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Messages - HIfarm

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Just wondering, how strong is the fragrance from this fruit?


When someone makes up a tag like that, it is hard to say what they are trying to convey but I think, more than likely, Oscar is correct in his interpretation.  To elaborate on Oscar's comments:

Species are correctly written like this:  Annona squamosa
naturally occurring hybrids are written like this: Annona xatemoya (if it was a naturally occurring hybrid, I don't believe it is)
manmade hybrids are generally written: Annona Atemoya

People are generally lazy so don't use italics & aren't careful about the case of letters.  I suspect you had a case where someone was trying to show off their knowledge making a tag & just made it more confusing. There aren't whole lot of hybrids (interspecific) in tropical fruit trees so you don't see the terminology too much.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jackfruit Berried Treasure
« on: January 17, 2018, 10:54:07 PM »
Just wondering if Micah or Oscar have fruited their berry jack seedlings yet (or anyone else here in HI)?  I tried a google search of the forum but didn't find any posts.  My bigger berry jack seedling is loaded with flowers, I'm hoping it holds a fruit or two this year.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dwarf(ed) nutmeg?
« on: January 10, 2018, 01:06:58 PM »
It is amazing how often articles about plants fail to mention their sexual "states", it can be hard to get a straight story sometimes.  It seems whenever you discuss a plant that is clearly documented as dioecious, someone will chime in about knowing of a single plant somewhere that is bearing fruit.  I don't have the luck to get one of these "fluke" plants, I always plan on planting a few if documented as dioecious.

I've never tried calabash nutmeg (to my knowledge), I know it is used in some African and Caribbean cuisines.  I tried to start it from seeds several years back with no luck, however the seeds may also not have been very fresh.  I do have a couple of seedlings in the orchard that I got locally.  They have been growing slowly but steadily; they might be reaching the point where they will start to speed up. 

I know we are getting further off the topic here (nutmeg) but there is another annonaceous plant where the seed is eaten as a spice (although I think the spice is the pod as much as the seed) -- Xylopia aethiopica.  It is also an African spice.  I don't know if that one would be of interest to you.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dwarf(ed) nutmeg?
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:15:31 PM »
One thing that hasn't been addressed is that nutmeg is dioecious so you will need to plant at least a few trees if you ever want to see fruit.  It might make sense to shift your sights to "calabash nutmeg", Monodora myristica.  It can get as larger or perhaps larger than nutmeg but it is not dioecious and has very showy flowers.  There are other Monodoras besides myristica and I think some of those are also used as spices.  I understand that the seeds for these can be difficult to germinate (or perhaps it is more a question of getting fresh seeds).  ForestHouse had a few different species on their list in the past.


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Re: Monkey colas
« on: January 07, 2018, 07:23:30 PM »
Nice looking plant, Soren.  How tall is that -- maybe 60 cm?  One of my lepidotas or pachycarpas is about the same size but I suspect you will beat me to fruiting.  Be sure to give us a post when you fruit it.  Any idea how large they need to get to fruit?


Which area of Indonesia is he?

I have just started corresponding with him.  He is in central Java, in Temanggung.  It sounds like he also has friends on other islands as well who can help supply other things.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: tropical spices
« on: December 31, 2017, 10:18:48 PM »
I would stick with Cinnamomum verum, Ceylon Cinnamon, it is the best and what chef's want.

I had heard hype in the past about Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) & a lot of culinary interest in that due to its very pronounced cinnamon flavor.  I don't know how accessible seeds are for this species, though -- I never seriously looked into cinnamons.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: tropical spices
« on: December 31, 2017, 12:33:21 PM »
I had been trying to add some spices earlier but didn't have much success with most so I have abandoned the idea (not getting any younger).  Most of what I looked at were plants tagged with "pepper" in the name (regardless of whether or not in the genus Piper).  As Peter points out, black pepper (P. nigrum) is a good crop.  I tried to find some clonal varieties of pepper here but had no luck.  (The selected commercial clones are typically hermaphroditic and have been selected for flavor and/or disease resistance.)  Even if you plant seed from a selected hermaphroditic clone, it is typical that some portion of the seedlings will revert back to dioecious plants.  I abandoned black pepper when I was not able to locate any good clones (I wanted to have very good quality black pepper, not just "Hawaiian grown" black pepper).

I also looked at some other Piper species used as spices.  These would have the same issue (dioecious) but there are probably no select varieties of these so seed seemed the only reasonable option.  Most of these were Asian / S.E. Asian: chaba, cubeba, longum, peepuloides.  An African one, guineense, is also supposedly very good (some claim better than nigrum).  Seeds were hard to come by for these & germination was not generally very good when I did find them.

