Not The Time For Harvest

We came back and saw the broken branch of star apple tree. Perhaps too much fruits it was carrying plus the intermittent strong winds caused it. For short and manageable tree, a support pole is often installed to prevent breaking branches and fruit waste. For this very tree I need two 20 feet water pipe joined together or a piece of long sturdy bamboo as support. Not worth the effort. The cost of either options is more than what I can harvest.

According to Star Apple must be harvested when fully ripe. So it is non-climacteric, the normal physiological processes ceases as soon as picked. It never fall off and must be hand-picked by clipping the stalk. When said clipping, it really means cutting off the stalk with sharp tool. Pulling them with a rod of sorts will pull off a portion of flesh surrounding the stalk base. Then it spells very short shelf life. The opening is entry of spoilage microorganisms. It won’t last unless refrigerated or processed right away. This characteristic also prevents the use of any mechanical harvesters.

Overripe must be exception as I see lots of fallen fruits every season. The raw picked fruit is bitter and turns gummy. The outside surface shows specs of shriveling due to moisture loss. You don’t have to worry about falling ripe fruit though. In case it falls right on top of your head. It will splat like a gooey. Taking a bath is your next friend.

There is no hope for these fruits. Their reasonable purpose now is to rot and become natural fertilizer. I am going to top cut the tree after harvest.

Caimito is exceptionally delectable but I see no commercial products derived from it.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.