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Razing Mango Mountain

Garth Brown |

Last July after more than week of mango extravaganza, we reached the end of the useful life of our windfall and I raised Mango Mountain with a little strategic pushing and scooping with the tractor. First I consolidated the 4 tons or so of over-ripe fruit into a single pile. Then I dumped about 3 cubic yards of woodchips on top to create a big compost mound.

The conditions this fall have been a real challenge. Winter arrived more than a month of ahead of schedule as is evident in the photos. A few days ago I thought surely time would have done its thing and I could repurpose the mountain's chips into the pig yard for ground firming of a muddy spot since woodchips are fantastic in that application with pigs. When I razed the mountain though I found a surprise. Apparently I inadvertently created an anaerobic environment for the bottommost layer of mangoes where they pickled rather than rotted. The mountain had three layers - sodden woodchips on top, rotten mango slime in the middle, and orange fermented recognizable mangoes on the bottom.

I guess the layer of slime in the middle acted as a cap on the fruit below and allowed lactic acid bacteria to work their magic. I found the aroma within the pile to be interestingly tangy but I didn't find myself drawn to sample the wares. The pigs on the other hand had no such compunctions when I delivered two loads of pickled mango to them.

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