Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tribute to our Old Suha Tree

We have a suha (a.k.a. pomelo, pummelo) tree in our backyard. It's been there for at least twenty years. It's a healthy and beautiful tree with its fragrant deeply verdant leaves and narrow spiny trunk and manifold slender branches. It stood out like a muse among the towering coconut trees.

For about the first decade of its life, our suha tree has not borne any fruit. We took care of it, watered it well and used some organic fertilizer on it, but for a long time, it seemed that it just was not interested in producing any fruit. That did not bother us though, we just felt lucky enough that the tree grew and thrived in our backyard at all. See, we live in Cavite. Suha are known to thrive only in certain areas with, perhaps, a particular type of weather or land condition, like Davao or Bulacan, certainly not Cavite. That is why when it did start sprouting flowers and eventually carry fruits to full term, we felt like a miracle has befallen us.

Another strange thing about the tree was that it bore fruit all year round. The crop however produced small, dry, and bland-tasting fruits. It was like that for a few years such that we never quite bothered to eat the fruits. The fruits would later on grow a tad bigger but nothing changed taste-wise. A couple of years ago, somebody had suggested that we bury panocha (raw palm sugar or unground muscovado sugar) around the ground where the suha tree grows because it will allegedly produce sweeter fruits. So we did that. It couldn't hurt, right? With the panocha in the ground, the next batch of crops ripened and, well, nothing changed. Still the same dry, and bland-tasting fruits. We buried a number of panocha after that, nonetheless, until we gave up on the idea.

Until one day, one fruit came out sweet and juicy. We waited for the other fruits to ripen in the tree, and come tasting time, they were all as sweet and juicy as their older sibling. I am not sure if the panocha had anything to do with it, it's been a long time since we buried one after all, but the most amazing thing is that we now have sweet and juicy suha, plentiful and growing in the backyard, all year round.

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