Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Part of CEFA's middle name is all about experimentation or testing out new varieties for improving yield, taste, or other desired characteristics. The quality of the local varieties of papaya here are less than appealing to me, as many are not very sweet nor do they have a good flavor. So, over the years, I have imported new varieties that I picked up while visiting ECHO in Florida, during my furlough years in the States. I have tried all the Hawaiian Solos and several of the Thai Reds – they are all really good – but for some reason they do not seem to stay alive for more than a few years! Consuming papayas is common here, but CEFA wants to distribute trees to small farmers that are more appealing and more nutritious. Then came the latest in papaya discoveries as one of our workers came with a Papaya fruit from her tree. After tasting it, it was really sweet and had a fabulous flavor. And what is even more amazing is the hole or cavity in the middle is the smallest I have ever seen! I went with her to see the tree and it was several years old and full of fruit. I asked where she got the seed and she said she got it from one of my Thai Reds. So, apparently, this is a cross between a local variety and the Thai Red where it ended up taking on the best traits from both types – good flavor, sweet, lasts years, and grows well here. Thank you ECHO and thanks to God for finally making a papaya that I like and hopefully others will enjoy it enough so that they will plant them around their homes to provide good food for their families for years to come! 

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