We grow red-fleshed sunrise papayas (also called "strawberry" papayas.) Papayas take one year from seed to harvest, and can be harvested weekly for one or two years before re-planting.
We have selected seeds over many tree generations resulting in vigorous trees with very sweet fruit.
Papayas are planted 3 to a group, about 10 feet apart per group. Later they are thinned to one tree, selecting for the pear-shaped, hermaphroditic, higher-yielding fruit.
We harvest our papayas using a one-man operated "cherry picker," which extends the harvest life of our trees, and is a more gentle way of handling fruit than the traditional "bump-and-catch" method.
For several years, we have air-freighted our papayas to Canada. But recently our papaya treatment chamber was certified by the US Department of Agriculture allowing us to export our papayas to the US Mainland.
Our papayas now undergo the required vapor heat treatment (4+ hours to 117 degrees F) to disinfest the papayas of fruit fly before shipment to the Mainland. They are inspected, stamped and are available for shipment via US mail, UPS or FedEx .
Our bulk-shipped papayas go from Molokai to Honolulu via an overnight barge, then air-freighted in LD3 containers. Small orders go via US mail, UPS or FedEx.
PAPAYA RIPENING NOTES
Our papayas are harvested when yellow is just beginning to show on the skin. At Hawaii ambient temperatures (70 to 85 F), it takes about 5 days for the skin to turn full yellow color.
Papayas are ripe when the skin turns yellow. Some people wait until their papayas are fully yellow to cut and eat. Others consider their papayas ready to eat when the skin is 3/4 yellow if flesh has become soft to touch. Papayas should cut and spoon smoothly.
Ripening can be slowed by chilling at 60 F, or stopped at 50 F. Chilling below 50 F will damage fruit.
Ripening can be quickened by warming to 90 F. Papayas (like tomatoes, bananas, avocados) ripen by ethylene gas production by fruit, so wrapping papayas to concentrate the natural process will also speed ripening.
We pack our papayas in roughly 10 lb boxes in 6, 7, 8, 9 or
10 count per box.
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