Mango season starts early

Lisa Prendergast was preparing to eat something significant on Tuesday night: one of the first post-Ivan mangoes to ripen in the Cayman Islands.

This year’s initial crop on her East Indian mango tree was small – only four fruits – but there was a time last September when she did not even know if the tree would survive.

‘It was uprooted during Hurricane Ivan,’ she said. ‘But I had it put back upright right away on the Monday after the storm.’

Ms. Prendergast said the tree lost very few leaves in the storm and that it bloomed soon after it was put upright.

The East Indian mango is rare on the island, Mrs. Prendergast said, adding that it produces yellow fruits.

‘They are very sweet, but also have very long strings,’ she said. ‘They’re good flossing mangoes.’

Mrs. Prendergast said she purchased the tree 11 years ago from Vigoro Nursery, which had imported it from Jamaica.

The tree, which is located at her home off Walkers Road, produced its first crop of 300 mangoes last year.

Although the first crop this year was small, there are another 40 on the tree that will ripen in May or June, Mrs. Prendergast said.

The mangoes on the first crop were smaller than the ones from last year’s crop, she said.

‘They’re usually twice as big.’

Most of the mangoes growing on Grand Cayman do not start ripening until late spring.

Mrs. Prendergast said she had not heard of any mangoes on the island ripening before hers.

‘People tell me I am blessed,’ she said.

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