January 13, 2016

Permaculture Needs & Yields Analysis: Pawpaw

Permaculture Needs & Yields Analysis for Pawpaw / Papaya
Carica Papaya
Biodegradable Jumbo Straws. Another fun use for my pawpaw plant. It's a single element with multiple functions (Permaculture)
NEEDS for Pawpaw / Papaya
  • Opposite sex plant (if not hermaphrodite) for pollination by bees, (flies) and by hand for small backyard production. Pollination is less likely in very cold, wet periods
  • Tolerant of variable soil conditions. However, the soil should be well drained and between 5.5 to 7 pH. Ideally, moist, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant has been seen to feed from fertilizers that include wood ash and even old construction plaster.
  • Water when leaves show signs of wilting. Moist soil is best. -- --
  • Weed control of roughly 2 feet to establish the plant. The plant responds well to organic mulch of decomposing leaves (as seen in wild conditions).
  • Protection from strong wind
  • Regarding spacing, this depends on volume of trees. If planting a few, they should be spaced closely, ie no more than 30 feet apart (to ensure pollination). However, in orchard settings, the central bark of each plant should be roughly 10 feet apart.
  • Moderate shade to full tropical sunlight.
  • Control against pests. Airborne Ricksettia sp or ‘bunchie top’ pest. This pest may be prevented when its top has moderate coverage from taller layers of permaculture tree guilds. Early detection and removal of infected leaves (usually at the top of the plant) below the point where the latex flows as normal. However, sterile equipment should be used. (Insecticidal measures were also used in the past to control further infestation. No currently permissible means appear to exist. Maybe attracting lizards might help, however minimally).
  • Snails and slugs
  • Fungal leafspots (often caused by soil nutrient imbalances and inappropriate pH).
  • Monkeys. Pick when nearly ripe (not too green however). Then allow the fruit to ripen fully in a brown paper bag.
  • Fruit storage for fully ripe fruit in a refrigerator. However, green fruit may be refrigerated for 3 weeks. Without refrigeration, the fruit is highly perishable and must be used within 2 to 3 days.


YIELDS from Pawpaw / Papaya

  • Nourishing edible fruit year round. Ripe fruit to be eaten or blended into shakes. Green fruit for a filling salad and a means of reducing loss when trees are attacked by pest and unlikely to ripen fruit. Among other things, the fruit provides amino acids (great news for vegans), similarly high amounts of potassium as bananas, a lot of vitamin C, magnesium and iron. Fruits used for skin care products.  FRUIT DEHYDRATOR
  • When ripe, the fruits produce a lot of ethylene, a gas that helps other nearby fruits to ripen.
  • Juiced leaves for cleansing and treatment against chickungunia, prostate problems,
  • Fully chewed seeds of ripe fruit used for parasite cleansing.
  • Stems used as long lasting biodegradable drinking straws. Novel party idea!


CHARACTERISTICS of Pawpaw / Papaya
  • Deciduous low tree to 12m
  • Life span may extend to 25 years. However, plantations usually replace within 3 years to maximize productivity. 
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