I first learned about Moringa when I went on a trip to the Dominican Republic in 2011. One of the adult sons of the owner of the hotel I was staying at was telling me of his dream to start a Moringa farm. Touting all of the amazing benefits of the plant, I didn’t believe him. I, like every other cynical know it all had to consult the Google.
That being said, everything he said was true from all of the research I’ve been able to find.
What is Moringa?
Moringa is a tree native to subtropical African countries with beautiful green leaves and white fragrant flowers that is especially drought and heat tolerant. It’s also found in India and other South Asian countries. Fortunately for me, Moringa also thrives in the swampy conditions we get during the Florida rainy season. It grows INCREDIBLY fast and is said to be easy to root from cuttings. It is so fast, some consider it to be noxious and potentially invasive. In food forest circles, it’s met with mixed reviews.
I personally, am in love with it.
I met my Moringa tree Tim in the early part of 2020. At a local nursery, I saw this lonely stick in a small 5 gallon pot, off to the side in the back looking sickly. He wasn’t, he was just a cutting. I paid a whopping $5 for this stick, and was told if it failed to come back and I could pick something else out.
I got the stick (which I for no reason named Tim), some rosemary, chives, lemon balm and a sprig of lemon grass home and planted it. I did some amateur lasagna layering with compost, cut grass, and mulched leaves hoping to turn my sand into black gold. This was the start of my food forest.
Month, after month, I watched my tree mature. From a 5ft stick with a few leaves, to a stick with a few branches, all the way into a towering tree trunk with multiple branches, and blooms all over. The rate at which this tree grew was so impressive, and it added a new dynamic to my budding food forest. My food forest had to start somewhere, and it started with Tim my Moringa.
What has been for me, the absolutely most rewarding part of my Moringa tree is the POLLINATORS! Bees, dragonflies, moths, butterflies- you name it. They swarm to the fragrant blooms.
If you’ve made it with me this far, you’re probably wondering – she keeps talking about this amazing super food tree, and something called a food forest– fair point my friend. If you’re interested in what a food forest is or how to use Moringa, please bear (or bare) with me as I get my thoughts down in an upcoming post and I’ll link back here. In the meantime, enjoy those smells through the internet of these Moringa blooms with the thoughts of fluffy bumble bees and butterflies flying around you.