Selina Wamucii provides high quality Kenya gunda to the local and export market, sourced carefully from family growers.
Kenya gunda derives from the species mainly grown in Asia and borrows from the Indian word, gunda, which refers to the flowering plant from the borage genus known as cordia dichotoma. The tree has a range of uses ranging from nutritional fruits that are ready to eat solo or with ginger, has edible leaves and when still immature, serves as healthy fodder for livestock.
The plant grows under warm subtropical and temperate conditions, explaining why it has survived for hundreds of years in China, Japan, northern Australia and southern Asia. Locally, Kenya gunda thrives well in the highlands where it enjoys cover from deciduous trees that also provide the humid conditions that the plant requires to mature. Its growth is characterized with a brown stem just turning into grey with a soft-textured stem, but some stems may have some wrinkles.
The white flowers of the gunda tree set in closely to the stem unlike the wide leaves which are thickly spread in clusters. Strangely, these flowers only open in the dark rather than in daytime. Maturity happens when it turns from green to yellow and normally changes into a cool black when it is fully ripe. In open conditions, the flesh is succulent, juice and pulpy.
With its fragrant qualities, Kenya gunda has become a nutritional favorite because of a range of health facts that include immunity against common and sedentary diseases. Botanists show that consumption of the leaves or fruits, especially raw, can prevent the onset of diabetes. Its vitamin C components prevent cough and lung infections. Besides, it is useful in calming extreme colic in both children and adults.
Kenya gunda features in a number of dishes and processed foods. The fruit is available in the market in form of packets that are spiced with ginger, especially in countries like Taiwan. The leaves also form a popular delicacy in different parts of Asia. They are usually present in meals together with masala spice. In India, it features as a chutney in meals such as rice and is usually an inclusion in citric, salty and even sugary blends. This is because of its somehow bitter flavor which does well by contrasting with the other spicier ingredients.
Farmers need to maintain gunda on its habitat to prevent infestation with common leaf and stem diseases. The major threat is the armhole micale, a larva-stage butterfly that thrives on the tender leaves. It is possible to control it by planting varieties that have a history of strength against infestation.
Kenya gunda matures when it starts to emanate a fragrance and has some scent of a fruit. Farmers pick it when it is still unripe and keep it for several days under cool and dry conditions to enhance ripening.
One should only pick the fruit when it is sufficiently ripe, usually when it has not only the fragrance but it is firm and still green. Storage should only be in racks but when it is excessively ripe, it can be stored in a fridge.
If you require a supply of Kenya gunda from fresh family growing orchards in the country, you have the perfect partner in Selina Wamucii.