Okay, so farm may sound like I’m exaggerating but, the 7 acre property we stayed in on this past week has way more fruits, starches and herbs growing than you’d ever imagine! On Wednesday morning we went on close to an hour long tour of the crops on the property.
In the next picture you’ve just got a great shot of the banana trees that were everywhere!
The prickly plant above is a fruit called soursop. The center of the ripe fruit can make a white pulp used to add a milky texture to dishes and is high in vitamin C. Jamaicans tout that the leaves make a tea that benefits the nerves and recently has been thought to benefit blood sugar. There are conflicting research studies on the fruit’s potential anti-cancer properties. Unfortunately none were ripe so this is one local food we weren’t able to try!
The super cool starchy fruit above is called “bread fruit”. It’s used in several ways but Chef Lenox prepared it two separate ways for us. He roasted it and it tasted just like a hearty piece of fresh bread and he also fried it where it tasted sort of like really flavorful potato wedges. I wish we could more easily get this in the US! You can see it prepared in the picture below.
Next we saw some of the pineapple plants that our daily fresh pineapple grew on – I bet many of you have never seen a pineapple growing before! At home when I buy a pineapple and it’s white inside versus more yellowish, I don’t usually love them but here they were super flavorful.
Next we saw some lemongrass. This is something I often see in lotions or essential oils as well as in tea in the US. Health claims include improved digestion, improved joint health, and even keeping mosquitos away – can’t confirm the last one!
While it isn’t food, I had to share a picture of this gorgeous bird of paradise flower! I’ve done the yoga pose many a time but never knew what it was referencing!
The vines you see in the picture below are for beans!They even grow up the banana trees. We had beans with rice as a side dish a couple of nights.
Below are some plantains. We had them cooked as a side dish one night and with breakfast on our last morning – I’m a huge plantain lover with any preparation!
Next you are seeing sugarcane! Wait til you see it at the end of the post!
Next you are seeing pumpkin. I never would have thought pumpkin and squash grow here since we harvest them in the fall in the north east. Chef Lenox used pumpkins for a soup one night.
The tree below has sweet cassava roots. There are different varieties of cassava and we had some prepared with dinner crusted in cornmeal one night. It was deliciously sweet and savory.
Below is the root and then Tim trying it. We recommend cooking before eating!!
Below is a plant that is apparently great for colds. I wrote down “nashna tea” as I’m terrible at interpreting Jamaican accents. I googled to fact check the spelling and nothing came up. Help a girl out and comment if you know the name of this plant!
The tree below that looks dead is actually a type of black pepper!
Melon are below – we had several watermelon varieties grown on the property with our mango, guava and pineapple at breakfast.
Chinese thyme below that smelled delicious and was used in some dishes at dinner.
Passion fruit! I never knew what this looked like. Below the first picture is a very new piece of fruit and then you can see the mature form. They turn more yellow to show they are ripe.
Parsley below, also used in our meals.
Mint and a habanero like pepper rounded out the tour! Chef Lenox made an amaaaazing hot sauce that I hope to recreate out of these!
And here are Andy and another groundskeeper getting the sugarcane ready for us to try! It was a delicious pre-workout snack one day and yummy to drop in coffee as a sweetener.
I must be honest. Jamaica was never a country I had on my must visit list but now I highly recommend coming to experience not just beaches but culture! I hope to have some breadfruit in the near future 😉