September 12, 2014
My First Osage Orange!
As I was making my way around the farm early yesterday morning, I came upon one of my grounds crew, Chhewang Sherpa, who had just picked an Osage orange from a tree. It was quite exciting as this was the first fruit to be harvested from one of the many Osage orange trees we have planted here.
The Osage orange is also called hedge apple, bowwood, or bodark. I just love its wonderfully wrinkly and bumpy appearance. It kind of looks like a green brain!
Osage oranges are considered inedible because of their texture and taste, but they are fun to grow, nonetheless.
Enjoy the photos!
1 Chhewang Sherpa, one of my grounds crew, is harvesting the very first Osage orange grown at the farm! The Osage orange is native to a small area in eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas. This region was home to the Native American Osage Indian tribe, hence the name of the fruit.
2 My first Osage orange harvested at the farm! Despite its name, it is not related to oranges, but is a member of the fig family. The fruit's scientific name is Maclura pomifera.
3 Each fruit is about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
4 Chhewang is happy to have harvested the first Osage orange at the farm.
5 The Osage orange is actually a dense cluster of hundreds of small fruits.
6 The wood of the Osage orange tree is extremely hard and durable. Native Americans used the wood for making bows, giving it one of its common names - bowwood.
7 Here is a young Osage orange tree. It's about 5-6 years old. The trees can grow up to 60 feet tall.
8 The Osage orange tree has orange in its name because the bark, wood, and roots are orangish and the fruits somewhat resemble oranges in texture.
9 The Osage orange tree has sharp thorns. During the mid 19th century, the trees were planted and pruned into hedges to deter cattle before the
introduction of barbed wire in the 1870s.
10 Here we have planted saplings in a row. Growing trees takes a lot of patience!
11 Chhewang is tying an Osage orange sapling to a wooden stake to support it.
12 An Osage orange sapling.
13 Chhewang is pruning one of the trees.
14 This is a large Osage orange tree at John Jay Homestead in Bedford, New York.
15 The tree at John Jay has lots of fruit!
16 This is another shot of the beautiful Osage orange tree at John Jay Homestead.