RT Cunningham


Fruit Trees (Longans, Papayas and Avocados) Along My Walk at HMR

fruit trees When I’m walking along various routes at the Helemano Military Reservation (HMR), I pass various kinds of fruit trees. Longans, papayas and avocados are the only ones we (me, my wife, my son and my daughter-in-law) have picked fruit from.

The only fruit of the three that I’m fond of is the avocado. I’ve eaten all three at one time or another.

Longan, Lychee or Rambutan?

My daughter-in-law, Cathy, likes to argue with me about certain things. She was arguing about the longan fruit we picked. I pointed her to a website called “Lychee, Longan and Rambutan” and then explained that they’re not necessarily exactly the same as the same fruit in the Philippines.

The three of them are from the same family. I’m not a botanist, but I know that the lansones in the Philippines aren’t related. It doesn’t matter if the inside fruit looks similar to the others. I’ve eaten both lansones and rambutan in the Philippines. I’ve eaten both longan and lychee here in Hawaii. The rambutan looks weird compared to the rest of them.

The Fruit I Ignore

I won’t pick fruit if I don’t know what it is. Cathy tried some guava a couple of months ago and it wasn’t one of the good varieties. It grows wild on HMR, so I don’t expect the best. I’ve seen other fruit I don’t recognize. I need to take pictures to see if anyone else can identify it. That is, if I see any again. I don’t remember where they were.

I don’t know about the rest, but I know avocados are expensive when you buy them from a supermarket. So far, I’ve saved at least $20 on avocados alone.

Is It Legal to Pick Fruit at HMR?

My wife, Josie, worries about things she shouldn’t. She didn’t worry about the oranges she picked in the median of Litchfield Road next to Luke Air Force Base (near Glendale, Arizona). She knew it was state property. I don’t know why she worries about picking fruit here.

HMR is either federal or state property, most likely state. It isn’t the same as a regular base. Anyway, anything that grows on federal, state or public lands is ripe for picking (if you pardon the pun). That is, unless there’s a specific law that says otherwise.

How We Pick the Fruit

We do it the same way we pick mangoes in the Philippines. A long pole and a net. In the Philippines, we use bamboo and a small fishing net. Here, we made the pole with old shower curtain rods and a small laundry bag (until we get a fishing net to replace it).

It’s still difficult to pick the fruit. Sometimes the stems won’t break off. It would be much easier to pick them by hand, but it probably wouldn’t be a good idea here. I don’t have the right equipment to do it safely.

I’m not a big fruit fan. The only kinds of juice I drink regularly are orange and pineapple. The only fruit I like to eat regularly (when I can) are avocados and various types of melons. If I have to pick them to enjoy them, I will.

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By RT Cunningham
July 20, 2019
Food and Drink