Welcome to the summer of love. The love of mango.
Christian and I recently got back from a trip to Kauai where we visited family and friends while refreshing ourselves with all the magical secrets the island offers. I find myself waking up, wishing we were still there. One of the highlights was spending time with Christian's family at their house in Kekaha...during mango season. Their yard--aside from greens, breadfruit, bananas, dragonfruit, and many native flowers--boasts a variety of seven kinds of mango. Seven! All different but insanely delicious. That is no exaggeration. I'm sure you can understand the excitement of seeing a tree just dripping in beautifully colored fruit, begging to be picked. And so we did.
Chrissy and I got a good system going with one of us picking, the other fetching them from the net and filling the basket.
Me, trying to capture this basket of gold.
Of course, Christian's photo was beautiful. This is my favorite mango shot of his ♡ it's actually available for sale as a print here
Chrissy and Davey's rooster and hens love the fallen mango. You can see the pecks on the mango skin.
One thing about having even one mango tree is the rotten mango that litters the ground. Unless you want the stench or fruit flies invading your home, someone's gotta clean it up.
We cut and froze a bunch and still could fill a whole barrel with overripe mango. What a luxury of a dilemma. I had no complaints in cleaning the yard in exchange for all of the nectary, orange, goodness. It was actually really meditative to pick each mango from the ground, one by one, tossing them gently into the wheel barrel (I quickly learned that throwing them gets very messy) while dodging clouds of fruit flies. Sticky and sweaty from the hot, westside sun, we shoveled the rotten mango into the compost bin. What a rewarding feeling :)
After washing up, we began our next round of cutting and freezing the ripe mangos picked earlier. I had to ward off flies and hungry family from eating the freshly cut pieces. You know how it goes. One for you...one for me...maybe just one more? Eventually, we were able to fill the tupperware and tuck it away in the freezer, away from all the sticky fingers.
All the mangos you could eat and more. I could get used to this...
But for now, I'm just so grateful for Christian and his family for sharing the fruits of their home. You can honestly taste the love in every bite. I can still smell the aroma of ripe mango and feel the nectar on my chin. What a treat to make such sweet summer memories in a yard with the ones you love, all sticky smiles until the sun goes down.
Words by Tommy || Photography by Christian Cook