entertaining, especially the produce presentation.

The meetings are currently held the last Tuesday of each month at the Pukalani Community Center, across Foodland, in the same building as the swimming pool.  Socializing starts at 6 pm, and there is an abundant potluck that starts at 6:30 pm. There is a suggested donation if you eat but do not bring a potluck dish to share.

I took several video clips of just a few highlights.  There may be some better videos out there, and I'll be happy to replace these with less shaky, cleaner footage later on.  

Jason Skandunas of Tribe Café in Haiku talked briefly about macrobiotics and provided suggestions for eating in a macrobiotic way on Maui.  He mentioned that Maui as an island is yang, so one can balance that energy by eating yin foods including avocados, bananas, mangoes, and various tropical fruits. Yum.

Ryan at Mana Foods gave a short presentation on how to cut a jackfruit.

A few highlights if you don’t want to watch the video:
  • Jackfruit is sticky when you cut it, so let the sap trickle down first
  • Usually requires a lot of people to eat it, they’re very large
  • Central core – several segments of fruit, inside each segment is a seed
  • Very prolific fast-growing fruit tree, resistant to diseases, low maintenance, great windbreak for Maui
  • Jackfruit is ripe when it has a good smell and slightly yields to the touch
  • Easy to open with one’s hands if it’s ripe, and a towel is helpful
  • Use a little vegetable oil to oil the knife or your hands, since they can get sticky
  • 90% carbohydrate, the rest is protein and fat
  • Jackfruit has a lot of calories and is very filling
  • Can store the rest in the fridge for a few days
  • Seeds are also edible – can soak for two days and cook in salty water
  • Seeds are like a chestnut, and can be eaten raw if you get the sheath off.
  • There are inferior jackfruit varieties, so if it doesn’t taste great, try another jackfruit.

There was also a presentation on bokashi and effective microorganisms by Jenna Tallman, school garden coordinator at Haiku Elementary School.

Vince Mina talked about strategic planning and Harriet Witt talked about the night sky in relation to farming.

Lehuahana Vander Velde shared her work on creating the Maui Farmer’s Union website. Lehua is asking for more pictures and feedback.  

The meeting was definitely worthwhile, even if you don’t consider yourself a farmer. 


  1. What a beautiful and informative blog representation of what we value here on Maui around our food supply and community coming together


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