I also looked at various tropical "Sichuan peppercorns" (Zanthoxylum) from S.E. Asia.  These include species like Z. armatum (alatum), nitidum, rhetsa (limonella), avicennae, and acanthopodium.  Not all produce the same flavor profile as those from the Sichuan region but all are used as spices.  There is also at least one from Africa used in this way, tessmanii.  There is a snag with these, they are citrus relative so special treatments are required of the seeds to make their entry into the US legal.  If you find those imported as spices, they will probably not germinate.  You can get a special exception for these in your small lots of seed permit but it requires that the seed undergoes a special treatment prior to being sent to the US (I don't recall the treatment off hand but I had no luck finding seed for any of these, never mind anyone who would do the treatment if they had it).  You can probably find the more traditional species (from China / Korea / Japan region) but these would be subtropical or temperate so not sure how they would grow & bear here.

Another one I looked at was an African spice called grains of selim or Negro pepper (Xylopia aethiopica).  The pods of this are used as the spice and are typically dried with wood fires, giving a smoky flavor in addition to peppery heat.  It seemed that smoking with different local woods might also give an opportunity to craft different flavor profiles in these.  I did have seeds of these sent from ForestHouse in Cameroon but there was a problem with the shipment (USDA put my physical address rather than mailing address on package when forwarding) so the shipment was lost.

I don't know if you would be interested in any of these but I think that they would be worthwhile spice crops for here in HI and something unusual that chefs might be interested in playing with.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Quararibea funebris
« on: December 30, 2017, 10:19:08 PM »
Great news, Peter.  So that would make the tree something like 5 1/2 - 6 yrs old?  Maybe they mature a little quicker with the warmer, wetter weather.  You'll have to let us know if it bears any fruit and tell us if the fruit has any value. 


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Great seed vendor from Cameroon
« on: December 28, 2017, 02:06:11 PM »
It may be worth it to order a massive amount of seeds but I have never used this seller so I would rather do a small order and then order everything I wanted that is in season if the first transaction went smoothly. He quoted $30 for Phyto certificate which I have never had to deal with before and $80 for shipping which is WAAAAAAAAAAY more then I have ever paid, although I haven't ordered seeds from Africa before. It sounded off to me.

Has anyone needed a phyto certificate to ship seeds before? I thought that was used for plants.

Phyto is not required for the US if you are using a small lots of seed permit.  ForestHouse will generally quote phyto docs (I think for $10 if I recall correctly) but will gladly take them off if you tell them it is not required.  That shipping price sounds preposterous from my previous orders from Cameroon.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: ID - rare artocarpus from Sumatra?
« on: December 27, 2017, 12:04:15 AM »

Hi! The link does not seem to work☺️

That's too bad.  It looked like a nice resource & the info was not set up so that it could not be easily downloaded.  I was counting on it for a seedling Artocarpus I have that was labelled marang but is obviously not.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hermaphroditic jackfruit???
« on: December 26, 2017, 11:59:54 PM »
I'm seeing a couple of those on my berry jack seedling now.  Most do look clearly male or female though.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Great seed vendor from Cameroon
« on: December 26, 2017, 09:46:30 PM »
It sounds like he (Ferdinand) is gouging & playing games so why waste time with him?  Wirsiy at ForestHouse generally has good prices & is good to work with -- and he has a much broader selection of seeds (judging from the list above).  (I just got Christmas greetings from Wirsiy so I would say he is still around ...)


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Grafting Breadfruit
« on: December 18, 2017, 05:50:34 PM »
I would go with Peter's advice.  I had gotten some scions a few years back from the Hilo Repository (when they still did such things).  They were way too big to work with.  Even trying to graft them onto a good sized limb on a tree, they were too fat to get a reasonable taper on the scion for the wood to meet up correctly.  I believe I even tried to make the cleft in the scion and make the tapered portion on the rootstock (from a seeded breadfruit) but none of those took.  Peter's course should have a MUCH higher degree of success.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing cola acuminata
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:59:32 PM »

C.K. - you are Alva?  You got the plant from me when we had the auction / raffle when Paul Noren visited (I think it actually got delivered to you when we went to see Jim's talk -- I had forgotten to bring it to the auction since I was juggling too much stuff that day).  It did have a tag, I'll have to try to figure out what species I brought.

