By Dmitri Allicock

When I was a child in the 1960s most fruits cost one cent or a penny. There was a song of the time that said, “Mango ripe! Mango sweet! I want a penny to buy,” (repeat). That was very true of the times as most of us can remember. Sucking a juicy spice mango that ran down your elbow was a trade mark of the school children at Wismar or Mackenzie market place. A coconut base Salara, Bun or Biscuit and a very large cup of delicious Mauby to wash it down was five cents.

Fruits are always in abundance in the homes of the Guyanese. Native Fruits are seasonal but the varieties available ensure a ready supply at all times. Like most of Guyana’s flora, most fruits availability is also accordingly to the difference of the soil and its formation around the country, as each of these regions has distinct plants association and variation. Indigenous fruits of the highlands are less common and may not be seen in the coastal areas of Guyana.

Read more and view the pictures  here :GUYANA- A PARADISE FOR FRUITS

— Post #1460

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/01/2012 at 9:44 pm

    So many tasty fruits! As kids, we had fun raiding the fruits trees in the neighborhood, an escapade that often ended in licks when we were caught.

  • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On 06/01/2012 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Rosaliene,
    I can’t believe that you were that kind of girl. {Smile}
    As children we were lucky when it came to fruits. We grew most of them and actually shared with the neighborhood children. My father would call out to any child with pilfering ambition, inviting them in for treats and gifts for the entire family.
    I ate many of my fruits “in” the actual tree.
    We had a pear- guava Tree like no other. It was a graft of a guava and a pear {American}.One Guava was enough to fill you up.
    Apart from the “traditional” fruits we had fun sharing a cocoa pod. The large juicy sweet seeds inside were a real treat. The bush fruits variety are endless and I was privileged to enjoy many of them.
    Sucking red ripe coffee beans, eating Jamoon off the trees in the cow pasture, enjoying a star apple or sugar apple kept us satisfied and full of energy.
    We, of course ate only for taste but the life giving nutrients of fruits are still being understood.
    Nice to hear from you,

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/02/2012 at 2:12 am

    We were not so lucky to have fruit trees in our yard.

    The best way to keep an eye on my three younger brothers and their friends was to stay close to them and, of course, help collect the fruit. (Smile)

  • wycs  On 06/02/2012 at 7:14 pm

    I remember those days. My brother and I would help ourselves to the neighbours fruits such as sea side grapes, jamoon and even sugar cane which we use our teeth to peel and enjoyed the succulent sweet of the jucy cane; you see we lived on an Estate. As the saying goes, ‘Boys will be boys” and it brought out the good in us (smile). Not that we were hungry but we did it for fun. I wish for those days again where I could have brought up my son the same way but with less frequency as the fines tody would be too heavy. Nostalgia, you might call it.

  • patricia  On 06/02/2012 at 9:21 pm

    I loved growing up as a child in Guyana. I remember all those fatpork, cashew, genip, mango, guava, jamoon, and so many more delicious fruits. No wonder we were hardly ever sick. I loved climbing trees too. Gosh so many memories. I don’t think kids can ever have the childhood we had. It is sad to me.

  • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On 06/03/2012 at 1:19 am

    1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!

    First, we survived being born to some mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were Pregnant.

    We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints or in a plain cardboard box.
    We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,
    Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode
    our bikes, we did not have helmet
    As infants & children, we drank water from the garden hose or faucet and not from a bottle.

    We shared one soft drink with four friends,
    from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

    We ate sugar cake, white bread, real butter {Cow and girl} and real bacon.
    We drank Kool-Aid or swank made with real white sugar and we weren’t overweight.
    WHY? Because we were
    Always outside playing…that’s why!

    We would leave home in the morning and play all day,
    As long as we were back when the
    Streetlights came on or at sunset.

    No one was to reach us all day and we were O.K.
    Bruises were no problem- we applied a little M and B powder and end of story.

    We would spend hours building our go-carts or scooters out of scraps
    and then ride them down the hill; only to find out
    we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes
    a few times or a few scrapes and bruises, we learned to solve the problem.

    We did not have PlayStations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes.
    There were no video games, No TV, No video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s,
    No cell phones, No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

    and we went outside and found them!

    We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, bitten by the neighborhood dog
    And there were no lawsuits

    We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
    And the worms did not live in us Forever.

    We had cap guns that looked real, blast Carbon at Christmas using Milo can and few got injured.
    Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and,
    Although we were told it would happen, We did not put out very many eyes.

