Every late winter we get a herb and veggie garden going. Over the years I've experimented with all sorts of things and I'm starting to feel like I finally know what I'm doing.
We live in a fairly dry area on Maui and the sun in the early and late afternoon can get pretty tense. We also live right across the street from the ocean so our air ( I assume ) is pretty salty. We have bugs too. That being said, some things work but a lot don't. I've had issues with all sorts of tomatoes ( except cherry for some reason ), bitter greens ( caterpillars ), cucumbers, zukes, the list goes on....
A few things grow really well though. Veggies like sweet and hot peppers, edible flowers, herbs, chard, kale, and tender lettuces seem to thrive near the beach in Hawaii.
I cook a lot of Asian food so I make sure I have an ample supply of Kaffir leaves, lemongrass, Thai basil, hot chilies, mint, and green onions on hand at all times. Same goes with Italian food ( sweet basil, thyme, oregano, garlic chives, and kale are staples ). We are also huge salad eaters and are cold-pressed green juice obsessed. It would probably take an acre to really be able to supply the amount of greens my husband and I eat every week. However, it's still fun to grow some tender lettuces and colorful edible flowers to add to our weekly farmer's market hauls.
Here's some shots of the edibles we have recently planted.
several lettuce varieties
kale, marigolds, chard, garlic chives
Kaffir lime for Thai food
first attempt growing celery
Serrano, Thai and Hawaiian chili
Our orchids are starting to re-bloom all over the yard as well!