A couple of weeks ago I noticed white flowers and young, green fruit on the same branch all at the same time… Well, yes, it was a Loquat tree… Lo- what?
Loquats grow here, in our beautiful Santa Barbara, in abundance. Even though the plant is known to be indigenous to China, it also has been cultivated in India and Japan since ancient times. It belongs to the rose family (Rosacea)– like apples, strawberries and roses.
On a recent walk I saw that my neighbor’s loquat tree had some dreamy white flowers and also had a bunch of green, young fruit on the very same branch – all at the same time! It looked magical and also a tad odd, and reminded me of my yoga practice – I have often felt that my yoga journey gives me the ability “to have flowers and bear fruit at the same time”, meaning: as soon as I start thinking that I have mastered the pose, concept or sequence, I find out that what I perceived as fruit (“the fruit of my labor”, so to speak) is still young and green, and more flowers are coming up as I practice further. Blossoming and bearing fruit simultaneously – imagine that!
Back to those loquats: when ripe they make the birds in our neighborhood go positively wild and loud, and I can understand those birds – loquats are tasty! And versatile, too! They can be used to make delicious jellies and jams, fruit leather and wine, pie fillings, sweet sauces and fruit salads. However – loquats are known for their “big problem”- their incredible seed-to-flesh ratio: each one loquat contains one to six large seeds (those are not edible) which means that you get … well… as much seed as you get the edible fruit in each one of them. I personally love eating them fresh from the tree and just spitting the stones out in the bushes, as bringing them in and further dealing with them requires some seriously tender care – they bruise so easily! It is rewarding to see and savor them unblemished when getting them straight from the tree. If you start searching on line for “all things loquat”, you won’t be able to stop – there is so much info out there! This fruit is characterized by a rich mixture of vitamins, nutrients and other properties that make the trouble of dealing with those pesky stones worthwhile. Also, as I said- they are tasty! They are not ripe as of yet here, in our part of the world. When will they be? The loud and happy feasting birds will let you know! Just pay attention! But for now I encourage us all to just witness the journey of those dreamy flowers to their final destination of golden loquat goodness.
Contributed by Indra Strong,
a certified Let It Go Yoga teacher