How to grow the nutmeg in a biological way
The nutmeg (Myristica fragrans L.) being a tropical plant (native to the Moluccan islands and some islands of New Guinea) is also cultivated in other countries of the tropical zone, but the area of greatest production is the Banda Islands in the archipelago of Moluccas.
It is an evergreen, dioecious tree, 8-10 meters in size, which blooms all year round. It produces small, bell-shaped, fleshy flowers, the feminine ones in small axillary racemes, the single male ones and two or three times a year produces many fruits, the size of small peaches, of green color, turn yellow when ripe; these fruits are juicy and used to prepare jams; when the fruits ripen they open in half, revealing a walnut that is covered by a very intense red aril.
Inside the nut (nutmeg) there is a single soft seed which soon becomes of woody consistency.
For the cultivation of these trees it is necessary to have soil well endowed with organic substance and very well drained. The recommended sixth implant is at least 6 x 6 in holes of 50 x 50 x 50 (if starting from young seedlings), where to put a good quantity of organic substance mixed with leaves already in a good state of decomposition. It is a plant that prefers sunny places and needs to regularly carry out its vegetative cycle of a minimum temperature of at least 10-12 ° C (therefore difficult to grow in Italy if not in some particular coastal microclimate of the small islands of the south Italy Nutmeg needs regular irrigation and the climate must be very humid.The nutmeg can be reproduced by seed or by cuttings, the large seeds sprout easily but it must be said that a tree takes 10-15 years to mature but then produces 1500/2000 nutmegs per year for about 70 years.
When the fruits of nutmeg start to open spontaneously, they are ready to be harvested. The fruits of the nutmeg can be picked by hand or by special bamboo canes, while the seed is extracted by hand and set to dry.
Nutmeg can be found on the market in whole seeds, dark brown or white (which are bleached ones) or ground. However, it is advisable to buy whole seeds, store them in an airtight container and grate them at the time of use.