Good morning! We will be running two checkout tables again to move the line along this morning; and we haven’t been running out of tomatoes and sweet salad mix by the end of the stand – so come early, come late and get your healthy veggie fix! 10am-12 this morning down the South Shore! Here is the complete list for this morning, plus a few treats from Yellow Door Farm TBA (Wanda of Wright Apiary can’t make it this morning with her honey meads and sauces, but she should be back next week):
Sweet salad mix, baby spicy salad mix, spicy salad mix, baby arugula, arugula;
Loads of red slicing and cherry tomatoes, beautiful sweet corn, carrots, escarole, summer squash, cucumbers, radishes, kale, sweet green bell peppers, scallions;
Green serrano hot peppers, green Indian chili peppers, Italian basil, holy basil, lemon basil, mint, tarragon, cilantro, dill, parsley;
Fresh-cut zinnia flowers, edible marigold flowers, sweet fresh Mediterranean figs, and
jumbo-olive-sized jojo plums.
The jojo plum (also known as the Jujube or Chinese date, Ziziphus jujuba) or Ziziphus mauritiana (Indian jujube) is a highly drought tolerant, very attractive small pasture tree whose foliage somewhat resembles that of an olive tree in color and texture: its leathery, oval shaped leaves are silver underneath. Jojo trees provide shelter and food to a variety of wildlife and they are a prolific source of nectar and pollen for honeybees, with a citrusy sweet scent when in bloom. (It is non-native to the USVI but naturalized; it can spread and become invasive if not managed.)
The fruits of the jojo tree can vary in size from tennis ball to olive. Wild jojos tend to bear fruit on the smaller size, while the larger fruit bearing trees have been selected or grafted by horticulturists for larger fruit production. Imported from Asia during the Victorian age, the jojo or jujube is thought to be indigenous to North Africa and Syria, and was well known for thousands of years for its tonic properties in Chinese medicine – but didn’t seem to catch on in the West. On St. Croix’s South Shore, the jojo plum is well distributed by wildlife.
Each fruit contains a large pit, so the best way to eat them is to rinse them and then pop an entire plum in your mouth, gently chewing around the pit to remove the flesh. The thin skin is crunchy and edible, like an apple’s.
Today we have wild jojo plums on offer. Most Jojo enthusiasts prefer a specific level of ripeness depending on their taste. Some folks like the fruit at a late full ripeness when it turns an orangey red color and has a sweet overripeness to it. Others prefer the fruit in the middle, yellow stage, for a pear-like consistency and flavor. Others prefer the crisp brightness of the green fruits, which impart a sour tang not unlike a stateside apple.
Some folks swear by the slightly fermented overripe jojo fruit as a health tonic. At any stage, jojo plums are loaded with vitamin C and other micronutrients that can help keep your immune system in tiptop form. When our farm family catches a winter cold or flu, typically Farmer Luca does not succumb; he attributes this to the daily consumption of jojo plums as he walks around the farm.