Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

At the risk of repeating myself, it looks as through it will be a bumper mango crop this year.   Was it the chillier than normal winter that had folk shivering and complaining, and pensioners island-wide wondering if this is what hypothermeria was like, with night-time temps reaching as low as 23c?? (they have no concept of what it's like to live in a cold climate where you wake in the morning with thick ice on the INSIDE of the bedroom window, or to have your toilet cistern frozen solid for days).  Or was it the strangely windy January and February - did that aid better pollination than usual?  Whatever it was, I cannot recall the last time I saw such heavily laden mango trees.

Between my parents, brother and myself, we must surely harvest tens of thousands?  Which would mean, island-wide, there must be millions?  What will happen to all these mangoes? Generally speaking no one seems to preserve, bottle or freeze them....I am intrigued by this question and will watch with interest.

Other fruit buds and blossom are now appearing all around and we have bananas galore. I am truly thankful to see such bounty.

And with all this abundance, I was very alarmed to hear from my neighbour this week that many of his bees have died suddenly and inexplicably. Let us hope for all our sakes that our tiny island has not succumbed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that is being experienced in many parts of the world. This would be a major blow that would come hot on the heels of the terrible devastation of many bananas plantations due to Black Sigatoka Disease which threatens to wipe out the livelihood of many St Lucian banana growers.  With no other industry to fall back on, we have to ask the question of what will happen if we lose our bananas and our bees? 

In the meantime, just sharing some photos taken on a walk around my father's modest but highly productive garden at the weekend.....

I don't have a wide angle lens wide enough to capture the amount of fruit on this tree

To see more photos (it's too difficult to cut & paste them all)

see blog


Views: 158

Comment by Cornelia on April 5, 2012 at 12:05pm

Holy cow, those are mangoes?! What will you do with all of them? Also, what is that red fruit monstrosity - the last photo on your blog post?

Comment by Yvonne on April 5, 2012 at 12:53pm

We'll eat what we can and share the rest with friends and neighbours but this year everyone seems to be in the same boat so will need to devise some useful ways of preserving the mangoes.  I believe, the pink fruit is known in the US as Cherimoya - in fact I saw one being used on Food Network's "Chopped" a little while ago. It tastes amazing!

Comment by Aliza Ess on April 13, 2012 at 3:36pm

Beautiful! Yes, I think I remember hearing a radio story about mangoes and how many growers do not preserve the excess. Have you thought about cutting the mangoes into pieces and drying them? That would make them inexpensive to transport and easy to store.

Comment by Yvonne on April 13, 2012 at 3:45pm

Thanks Aliza - I've seen a lot of the dried fruit in the stores but suspect it's very labour intensive.  Since writing that post, I've been reading up on mango chutney and savoury "jams" e.g. chilli and tomato jam, recipes that may lend themselves to being adapted to work with mangoes.  I guess that's why mango chutney and other such preserves were so popular in the days of the Raj and the British in India!  


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