You are probably reading this title wondering why would we ever write about papaya for an NGO’s blog. The reason is simple, papaya fruit is a large part of the Haitian diet.
After spending some time down in Haiti I figured out why it was so important which includes the nutrients it provides to the amount of time it takes to grow and produce fruit. As a result of this we included this in our agricultural project that will help sustain the community in Fon Pou.
Here are 10 facts as to why we love this fruit as part of our projects:
- Papaya trees will produce fruit within 5-9 months of planting a seed.
- Papaya originated from Mexico and Central America and is cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world
- The plan grows on sandy, well-drained soil in areas that provide direct sunlight and moisture
- Papaya is mostly consumed raw. But the fruit is quite a popular ingredient in cooked meals such as stews.
- Papaya is a perennial plant that can survive and provide fruit for about 20 years in the wild.
- Papaya leaves are highly used for teas and are a preventative to protect against malaria.
- Papaya tree bark is tough enough to use to make rope.
- A small papaya contains about 300% of the daily-recommended vitamin C per day.
- Unripe papaya fruit and leaves contain an enzyme called papain which is a natural meat tenderizer used all around the world.
- Papaya seeds resemble peppercorns and are edible and have been used as a substitution for black pepper.