Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Green papayas: grow! GROW!

It's that time of year where we in frost-prone zones start to get nervous about our papaya trees...

Last year I harvested 87lbs of papaya. Unfortunately, about 70 lbs of that was green papaya.

Though it's popular in Asian cooking and in parts of Latin America - and there are some good recipes out there - I think green papaya is just an alright vegetable... whereas ripe papaya is a marvelous fruit.

Interestingly, there are dwarf types of papaya that will make lots of fruit even though they're shorter than I am. If I could nail some down, I'd grow those. Thus far I've been limited in frost protection because my trees grow to such silly heights.

I think you could dig a 6' deep pit, enrich the bottom with manure or compost, then plant dwarf papaya in there and put plastic over the top for the winter. Local, North Florida papaya could be a hit at the local farmer's market. Unlike our friends further south, we're not plagued by horrible papaya-destroying flies.

I love this fruit but it's been a lot of work to get ripe ones. I must design a better way or I'll be stuck eating green papaya every fall...

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At October 24, 2014 at 9:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We pick ours green in South Texas, and wrap the papayas in newspaper. 2-3 weeks later they are ripe. This is how we have been able to enjoy papaya before they are officially ripe on the tree.

At October 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Great tip - thank you!

At October 26, 2014 at 2:56 AM , Blogger Caterina said...

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At October 26, 2014 at 5:28 AM , Anonymous Alexis said...

Have you encountered the babaco? It's no papaya proper, but it does ripen in cold temperate climates ftw.


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