I have been trying to grown papaya for a year now. First I obtained seedlings from a nursery in Queensland, Australia. The variety was called Southern Red carica papaya. Unfortunately, at the start of autumn all three seedlings died. This time I tried from organic seeds and the papaya trees grew very well. To save time, I didn’t wait for it to get warmer. I planted the seeds in autumn right after I saw the Southern Red in trouble. Not a wise thing to do, but Kevin put plastic sheets over them to keep away the cold winds and frost.
Papaya loves the sun. The hotter the better and many people believe they can only be grown in a fully tropical climate. So you can imagine what a feat it was not only keep my small trees alive but to keep them growing. The trick was to plant them against a wall facing the sun.
In Australia, the sun is usually in the northern part of the sky and moves even farther north in winter. So the southern side does not get much sun, except in summer and that too in the mornings and afternoons. So we planted our papaya trees against the wall facing the Northern side which had full sun during winter and summer. The plastic sheets over these little trees created a greenhouse effect by keeping the heat in and cold winds out. So they actually kept growing during winter but slowly.
Then the trunk of the trees turned black. I fed them some organic fertilizer and mulch to strengthen them to withstand the cold. It worked! Incredibly the trunks changed colour from black to grey to clear. No trace of the black at all. It goes to show that with good food it is possible to reverse any ailment.
So it is with much joy, I am able to harvest papayas this summer despite the earlier setback. They are small fruits having formed during winter but still very sweet. We are well into summer now and the trees are bearing more fruit. So I’m looking forward to larger papayas.
I used all my small winter papayas up to make papaya purple top turnip juice. I picked them bit by bit over a few days as and when I needed them to juice on my slow juicer so that they would be fresh to drink.
As my purple top turnip harvest had come in around the same time, I mixed a little of that into the papaya purple top turnip juice.
One cup serving of turnips contains 8.1 grams of carbohydrates, or 3% of the recommended intake (RDA) for a 2,000-calorie diet.
Purple top turnips are composed primarily of carbohydrates, with 80 percent of calories coming from carbohydrates which also include 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, almost 10 percent of your RDA.
Papaya is very high in Vitamin C, with one serving containing about 144% of your RDA. It is also high in Vitamin A and has papain which can break down tough protein fibres, thus extremely beneficial to the digestive system.
Papaya Purple Top Turnip Juice
(makes 800 ml)
600 gm papaya
180 gm orange
purple top turnip 200gm
1 tbsp tumeric paste
Papaya leaves can be ground and drunk like tea and is highly sought after by cancer patients as it is said to be a natural remedy for cancer and also for dengue.
I do make tea from my papaya leaves which are organic of course as I never use pesticide. However, be warned the tea is very bitter, more bitter than bitter melon tea. I don’t drink it often and Kevin does not like the taste at all. You can add honey or add about 1/4 cup to the juice you are making if you want to consume it but find the taste too bitter.
Organic leaves can also be purchased in Australia from PawPawLeaf Australia. The owner told me that it is common for paw paw or papaya leaves to have dark spots on them but they are still edible. it is only cosmetic. Mine have these dark spots mainly during winter but they are fine in summer.
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