On a recent trip to Trinidad, I came upon an exceptional gardener who, over 20 years, has developed 5 acres of rented property, to support her family and sell excess. Among her crops are cashews, star fruit, neem, papaya, coconut, pineapple, eggplant, various citrus fruit and herbs galore. Also, rabbits, chickens and ducks. See photo of tamarind, still green on the tree.
Cashews grow from a cluster of beautiful pink flowers (below left), and the ripe fruit is fibrous and edible (below right), but definitely an acquired taste. If you grew up eating the fruit, it’s a joy. If not, there’s always the nut.
I saw my first starfruit on the tree, and the taste was delicate and crunchy. (see picture on left) And, I forgot to mention, there’s no running water there. See photo below of rain water catchment systems, which sustain the entire garden.
In one backyard garden, I was introduced to rachette, a cactus whose juice the family uses as shampoo. It is also said to be used in the manufacture of many modern skin and hair products.