Some children in the neighbourhood where I have been working on a permaculture design introduced this clever solution to drinking coconuts (or any drink); a long lasting biodegradable pawpaw drinking straw.
Although I was having fun with this, I could not help but think of including this great party idea into my permaculture needs and yields analysis (that includes details of many healing uses and benefits of pawpaw / papaya). Besides, some of the neighbors are joining me to do my step-by-step tropical cleanse (for mind, body and spirit) which, in this case, will involve the tropical version of the salt water flush. This straw will definitely come in handy to make the salt water flush more ... fun.
Apart from having something to drink, all you need is a healthy pawpaw tree and, as an option for the sake of being tidy, a knife.
To make a jumbo biodegradable straw, do the following. Pick a branch directly from the trunk and tear off its leaf.
Depending on the branch, the length might be 2 or more feet. Most people are likely to find that too long. If you have a knife, trim your biodegradable straw from one or both ends. Alternatively, take the children’s lead. They simply snapped off unwanted ends as the branches are very firm and snap when bent beyond roughly an inch.
Only the leaf end was trimmed in the case below. So there was an interested heart shaped end.
See some Naturopathic Control art therapy ideas.
For the faint-hearted, you can achieve a perfectly even straw by cutting both ends.
I like cutting only one end, even for the indoors (as in the image below).
Fortunately, the straw does not release the sticky latex that is characteristic of the green fruit. However, I noticed that the straw did impart a very mild pawpaw flavor to my coconut water. I cannot wait for an opportunity to use this with fruit punches and shakes. One of the children told me that he refrigerates and reuses the same straw. I’m not sure whether I want to reuse a straw. However, I think this is noteworthy for the sake of holding many straws for guests.
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