Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A bounty of fruit

We live in a cul de sac, about 50 metres from the local main road, today, while walking Ela back from school, I was struck by the variety of fruit trees (and herbaceous plants) that we walked pass in that 50 metres. 

There was a coeur de beouf  or custard apple tree (we have one of these in the garden too, its a strange textured fruit, not bad, just strange Custard Apple) .

Cour de beouf/custard apple tree

Just across from our front gate our neighbours have planted pineapple plants which are just starting to fruit.  I don't know why but I had always sort of assumed that pineapples came from trees!

The view of pineapples from our front gate...
...and a cute little pineapple

And of course there are some coconut trees, they are ubiquitous around here, in every garden and lining the roads.

There were half a dozen or so lychee trees, really really tasty   We have a couple these in our garden too and in the next month or so they should be ripe.  They continue ripening for about six weeks so you get a continuous supply, of course we are heading to Ireland and France for a month in five weeks so we'll miss the most of the season this year!
(Note to potential burglars, we will be taking all of our valuable stuff with us so don't bother, one of the benefits of not having that much stuff).

Then there was a mango tree.  Until you see it it's hard to believe the amount of fruit mango trees produce.  In a couple of months the sides of the roads around here will be covered in mangos as  there seems to be too many to harvest.

Mango tree
And of course there are bananas.  There are lots of banana plants on the way to the road (there is a banana plantation at the end of the cul de sac) but only three or four have large bunches of bananas ripening on them right now.

And lastly there are a couple of large Ti Jacques trees Ti Jacques (which I forgot to take a photo of, I'll add that in tomorrow!).

The thing that struck me (besides how bountiful the island is) was why this doesn't happen everywhere.  All over the island there are fruit trees, banana plants etc. at the sides of the roads and in gardens and fields but you got to Ireland or most other places in Europe and you don't see that.  Why is that, why aren't there more fruit and nut trees in gardens and on road sides?  I can't imagine planting a garden and not including mostly food producing plants and trees, so why don't we do more of it?

Before leaving for Reunion I was lucky enough to do a few week long permaculture courses with Greenworks and Cultivate (cultivate.ie) in Dublin and it really opened my eyes to a world of growing your own food and sustainability and how empowering that can be, but that is a post for later (and one I will get to!). 


  1. Hedgerows filled with blackberries, dog-roses, hazel, damsons, crab apples, sloes, elderflower, rowan...you've just got to look.
    Though your lychees and custard apples sound gorgeous. And too many mangoes. That is a crisis I could try and cope with!

    1. I suppose what I was referring to wasn't what grows wild in the countryside but more what we deliberately plant in (and spreads from) our gardens and (by the councils) on the roadsides and in public areas. Over the years I have been lucky to do quite a bit of work around the countryside of Ireland and during a number of autumns used to bring punnets (actually water bottles with the tops cut off) of blackberries back home every weekend (never had a crabapple that I really liked though!). And come to think of it why don't we eat more of the wild food you mention and see it in farmers markets etc (the folks I know who eat such wild foods then to be either foodies or greenies, usually both) why aren't our indiginous foods more mainstream?