"The Ojoche Tree" Ancient Cornucopia of Wealth

Ojoche Tree - Ojochal - Photo by Dagmar Reinhard

Ojoche Tree – Ojochal – Photo by Dagmar Reinhard

Ojochal is a name given to a large area of land populated with ojoche trees. The beautiful town by the name of Ojochal was an area covered with these trees during the mid 1930s. The first families moving into the area appreciated the trees for their fruit and shade, and decided to call the place “Ojochal.”  They acknowledged the nutritional and overall value of this magnificent tree.  Unfortunately, during the 1950s, the town had grown a lot, and the need for cattle land promoted the logging of the ojoche trees, running them into extinction.

“AMO” (Asociación de Mujeres de Ojochal), recently started the Ojoche rescue project, planting the first one near the Public Library. The scientific name to the ojoche tree is brosimum, and it is known as Maya Nut.

According to some sources, there are two kinds of Ojoche. Both types are considered as heavy wood, and both represent an important source of food.  You can find them from sea level to about 1000 mt. (3281 ft.) above sea.

This is one of the tropical trees, of which one can take advantage of all its parts, whether foliage, bark, branches, sap, fruit, and seeds. The Ojoche or Maya Nut was the staple of the pre-Hispanic cultures. The seed is full of nutrients, including antioxidants.

It contains good levels of Vitamin A, B, C, and E.  It is also high in calcium, potassium, fiber, protein, iron, zinc, and folic acid. Costa Rica is working towards bringing back this ancient source of wealth.

Posted in Environment & Wildlife, Plants & Trees and tagged .