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A Trip to the Orchard

Today, the Guana orchard grows some of the food served in the restaurant. But the man who first started it was a naturopath and primarily grew trees or plants that had medicinal value. As time when on, fruit trees and vegetables were added. The orchard has papaya, passion fruit, five kinds of banana, coconut, pineapple, mango, wax apple, plantain, three kinds of pomegranates, key lime, carambola, breadfruit, sugar cane, leafy vegetables (kale, lettuce, spinach), herbs (lemongrass, tarragon, curry leaves, and more), hot peppers, eggplant, squash, and more. There are also a few cotton plants, leftover from 1800's when the island farmed cotton and cane. (Image: Donkeys descended from the donkeys brought by the original settlers. We saw them on the way to the orchard.)

Our friend Bill arranged for the caretaker of the orchard, Lennon, to give us a tour. Lennon studied agriculture in college because his family has a 400 acre banana farm on one of the BVI islands that the used to work on. He was a terrific guide because he could talk about the challenges of keeping the orchard going and of introducing new crops (pineapple was recently added, for example). As he showed us the plants, he would let us taste some of them—the herbs and many of the leafy greens. There were many things I never heard of, such as a bay leave that tasted like cloves and a very large leafed spinach plant, almost a bush. (Image: Glen on the road to the orchard..)

One of his challenges is battling the iguanas. But rather than battle them, he planted a very large tree that grows, stinky, inedible fruit that iguanas love. (It's not durian, I forget the name. See photo.) He also built a trellis for passionfruit in the hopes that iguanas would not climb. As he was bragging about his trellis, we looked up and saw an iguana nestled in the leaves. So much for that idea!

At the end of the tour Lennon opened coconuts so we could drink the water. We also tasted a small variety of banana and passionfruit.


Asian pear trees.


Mango. They have quite a few of these trees.


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