Another crop of delicious fruit
The longan and bignay crops in July coincide with the pine apples which are still producing daily. Another crop which just began maturing is that of passion fruit. At Dokmai Garden we keep passionfruit in a longan tree a few foot steps from the kitchen and the staff’s lunch table. Yesterday lunch I could hear them falling to the ground. I ate one straight. It was very delicious and refreshing, but keeping them a while at ambient temperature will turn their pinkish rind to a more deep red, and eventually the rind will wrinkle. At that time they have developed a full aroma and more sweetness.
I rarely see any pests on passionfruit, it has handsome flowers and attracts the giant carpenter bees whose modest humming puts your mind at peace. You need to select a moist place for the vine or it will succumb in the dry Chiang Mai valley. We had a bountiful crop back in 2009, but all vines died in he 2010 drought so I have now selected a moister area and also taken command over the watering since I have failed to teach the gardeners how to irrigate. The current drought is ridiculous. Only 13 mm of August precipitation so far and we are half way into August which normally delivers 220 mm. The water pumps operate at this moment. A nice observation to balance this frustration is that the wild whistling ducks seem to increase in numbers. I just saw a flock of twelve pass over Dokmai Garden going north to their sleeping quarters (they graze at night).
Text & Photo: Eric Danell