Spring time is a time of rebirth and renewal and much focus is given to cute bouncing bundles of joy like this one
and in our area, babies like these…
(picture of a local postcard)
Yesterday I was out looking at other babies. Subtropical fruit babies.
This is an avocado pear
and some baby mangoes
and some oranges (not on the farm we live on)
So here is what I am pondering…………
All of the above fruit trees blossom and start bearing fruit around the same time (spring)
We will be eating the mangoes and litchis by the end of this year (3-4 months to mature ripe fruit depending on cultivar) yet the avocados and oranges will only be ripe and ready in 6-11 months time (winter fruit for us).
Why would some fruit be able to ripen and mature so fast and others take so long?
In front of Tiny House there is a pecan nut orchard. When I got here at the beginning of the month they looked like this
and today they look like this
I just love watch everything come to life in springtime.
Today I realized that I know very little about them so I asked B lots of questions as he showed me around the trees. On the dryer trees I spotted clusters of growth quite high up like the picture below.
These clumps of growth are mistletoe. I didn’t even know that we had mistletoe in this country and really have only seen plastic kissy ones at Christmas time. These unfortunately are not so friendly and are semi-parasitic weeds which cause loss of nut yield and make the tree sickly. Mistletoe has to be cut out of the trees.
The trees will flower near the end of spring and then as the flower wilts the nut begins to grow. It is not a true nut but actually a “drupe”.
(picture of pecan from Wikipedia)
Health benefits of Pecans
Antioxidants present protect against cancer and infections
Pecan nuts are rich source of vitamin E and are therefore great for skin health
The nuts are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins
The nuts are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
I will definitely be making pecan nut pie soon and I also enjoy putting them in my banana bread and salads. Do you have any favorite pecan nut recipes to share?
While I was away at the iNyoka Gallery opening B gave me a call to see how things were going and mentioned that he had a present for me. Now that in itself is quite unusual (not in a nasty way) as we are not big gift givers and tend to stick to birthdays for that kind of thing. My mind rushed in two different directions. Firstly a few flashbacks to hideous gifts I have received from beaus in the past like garish plastic gold earrings when I don’t ever wear gold, or a dress two sizes too big or a kitchen pot 🙂 Then secondly I got really excited because I am a girl after all and I LOVE surprises and thoughtful gifts.
By the time I got home he seemed to have forgotten though so I just kept quiet hoping that something would just pop up.
On opening the fridge to prepare dinner I spotted a large tub of margarine. Now I really can’t stand margarine and believe in the goodness of butter and had thought that I had brainwashed trained B enough to get him off the darn stuff. I opened my big mouth and started my “margarine is plastic” speech when he gently told me that the tub was my gift. What??? Really?? I gingerly opened the tub hoping against hope that it did not contain margarine.
Surprise surprise guess what I got! This man is so precious and knows me so well!
Organic litchi honey from the litchi orchards from one of the farms. Still in the comb.
Now most of you who follow my blog will know this is such a “me” gift.
I have spotted quite a few bee boxes on the farm that we stay on and B told me that one of the farm managers is very interested in bee keeping and that they have very many hives which they use on the farms. Currently, they still have to bring in extra bees for all the pollination of 350 hectares of avocados and also about 100 hectares of litchis but they hope to eventually have enough of their own.
Because they are still splitting hives and multiplying their bees they do not harvest much honey at all so I was really lucky to get a bit.
Also, attached to this gift, was the promise of me going to learn how to split hives and do some beekeeping which I have been keen to learn. I can’t wait!
I will most certainly take my camera and share with you all when I go. Now I need to think of all the questions I want to ask the bee expert. Let me know if you have any bee questions you would like answered.