Though our community members tend toward more secular and spiritual beliefs than religious ones, we jump at any chance to celebrate the joy of living and cook up some good food! Christmas at the farm this year was a splendid, decorative, fun, and delicious evening of dining and dancing. And, in classic Gingerhill fashion, we did our best to source ethical meats and healthy plant foods from our garden. Sustainable eating is important to us, especially during the most wonderful time of the year.

When most people imagine sustainable eating, they conjure images of raw fruits and vegetables. While fresh produce is great for your body, sustainable eating is far more versatile and fun than most of us imagine. We were able to cook up an amazing feast while still sticking to our values this Christmas. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s menu.

Lau Lau

Lau Lau is an age-old Native Hawaiian dish and, in our opinion, one of the most delicious foods you can find on the Big Island. Traditionally, Hawaiians prepared lau lau in an underground oven, or imu. To create the lau lau, Hawaiians wrapped pork first in taro leaves and then in ti leaves before placing and burying them in the underground oven for several hours.

Though we have successfully created an imu for past events, we had so much on our menu this year that we decided to stick to a classic oven instead. We used taro and ti leaves from our farm and wild Hawaiian pork from a mutual friend. The result was juicy, smoky, and flavorful—some of the best we’ve had!


Kabocha squash is quite similar to pumpkin in appearance and flavor. Thus, it is perfect for a Hawaiian spin on a Christmas classic. We prepared our Kabocha by roasting it whole in the oven. The end result was a tender, juicy, soft, and smoky squash. We finished it with some organic olive oil, pink sea salt, and a green sauce made with herbs from the garden.

Prime Rib

Sustainable eating never tasted as good as this prime rib! Though we typically eat plant-based, as ethical meats are difficult and expensive to source, we had a true omnivore’s feast this Christmas. We accredit our ability to do this to our dear friend Margaret, who provided us with multiple sources of wild and ethically raised meat.

The prime rib was sourced from a grass-fed cow that Margaret raised herself. We smoked the prime rib for two hours before finishing it in the oven for a tender and fatty cut. The flavor was unbeatable! We selected turnips from our garden and a horseradish cream sauce to accompany this delicacy.

Seaweed Salad

Our farm-to-table spin on a classic seaweed salad was unbeatable. We combined seaweed with freshly harvested cabbage from our garden for this green delight. We seasoned it with a Japanese fish stock make from bonito flakes, rice wine vinegar, and organic cane sugar. Thanks to our chef, Dylan, who is professionally trained in preparing Japanese cuisine, this dish drew the flavors of founder’s heritage into a classic Western holiday.

Papaya Salad

Papaya salad is a delicious and healthy Hawaiian staple. It’s also fun and versatile, as you can use a number of different ingredients to add unique personality to this Hawaiian classic. Our Christmas papaya salad was Thai-inspired this time around, with lime and hint of spice. We also added fresh tomatoes and herbs from our garden. This light, fresh, plant-based meal was perfect for off-setting the richness of our meats and root vegetables.

Pork Shoulder

In addition to stuffing lau lau with pork, we also braised a pork shoulder in the oven for 8 hours. Like the lau lau, the end result was smoky and juicy. It was also a bit sweet. Our guests enjoyed eating the pork in doughy, sweet steamed buns with marinated carrots and daikon from our garden.


Opelu is a small tropical fish that has served as a staple in several small fishing villages for centuries. We selected a delicious cut of local opelu to serve as sashimi for a Hawaiian-style Christmas dish. We paired the opelu with purple daikon from the garden.

Sweet Potatoes

Finally, we combined purple sweet potatoes from our garden with locally sourced coconut shavings and horseradish to create a rich, sweet and savory dish with a little bite. Purple sweet potatoes have an incredibly sweet, almost candy-like flavor. They also have a dry starchiness that pairs excellent with a creamy, savory sauce like the one our chef made.

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