1) General Information:
- Location on Property: All Slopes (Especially Garden X)
Scientific Name: Psidium cattleianum
- Region of Origin: Native to Mexico and Central America, northern South America, parts of the Caribbean and some parts of North Africa, it is now cultivated throughout the tropics.
- Type: Edible
- General History: It is native to Brazil and tropical South America, and was introduced to Hawaii in 1825.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: A delicious edible fruit. Guavas are often considered superfruits, being rich in vitamins A and C, omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly in the seeds which must be chewed to obtain the omega fats) and especially high levels of dietary fiber. A single guava contains over four times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange (228 mg per 100 g serving), and also has good levels of the dietary minerals, potassium, magnesium, and an otherwise broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients.
- As Medicine: /
- Other Uses: The leaves of the tree can also be used to make a tea.
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Like a weed, you don’t have to do anything to it. It’s strong and sturdy enough to use as handrails on a trail.
- Best time to Harvest: The fruit starts out hard and green. At some point, they begin to ripen and become mottled, a little, green, a little white, a little red. As a fruit turns color it also softens. At that stage, it is perfect for picking.
- Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
- Soil Requirements: Must have good drainage.
- Propagation: Cutting, Division, Grafting, Seed, Separating
- Controlling Spread: Strawberry Guavas grow so prolifically that we weed them. Because the bark is smooth and the tree grows straight with strong taproot we are using them as natural posts and to control erosion.
- Difficulties with this plant: Must control the height of trees otherwise fruit is not harvestable.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
Strawberry guava once grew on a large section of the pre-volcano property. We used it to control erosion on slopes with its deep roots. And it's smooth bark makes a natural handrail that grows stronger every year.
Recipes: We have made strawberry guava wine and jam. The fruit is delicious and very sweet.
We are now preparing to rebuild our first post-volcano tiny home using Strawberry Guava as a a primary building material at Hedonisia Hawaii Guava Land.
How to shave bark off Ohi'a & Guava Wood
More and more we are trying to use locally sourced building materials. Two of our prime local building materials are old ohi'a logs and Strawberry Guava wood. In both cases it is necessary to shave the bark off to prep the wood for use.
This instruction page is on how to shave bark
- Video 1: Preparing and sharpening the Draw Knife, the tool used to shave the wood
- Video 2: How to use the Draw Knife to shave the bark off.
How to sharpen a Draw Knife
The 'draw knife' is one of the most useful tools to shave bark off with. Think of it as a two-handled machete.
Sharpening a knife or machete
The machete is one of our most important tools for jungle clearing and control. Having a sharp machete makes it much easier both to work on the land and to shave bark off the logs.