"I remember the friend I had in my co-teacher in Taiwan whose English name was Elva. But it was really Elva-Guava because I was trying to teach the children how to make the “v” sound and so had them chant all the words I could think of with “v” in it: “seven, eleven, Elva, Guava.” The entire school chanted “Elva Guava” when she walked in the gate each morning."
Read all about Elva Guava and Lady Jennie's other adventures here.
What has all that got to do with this post, you might ask. Well, guava happens to be one of my favourite fruits and one of the many types of fruits grown on The Farm, so I thought today I'll write a little bit about this delightful fruit.
Guavas are plants in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) genus Psidium (meaning "pomegranate" in Latin), which contains about 100 species of tropicalshrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Southeast Asia, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Florida and Africa. (Text from Wikipedia).
Google or Wikipedia will tell you all you want to know about how well-endowed with richness and vitamins this fruit really is. You can eat them fresh from the tree, turn them into really refreshing juice, or as a salad.
I grow two varieties of guava on the farm: the Jambu Batu (lit.: stone guava), and Jambu Air (lit.: water guava).
Jambu Batu or Stone Guava is also known as Apple Guava.
The stone refers to the numerous seeds inside the fruit. That's the way it used to be anyway - full of seeds inside which makes eating a little less pleasant. And the passing out of the undigested parts even more so. Not anymore. The marvel of science had made this fruit completely seedless. So it is really fun to pluck it from the tree and taste its sweetness there and then.
|A four-month old guava plant just transferred|
from seedling bag to the field (notice the white flower)
|Yes they do flower and bear fruit at this young age|
as they are grown from grafted trees, not from seed -
they are seedless, remember? But early fruits are
|Formation of fruitlets|
|A two-year old fruiting tree at sundown|
|Closer look under normal light. Fruits are wrapped|
to keep away fruit flies and other insects
|Fruits, three in a row. Helluva guava|
|Don't be turned off by the odd shape,|
they are really quite tasty and
|On the tree in the morning sun, the dew hasn't dried up|
The Jambu Air or Water Guava on the other hand looks and tastes quite different from the Apple Guava. (note: air is water in Malay. Not to be confused with angin or air, which is the stuff we breathe). As the name denotes this guava has high water content and is therefore less crunchy compared to the Apple Guava.
If you want to get technical (the scientific name is quite a mouthful) Wikipedia has the following intro to this lovely fruit:
Syzygium samarangense (syn. Eugenia javanica) is a species in the Myrtaceae, native to Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Samoa. Common names include wax apple, love apple, java apple, chomphu (in Thai), Mận or Royal Apple (in Vietnam), bellfruit (In Taiwan), Jamaican Apple,Otaheti Apple (in Jamaica), jambu air (in Indonesian), water apple, mountain apple, cloud apple, jambu air ("water guava" in Malay), wax jambu,rose apple, bell fruit, makopa, tambis (Philippines), and chambekka in Malayalam, jamrul (in Bengali), and jumbu (Sri Lanka). It is called the nonu vaoin Samoan.
I have one huge tree (must be ten years old now), and one that I just planted. This tree fruits two to three times a year, less often compared to the Apple Guava which fruits practically all year round.
I have only photos of the trees and flowers at the moment, not the fruit. So we'll have to wait till these flowers turn to fruits before I can show you how the fruit look like (or by all means Google it).
|Young Jambu Air - as you can see it is quite different|
from the Apple Guava seedling (first photo, above)
|The 10 year old tree|
|Flowers just formed. Once opened they look quite similar|
to the Apple Guava flowers.
That's it about Elva and Guava.
I now want to extend a warm welcome to my latest follower Poetic Justice. She has a blog called Tragic Creativity. Why it is so is for me to find out. She is my follower number 88. Now 8 is a very very auspicious number, as some of you may know. It stands for wealth, prosperity, and all things good. 88 is even better. Don't get me started on this now...