Our papaya trees are like a badge of honor. “Who grows Papaya trees in Austin,” ask Cara Harpole, the proud momma of these papaya trees in the Mocking Bird Garden on the campus of ACC (Northridge). Not a garden day goes by without someone asking “what are those trees over there?” Austin isn’t exactly a tropical haven in zone 9. Thanks to our relatively mild winter, these papayas were able to develop into trees. Guess where they all came from? Not a nursery, no from another state, but from our compost pile! These are grocery store, Mexican papayas! God knows what is in store for us this winter, but we are so proud of achieving the impossible, a tropic garden in the middle of our campus.