1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: We try to use Papaya trees in our ‘Pee Gardens’ around the property!
Scientific Name: Carica papaya
- Region of Origin: Native to the American tropics.
- General History: Originally from Central and South America, papaya is now cultivated in most tropical countries. In cultivation, it grows rapidly, fruiting within three years. It is, however, highly frost-sensitive, limiting its production to tropical climates.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: The ripe fruit is usually eaten raw, without the skin or seeds. The unripe green fruit can be cooked, usually in curries, salads, and stews. Green papaya is used in Thai cuisine, both raw and cooked.
- As Medicine: It is used as a remedy for digestive problems. Women in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world have long used papaya as a folk remedy for contraception and abortion. Medical research has confirmed some contraceptive and antiabortion capabilities of papaya. The seeds have contraceptive effects adult human males as well. Unripe papaya is especially effective in large amounts or high doses. Papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small, ripe amounts. Phytochemicals in the fruit may suppress the effects of progesterone.
- Other Uses: Green papaya fruit and the tree’s latex are both rich in an enzyme called papain, a protease which is useful in tenderizing meat and other proteins. Its ability to break down tough meat fibers was utilized for thousands of years by indigenous Americans. It is included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers.
- Papaya branches can be used as natural straws, perfect for fresh coconut water!
3) Growing Instructions
Propagation: Cutting, Division, Grafting, Seed, Separating
- Soil Requirements: The trees are very, very hungry! That means they need very good soil, rich in organic matter and nutrients.
- Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
- Best time to Harvest: As soon as they turn orange.
- Growing: Growing papaya from seed is the easiest and most successful way to get started.And of course, it’s also the cheapest.
- Papaya propagates from seed by thoroughly cleaning seed from pulp,
- plant in a black pot with composted soil
- Water thoroughly
- Once you have a full set of leaves, choose a place that is nutrient rich and add composted soil on the top and tamp so it stands straight
- Mulching regularly helps because it is a hungry tree! So feeding it nutrients from composted materials is suggested
- Papaya is the perfect Pee Garden tree as the Uric Acid creates a great Eco-system for it.
- Difficulties with this plant: Papayas don’t transplant well. Anything that disturbs the roots of papayas really sets them back. They hate moving! The most foolproof way to grow papayas is to simply plant them where they are to live.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
Papaya trees are planted all over the property. They provide lots of fruit, but it is important to harvest as soon as fruit turns orange or else insects will find it and eat it.
Stir Fry Green Papaya:
Preheat pan with coconut oil (any oil will really do) peel fruit and de-seed. Cut into inch-long slithers. Cut beets the same size as papaya. Place papaya and beet slithers into pan cover and let simmer. While beets and papayas are simmering, cut the eggplant into thin half-moon slices. Toss eggplant in the pan and cover. Add any spices you would like. Just a little salt and pepper is great, but also the papaya by itself is very sweet and flavorful. Once you can easily stick a fork through beets and papaya cut up kale and throw into a pan. Turn off heat, cover and let kale steam with the papaya and veggies for about five minutes. Remove cover and serve over brown rice or any other grains on hand, enjoy!