Yesterday I popped into my local fruit market to see if the dark purple figs were in, I want to make fig chutney this week. My friendly shopkeeper advised me that he won’t be having them in for another week or so as the price is too high at the moment. Anyway, what he was doing when I walked in the shop really intrigued me.
On his counter, he had a pile of flowers of a type that I have never seen before, and he was taking them apart. When I asked him what he was doing he told me that they were chirimoya flowers and he was taking them apart to get to the pollen inside. You see the Chirimoya are fruit that have to be hand pollinated.
What he does, is to gather the pollen by sending the heads through a small strainer where the pollen is collected and then placed in the receptacle his hand made pollinating spray gun. Then each flower on the tree is prayed with pollen. Genius.
This little sprayer is an amazing little piece of equipment. He used, a straw, an egg from a kinder surprise, camera cleaning squeeze pump, and an aluminum handle from a sliding window. The pollen is placed in the egg and then sprayed in the flower of the Chirimoya.