Sorry for the delay, I wasn't able to find in documentation on which one this was earlier but I just came across the bid sheet.  The plant is Cola rostrata.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bakuri seed prep (Platonia insignis)
« on: December 07, 2017, 11:52:32 AM »
Are Bacuris  dioecious  ? I have a huge tall bacuri plant in my garden which every year gives pink-red flowers but no fruits . Any info on this regard would be appreciated
Yes dioecioous.
Geez, Oscar, I hope you are mistaken on that one.   I've downloaded over a dozen articles on bacuri & none say it is dioecious.  One, from the fao, says the flowers are bisexual and another from a Brazilian source, says the flowers are "hermaphrophytic" (presumably a typo for hermaphroditic).  If indeed dioecious & I am lucky enough to get one to germinate, hopefully you will have some scions in the future to graft the other sex onto my tree.

By the way, this is not meant to question you, Oscar -- just that it is very hard to get a straight story on a lot of these more obscure fruits.  On line sources are often inaccurate.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit markets in Central Jakarta
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
I did not visit Jakarta on my last trip to Indonesia.  I was underwhelmed by the variety of fruit in Jogjakarta & I suspect you may be in Jakarta as well.  If you head to central Java, I can give some pointers.  If you are heading up to Borobudor (a not to miss sight!) from Jogja, you'll pass right through Sleman which is renown for salak production.  On the main road, you'll pass stalls that will probably have a few varieties, if in season.  Coming back down the mountain (Merapi), there is a road in Sleman heading around the other side of the mountain, leading over to Ketep Pass.  That will take you right through the salak plantations and there will be stalls there selling a number of different varieties. 

On Bali, the salak center is Sibetan.  There is a farm there selling salak & various salak products as well as a few stalls nearby.  The farm is Agro Abian Salak at Banjar Karangyar in Sibetan.  It could be easy to miss, it is on a high hill right along the road (but you may not be looking up to see it).  I think you may also hit wani season (a relative of mango, held in very high regard by some) on Bali.

The Sleman area of Java has something like 15-20 different varieties of salak and Sibetan has a similar number of different varieties of a different form of salak.  If you sample salak, do not binge too heavily as it is known to cause constipation.  (i think I limited myself to something 6-8 / day and had no problems).  If you do a google search on the forum for Sleman & Sibetan, you should be able to find my reports on my visits.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Bakuri seed prep (Platonia insignis)
« on: December 04, 2017, 02:19:43 PM »
I've got a question I am directing to Oscar of FL but others may have the same question so I decided to post here.  The seed packet has instructions to "first soak seeds in distilled alcohol for 10 minutes".  I am assuming that this is ethanol ("drinking alcohol") not isopropanol or methanol.  I also assume that denatured alcohol would not be appropriate.  What percentage / proof should be used?  Could a relatively neutral high proof spirit like vodka be used?  (I can think of good ways to use the left over alcohol in that case.  :) )


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Re: Monkey colas
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:26:13 PM »
Thanks, Soren.  When Paul Noren was staying with me, he mentioned a couple of them as being pretty good but he did not seem wildly enthusiastic about them (maybe just because it is not a traditional "fruit" kind of flavor?).  It will still be several years before any of mine bear fruit to be able to assess them.


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Re: Monkey colas
« on: November 29, 2017, 11:31:09 AM »
Hi Soren,

Have you tried any of the monkey colas?  If so, I'd like to hear your impressions.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fairchild Farm Strange Mangoes
« on: November 22, 2017, 01:20:37 PM »
I've got some species mango & colorful new growth (blood red) occurs in a few of them so it is not strictly a kuini trait.  Kuini does color up well & it does hold the color until the leaves are quite large but it is not the only one with good color.  I don't recall for sure which do, I'll have to take a look & comment later.

I had done a posting about flush color in mangoes (indica) to see if anyone know of cultivars that have nice color in new growth & I think I got no response on this.  I have a seedling mango that has very good color but not quite as strong as some of the other species.  (This one is just destined to be top worked with choice mango cultivars.)  None of my "choice" mango cultivars have very good color in new growth -- I would think that there must be some good clones that have good color as well.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing cola acuminata
« on: November 20, 2017, 08:47:23 PM »
Thanks for posting about the monkey cola, I'd like to see that sometime.  It wasn't on Jim's list when I checked it.
We sometimes eat some of the aril on our cola nut fruits, not bad actually.
It could be that what is often called acuminata is actually nítida. 

Hi Peter,

It's not from Jim.  I got mine from ForestHouse in Cameroon (and Alva got his from me).  They have quite a selection of Colas, I have only ordered those that I can find documentation about edibility.

Thanks for the tip about the aril on acuminata, I also have a couple of small trees of that.


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