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.
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.