Friday, August 21, 2009

Harvesting organic papaya

Well - harvesting may be slightly overstating it, when I only got one fruit :) But it's the first one we got off these trees (a previous fruit was taken by someone).

The trees are growing well, although the recent dry weather has not helped particularly, and you can see many fruits in the earlier stages, with couple that should be ready soon
carica papaya fruits

and some flowers too
carica papaya flowers

This was the fruit that was ripe
ripe papaya fruit

I was waiting for it all to lose the green colour, but the non-green part was clearly ripe, and if had left it any longer it would have started to rot, or go into someone else's kitchen. I'm not sure why the underside was ripening more, normally I would expect the part exposed to the sun to ripen quicker...
chopped papaya

and here it is chopped and ready for breakfast :) I'm not a super fan of papaya, but this one was nice - not too strong a taste and - of course - very fresh. It's called 'honey papaya' - which may be the same as the 'honey dew' variety.

And here is a fact sheet on papaya.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Organic papaya tree growth

Papaya, or Carica papaya, is a tree that grows very easily. The first ones we had started more or less by accident, with some seeds thrown on the ground. We replanted those on the grass verge outside our house, but the first batch were either knocked over or pulled up by a stupid contractor, respectively.

So we eventually planted out another six, of which four have survived till now (though one is at an angle after someone knocked into it). Here are some pictures of the various stages of growth or two of them. The first was in October 2008 (note the red line on the pole behind the left-hand tree, this will give you an idea of the subsequent growth)
organic papaya tree malaysia

The next is about a month after that
organic papaya tree malaysia

Then fast forward five months to April 2009. You can see it didn't grow very much in height, but is more leafy: this period was generally wet, and we also fed it vermicompost and organic compost. The large fruit you see on the right was pinched by someone before we got a chance to harvest it.
organic papaya tree malaysia

Then, four months later in August, they have grown taller but the fruits are slow in coming. I suspect it's because it hasn't been so wet over the last few months. The fruits are also curved, perhaps for the same reason.
organic papaya tree malaysia

Some random things about papaya:
* "It is the first fruit tree to have its genome deciphered." (Wikipedia/Science News)
* Some people say that the juice of boiled papaya leaf helps dengue, but I wouldn't count on it.
* Also - the papaya fruit is actually a mild laxative.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Organic chilies harvest

Sorry to anyone out there for not posting for ages, I will try to do better from now on. Brief but regular :)

Cili padi (bird's eye chili) are a favourite of most Malaysians, but not that easy to grow I find. They need a well drained soil and tend to do better in pots. Most of our previous attempts failed miserably but this time - aided by loving care from WW and perhaps our vermicompost - it's looking good :)

This was on May 10th
young organic chilies in pots

And this is today!
adult organic chilies in pots

You can see the flower in the foreground, and how the chili still has the remains of the flower on it as it grows
organic chili flower

Here you can see it going red - these chilies are hot, and quite sweet
organic chili ripening

Here are various stages of growth
organic chilies stages of maturation

and a 'field of chilies' :)

ripening organic chilies plant