All posts tagged: Hawaii

Mama Muscovy protects her babies

The next batch of ducklings have hatched on the farm, and they are adorable.* Mama Muscovy is doing a great job of protecting her little ones and keeping them nice and warm.  She’s a bit huffy with us, but knows we’re not really a threat, so she did raise up enough to allow us to peek in under her and watch a couple of the eggs hatch. However, once the ducklings started venturing out a bit, she wasn’t quite so pleased when I tried to film them.  In fact, she attacked my camera! No publicity for these little ones yet says Mama! OK, maybe just a few photos: * OK, when are ducklings ever not adorable?

Ducklings, Molokai, Hawaii,

Make way for ducklings!

I mentioned in the slug post that there are ducklings on the farm at the moment, and of course I wouldn’t deny you a post about them. You can think about it as a bit of adorableness to balance the total-lack-of-adorableness of the slug post. Even though Hawaii is subtropical and doesn’t have a huge amount of temperature differentiation between seasons, spring is still duckling time on the farm. My parents have both khaki campbells, which are bred for egg laying, and muscovy ducks, which are ‘nanny’ ducks. Ducks can no longer be imported into Hawaii, because of worries that they will breed with the native Laysan ducks, driving them to extinction. My parents had a healthy flock of khaki campbells from before the ban, which makes any ducklings from their flock very valuable, both for sale within the state (which is allowed), and for continuing their own flock. Unfortunately khaki campbells are very poor mothers, and our attempts to let them hatch their own clutches were extremely disappointing. You can hatch khaki campbell eggs …

Canistel (eggfruit) tree, Hawaii, 2016,

Fruits on the farm: what are canistel (eggfruit or yellow sapote)

My parents have an organic permaculture farm on Moloka’i, with vegetables and ducks, and LOTS of varieties of tropical fruit. There are common ones like bananas (at least five varieties), papaya and lilikoi (passionfruit); Pacific specific ones like ohia ‘ai (mountain apple) and breadfruit; slightly exotic ones like cacao (chocolate), lychee and carambola (starfruit); and really exotic ones like rambutan, jaboticaba, and canistel (eggfruit). I mentioned the last one on facebook, and a number of people asked what a canistel (which I actually misspelled as canistelle) is. This is a slightly green canistel (Pouteria campechiana) on the tree: And a ripe one: It’s also known as eggfruit, because the flesh is the deep yellow of an egg yolk, and, rather than being juicy like most fruit, is dry and flaky in the same way that a hard-boiled egg is dry and flaky. It’s really hard to describe the flavour of canistel, but the closest comparison is that it is like a really, really good pumpkin pie.*  It’s rich, and dry and flaky, and very sweet, …