Welcome to Mexico!
By Victoria Schmidt
Life Under the Mango Tree
One of the selling points used in discussions about moving to Mexico was the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables year round. This is a big deal when you’ve lived your entire life in a northern climate where the growing season is only three months long. Everything is imported the rest of the year, and imported fruit just isn’t the same as ripe fruit just picked from the tree.
Now we live right under a mango tree. Sounds cool and exotic, doesn’t it? OK, to be truthful, we weren’t even sure what kind of a tree it was to begin with. Once we learned it was a mango tree, we weren’t so sure about it. Those tiny buds were the strangest mangos we’d ever seen.
One day I saw a man with one of those long picking poles slung over his shoulder. He was out walking, and I wondered where he was headed. I was a little surprised when he walked right by me, and over to our tree. He used his pole to get at the fruit at the very top of the tree. He was welcome to it as far as I was concerned. We certainly couldn’t reach that part of the tree anyway. After this incident though, I asked around and found out that since our tree grew over the sidewalk and its branches reached over the street, that anyone could pick from that part of the tree. I figured that was only fair…but thought they’d have to wait a while, because there just didn’t seem to be much fruit on this tree.
Maybe it was sick? Some of the leaves are spotted. But we know very little about trees, so we just kept watching it. We were surprised and delighted this spring when there was proof that the tree was OK and began to fill with little mangos.
Some friends explained to us that these mangos are different from the ones I’d seen in the stores, or that were imported to Minnesota. These are small mangos, and right now, they are green. But we were told they are the very sweet variety.
In the past I’d seen many people come to claim fruit from this tree. One morning our mail carrier spent about 15 minutes leaping up and trying to reach the mangos. Others have come by throwing things into the tree trying to get it to surrender its fruit.
And now the tree is raining mangos and what I want to know is where are all these people now? The darn tree is dropping fruit like crazy. It’s pelting our van nearly every 15 minutes. There are a multitude of mangos rolling all over our mirador, and we have mangos all over the ground, on the sidewalk and in the street. Cars squash those mangos do leave us with sticky yellow mush all over the street. The leaves from the darn tree clogged the drain so badly that water won’t drain off the mirador! None of these things were mentioned in any of the promotional brochures! I pictured a tree with a few ripe fruit we could pick and eat at our leisure. This tree is a menace! People are tripping over mangos! We’re all tired of picking them up and trying to keep them out of everyone’s way. Not to mention that we’ve eaten enough mangos lately to last a lifetime! Where are all the people who were trying so desperately for fruit now that we need them?
Enough is enough! How do you turn this thing off??