Pops and Mangoes

  Photo of Pop and Me (Photo by Christine Ducille)

As you can see in the picture above, my family is tiny. In the center of every picture you can see in the light blue is my Pop Pop Carl, born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Every summer I made my way to Jamaica and there has always been a passion for nature in our culture mainly because of the life style we were brought up in. When it was time to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner we and my grandfather and his tenant Sunshine would go out back, into his giant garden which is about 1 ½  acres. Full of Mangoes, Potatoes, Sugar Cane, Carrots, Greens, etc. I always loved picking mangoes with Pop, he’d pick me up and let me decide which ones were ripe and which should stay on the vine.

Ataulfo Mango; (grown throughout Jamaica)

Now mangoes are very difficult, it is hard to tell when they are ripe. Many try and tell by the color of the fruit yet, my Pop’s always taught me off of the smell. Mainly because there are three different types of mangoes grown throughout the south and all over Jamaica. All judged different in ripe season, the Ataulfo Mango Jamaica’s finest can be judged by its smell but more its color. A very tart aroma is produced by the mango when ripe, also it is very soft on the ends (that being the top and bottom on the mango), and lastly the mango is plump and juicy like a water balloon. After going through our daily evaluation on which mangoes we should pick, we pluck them and cut them up and would make so many different things. Smoothies, passion and mango fruit juice (which happens to still be my favorite drink).

What does this have to do with Gardening?

Throughout my life, I have never been one to cherish gardens but after writing this blog and looking back on the great memories I have made with my family through nature. I can proudly say, gardening is an activity I would like to take up and make an important part of my life. From our readings I have grown fond of how life with nature produce happiness and love. I believe there should be more of that in everyone’s life.

   Rest In Peace Pops

– Juice Jones