Tag Archives: Off Grid Living

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade & ELTs

“ELT?! What is this culinary abomination?!” You may ask.

Well, it’s an eggplant, lettuce, & tomato sandwich. Sounds revolting, right? It’s not bad! Bear with me and I’ll let you in on how we “baconize” the eggplant.

Sherry is really shooting for a “Whole Foods Plant Based” diet and I’m trying my best to be supportive. I’m not completely on board with veganism, but it’s really doing good things for us both.

During our routine trip to the local farmers market, we were gifted with some free Japanese eggplant. Great… I hate eggplant. We politely accepted and Sherry promptly went bout finding ways to make it palatable to the haters [that’d be me].

And then she found it – ELTs! By skinning the eggplant, slicing it into thin strips, and marinating it in a mixture of liquid smoke and our favorite savory spices, then cooking it on low heat until it reaches a slightly crunchy, slightly chewy state, we had successfully made a bacon substitute.

Granted, it’s really nothing like real bacon but the important textures and flavors were all there and once the brain had grasped the fact that this was both tasty and healthy and I could eat a ton without fearing the reaper, well, I was overjoyed.

From there it’s all standard, unless you want to keep with the vegan theme [we did], you can use mustard and Best Foods Vegan mayonnaise, which is a great substitute for Miracle Whip – if that’s your jam.

To ice the cake, we had a pile of lemons that were gifted to us, as they’re quite plentiful here on the Big Island. We made some fresh squeezed lemonade with stevia to replace the sugar, poured it over ice. Whew… Dirt poor in paradise really isn’t so bad. 😉

Aloha!

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Lava Farm: First Fruit Trees On The Homestead

After two months of starting seeds, clearing brush and trash from the homestead, and some waiting, we finally get to try sticking some seedlings in the dir-… errr… lava.

We hauled down a rambutan seedling, a papaya, a pineapple, and an old ice cream bean stump that was destined for the dump but decided that it wanted to live and took root in my dad’s driveway, exploding into green foliage.

After scraping together some debris and forming nests on the lava, we decided it was time to transplant and turn our babies over to nature, for better or for worse.

Fortunately, the evening brought a good rain. Hopefully, all is well on the homestead. Hopefully, we’ll have updates within the next week or two.

Aloha!

Our Basic Off Grid Solar Setup

Let’s face it – living without electricity sucks! As a teen, I lived for five years in the mountains of Montana without any form of electricity beyond the batteries in my small AM/FM radio. After a couple of months without power, you get acclimated and realize that it’s totally doable… It still sucks, however, and much more so now that our lives and livelihoods are so intertwined with technology.

I knew that electricity was going to be crucial on the Hawaii homestead, so I invested heavily in our solar setup. Problem is that my knowledge of solar, and electrical in general, is elementary at best. Fortunately, my father is somewhat of a solar buff and I am an eager student, thirsty for knowledge.

I’m still fairly inept at electrical, but this small solar project has really taught me a lot! Thanks, Dad!

Papayas & Rambutan Sprouts!

Look who just popped up! Delicious and nutritious papaya is a daily part of life on the lava.

Being as he is, Rob simply cannot resist the urge to stuff every single fruit seed that he finds into some dirt. Just remember that every tiny, little thing we do now can dramatically shape our future. Let’s not be short-sighted like so many around us. Don’t waste a single day! It may take some time, but one little seed could mean a lifetime of joy and food for you and yours.

Rob’s Worm Farm & The Quest for Awesome Soil

Something odd that I’d long been wanting to try my hand at is vermiculture. Since I was a child, I was fascinated by the process in which those wiggly little beasts turned most any biomass into that wondrous black growing medium we call worm castings. Well… Maybe not the “process” so much, since it’s literally just poop. The point is, it’s AWESOME. It’s a tremendous germination medium as well.

I recently tossed in a mango seed. The worms devoured the excess fruit and within a couple of weeks the seed had already begin to germinate inside of the box. Toss in the scrapings of a single papaya and in short order you’ll have enough sprouts to start an entire farm!

GO WORMS!