Though I’d rather wait until the bananas and papaya ripen to bring them in, they will not live through frosts so we had to get harvesting before frost wrecked all we had.
Before it got down into the 20s on Tuesday night, it was time to grab what I could and get it into the house.
The chayotes have continued to put out fruit from fall until now. I think we got about 30-40 this year from just one plant. Quite impressive. Unfortunately, my children don’t really like them all that much so the huge harvests aren’t all that helpful. Oh well – at least they love eating yams.
Green papaya aren’t my favorite by themselves, but they are decent cooked and they’re quite good in Thai green papaya salad.
I’ve also posted some green papaya recipes here. The enzymes are also great for your digestion, and I’ve posted on green papaya as a survival food over at The Prepper Project.
It’s just… compared to a ripe papaya… green papayas are sad. We don’t get very many ripe papaya around here, sadly, since just about the time the trees are loaded with fruit, the weather gets cold. If you live further south in the state, your papaya will produce like crazy and give you plenty of fruit in a tiny footprint. It’s a perfect backyard fruit “tree” in that it’s easy to grow from seed and usually produces in a year or less. When I get a more tropical homestead, they’re at the top of my planting list.
The bananas I pulled in aren’t quite ready for harvest but we had no choice. They weren’t going to ripen up before the frost destroyed them, plus the tree fell over. Harvest ’em or lose ’em!
When I went harvesting on Tuesday, my wife filmed me. Check out how BIG that papaya tree got – from seed, in less than a year!
At the end of the day we pulled in probably 40-50lbs of produce… and it’s a good thing, too. Wednesday morning broke at a frosty 28 degrees and when I looked outside at around 11AM, I saw burned and wilted leaves everywhere.
I hope you all came through the frost okay. It’s hard to believe that in just two months everything will be blooming and bursting into new life again here in North Florida.
There is a banana tree on the east side of the Texaco in Trenton. It look untouched by the frost and last year had ripened bananas. I want a pup from it!!!
I sprouted a bunch of papaya seeds and they’re about 3″ tall now. How long does it usually are for them to flower so I can tell if they are male/female/both plants? I have at least 20 sprouts and don’t want to keep them all, so I’d like to cull the extras. Or, is there a market for organic papaya fruits? There are several local farmers markets around here that I may be able to sell at and I don’t recall seeing papaya there before.
I cut my 2 banana bunches an brought them in… An my papayas are still in a pot so I bring it in also… Not fruiting yet of course. Glad to know that there’s some use for green papaya… Aside from chicken feed. And I have 2 avocados about 2′ tall in pots that get special treatment… I don’t expect them to fruit unless I hit the lottery an build them a greenhouse…. 😉
Those frosts…typically in the Twin Cities it happens in mid-October. This was a warm fall, so by covering up one night I was able to harvest into mid-November. Now I’m thinking, can I push it further? Both the water heater and furnace vent to the same side. What if I pipe that warm air into a hoop house?
Being from south Louisiana, we call the chayote by the name of mirliton (sounds like Mill-i-ton). Mom cooked it with shrimp. I’m sure if you looked on the web for mirliton recipes, you would find something the kids might like to try. I’ll be moving into zone 8-9 soon. We already purchased a home and I can’t wait to start growing everything!!!
Sounds great, Pat. I didn’t realize it was grown there.