One of the great things about living in Venezuela is the fact that you get fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. This is especially true when your mom has a big garden and a passion for farming. Among the many fruit and vegetable plants in her garden, the biggest one is her avocado tree. The season is beginning and we're already eating avocadoes every day. Soon it'll be an avocado overdose.
|A two-day's harvest|
My mother's garden is not a regular one. It seems to be a small jungle, crowded with so many plants that there's no grass in it. However, it's a very generous garden that provides us with passion fruit, coffee, black beans, soursop, pomegranate, avocado, rosemary, lemongrass, scallions, etc. You can also find a great variety of flowers, including roses, orchids, bromelias, lilies, heliconias and many others.
|Avocado tree from the ground|
Her biggest pride and joy is, in my opinion, her avocado tree. It's around 8 meters tall (over 25 feet) and it goes way above the roof. It blossoms once a year, but when it does it becomes avocado time!
|Avocadoes hangin' around|
As with any other harvest, some years are good and some years aren't. Last year was one of the great ones, when she harvested over 200 avocadoes. No, I'm not exaggerating. We counted them. This year we won't be so lucky, but it's ok. Poor tree can't give us so many avocadoes every year.
|On the top of the tree|
When the harvest is in its peak, we give away avocadoes to friends, family, neighbors and almost everyone we know. It's usually more than we can eat, even though there's been days when I've eaten avocado for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not that I'm complaining, of course.
|Still not ready to harvest|
My mother is an expert and she knows when to harvest them. When they're not ready, they look glossy and bright green. If they look paler and matte, it's time to pick them up before they fall.
Sometimes we get incredibly big avocadoes. The one pictured above is the biggest of the week. I measured and weighed it so you would believe me how big it was.
|21 centimeters or 8 inches|
|430 grams or 15 ounces|
When the plant is so high as ours, avocado accidents happen frequently. If we don't pick them up when they're ready, they fall all the way to the ground. Sometimes they fall over soft ground and the damage is minimal. Other times they crash against concrete and they break in pieces. One year we had to place a huge net under the tree to save them because they fell faster than we could pick them up.
This tree has been very generous to us for many years and we hope to have it for many years to come. The picture beneath shows a branch heavy with avocadoes. How many can you count?
|I'm not telling how many are there|
In the near future you'll be seeing some posts with avocado, including Venezuelan guasacaca (similar to guacamole), reina pepeada (an arepa filling) and a failed attempt at baking an avocado. Please, feel free to share any avocado recipes with me.