6.12.06

Mangoes

A few years ago I took some time off and did a farmstay on a friend's acreage up in the far north coast hinterland.
To work on some art projects, recuperate and just..you know..think.



My studio was this quintessential corrugated iron shed (a banana-packing shed put up sometime in the 70s and long since decommissioned).

This was (a very small part of ) the view to the World Heritage-listed Border Ranges and the mango-eating
cows.


You see up there in late December, January and February is mango season and there were 4 mature mango trees on the property; monstrously huge thanks to the rich volcanic soil.


One of those trees was right outside the entrance to the shed (you can see the shadows of the foliage in the photo) and every day the path from the house to the studio was carpeted ankle deep in
a fresh drop of mangoes from the trees.

Every. Single. Day.

Each morning would start, after a good espresso, piling as many mangoes as I could fit piled high in a wheelbarrow, slowly wheeling the whole groaning teetering pile down to the cow fence and tip the lot over. The cows loved 'em. To the point where they started waiting patiently and hungrily, all lined up along the fence every morning at exactly the same hour...waiting for their treat. Then they would snort them up by the bucketful. They weren't dairy cows so I never knew whether the high mango diet made their milk sweeter or indeed mango smoothie flavoured!

You could only dispose of so many that way, or make so many kilos of Sri-L
ankan style mango chutney (delicious!) to give away, and so the remaining ones (especially the ones that had been nibbled fussily on by bandicoots) would start to go off in the sub-tropical heat and you'd end up with mangoes just squelching between your toes.

You got used to it.

And so these backs back in the big bad city it still kinda irks me to pay exorbitant prices for a single mango.
But who cares. It's delicious.


Mango in ceramic dish with crazed green inner for vessel wednesday.









8 Comments:

Blogger Heather Moore said...

A perfect dish for a perfect fruit, all cupped by such an sensually evocative tale - hot air, fragrant with grassy cowshit and overripe mangoes... Thanks for the treat. Hope you have a great vessel Wed.

6 December 2006 at 6:20 pm  
Blogger Julie said...

We had similar issues in Hawaii, though at least on Oahu there were enough people to eat most of the mangos. On the outer islands, though, I understand it was similar to what you described.

I know there are all kinds of fancy recipes out there, but they're so good I always ate them straight up. Yum. They'll always taste like Hawaii to me.

Lovely photo. Now I'm hungry.

7 December 2006 at 12:50 am  
Blogger Ashley said...

love the orang/green pop there, as well as the fantasy of living in a world where more mangoes than a cow can eat fall from the sky for free. I believe I shall move my little mango seedling to a home closer to the radiator, just in case.

7 December 2006 at 1:02 am  
Blogger granolagirl said...

What a great experience, makes me wonder what I'm doing in science sometimes when I hear of the creative experiences of artists.

7 December 2006 at 6:49 am  
Blogger Kaisakaisa said...

Oh, ripe mangos straight from the tree, sounds heavenly... Here in Finland we have to pay A LOT for exotic fruit like that, and the quality varies quite a bit. And I love mangos.

I just recently stumbled across your blog and love the things you make. You've done good choises for listening and reading too:)

7 December 2006 at 8:31 am  
Blogger Rose Red said...

Love your story and the love the vessel - perfect for the mango.

7 December 2006 at 8:40 am  
Blogger Madge said...

Hi Carson - Thanks for visiting my blog! Couldn't find your email, so am leaving a note here about the Jaeger yarn I had such problems with...it's an entirely different yarn than the lovely Jaggerspun Zephyr you're using. (my email address is on my blog if you want to discuss further)

Love your mango story and photo. When I was young we lived for a bit in Bangkok, and had a huge mango tree next to our house. Your story brought back memories of eating mangoes and sticky rice, and green mango pie, and avoiding the stinging red ants that had colonized the tree whenever I played near it.

7 December 2006 at 11:54 am  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I once had a pet rabbit who would go mental for mangos!

He would have been in heaven with you on the farm :)

Beautful photo of the mango in the green dish!

9 December 2006 at 5:51 am  

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