Archives for 2013

DRAGON FRUIT–Basking in Abundance: Dragon Fruit, Queen of the Night and the Summer Solstice

lola photo(2) photo(4)What do Dragon Fruit (Pitaya), Queen of the Night (Night Blooming Cereus) and the Summer Solstice have in common? The fruit, the flower and this cycle in seasons are all powerful reminders that we are basking in abundance at this time of year. The ripeness of Summer has arrived. The longest day of the year…the fullness of the Light…is here. The fragrant blossoms die and the sweet fruits form in lusciousness.

This is a short story of the dragon fruit and its blossom which grow on the snake cactus here at Lokahi Garden Sanctuary. When you encounter the fully open blossom of the night blooming cereus, you are likely to gasp in astonishment and delight at the luminous, exotic, and erotic beauty of this flower. This flower opens only at night and wilts by morning. The natural pollinators are a nocturnal large moth or bat which are not present in Hawaii (as far I as know).
We pollinate by hand at night using a paint brush. My husband tells people I put on a fairy costume to go out and pollinate. I do feel magic in the presence of these magnificent flowers. And the look and taste of the dragon fruit is wonderful and unusual too.

Below is some nutritional information:
a good source of vitamin C especially the red skinned dragon fruit
rich in fiber and minerals, notably phosphorus and calcium. Red pitayas seem to be richer in phosphorus, yellow ones in calcium.
seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and in particular Red pitayas contain very little saturated fats.
antioxidants are present in significant amount.
diabetics use the fruit as a source of dietary fiber and inulin.

The outside of the fruit is a mix of rich pink and greens that resemble dragon scales. The inside of the fruit can be different colors…white, pink or a magnificent rich magenta color…all flecked with tiny black seeds similar to a kiwi fruit. It has a mild refreshing sweetness.

The growing, pollinating, harvesting and eating the dragon fruit is an intense and satisfying experience.

Growing Asparagus at Lokahi Farms

I have had quite an adventure learning about asparagus over these past two months. I am absolutely fascinated by it! How can it grow 4-9 inches a day or sometimes even in a few hours? I was not aware of the growth rate of the plant when I first began harvesting and it completely took me by surprise! I had to start harvesting it two times a day because it grew so quickly and I wanted to cut the spears before they opened too much. For a short period of time, I struggled cutting the spears because I was not sure how they needed to look. It was not long before I fell into a healthy rhythm learning exactly which ones needed to be cut and which ones could afford to wait a couple more hours.
As the weeks went on, I formed a very personal relationship with the asparagus. I would notice which areas the asparagus grew the best in and which areas needed more love and attention. Regularly, I had conversations with them. I explained to them how I thought they were such a miraculous plant, and that I wanted to help them in any way I could to create a better environment for them. Day after day, harvesting asparagus became a peaceful meditation for me. Each morning I woke up and walked row by row, bending down every foot, and took my time to make sure I did not miss any hidden spears! That was a challenge! I started to look forward to harvesting it each day because I felt so energized and happy afterward. My excitement for it actually got to the point where I only saw asparagus when I closed my eyes to go to sleep at night.
Because of my time working at this farm I have a new appreciation for this plant. I look forward to going home and trying to grow it there! I will learn to be okay with the fact that it will not grow up to nine inches a day, and I will not be able to harvest it year-round.
I will always remember the day that one asparagus grew a foot in the afternoon! Submitted by Sarah Robertson, Intern

Nutritional factoids: Asparagus is very high in protein, low in carbs and calories, packed with vitamins C, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid. Asparagus have a potent antioxidant effect and also has anti viral and anti fungal properties. Asparagus supports kidney health, lowers blood pressure and stimulates hair growth. New research is confirming asparagus potent anti tumor effects.

Multicultural Wedding at Lokahi Garden Sanctuary








665269_626962929417_2114714374_oOn October 27, 2012, in the warm embrace of Lokahi Garden Sanctuary, our daughter Lila Rose Young Liebmann celebrated the love and commitment between her and Yumbel Marassi in a marriage ceremony on our land. Hosting a wedding here is a clear expression of the meaning and intention of this sanctuary as Lokahi means harmony and balance within and without. On this day, the beauty of this environment was augmented by rainbows, a spectacular sunset, a rising full moon and the fullness of the love abounding.

Ceremony and ritual are ways to promote well-being, healing, abundance and feelings of connection…to each other and the Sacred. Ritual and ceremony empower human beings and connect us to the divine within. We can be lifted beyond the mundane to experience other levels of being. When a ceremony is heartfelt and engaging, we find ourselves totally present in the moment. The mundane world slips away and we can experience a sense of magic.

That sense of magic and well-being was afoot at the wedding that took place here recently. The wedding ceremony was a resounding expression of love and the union of diverse cultures. The love, respect, admiration and enjoyment that the couple felt for each other was palpable.

With a view of the sun setting over the blue pacific ocean and the island of Maui , the wedding ceremony took place on the lawn next to the food and flower gardens. A luminous full moon rose in the east following the sunset.

Holding a wedding at this sanctuary, where Lokahi means balance and harmony within and without, supports the foundation of what every couple wants in their relationship. I am imagining Lokahi Garden Sanctuary as the perfect place for me and Richard (or any couple committed in love to each other) to renew our vows.

The benefits of attending wedding ceremonies are easily felt. We laugh, cry and feel our hearts swelling with joy and nostalgia. Performed by a couple, Dr. Barry Blum and his wife Gloria Blum, this ceremony was done in 5 languages…English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hawaiian and French. The bride, born in Hawaii with Jewish and American heritage and the groom, born in Argentina and living in the Patagonia of South American as well as having lived some time in France, wanted to honor the languages they speak, their families cultures and the countries in which they were raised.

It was a blessing and a joy for this sanctuary to host this ceremony filled with flowers, song, prayers, dancing, laughter, tears and LOVE. Congratulations to Lila and Yumbel.