coconuts, starfruit and noni, breadfruit, and guavas. Most of our daily fruit bounty was picked up at the many local farmer's markets, where the assortment of tropical fruit was dizzying, and the prices were insanely low. We sampled many new fruits, made lots of fresh smoothies, and ate very well on vacation. We even stopped at every roadside honor stand, buying macadamia nuts, tiny limes and giant grapefruits. The availability of fresh fruit on the island is wonderful, as we re-tried many favorites and managed to buy and forage a few new wild edibles.
While on the southwestern coast, we stopped at the Amy B H Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook. This garden is a wonderful resource to learn about the Hawaiian people and the plants they grew and used. There are 200 endemic, indigenous, and plants introduced by the Polynesians featured in 15 acres of gardens, most of them labeled and described in detail in the guidebook that you borrow from the front desk. Many of the plants in the garden had multiple uses as building material, food, and traditional medicine and had spiritual significance. It was at these gardens we were first introduced to the edibility of screwpine keys.
|Pulp eaten away,|
showing the fibers
|Ripe screwpine "keys"|
|Cliff dwelling screwpine tree|