Fruits and Peppers in the Garden

We have such an abundance from our garden.  Below are just a few of the fruits that we gather each week. I am happy to say that many of my neighbors and folks on my daily walk like guava or guayaba, everyone here uses lemons on almost a daily basis so we are happy to share what our garden produces. Some of our other trees do not yet produce enough to share a great deal. I just cannot use all that we get from our garden so giving the egg delivery guys a bag full of guayaba is a wonderful way to thank them for their service and use the extra fruits that Joe and I can not eat.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 048We are blessed to have found a home that had a garden filled with fruit trees. Each day we pick fruits for our table and share with neighbors and friends.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 036San Clemente 9.23.2014 011San Clemente 9.23.2014 029San Clemente 9.23.2014 027The above four photos are our pomegranate or granadas.  I have made Pomegranate Syrup to use on pancakes.

San Clemente 8.4.2014 043San Clemente 8.4.2014 046These are one of several lemon trees that give us fruit almost year round. The trees have just finished blossoming and we have picked all the old fruit to allow the new fruit all the nourishment the tree can give them.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 030San Clemente 9.23.2014 031San Clemente 9.23.2014 026The pepper plants in the ground are not as happy as the ones in the pot. Our soil is basically sand, I am amazed anything can grow in it.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 028San Clemente 8.4.2014 037Star fruit or fruta china is an exotic fruit, sweet, juicy. Wonderful for juice but they never make it to the juicer. With only one ripe at a time it is so easy just to wash it and eat it right out in the yard. And that is what I do most times.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 024This papaya is located outside our fence but it started from seeds that I tossed so I think of it as mine, ja ja  They are getting close, I just hope they are sweet with dark fruit, some of the lighter fruit papayas are tasteless.

San Clemente 9.23.2014 025San Clemente 8.4.2014 040Naranjilla is another exotic fruit and I do not think its natural habitat is on the coast. This is a sierra fruit but I found a tree and am babying it hopefully soon to put it in the ground.  The leaves and stems have thorns and can cause some good pinches. You can use the fruit for juice by boiling it for about 10 minutes and then blending and straining, adding water and some sugar. I like to use it in Seco de Chivo or Seco de Pollo.

San Clemente 9.25.2014 024Our guava or guyaba tree seems to be always producing. I make marmalade and paste from the fruit as well as an occasional batido. The tree is also a wonderful shade tree to keep our little yard cool during those hot sunny days.

San Clemente 9.23a.2014 002San Clemente 9.23a.2014 001Thanks for taking the tour of our garden which is only 20 x 30 feet. Small but filled with such surprises. And smiles.

Once Upon a Fig

Our time in Ecuador has been filled with small adventures, most of those adventures came while meeting new folks because of the blog. While we were still living in Salinas a reader Yusuf starting corresponding this was back in April 2011. He has followed our blog almost from the first post so I consider him a dear and treasured friend at this point.

When we bought this home and I was posting of the itty bitty yard with all its trees he suggested a fig. Where was I going to put a fig but when I saw one for sale while at the mercado in Charapoto what do you think I did, yes you are correct I bought it, what was one more tree in our yard.  It was a bitty thing and it has grown slowly. I’m thinking it will never bear fruit in our lifetime, well I was totally wrong.

San Clemente 4.8.2014 091 I was shocked to see the one and only fig on the ground a few days later but just assumed the tree to just to young to bear fruit but maybe next season. I have high hopes for fig marmalade.

Yusuf, thanks for your wonderful advice, suggestions and counsel for the past years. We are blessed to have met folks like you on our journey.

What Is It?

Not sure what this fruit is and hoped someone who reads the blog would have some ideas.

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San Clemente 1.25.2014 019The tree was filled with these green berries, they sort of look like the local cherry but not one was red so I don’t think that is what they are.

I am thinking about picking a bunch and showing them to one of my neighbors, the tree was just packed with them.

Building a Finca – Update

Back in December of last year our neighbors Ivan and Max allowed me to visit their finca and post about their work. See Building a Finca, December 1, 2012.  Max was kind enough to come by with some beautiful papaya from the farm and he took me back for an update.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 045Joe and Max are examining the bounty on this one type of papaya. Different varieties of papaya have been planted to see which variety is better suited to this climate. Max is experimenting with the Hawaiian Papayas as well as the locally grown variety. His focus has been fruit that has a high sugar content with low maintenance and water consumption. The papaya trees that have been planted are producing but the focus of the farm is the production of tamarind.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 064San Clemente 10.31.2013 035These tamarind trees were started from seeds and have grown to over three feet in less than a year in the ground. It is a beautiful property with spectacular views of the ocean from almost any spot.

As we were leaving Max jumped out of the car and put several huge squash in the back seat, the one he gave me made several squash breads that I shared with the neighbors.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 040Since my first visit electricity has been brought to the property, roads and planting fields have been cleared and construction has been started on the first all bamboo home.

Good luck, buena suerte!

Naranjilla in Bloom

The other day while watering my plants I took a good look at my naranjilla plant (gift given to me by Deborah Millard just a few months ago) and was very surprised to see it was in flower. It is so small I just did not feel it would start to bear fruit for years, much less in a handful of months.

San Clemente 9.5.2013 007 San Clemente 9.5.2013 006 San Clemente 9.5.2013 004From searching online it looks like even this little plant can have fruit.  Not sure if I should allow it to continue to fruit or get rid of the flowers so that the tree itself would strengthen, if anyone has any experience with naranjilla let me know what you think.

Pomegranates (Granadas)

Pomegranates are bountiful on the little tree we have in our yard. I have handed them out as folks come by because unless I decide to juice them we will never eat all the fruit. Just one section has the following fruits.

San Clemente 7.18.2013 008The trees are lush and green with more fruit now that they are being watered and fertilized regularly.  We may have to remove this tree when we finish our plans for a ramada and patio in this section of the yard.  I would love to try to transplant it to another part of the yard but am afraid that it will die if I do that. Anyone have any suggestions on how to move this beauty with a high rate of success?

I did plant a few seeds at the suggestion of my friend Deborah from Bahia and have what looks to be three baby trees starting up. She did tell me that grow fast so my next move is to transplant them to their own container and see how fast they really grow.

San Clemente 8.3.2013 017I also tried juicing the seeds, it worked well adding them to the blender and giving it a quick buzz for about 20 seconds. Pour into a strainer and uses a spatula to squeeze the juice out of the pulp. It was delicious and this is an easy way to use the fruit.

Carambola (Star Fruit – but locals call it Fruta China)

Yesterday afternoon while sitting out in the yard I looked up to see several almost ripe star fruit just staring down at me.  My friend Eva said to add them to a regular salad for a special kick. That sounds like a lovely way to eat the bounty from our yard.

San Clemente 7.18.2013 003

San Clemente 7.18.2013 002

There are several bunches of little pink flowers along with a few very tiny little fruits. It is so much fun to search in the branches to see if any of them contain fruit. It looks like we will have five very nice ripe fruit in the next several days and then several more over the next month.

San Clemente 7.18.2013 009

What a treat!