Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Contemplating Things in the Yard

When Tuca isn't smelling the flowers (in this case a Pitaya which only blooms for 12 hours) she enjoys sleeping. She has her little nest that she does pushees in. Meanwhile in the yard the creepy Mano de Buddah (citron) gets larger and creepier every day).

People here eat the pajuil (cashew) apple instead of the nut. I planted it for the nuts. The fruit really stinks and is rubbery and not something I would consider edible.

The nuts are things I have to figure out how to roast. The hulls apparently can burn holes in your skin because they've got some kind of acid they release. Truly "raw" cashews have the hulls steamed off at low temperatures but mainly the nuts are thrown into boiling oil to get them off. I am trying the freezing method - if I'm not blinded I'll report back.

One thing I will absolutely do in the next house is what I did here - plant Mani under the trees. I'll be planting another YlangYlang for sure.

Canistel is another fruit I will definitely plant again. This tree is only a couple years old and we have gotten dozens of fruit off of it.

I don't know what this flower is but it is showy and I like it.

The pomegranates have been fun but I probably wouldn't plant them again. It isn't a particularly nice tree, it has spikes on it, and the kernels aren't red. I think there are probably different types and I didn't get the red one. It still makes a nice juice...just a spin in the blender and a push through the sieve.


The wing beans are finally doing well. They are fun in stir fries. I've let a couple pods get humongous so I can harvest the seeds. I'll plant carambola again. It gets fruit 4 or 5 times a year and the fruit is good cooked in savory and sweet things. They make a good chutney too. Sometimes I blend them up and use them instead of butter or oil in banana bread like you would applesauce.

I cannot live without parcha. We've got parcha EVERYWHERE! I've put it on every fence, over dead trees etc. I freeze the juice and use it in marinades, salad dressing, sauces, parcha curd, sorbet and on and on. I will always grow parcha.

We've got a couple types of torch ginger - white and red. White always shows up well but the red ones are 6 feet tall and really fake looking.

Last night was the special Pitaya event - a once yearly blooming of a cactus that gets spectacular blooms on it that stay open less than a day, and primarily at night. They will make a "dragon fruit" if you have two different plants. We haven't gotten fruit since I am sure the plants I got were just cuttings from the same stock. I am going to snag another piece from a roadside one though and that should do it! I will take a piece with me to where ever we end up when the time comes.

They are kind of like Little Shop of Horror type things the way they twist and curl and open up.

They even have the bizarre little yellow/green flaming part like a tongue. I spent a few hours last night watching them open and breathing in their dreamy scent...

Everything is bursting into bloom and popping out new green leaves. A little bit of rain makes everything go jungle!


Fran and Steve said...

The pitahaya is amazing indeed. I love how you are becoming so boricua, now calling many things by their Puerto Rican names. I.E., parcha for passionfruit, carambola for starfruit, and mani for whatever it's called in English. I feel sad for you having to leave behind all that fruit of your labor, even though you will start new gardens wherever you move. Whoever buys your property will be so lucky. Fran

Mar said...

You have a beautiful garden. I'm sure you're going to miss it once you move!
I'm for sure going to miss my garden when I move to the states :(