September 9, 2008

Volunteering - September 5

star fruit carambola vineTraining star fruit (carambola) trees to grow sideways on three levels. You can see the difference between the trained vine on the left and the thick growth on the right.

This week, I started with the usual housekeeping -- picking up leaves and sweeping the path inside the pavilion. But later, I had an interesting task, which was to "train" some starfruit trees to grow sideways, as in a vine. Jon-Mario had cut back the trees just before the Mango Festival in July, but much of it had grown back quite thickly.

Apparenly, there's something about training the branches and twigs and supporting the old growth that helps the starfruit flower and fruit. The task doesn't seem like much, but it's meticulous and took most of my volunteering session that day.

jackfruit and avocadoThis was actually a smallish jackfruit (left).

Jon-Mario had brought a jackfruit for me to try, but it seems like it had been picked too early and had not ripened properly. I didn't want to sample it because I had never tried jackfruit and since Jon-Mario told me it wasn't at its best flavor, I opted to wait until a good one comes along. The inside of the fruit is impressive looking. Its scent was very sweet and reminded me of a cross between pineapple and passion fruit. The avocado, however, I did take home! It became part of a salad with grape tomatoes, chopped onion and cilantro, olive oil, lime and sea salt.

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