October 9, 2008

Volunteering-October 3

pineapple patchThere's a new pineapple patch behind the gazebo.

Last week we continued working on the pineapple patch by mulching and planting. Gonzalo was there to also help out.

My other tasks included removing dead flowers and leaves from the red button ginger and covering new guava fruit with paper bags to keep the bugs away.

red buttong gingerRed button ginger in the morning sunlight.

guavaGuava fruit even at this stage is incredibly fragrant.

I continued to work on the carambola (star fruit) espalier. I was very pleased to see that it is growing flowers all over! I guess the espalier technique really works because in a couple of weeks it went from no flowers to many. The timing is right because according to the Virtual Herbarium, fall is the time for carambola to bear fruit. I'll be so happy to sample it knowing that I helped the trees along in the process.

carambolaCarambola buds before flowering.

carambola Tiny little carambola tree flowers, smaller than the width of my thumb nail!

This isn't the only carambola at Fairchild. There are a couple more trees that were fruiting about a month ago near the big Baobab and the vine garden. Those trees are growing upright though.

More about carambola:
As fall approaches, South Florida's carambola trees hang heavy with golden fruits. The carambola, or star fruit was introduced into Florida over 100 years ago from Southeast Asia. In Florida fruits can be found through the year but the main crop usually matures from late summer to early winter depending on the cultivar.
Carambola is delicious, with a crisp texture and a somewhat tart flavor. I'm definitely going to try out some of these recipes when carambola starts appearing in the markets.

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