    We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and
    Knocked on the door or just
    Walked in and talked to them.

    The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
    They actually sided with the law!
    We got licks at school and at home and no one thought about calling the police. Abuse was not a part of the vocabulary yet.

    These generations have produced some of the best
    Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

    The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
    and we learned how to deal with it all.

    If YOU are one of them > > CONGRATULATIONS!
    Who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
    lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives…

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/03/2012 at 6:08 pm

      You’ve said it all, Dmitri!

      I rejoice that my two sons had such days growing up in Fortaleza, Brazil.

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/03/2012 at 3:29 am

    It was fruits! fruits! and plenty more fruits as the saying goes. We grew up in a grove of real fruits, Amelia was my grand mother who lived next door in our Campbellville residence. Her yard was filled with all kinds of fruits as Genips,dunks, psydium,star apple, sugar apple. monkey apple, local grapes,mangoes,passion fruits, gooseberry. five fingers, It was fruits all year round for us and it was fun for Cyril who had the task of picking them all for the market place outside the house. We also had cows to give us fresh milk and we had a healthy and happy upbringing as the children of this Campbellville. As the city extended its boundaries into greater Georgetown. We lost our cows and cowpens and even our modest kitchen gardens had to make way for this greater Georgetown. How beautiful are these memories of Yonder Days! It is truly said that “Memories are treasures none can steal”

  • Jack lal  On 06/09/2012 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Dimitri,this is your cousin Jade’s husband.Nice article.I was born in canal No1 polder that is where fruits of all description are plentiful>

    • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On 06/10/2012 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Jack,
      How are you and family? I never made it to you home town and would have loved to.
      Give Jade and the family my love and best regards
      Your cousin,

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/10/2012 at 6:21 am

    My eldest sister-in law, hailed from San Souci, Canal Polder No1. These were the Cocoa and Coffee areas of the 1960’s.Lots of sweet Pineapples. oranges, lemons, grapefruits, cashews, Brazilian nuts, figs and lots more came out of this area. The Black waters of Laka and the big pears were also from here. They sold their plots of land and migrated to the USA. Today you can use the floating bridge and reach to Canal no1& no2 in a very short time. The lovers of agriculture have gone to the great beyond and their siblings are no longer in the hard field work doing any significant work on the land. Even cattle raring is dying out slowly. This is the reason for so much imported stuffs on the supermarket shelves! Our youths have to go back to the lands and don their agriculture suits and plough the land somehow to bring back the development you were accustomed to during those years when the Demerara Harbour Bridge was no where around. Toefloegt belonged to the family of the Rupees and their domain was rice planting of some 900 acres of rice lands. The canals both No1 and 2 have changed and are no longer what it was 40 years ago in terms of fruit and food production.

    • Jack lal  On 06/16/2012 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Cyril ,good comment!! we used to live at Laka. What is your sister in law maiden name! I went to Mc gillivary Govt,

    • Jack lal  On 06/16/2012 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Dimitri, all is well, i was looking at some pictures we took at Rory’s apt, of you, your mom and kids.

      • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On 06/17/2012 at 1:14 am

        Hi Jack,
        Since then I have a big seven year old boy {almost 5 feet tall}
        We have to get together next time you come in my direction. I am eating a mango from my yard right now.
        Give my regards to Jade and all at home.

  • patricia  On 06/16/2012 at 10:46 pm

    It is truly nostalgic to remember those simple days. I was 11 yrs old when I left Mackenzie due to the riots, my grandfather was killed. His name was Bridgewater. But I still have a love of that place. It was like paradise to me.

  • DMITRI ALLICOCK  On 06/17/2012 at 1:07 am

    Hi Patricia,
    My parents knew your Grandfather, Mr. Bridgewater very well.
    God rest his soul and bless his wonderful children and grandchildren.
    Wow! It is truly a small world. My mother talks often about him and his wonderful and great looking children
    I knew two of your Aunts and Uncle. I remember Nellie very well. She was married to Sidney Gittens and had a number of kids including “Carle”.
    I am still amazed that an article on fruits brought out so much, but I shouldn’t be, the thing which makes us uniquely Guyanese is indeed worthy of celebration.
    God bless and best regards to all at home.

  • funds4more  On 06/24/2018 at 12:47 pm

    Hello to all of my Guyanese counterparts! I have one word that resonates with us all…NOSTALGIA, NOSTALGIA! Memories are forever golden, they will never fade or leave our lives! Luckily we all have some of these wonderful days in common.

    Live, love, laugh & reminisce! 🙂

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