And I Saw Jack Fruit Growing on the Tree

This is how we spent New Year’s Eve day last year: Some friends drove us to the east side of Dominica, to the village of Delices (how fitting) to meet an aunt and great aunt (who turned 100 this year!) and to see their amazing backyard food garden.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

It was one of my most favourite days on the island. In Delices, the neighbouring backyards functioned like small farms, with fruit trees and spices and rabbits for manure. It felt just like a really large community garden, but everyone has their own yard and attached house rather than a small plot. There was a strong cooperative spirit, and everyone was very generous in sharing their gardens with us. Never mind that we were sent away with a big bag of fresh citrus, turmeric, cinnamon, and other produce.

I could have spent a week there and was sad to leave after only an hour or two. There was so much to see and discover. I was able to see several different types of tropical fruit growing on the tree for the first time ever, including this beautiful jackfruit. There was a mangosteen tree, too, but it was still very young. I hope to see a tree laden with that fruit one day!

I could have spent the rest of my life there: growing my own mangosteen tree, massive ginger plants, and chocolate, surrounded by tall mountains and lush forest until I grow tired of it all and begin to crave the smell of Autumn (as is inevitable because the grass is always greener). Perhaps I will one day.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “And I Saw Jack Fruit Growing on the Tree

  1. i swear I really think I felt a warmth and a whiff of fragrance emanate through the computer screen for a second there (then it was gone)

  2. Bre: Must have been the heat causing hallucinations. ha! My brain is definitely experiencing some delirium.

    Patsy: There is so much I still haven’t shown from that trip…. And film photos I am yet to develop!

  3. This is an amazing tree the way the fruit grows on the tree, I am waiting for my tree in florida to grow fruit. i growed up in jamaica where we eat jackfruit all the time but i never seen the tree with fruit on it.thanks for the picture.

  4. I love Jack fruit so much, that I am bravely (foolishly? insanely?) trying to grow my own in Central Florida. The tree struggled with the extreme cold we had last year, even with babying and protection. It’s come back strong this summer though, and added some new growth. Hopefully, another year or so should see it established enough to start thinking about fruiting.

  5. The Jackfruit was brought to the new world from southern India by the Portugese, and they brought us back yucca which is now almost a staple, not to mention peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. My mother’s garden in Kerala looks very much like a Caribbean one. She has mangosteen, nutmeg and clove trees. We even put egg shells on the end of the Aloe – I was so amazed to see that in Barbados.

  6. mmmm my favorite fruit! Worth it, even though your hands are sticky for hours afterwards… I miss the produce I had growing up in Hawaii!

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