Fruit Trees in Permaculture: Papaya
Updated: Apr 12
Initially, we had just planted the customary 5-6 trees of Papaya at Aanandaa, along with other fruit trees. But one summer morning, as I ate a lovely Papaya from the market for breakfast, I saved all the seeds and decided to make saplings out of them. This one Papaya fruit resulted in about a 100 seeds and saplings which we planted between our litchi and cheeku orchard. Within a year, these saplings grew into fruit giving Papaya trees, many more than we had ever expected!
Papaya is a tropical fruit, and does not grow very well in temperate farms like Aanandaa. However, we have been enjoying good success with this fruit except in months when it becomes bitterly cold. The cold tends to slow down the ripening of the fruit and also the sweetness of the ripened fruit.
Our Papaya trees also suffer from powdery mildew. We treat it with our standard preparation of khatti lassi.
The Papaya plantation at Aanandaa is a classic example of a food forest. A chance meal of a papaya has resulted in over a 100 trees giving us a never ending supply of Papayas. All we need to do is walk into this food forest and pluck whatever is fully grown and turning yellow towards the apical end. Wrapping it in newspaper and keeping it warm usually completes the ripening, making it ready for consumption. Yummy!
Update: We started planting Papayas in circles from 2019 onwards. Here is a video on how that works!
To learn more about papayas, watch these videos: