Mate needs a job. We have been a bit too idle the past few months while ‘in between’ homes, and thus jobs. He keeps collecting coconuts, and planting them in bags. He says that one day we are going to have a coconut lined drive to our home, and it will be absolutely beautiful. I believe him! But there are lots of coconuts in bags around our house, and pineapples too. We transplanted fifty pineapples into bags to take with us, and lots of other trees and flowers and herbs and such, and when we find our new spot we will have ‘instant landscape’.
The other day we were at the beach and Mate was poking around through the sprouted coconuts, lining up the best ones on the ground…not far from the truck. When it was time to go he asks me in a sheepish kind of voice, can I have some more coconuts? What am I supposed to say?
Coconuts are just really big seeds, and for the past couple of months there has been lots of fruit on the trees around us, like water apples (malay apples or mountain apples, they are sometimes called), and the cashews were making fruits, and the soursops are ripening now and the mangos are fruiting like crazy. The cashews are an interesting fruit, the cashew is the seed and it starts growing first, then the fruit – which is called a ‘cashew apple’ grows attached to the seed, not around it. This ‘apple’ is like a sour pear, and it makes a refreshing drink, and there were lots of cashews on the ground…begging to be planted, and so several were collected and planted – of course. And the same with the water apples, which all tend to ripen at once, and there were of course lots of seeds (within the fruits) all over the ground, so several of them were planted. Last year we had a compost pile for a little while, and after a short time we noticed a bunch of trees growing out of it, lots of sprouted mango seeds and papaya trees! You guessed it, they got transplanted into bags, some have since been planted into the ground and are now making fruit, which we hope to be eating very soon (papayas) – the mangos are much slower growing and there is a ‘thinning factor’ that happens to them, not all make it. Another fruit tree that we absolutely love is the cherimoya, which is a member of the annona (soursop) family, and these fruits are absolutely delicious! We have a tree here that is almost done fruiting; we have been eating the delicious fruits for a few months now, and collecting seeds. These fruits are round with green reptilian-like skin and the fruit inside is a thick white custard-like sweet, delicious and full of seeds. We planted several last year and ended up planting some seedlings here and giving a few away to friends. Now we have the larger cousin soursop fruit, very similar, ripening and so we will be collecting seeds from them as well. These anona fruits are full of healing attributes, one of those fruits loaded with everything good for you in amazing levels, and very well known for their cancer fighting abilities. At the market the past few weeks there have been lots of them, and they are definitely a favorite.
One of my favorite fruits is the mangosteen, and it also has amazing healing qualities, and in fact there was some capitalization on this with a fruit drink called ‘Zango’, which is a medley of fruit juices and a concentration of xanthones, the primary agent of nutrition in the mangosteen. Of course I have been planting these seeds very religiously, but they require some tlc to survive, very specific conditions, and their root systems cannot be disturbed until they are ready to plant in about a year from seed sowing. These are definitely a must have tree on our ‘new’ farm. I will continue to plant these delicious and special fruit seeds and in time I will hopefully have several trees to harvest…in about ten years! Yes, they are very slow growing, but well worth the effort.
And then there are the avocados, which it seems I can never get enough of. Coconuts and avocados are perfect foods, you could easily live on just them and be more than healthy! So when we buy or harvest good avocados, the seeds are always planted. We have started some wonderful and beautiful avocado trees, knowing fully that someday they may have to be grafted to produce fruit, but that is yet to be seen. Things are changing out there in the ways of nature that nothing is for sure anymore, and anything is possible.
There are two other very important trees that we will be planting after we have secured a place, and these are the Neem tree and the Moringa tree, both of which have outstanding medicinal properties as well as insecticidal properties, and the Moringa is well known for its water purifying capabilities. These are trees that are rarely found in the wild, at least not without much luck, but they are available as seeds and seedlings, and they are an investment in the future for sure, so they are on our list of trees to plant. I do not foresee planting orchards of these trees, but several would be awesome to have for their medicinal properties, to add to my growing supplies of salves, creams, teas, tinctures, etc. I would really like to plant seeds and sell seedlings, rather than deal with lots and lots of trees. Yes, spread the goodness.
Mate will just have to tend to the trees he already has for now while we wait for our connection, and at that time he will have a BIG job planting all of these wonderful trees. We will continue to take a few cuttings of those special ones that we wish to take with us, but moving all of these bags of trees and plants will be quite a vigil, and we have no idea how far they will have to travel. One thing is for sure, it will be an excellent start and a beautiful place once they are all planted!