Above, at top, is one of the most interesting of tropical fruits: the cacao pod in which chocolate berries are found. This pod grows right on the branch, unlike more familiar fruits in northern orchards. It's of course native to Central America, unlike many of the other cultivated food plants.
Middle left is a cashew plant. The nut grows above the fruit -- a relative of poison ivy, which some people react to. Cashews are native to Brazil, but now grow worldwide in tropical climates.
We saw a few banana trees (middle right) and of course the papayas being eaten by a woodpecker as I posted yesterday. Coconuts dropping from trees are actually a hazard if you are walking under them. Barely recognizable at bottom right above: a ginger rhizome. We did not see coffee plants, which grow at higher altitudes than we visited, but it's a major crop -- Costa Rican coffee has a great reputation among coffee lovers. Nor did we see Costa Rica's sugar cane fields.
|A pineapple plant -- native to South America|
The areas we visited were mainly national parks dedicated to preserving tropical forests in a natural state, which means we saw little of the actual working farm areas, and learned only a little about agriculture and farming issues. "The main staple food crops grown are white maize, rice, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, yuca, and onions," I read in a profile of Costa Rica here.
|A beef cow, which we saw from the bus on the way to the airport --|
Costa Rica produces beef, in the lowlands, and dairy cattle at higher locations.
|Costa Rica's national bird: the clay-colored robin|