Sharing Some of Hawaii’s Bounty.
Last month, some Norwegian friends paid us a visit here on Maui. Obviously, it’s very different here compared to Oslo, but they were particularly struck by all the tropical fruits growing on our property. We have some 30 citrus trees—mostly oranges, but also tangerines, lemons, limes (those are for margaritas!) and Tahitian grapefruit—plus bananas, passion fruit, papayas, starfruit, and avocados. For six or seven months a year, we have freshly squeezed orange juice every morning—truly a blessing.
The truth is, we can’t possibly consume all of this abundance ourselves. Bananas, for example. When a whole bunch is about to turn yellow, we cut it down so the birds won’t get them, but that means we’ll have forty or fifty wonderful bananas all getting ripe at the same time.
It was the bananas that provided the inspiration for a fruit cart which my wife had me build for her. Whenever there’s a surplus of something, she puts it on the cart and rolls it out onto the road. Payment is all on the honor system and that’s really not problem. Well, it was at first. On a couple of occasions, someone pried open the cash box and made off with the $3 or $4 in change that was in there. After the second incident, we posted a small sign saying that all the money raised from the sale of our fruit was being donated to the Maui Food Bank. We haven’t had a problem since.
The cart isn’t out on the road every day—sometimes there just isn’t anything to sell, sometimes the weather is too rainy—but when it is, sales usually run between $4.00 and $10.00 a day. Last year, we wrote a check to the Maui Food Bank for something in excess of $200. We’re happy to do it, but at the same time it’s a sobering reminder that a substantial number of people in this lovely idyllic place literally don’t have enough to eat. There’s just no excuse for that.