Steelgrass Farm........Easter Basket Gift Ideas Review

Eight-acre Steelgrass Farm – so-called after a nickname for bamboo, a member of the grass family with mechanical strength that rivals metal — is on Kauai’s East side, above the town of Kapa’a, between Sleeping Giant and Mt. Wai’ale’ale. The most northerly and geologically the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is often called the Garden Island, and its landscape is home to a wide variety of ecosystems and microclimates, from desert canyon to the wettest spot on Earth.
Steelgrass Chocolate Farm on Kauai’s Lush Coconut Coast

…is the island’s largest chocolate farm, and they also grow vanilla vines, honeybees, and exotic tropical fruits and flowers in their botanical garden. Your hosts on the popular Steelgrass Chocolate Farm Tour activity are the fifth generation kama-aina Kauai Lydgate Family, stewards of the land since the 1860’s.

Next time you are on this beautiful island you MUST, MUST take the 

time to visit this amazing farm and sample their products. You won't regret it!! This little farms is a slice of heaven and they have a bit of everything. The first part of our three-hour guided tour is especially fun for fruit and flower lovers, as we stroll through our gardens, stopping frequently to taste the tropical fruits that are in season. Depending on the month, these may include Tahitian lime, Hawaiian sugar cane, lilikoi, rambutan, longan, lychee, soursop, sapodilla, eggfruit, ka’u orange, watermelon radish, mountain apple and others. You’ll also taste our Farm’s award-winning Palm Blossom Honey, and see vanilla beans growing on the vine, plus dozens of exotic tropical plants such as our rare red sealing-wax palms and black bamboo. All along, your guides will share with you our family’s vision for creating sustainable diversified agriculture on Kauai.
After the main fruit tasting we reach the chocolate orchard, and here you get to taste one more fresh fruit: in season, we will cut open a ripe chocolate pod and pass it around for everyone to sample. We then move through sugarcane and pineapple plantings into our chocolate tasting tent, where you sit comfortably in the shade while we go over the many steps involved in processing raw cacao. As you may know, dark chocolate is actually health food, and your guides will explain its antioxidant and other health benefits, as well as outline how you can make chocolate from scratch in your home kitchen.
Best of all, you’ll enjoy an eleven-course dark chocolate tasting, sampling rare and delicious chocolates from Hawaii and all over the world. The Hawaii chocolates we taste include our own Steelgrass Farm single-estate bar, plus the best from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Company on the Big Island, and Waialua Estate on Oahu. From Ecuador we taste Kallari; Valrhona from Madagascar and Trinidad, Guittard and Santander from Colombia, Felchlin and Taza from the Dominican Republic, and the finest single-origin bars from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco. You’ll also learn chocolate’s history, from its discovery by the first Meso-Americans, to its revered status as a divine plant in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, to its introduction to Europe in the 1600’s, and finally how an American inventor, Milton Snavely Hershey, made the nickel Hershey bar (1905) and the Hershey’s kiss (1907) into enduring American institutions.

I personally can't wait to go and take this amazing tour and sample everything. I did get super lucky and was

able to try four of their farm fresh products. The generous people of Steelgrass Farms sent me a sampler kit that included a bag of Organic Cacao Nibs, Kauai Vanilla Beans, Kauai Single Estate Chocolate bar and a jar of their Palm Blossom Honey. I was so excited to receive this package I tore into in right away.

I tasted everything right as I pulled it from the box and within 30 minutes I was already making my own homemade vanilla extract. The Vanilla Beans were packaged beautifully in a shiny red air tight bag so when I cut it open the fresh scent of vanilla filled my nose.

The box has instructions in it how to make your own fresh vanilla extract so I hoped to it. I use vanilla in everything so I am dying to try the extract. It takes about 3 weeks so I am waiting eagerly. 
It was so simple to make. Two Steelgrass Farms Vanilla Beans and One pint of Vodka or Everclear. You just put the beans in the jar, fill er up and let sit in a dark area for about 3 weeks.
If you don't have the chance to get yourself to Steegrass Farms don't worry because you can order from them online and have it shipped to your home. I got my box very quickly. It arrived USPS right away. I was shocked how fast it arrived. You can buy these vanilla beans from their online shop for only $15. http://steelgrass.org/gift-shop/ Vanilla extract is so expensive when you buy it from the store and really it's not even fresh. For $15 you can make a pint of your own extract and then continue to use the beans after to flavor sugar or however else you may choose. There is a faster way to make the extract I just decided to do it the this way since I am in no rush.
Their chocolate bars are delicious. You can tell they are pure and made of only thee best ingredients. It is way better and more pure than other store bought chocolate bars. It is decadent. When I eat this chocolate I truly savor each square to the fullest. The bar I received  comes wrapped in a golden foil and is packaged in a beautiful box that has the harvest date written in the bottom left corner so you know your bar is super fresh.
There is a large variety of chocolates to choose from and you can either order them individually or purchase and entire package containing everything you need for a complete tasting, packaged for groups of 4 guests. Each package contains four taster’s notes pages, four whole cacao beans for all to peel and taste, and enough of eleven dark chocolates to give each of four guests two samples apiece. People always want more of their favorites, so order enough four-person packages to make sure there will be extras. http://steelgrass.org/gift-shop/
Steelgrass Farms is proud of their honeybees — Steelgrass Farm Palm Blossom Honey is a frequent prize-winner statewide at the Hawaii Honey Challenge on the Big Island. Their bees get much of their nectar from the blossoms of Steelgrass Farm fox-tail palm trees, which are in flower year-round, hence the name. 
They don’t use pesticides or non-organic fertilizers anywhere on the farm, and the fields and forests that surround us are either wild or in pasture, so their bees don’t come in contact with anything that would taint their honey.
Cacao nibs........ Nibs is the name given to the raw ingredient of chocolate, the seeds of the cacao tree after they have been fermented, dried, roasted and peeled. Cacao nibs aren’t just delicious: they also possess remarkable nutritional benefits, including an abundance of trace minerals, the most beneficial of all vegetable oils, and the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food we eat. These nibs smell delicious and have a chocolaty flavor. You can also add them to salad for an added crunch. These are new to me and I am loving them. You can purchase your own bag from Steelgrass Farms website.  http://steelgrass.org/gift-shop/
Make sure you check out their website and order something..... taste their products I promise you will not be disapointed.

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