Spices, Fruits, and Greens in the Puna Jungle

Sep 25, 2011 by Kids of Koa`e 4-H Club | Story Popularity: 4



We are a group of 10 4-Hers who are really getting into Eat Local month. Last week, to investigate local food sources, we went on a tour of Evening Rain Farm, the permaculture farm next door to our clubhouse. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the jungle trails revealed plant after plant which could be used as food!

For spices, we got to see and taste cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, lemon grass, allspice, curry plant, pepperoni plant, and black pepper. For fruits we found lilikoi, vi apple, champadek, key lime, pickle fruit, and jaboticaba. For greens, we tried edible hibiscus, chaya, and katuk. There were plenty of other edibles, too, from turmeric and ginger to flowers and malabar chestnuts.

All of these plants grow in the lowland rainforest of Hawai`i and could probably be grown in most neighborhoods. We're figuring which of them we'll use in our menus for Eat Local week, the last week of September, when we've committed to meet 3 times for 100% local lunches.

We'll keep you posted how it goes. Meanwhile, enjoy the attached video of the tour of Evening Rain Farm.

Aloha, Kanoa, Dylan, Gabriel, Wai`ele, Ilianthi, Cassidy, Palone, Alekei, Quinn


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  1. I had no idea there were so many spices we can grow locally! Black pepper, curry and nutmeg, etc...really? I've been having such a hard time seasoning my food, I'm glad to know my meals won't have to suffer. Thanks so much for sharing this video, the young 4-Hers look like they're having a blast.

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