The Kampung Spirit

Recently, I have been blessed with very good and sweet jackfruit for free. 真有口福啊!You must be thinking, how can there be free lunch in this world, especially the increasingly expensive Singapore? Now, that’s where the Kampung Spirit kicks in. The jackfruit are a courtesy of my youngest Uncle (no 7!) who works as a car mechanic. There are several jackfruit trees at his workplae and the employees can help themselves to the fruits! Imagine my surprise when I first saw those huge fruits with white pulp like material revealing those little yellow lumps of sweetness and aroma. Because I just got married, I started doing my own grocery and I was shocked to see 8-10 pieces of jackfruit going for $4-$5 in the supermarket. And, money aside, they are usually pale, not fragrant and not sweet! Sometimes, my parents manage to get better ones in the wet market fruit stalls for $3+ but even so, nothing beats these ‘home-grown’ ones that my Uncle has shared with us so far! Thick sweet succulent fruit flesh! And he generously gives us half the huge jackfruit each time, which yields about 30-40 pieces of the fruit. That’s easily $15-$20 market value!

I feel blessed to have such a generous Uncle and my few thoughts:

1) Sharing is good, really good. Above is a perfect example, in turn we often share other good food or even clothes or other materials with our Uncles. If not for the sharing, each of our family will end up spending more money or lose out on the possibility of tasting such good fruits.

2) Homegrown is really good and I really wish to do more of this but my capability and available space now is a limitation. But still, such a story really inspire me! At least I have started with a small pot of sweet basil plant and it turns into lovely pesto sauce for my pasta!

3) I mentioned local growing and I am reminded of this young boy who actually got permission of the town council to give out 100 mangos grown on roadside trees to give out to some old residents. Singapore is a literal garden city; and we do have fruit trees and it is a real pity that the only harvest we see are from techno-farms, those HDB small plots (allocated to at most that few residents) and small amount of urban farming on top of buildings. Why can’t we make use of our exisiting fruit trees or some scattered space for growing fruits/vegetables and let us enjoy own grown fruits and vegetables. I have read before that vegetables are really grown in Korea’s road side because the idea was – since we are growing something green, why not something edible and useful!

Anyway, just my thoughts. Note to self: although delicious, jackfruit is very heaty and high in sugars so I better don’t overdose on them. 😀

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