By, Spencer Gale, guest blogger, who is interned with Dsenyo summer 2011.
Monkey Orange. It’s a small fruit that grows on trees up to 5m in central Africa. A mature tree typically produces about 400 pieces of fruit each year, which can be eaten (though they have a certain gelatinous quality that may resemble brains…ewww). The seeds are poisonous but have medicinal properties, while the fruit itself has high nutritional value.
When produced in excess the Monkey Oranges can be turned into beautiful décor globes such as the ones Chifundo Artisans Network and Mwayiwathu HIV Support Group produce in Malawi for Dsenyo. They remove the skin, then hollow out the Monkey Oranges, leaving a think, hard shell. After drying out entirely the Monkey Oranges are hand-painted and varnished to create the beautiful Monkey Orange décor globes and ornaments brought right from one tree to your tree!