Yesterday we visited Govardhan Gardens located between Mayaguez and Maricao. We were interested in this private fruit farm because the owner, Sadhu, has one of the largest exotic plant collections on the island. We have picked up quite a few exotics from a variety of nurseries around the island, but there were still some trees we had difficulty finding. We were excited to learn that Govardhan Gardens has pretty much any tropical fruit tree you can imagine!
We made arrangements with our friends Greg and Frances who were also interested in seeing his place. We took a tour of some of the property and visited his goats who were super cute!
In addition to fruit trees, Sadhu also prides himself on an extensive collection of rare and high quality bamboos. We are considering bamboo for a living fence along one edge of our property. But that will be another day.
We picked up a nice assortment. I would have bought more, but they are quite a bit more expensive than some other nurseries, so we just stuck with the ones we have been interested in for quite some time. It is amazing how fast our property can just go through plants. To really give it a tropical lush garden feel, it must be packed! Which is fine with me as learning about and finding new, ever-more-exotic/rare plants is one of my favorite pastimes now.
Here’s what we came away with on this trip to Govardhan Gardens:
Nutmeg- Used to make the spices nutmeg and mace. I am interested in getting a full spice collection including black pepper, cinnamon varieties, vanilla (we are currently growing), cloves, cardamom, ginger, galangal, etc.
African Breadfruit – Like traditional breadfruit, it can be used as a starch and even ground into a flour to make bread.
Dwarf Acai (2) - We have been looking a long time for acai. I love plants that are both beautiful and useful. Acai is a great looking palm tree and the fruit is one of the highest in antioxidants.
Jaboticaba- Strange tree whose dark purple grape-like fruit grow on the trunk of the tree. It is used extensively in Brazil.
Triangle Palm -This is an ornamental tree that we had been wanting for a while. It grows in the shape of a triangle and is quite striking.
Lipstick Palm- This is also an ornamental palm tree whose shaft is red-colored.
Black Sapote- According to Sadhu, if you pick this fruit at just the right time it will taste like chocolate pudding. If you freeze it and then shave it into a bowl, it tastes just like chocolate ice cream. I am a huge fan of ice cream, so I had to have this one!
I have no doubt that we will be back at Govadhan Gardens again in the future. Sadhu was extremely knowledgeable and helpful and I look forward to learning even more from him as well.