Sunshower Farms

Family Owned Kona Coffee Farm and Event Venue

Professional Bagel Makers

Since January, we have been making breads in our woodfired oven for the Kona Sunset Market on Wednesday afternoons. This market is a perfect place to offer baked goods because we are able to make them right before, rather than the night before as we would have to for a morning market. 

One of our first offerings was pita bread as it was one of the easier breads to make from our woodfired oven cookbook and it was a bread that really can only be made in a woodfired oven (or similar) as they bake at temperatures higher than a conventional oven. We make both spelt and whole wheat pitas and they are incredibly delicious and fast to make. The recipe we use is from our woodfired oven cookbook - From the Wood-Fired Oven: New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking and Baking with Fire .

We have two other woodfired oven cookbooks and this one is BY FAR the best. The chapters on fire design alone make it a worthwhile purchase. 

We have experimented with some other bread products in our oven besides pitas, but the only one that has really taken off at the market is our bagels. Hawaii is (unsurprisingly) not known for their bagels and as far as I can tell, the best bagels (other than ours!) in town come from Costco. There was a huge hole in the market for bagels and when our WWOOFer, Sean, suggested we start making them for market, it was a no-brainer to give it a shot.

The first week we brought bagels was in late January and we made just one or two dozen and sold them out almost right away. Since then we have increased to well over 100 bagels on a Wednesday market and we often sell out of the most popular varieties. 

This is the recipe we use for our bagels and so far it has been so good that we haven't needed or wanted to try out another. However, we are looking for a good whole wheat bagel recipe so if anyone has one, please pass it on.

Since our recipe only makes plain bagels, we have gotten pretty creative coming up with different flavors and toppings. Our weekly standards are onion/garlic, cheese, everything, chocolate chip, chia/flax, and cinnamon/cranberry.

We also do a bagel of the week to (usually) highlight a produce item or herb from the farm. So far, our bagel of the week varieties have been: 

Pizza Bagel

Pizza Bagel

Veggie Bagel

Veggie Bagel

Valentine's Day Bagels

Valentine's Day Bagels

  • Pizza - a tomato bagel with garlic, onion, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes filled with mozzarella cheese and topped with parmesan
  • Veggie - a bagel with shredded carrots, tomato, minced onions and peas in the dough with a wilted kale and cheese center
  • Pesto - a basil and garlic bagel with ribbons of parmesan throughout the bagel and a basil, garlic and parmesan topping
  • Southwest - a tomato and habanero bagel with minced onion and garlic added to the dough. Pepper jack cheese throughout the bagel and jack cheese and taco seasoning topping
  • Valentines Day Bagel - a thimble-berry bagel (a berry similar to a raspberry that grows on our farm) with a cinnamon sugar topping

Coming up for bagel of the week we have a couple sweet varieties - carrot cake and s'mores as well as a pretzel bagel. To get our bagels, as well as all of our other great produce offerings, come see us at the Kona Sunset Market - mention that you saw this blog post and try a bagel on the house! 

Farm-to-Table Dinners

We've started our monthly farm-to-table dinners! It has been a goal since we started our farm to host dinners where everything (or nearly everything) is sourced from our own farm and it feels really good to have our first dinner under our belts.

Our first menu was a "rustic Italian" which was really just a fancy way of saying homecooked style italian that was plated family style. Going forward we plan to have different chefs visit the farm to do a menu and style of their choosing. But for this first dinner, myself and my friend Aaron did all of the cooking so we wanted to focus on simple, crowd pleasing food. 

* indicates that the item was sourced from another local farm. 

* indicates that the item was sourced from another local farm. 

Speaking of Aaron, he and his girlfriend Emily (my old friends from Augustana) were visiting and helped immensely with this first dinner - we literally could not have done it without them. Aaron works at a restaurant in Geneva, IL where he tastes and recommends a lot of nice wines, so he picked all of our pairings. He also single-handedly made the braised goat shank dish and the tiramisu. 

With the help of Slow Food Hawaii, we easily sold 11 of our 12 seats. This actually worked out perfectly because I had been worried about getting some nice pictures of the event. So with our last seat, we decided to look for a photographer who would be interested in trading the dinner for some photos of our space and the food. We were incredibly fortunate to find Anya Vaverko through a friend, and although she is a photo journalist by trade, I think it's clear that she could have a second career in food photography too! All of her pictures turned out so beautifully that we feel like we certainly got the better end of the deal.

For our next dinner, we are cashing in on our good taste in friends once again by having Kyle Bart as the guest chef. He and his wife Niccole are also our good friends from Augustana and Kyle just happens to be an excellent Chef in NYC and will be visiting in early April. If you are interested in reserving a spot at his dinner, you can check out the menu here. Also, any chefs reading this who would like to do a guest appearance at one of our monthly dinners, please let me know!

Happy 2015

Happy 2015 Blogosphere! With the second anniversary of our farm coming up as well as our first coffee harvest around the corner, I thought it was time to reinvigorate this ignored little blog. So that I can resume regular posting, I need to get all of you lovely readers up to speed with some of the great things that have been happening since I last wrote. 

One of the best and most important things was that Doug and I got married in October! We had a lovely farm-to-table, rustic themed wedding in Chicago and it was just perfect. It was wonderful to celebrate with all of our friends and family; we had such a great time. The photos below are from Bobbi & Mike's unboxed photo booth. So fun! 

Also, we owe a huge THANK YOU to all of our wonderful vendors. Our wedding turned out exactly as we had planned (in some cases even better than we had planned) and having planned it mostly from Hawaii, we owe it to them for executing our vision so flawlessly. If you live in Chicago or are planning a wedding there any time soon, here is a list of our great vendors. 

Below is our beautiful wedding video from Rewind Documentaries. Didn't they do an awesome job!? 

After our wedding we went on a fun mini-honeymoon for a couple of days to Napa and then a full honeymoon a month later to Costa Rica. We followed this up with a family vacation through the Panama Canal! It was a whirlwind of traveling but so fun! 

After we got back to the farm, it was back to work as usual. The deck project got finished - which I plan to blog about in detail another day. But for now here is a teaser photo of the woodfired oven. 

Going a little out of order, I know, but in early October, our goats Swarley and Kesha gave birth! I even helped deliver the babies. It was an amazing experience. 

Now that they are over four months old, we will be butchering the boys this week. I wish I could say that I am sad to see them go, but they are so annoying and are constantly breaking out of their pens and running wild, so.... Next time you see them it will be in a picture of delicious food :) 

Another happening was Christmas on the farm. It was pretty low-key but a really fun day celebrating with our WWOOFers. Good food, fun and gifts were had by all. We even made some of mine and McTav's "famous" hot chocolate.

Some other exciting things that I hope to post about soon are our farm to table dinners starting in March, Doug's cheese making, the Kona Sunset Market on Wednesday evenings and a great new relationship we have started with Slow Food Hawaii. Stay tuned!