The curfew cuisine diaries from Sri Lanka: Nuts for fruit
You grow them, watch the flowers turn to fruit and watch the fruit gradually ripen... and then it becomes a free for all
And then this happens - the squirrels and bird have the first share. Monkey and humans get what remains - in that order!
Pity the farmer. Pity the owner of an orchard. Theirs is an un-ending, uphill battle to save their produce from the ravages of the wild and weather. We are neither farmers nor owners of orchards. We just happen to have a bit of land that was planted by our parents, years ago. We just reap its rewards, giving thanks to all.
We live 6.21371 miles (that's 10Km, for those who would prefer it that way) from the centre of Colombo, which is the business capital of the country. And yet, we're besieged by monkeys, porcupines, about 15 different species of birds, three of species of snakes and the usual assortment of spiders, roaches and other insects.
Don't panic. We are not in the wilds. We've got supermarkets, shopping centres and restaurants all walking distance from our front door.
Right outside our front door though, we've got trees. Coconut, King Coconut (which is native to this country), Rambutan (which is much like a Lychee, but tastier), Purple Mangosteen, Bilimbi, Mangoes, Lemons and even a scrawny Mulberry Bush.
We enjoy our share of Rambutan too.
Since the lockdown began, and curfew was enforced for weeks on end, we've added to our kitchen garden, planting papaw from seeds of the fruits we'd eaten during lockdown (featured in an earlier post) and Bitter Gourd. We already had Chilli plants and Water Spinach (locally known as Kankung).
We try to live by a simple principle; live and let live. So far, it seems to work. Of course, when the monkeys become too adventurous and attack the Mangosteens before they ripen, we're forced to resort to banging pots and pans to get them off the tree, but otherwise, we've got a peaceful co-existence thing going, because after all, we are all nuts for fruit.