Resident of Kingston 13, Mr. Michael Murray, is not allowing the current global recession to stop him from eating healthy, so he has heeded the advice of the Government by starting his own back yard garden.
He recently visited the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) offices on Half-Way Tree Road, in Kingston, to show off his most recent crop of guavas, which have become popular in his community because of their unusual size and shape.
The pride in his voice was evident as he boasted about the fruit, which are pear shaped and each weighing just over a pound.
Mr. Murray tells JIS News that he also grows callaloo, melon, sour sop, peppers and tomato in his backyard and brags that those crops are also usually larger than the ones sold in the market.
Kingston 13 resident, Mr. Michael Murray, shows off two guavas from the tree he grows in his back yard. Mr. Murray also grows melons, peppers, sour sops and callaloo in his back yard garden.
“This tree (guava) bears about four times already and I share the fruit with my neighbours and family,” he says.
Mr. Murray says that individuals are usually confused by the shape and size of the fruit, often mistaking them for a ‘cho-cho’.
He informs that his crops are totally organic, as he does not use artificial fertilisers on his plants, but instead opts for the method of composting, by putting together vegetable peelings and other left-over materials from his kitchen as sustenance for his crops.
“Not even the melons I don’t use (artificial) fertiliser on them and the smallest one I harvest weighs 11 pounds. The others weigh 26, 28 and 30 pounds,” he says.
Mr. Murray says his neighbours are usually fascinated with his crops and often cannot believe that they are grown in his back yard in Kingston.
Fruit Tree Co-ordinator at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Mr. Loxley Waites, tells JIS News that Mr. Murray’s guavas might be of the Spanish guava variety, which usually grows in the Florida region, in the United States.
He points out that the shape and size of the fruit could also be a result of the fact that it is grown from the seed rather than through root or stem cutting.
Mr. Loxley further advises that some of the easy, natural ways persons who are interested in starting their own back yard gardens can fertilise their crops, are to use the organic matter from their animals or waste from their kitchen.