Monday, July 21, 2014

Flowers, Parrots and Pommeracs.

The Botanical Gardens in Kingstown are among the oldest in the Western Hemisphere (a lot of people say they are the oldest, but I haven't seen a confirmation of this so I'm not going that far). If you click the name right here in this paragraph, a new tab will pop up with BGCI's information on the gardens, that's Botanic Gardens Conservation International. I just got distracted from writing this by browsing through their website, it's pretty cool. 

I included the link so I wouldn't have to bore you with history here on the blog (even though I really enjoy boring you), but there's one thing we have to mention. 

Remember Mutiny on the Bounty? Maybe you've seen the film (one of many), maybe you've read the book (one of many), maybe you've studied the actual event (just the one) in school or our of personal interest. You should have. If you haven't, well, I don't know how that's possible. Let me know if you've never heard about this ever, because that'd be kind of impressive. 

So aaaanyway, that same dude, Captain Bligh, who was mutineered against by his crew when they were Tahiti, he went there again and then made it back and all the way to St Vincent and introduced the breadfruit plant there in 1793. All the breadfruit on the island is said to derive from the ones brought on that original shipment and some of the breadfruit trees in the gardens are actually the. original. ones! How cool is that?! History in action. 

Also, flowers: 

This plant is the one you saw in the hiking trail plants post, but green side up and not dried yet. 

The botanical gardens, aside from walkways among different kinds of palm trees and interesting other trees and flowers, also host a bird sanctuary for the St Vincent Parrot, aka Amazona Guildingii, the country's national bird. They're pretty. But they're also very loud. 

Last but not least - a shocker!!!

How long have I lived in Trinidad now? I don't know. You tell me. The point is, quite a while. There's a fruit, the pommerac, which grows here and is very popular both fresh and in the form of chow. However, here's the shocker, I'd never tried it. What?!

Well, yes, it's the truth. Until i went to the botanical gardens in Kingstown, St Vincent, I'd never eaten a pommerac, even though you get this everywhere here in T'dad. It's been rectified. I tried it, I even picked the fruit off the tree myself. So we're all good, we can calm down now. 

This fruit has been in St Vincent since all the way back in 1791, when it was brought in by the then-curator Dr Anderson. If you don't know the pommerac, maybe you know the plum rose or the water apple or the mountain apple or Malay apple or ball guava or Otaheite cashew (Otaheite being an old and no longer used translation for Tahiti) or rabotel or pomarrosa or... or... or..! This thing has many names. I call it yummy. 

Finally, after over a month, this is the last entry I wanted to write about my time in St Vincent, which, thanks to Carl, I enjoyed immensely. Here are all of them. 

Now we can  f i n a l l y  move on! 

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