One fruit of rimas or bread fruit can provide enough snack for as many as five people. This we have just experienced with our first harvest of the year from our four-year-old plant that is grafted onto a “kamansi” rootstock. The mature fruit (the rind has become light green) was peeled, sliced and simply boiled with a slight sprinkling of salt. Two slices in tandem with Spirulina coffee blend were filling enough for one of us.
The grafted rimas was obtained from the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City in February 2015 in exchange with some fruit varieties from our farm. The poor rimas with just about four leaves was the last one available at the time. We planted it in our farm and saw to it that it was nourished with Durabloom organic fertilizer and also sprayed with Power Grower Combo, a plant growth acceerator. On the third year, it already started bearing a couple of fruits.
We believe that the rimas can be a good source of food for families where there is space for growing it. We remember a big rimas tree in our barrio in Batac, Ilocos Norte which produced a lot of fruits when we were young. Aside from simply boiling the fruit for snack, it can be fried and sweetened with brown sugar or muscovado. Immature fruits can also be cooked as vegetable just like the young fruit of jackfruit.
Because rimas does not produce seeds, it is propagated asexually. The old technique we find in old agri books is to cut or injure the roots in the ground to allow new sprouts to develop. Then grafting onto kamansi rootstock was resorted to with good success. Some people found it difficult to marcot rimas but there is a way to do it. A 1.5-inch portion of the branch with a diameter of one inch is debarked. The debarked branch is then wrapped with moist sphagnum moss not immediately after debarking but after seven to ten days later.
We believe more people should plant rimas in their garden or farm because it is a good source of food. The fruits could also be sold in the market as a source of income. If one is good in producing marcotted rimas, that could also be a good business.