CATIE is a Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Turrialba. Their mission is to “Increase human well-being and reduce rural poverty through education, research and technical cooperation, promoting sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.
In addition to being a world-renowned Center, it also offers tourists a botanical garden to explore and discover interesting and unique plants. I stress the word unique because would you like to guess what we found here in this garden…something that doesn’t exist in all of Costa Rica…
A LEMON TREE. Limon Messina to be exact. Finally I had found an oasis of lemons rather than a mirage of limes.
It was pouring down rain by the time we got to the citrus trees but I didn’t care…just show me the lemon! I bit into it and knew immediately…this was no lime pretending to be a lemon. And the “icing”…there were seeds. Seven of them. CATIE also has a nursery but unfortunately, they didn’t have any of this particular species for sale. : ( So it would be up to me to care for these 7 seeds, return home and plant them, hoping they germinate.
The weirdest part of the garden? The cocaine shrub that was planted in a large meadow of orange trees.
Enjoy the slideshow…
Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.