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Columns : Let's Grow Bahamas Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

The Natal Plum: Enjoy with Caution
By Luckner Timothee
Dec 30, 2013 - 6:19:17 PM

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This is the Natal Plum one of my favorite exotic fruits, found on the island, grown on the Carrissa Shrub. People tend to use the Carrissa as a shrub for many reasons as  it is a beautiful plant, a great defense against thieves, and has rich dark leaves; but let's talk about the fruit. Although beautiful it does come with a few minor elements you should know about....

1. The Green fruit is quite poisonous so try not to consume this fruit unless it has ripened.

2. It is bright red in color when ripened so you'll know when it is edible.

3. If you want to plant the seeds remember that the pods are not the seeds, the seeds are inside and there are usually about 4-6 seeds inside. It's taste is quite similar to the strawberry and it is quite nutritious.

4. Some species have fruity flavours with overtones of strawberry or apple.

5. They are said to be rich in Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

6. The fruit is also used to make jelly.

7. Various birds eat Carissa fruit and distribute the seed.

8.  If eaten before fully ripe, a bitter, poisonous latex is released from the skin. Other than the ripe fruit, the plant is poisonous.

We ate this fruit a lot as kids here on the island, and old folks knew of it and its poisonous qualities.  Sadly not many people speak of the Carrissa anymore. It is also used for medicinal purposes. I have seen this plant growing at my friend Keith's place and I've seen it at The Ol' Freetown Farm as well. They have quite a big tree on their farm which I enjoyed thoroughly the last time I was there.

It's an excellent fruit to enjoy, and I hope I've helped educate a few people that didn't know of this beautiful shrub and fruit.

About the Author: Luckner Timothee is a backyard Farmer in Grand Bahama since starting his garden a few years ago he has wooed his friends with his produce and creative farming ideas. He continually learns from his friends and family about the process of farming and the struggles that a farmer goes through daily. He is now working on a Web show called “Let’s Grow Bahamas” to be released on “Grand Bahama Backyard Farmers”. He is attending seminars in order to meet other farmers around the world and to further his knowledge about Farming. To contact Luckner Timothee email him at: bahamasfarmers@live.com

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