Remembering Fallen Fruits
When a storm takes down a beloved tree and fruits, it hurts. This past summer, we photographed Coconut Grove resident Carol Lopez-Bethel and her magnificent breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), a tropical tree that, until recently, rarely flourished – let alone fruited – outside of the Keys.
“Last year, I got 12 breadfruit,” she says. “This year, 50.” But Irma’s high winds snapped off the treetop, leaving a five-foot stump, and toppled her mango and papaya trees. To make matters worse, a long power outage ruined her frozen homegrown bananas, mango, jackfruit, mamey and breadfruit chunks. “It was very personal,” says Lopez-Bethel. “I’m thinking about things I watched grow. It was my bounty, my gold.”
But she is not discouraged. “It has been a privilege for me to grow my own food in an urban area. And I will buy another mango tree.”