On Wednesday the 27th, I went up to the incredibly breathtaking Ma’o Organic Farm (www.maoorganicfarms.org) to cook breakfast for the crew of about 12 people. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. (thank goodness I’m macrobiotic) and took a great drive with my beloved farmer friend. We were fueled by a small snack of organic bluberries, brown rice, blanched lacinato kale, and kukicha tea to get us started.
Upon arriving, I got a tour of the various fields and was amazed to see that the workers were out harvesting the salad greens with scissors. All of the harvesting (pounds upon pounds of greens) are hand-harvested very gently and lovingly, rather than with machinery. My friend and I picked some red russian kale, lacinato kale, scallions, red radishes, hakurai (white round) radishes, daikon, carrots, and oranges as ingredients in our meal.
At 7:00 a.m. each day, the group gathers at the main building, and while holding hands in a circle, they do a skin tingling Hawaiian chant before going back out into the fields for more planting and/or harvesting. After working in the field, everyone comes back to the packing shed and they begin delicately washing, drying, and bagging all these amazing greens.
In the meantime, I was in the kitchen making breakfast. My kitchen consisted of a big industrial size frig, a sink, and 3-burner propane gas camping stove, and was open on 3 sides to the farm, so while I was cooking, I was thoroughly enjoying the view of the stunning mountain ranges surrounding me, listening to the birds singing, and smelling the food as it pressure cooked, simmered, boiled, and sauteed.
By about 9:30 a.m, breakfast was ready. We had a pressed salad with pumpkin seed dressing, shiitake and daikon miso soup, carrot muffins, pressure cooked brown rice, apple and raisin compote, and a very satisying sauteed tempeh and onion dish that my friend made.
One of the student interns who was enjoying the meal said, “I usually eat a lot more, but I didn’t go back for more food. I’m so full with just one plate! Why?” and I just thought it had to do with the food having more life and energy than he was used to (i.e. spam musubi or loco moco).
From there, we cleaned up, talked story for a while, and then I headed into the packing shed to help everyone. All in all, it was a great day.