We have been rather busy these past weeks in getting on with the general maintainance and repairs after the previous monsoon rains which was not as heavy as the past years but more spread out. Last weekend there was the pruning chores and it looks like we will have a good crop of Soursop’s. If you ever have the opportunity to either eat it of have it as a juice fresh then you will discover one of the most unusual and delicious taste ever. Simply yummy.
Archive of ‘Tropical Fruits’ category
It is always very satisfying when your effort finally bears some fruit, more so when it came from a couple of seeds you snuck in saved when eating it in another country. I just love Pulasan and have begun noticing it being sold in very small numbers in the city. Very few people have even heard of it let alone enjoyed eaten it. The seeds are edible and taste a bit like almonds. And NO. Thou shall not ask for some till i have stuffed myself had my fill.
These days we depend on our farmhands to do most of the fruit picking for those much taller trees. Gone are the days when we were much more agile and lighter did it ourselves.
Last Saturday night was spent in my bungalow after having a barbeque. We had Rambutans for dessert and i had a really bad tummy ache paid the price for stuffing myself too much of it. But what can you do when it taste so yummy, is in season and all around you at the farm?
Goats relish Neem leaves. We try to feed them with these normally using lopped off branches when trimming as and when we can afford to and we only have a single mature tree. There are some younger saplings but these are just too young to justify the quantity of leaves we would like to have available.
The use of Neem in veterinary medicine in India dates back to the times of the epic Mahabharata (300 B.C). According to scholars, two of the five Pandava brothers Nakul and Sahadev, who practiced veterinary medicine, used Neem to treat ailing and wounded horses and elephants by applying poultices prepared from Neem leaves and Neem oil for healing the wounds etc., during the battle of Mahabharata. Ancient Sanskrit literature indicates Neem applications as feed and in a large number of prescriptions and formulations to provide health cover to livestock in various forms. Various Neem preparations were standardized in the form of oils, liniments, powders and liquids. Ayurvedic scholars recommend the use of Neem oil as antipyretic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, analgestic, antihistaminic, anthelmintic and as an acaricide.
Neem has been traditionally used against various livestock insects such as maggots, hornflies, blow-flies and biting flies. Neem is also useful for controlling some bacteria of veterinary importance and against intestinal worms in animals. Patnaik, (1993) highlights the livestock friendly medicinal role of neem in the following: “the tree (neem) is revered by Indian herdsmen as a gentle but effective veterinary poultice, a virtue confirmed by the 16th century Portuguese botanist and traveler, Garcia de Orta in his “Coloquios”.
Neem trees grow slowly during their first year, but they reach maturity fast. You can expect to harvest your first neem fruit after three to five years. It takes about ten years for a neem tree to get to full production. After that it will produce 30 to 50 kg of fruit a year. A neem tree can be expected to live much more longer that any of us can ever hope for 150 to 200 years.
Buah Tarap (pronounced is Sarawak as Buah Terap) season is here. This is one of the most delicious of all the tropical fruits and is also a beautiful exotic tree. It has lobed leaves, as large as 2-4 foot long and 1 foot broad, similar to the Breadfruit’s, but a little less lobed. In a wild, it is found extensively in Brunei Darussalam and parts of Sabah and Sarawak and of course right here at The Kebun.
The fruit does not fall to the ground when ripe, only when it is over ripe and rotting. It may be harvested while still hard, and left to ripen until soft. The ripe fruit is opened by cutting the rind around or just twisting and gently pulling the halves complete the operation. The inside of the fruit is somewhat similar to the Jackfruit but the color is whitish. The core is relatively large, but there are fewer “rags” and less non-edible parts. Arils are white and the size of a small grape, each containing a 1/2″ seed. Once opened, the fruit should be consumed quickly (in a few hours), as it loses flavor rapidly and fruit oxidizes.
To open the fruit, just press your thumb into the soft skin and pry the pieces away and you’ll be greeted by a nicely arranged array of white sacs that looks like pale miniature Cempedaks. They will be wrapped in yellow tendrils extending from the husk and stuck to the main stem of the fruit found in the center. To eat, just twist the fruit and pop it into your mouth and the center of the fruit consists of a single oval shape brown seed. A single Tarap can hold as much as 150 to 200 little sacs within but the size of the fruits will vary from tree to tree.
Excuse me while I go open and enjoy another Buah Tarap.
It looks like this is going to be a very good year for our Breadfruit. All the tress are showing good fruit numbers and maybe this time we will be able to offer more at the roadside stall. Has anyone ever tried fried breadfruit fritters? Very yummy as a snack in the afternoons.
Our Custard Apple tree is doing very well and we should be able to taste the fruits very soon. This is a unique tree where all of it has a use. The fruits are tasty and nutritious but all parts of this tree can be useful in traditional medicine. The unripe fruit has been used to assist against diarrhea and dysentry. The tree bark is used for skin and mucosae medicines and the seed bark contains useful tannins and astringents. The leaves are believed to have healing properties and have been used against tumors and cancers. The fruit of the plant, serves as an expectorant, stimulant, coolant, haematinic, and is useful in treating anemia. Paste of flesh of this plant or crushed leaves of the plant can be used for local application on ulcers, abscesses and boils. The bark has been used on gums to relieve toothaches.
Our Starfruits are making me salivate thinking of Startfruit juice really looking good. Save for some which are worm infested the rest are looking pretty good. That’s the price you have to pay when you do not use pesticides.
Walking around The Kebun last night brought a surprise when we found that the mangosteen tree planted so many years ago finally bore fruits. It is always so nice to see your hard work finally show results.