Fruits of a Different Color

By Julie Hofferbert, Ka’u Office Manager

jessicabananaI take my break under the mango tree and realize there are little green mangoes above. This starts me thinking about the tangerine tree near my office that provided me with warm juicy snacks throughout the day when I first started working at Pacific Quest. I realize that those treats should be appearing soon! There are a few other things that have excited and amazed me in the last year. Avocados! Living most of my life in Washington State, it was a treat to buy (at a very high price) under ripe avocados, then wait for days to make guacamole. Now, it seems to rain avocados! Big ones, little ones, green ones and purple ones–and they are always amazingly ready to eat. I never imagined just spreading avocado on a piece of toast or adding a couple of slices to a sandwich. Bananas! I’ve actually been able to watch a banana tree flower, fruit and be harvested. Who knew that a rack of bananas started with a beautiful red flower that, to me looks like a heart. Apple bananas, ice cream bananas and Cuban reds, to name a few, this plant is amazing, beautiful and delicious! The bananas in the grocery store in Washington were nothing like I get to enjoy now. I can drink my fruit now! Lemons and limes the size of apples! People give them away, just like we used to give away our “gone wild” zucchinis at the end of the season. Fresh squeezed lemon-aide and lime-aide are on the happy hour list, and something I can feel good about giving my 2 year old grandson. A Ka’u orange is a delicacy, wrinkled and brown on the outside and sweet and juicy on the inside. They say the uglier the better and THEY are right. Apparently these oranges are only found in the district of Ka’u where Pacific Quest is located. The first time I saw them I thought “they must be rotten”. But, they are the best oranges I’ve ever had. Papaya, mango, passion fruit, oranges, limes, lemons, bananas, avocados and dragon fruit too! These are just a few of my favorite things. I do miss crispy apples, juicy peaches, Rainier cherries and picking blackberries in late summer…those are just fruits of a different color!