St. Lucia's Bounty of Fruits

Did I mention that Dillon, with his heavy accent and long dredlocks, had a master's degree in banking management? He likes doing what he does. He spends 7-8 hours in the rain forest every day with people who want to learn all that he can teach them. He is a natural teacher who knows the botanical and regional names of many trees and plants which are indigenous to St. Lucia. The young man has a plan and a future.

The blue bag in this picture is treated with insecticide and is put on the tiny baby bananas to protect them as they grow.

The banana is essential to the economy of St. Lucia. The fields were planted sometimes several generations ago. The first planting was in rows and there are still bananas growing in the same spots. It takes about 7 months from the time a banana stalk sprouts until it bears fruit for picking. That banana plant then dies. The stalk is cut off at about 2 feet high and the leaves fall to the ground to rot and be natural fertilizer. The rest of the stalk will remain as a reminder that a new stalk is coming up from old roots and will keep it from being stepped on. Later that part of the stalk will rot and fall down. This process goes on year-round.
After our visit to the rain forest, Dillon prepared a feast of fresh picked fruits. 

The feast included mangoes, star fruit, coconuts, sugar cane, and cocoa nuts to suck on, (they taste like "starburst" candy.) 

Dillon gave us crushed cinnamon leaves to smell, tiny spice samples to smell and taste, and chopped off the tops of a type of coconut which has large amounts of "coconut water to drink. They were quite different from the small, hairy, brown coconuts and coconut milk we get at the store here.

Rain Forest

Waterfall

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