Going to a farmers’ market can be a little extra work, but in the end, there is nothing like eating real food. Laird and I are fortunate enough to live on Kauai six months a year, and one of the many things people do here that we love is to grow and share their own food. A friend may drop by for a visit and it’s not uncommon for them to have a basket of citrus from one of their trees or fresh kale from their garden. We use to take it for granted as just ‘island living,’ but we have started to pay more attention to this gift.
We have land on a river here on the North Shore of Kauai and fertile does not begin to explain the soil. Laird made a nice dirt berm around a section of the property one year and planted papaya and banana trees. Six months later, after some time back on the mainland, we returned to Kauai to find seven foot tall, fruit-bearing trees! I couldn’t believe it. We also have amazing avocado trees that bear more fruit than we know what to do with. Every time someone visits, they leave with an armful of avos.
Since there are so many bananas, Laird took to dehydrating the fruit and now has bags and bags of the most delicious dried bananas. He does not doctor them with any sugar and they are really filling. There is something so fundamentally wonderful about giving someone food you made yourself.
We are by no means farmers, or what the world would define as hippies; however, we both love good food and are trying to eat the best stuff we can find. Through the experience of living in such a fertile place, we have both learned that it’s the simple things in life that bring us joy, whether it be planting food, harvesting and eating that food or just gathering around local food with friends. In this busy day and age where we’re all constantly ‘plugged in’, getting back to these simple practices has such a grounding influence on our lives.
As much time as both of us spend out in the world, we are always looking for that rooting force in our life, both individually and as a family. We value those grounding forces that keeps us clear about what is really important and focused on the things that will bring genuine happiness.
When we’re living in the island countryside part of the year, getting grounded is so much easier than when we’re in the city. But no matter where we are, going to our local market and interacting with the people who grow our food is just as special. During the weekend, when they’re not at soccer practice, we find time to take our kids to the markets, too. Allow your children to see all the different foods and have them meet the people who grow the food they are going to eat. We know it takes more time and work than swinging by the grocery store, but making room for more locally grown food and the sense of community surrounding it can add such an enriching dimension to your family’s lives. Bon Appétit!
Home Grown Fruit Smoothie
8 oz almond or coconut milk
1 serving TRUition vanilla whey protein powder
1 frozen banana
4 to 6 ice cubes
Add all ingredients into blender and mix well. If you like your smoothie colder and thicker, add a few more cubes. If you prefer your smoothie to have more a liquid consistency, then ease back on the ice..