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Messages - Doug

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I too had read that black zapote was dioecious, but when I asked the people-in-the-know at CATIE here in Costa Rica they told me is isn't true and that all of their trees bear fruit. BTW, just for kicks I have three black zapote trees planted in one hole for three years now, and all are doing great and growing like weeds....but no flowers yet.

For what's it's worth, I wouldn't buy any land in Central Florida that isn't already listed with a broker. The broker must provide knowledge of any  "problems" with the property. If it's "virgin land", the process of getting government clearance to use the property for ANY reason can be horrendous and very expensive. The St. John's River environmental bureaucracy and the EPA are very powerful. An associate of mine was involved in a two million dollar raw land sale in Central FL, but after the environmental study was completed the valuable piece became virtually unusable and worthless because of mitigation costs due to water drainage regulations and a small section that contained the soil preferred by the Florida ground tortoise. Florida has many environmental issues, and many are justified. The main reason I would be careful buying raw land in Central Florida is that after you buy a piece the rules may suddenly be changed and you may get tied up in endless and expensive red tape.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Longon really slow grower....
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:19:13 PM »
I started some longon seeds six or seven months ago. They all sprouted fine and grew up to six inches or so very quickly. But, that's where they stayed. I saw some longon seedlings started from the same trees at about the same time at the CATIE nursery the other day, and they all seemed to be stuck too. Any ideas?


Sounds to me like there're a LOT of swamps outside DC that need to be drained as well! 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Nance (Byrsonima crassifolia)
« on: April 14, 2017, 08:32:51 AM »

Is nance tree self-fruitful?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cecropia peltata
« on: March 30, 2017, 09:04:28 AM »
I have always loved the "guarumos", as they are called here. I have three varieties growing on my farm, and they grow like weeds. One variety has leaves that are over a meter across. Beautiful tropical trees! Some folks here are aware of the medicinal qualities of the tree, but I have never heard of anybody eating the "fruit"...just the toucans. And, I never understood how the sloths can climb the trees without a severe attack by the fire ants. I had to cut an old one the other day, and I paid a painful price. The ants didn't like me messing with their sweet food source. I would like to try the fruit, but the fruit is at the very top and the trunks are way too tall to climb.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Glyphosate problems?
« on: March 27, 2017, 04:55:56 PM »

A week or so ago my good neighbor sprayed a section of his farm which borders a section of my place with glyphosate ("Round Up" weed killer). Some Costa Ricans use the damn stuff like water. Within days the weeds and brush on his place were dead. But, it was a relatively breezy day when he sprayed the stuff, and I'm wondering if some of my fruit trees were affected.

I don't see much damage to the grasses about, but I noticed a couple of days ago new growth on three young mammon chinos (Rambutan) in that section of my farm is dead, and one very tall flowering ornamental tree called llama del bosque is yellowing and losing its leaves. I have always used organic growing principals both here and in the states, and so I have been aware for many years of the environmental concerns about the wide popular usage of this powerful poison...and of course I never have used it.

I have searched for info on the possible dangers to some types of trees, but I can't find any. Maybe this is a stretch, but have any of you growers had personal experience with glyphosate? BTW, my concern is more about my fruits and veggies actually CONTAINING glyphosate, which studies have proved is the case when they're exposed. If possible I would like to be sure of my facts before I visit my good neighbor to "kindly encourage" him re-learn the traditional skill of using a machete! LOL.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Abiu tree?
« on: March 23, 2017, 08:24:08 AM »
I don't know if it's just the abiu variety I grow, but the fruit to me is like a small rich and sweet honey dew melon. I love them. My favorite caimito!
No insect or disease problems...just birds. Also my neighbors have them growing and fruiting in partial shade, so I have planted some in shade to see what happens.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can you eat avocado seeds?
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:28:03 AM »

Ahhh...please provide some contradicting evidence that apple seeds can be eaten.

Do you mean provide evidence that apple seeds CAN be eaten? Evidence: I'm alive!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can you eat avocado seeds?
« on: March 07, 2017, 07:17:27 AM »
Some time ago a friend, who is somewhat of an expert in nutrition, told me of the many health benefits of eating avocado seeds. Since then I grate them in salads....and I'm still on the planet. I haven't noticed any particular health changes from eating them, but I'm in pretty good shape anyway. BTW, when I eat apples I eat the seeds as well. A WHOLE apple a day keeps the doc away? Both apple and avocado seeds have a nice almond taste that I like.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Biriba Stripping Advice
« on: February 18, 2017, 08:00:02 PM »

But, why would you need to strip the leaves off a biriba tree? I let the trees do what they naturally do...sometimes they drop some, sometimes all...and they always do well. In my so-called "latter years", I'm heavily into minimalism when it comes to gardening and orchard work. Mamma Nature does have a tendency to support the life of the tree, if it's in the correct environment.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Advantages of Eating Apples Every Day
« on: February 18, 2017, 07:54:20 PM »
I know if you eat a handful of apple seeds everyday you will eventually die. I assume the fruit itself may have toxins.

I grew apples in NC for many years and I love them, especially the old-time varieties. I think that old adage, "An apple a day keeps a doctor away", only applies if you eat the WHOLE apple...seeds and all. I've been doing that for many, many years...and I ain't dead yet. In fact, I can't remember the last time I even had a cold. Seems the small quantity toxicity in the seeds is actually a health benefit in that natural amount. Anyway, who eats a handful of apple seeds?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My Theory on Avocados
« on: February 11, 2017, 12:16:42 PM »

Thanks for your ideas and theory. But, after a lot of experience trying to grow avocado trees, I also have a theory...avocado trees are simply a complete pain in the ass to grow!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Guanabana "healing" powers...
« on: February 09, 2017, 02:43:57 PM »
I don't know if this fits the boundaries of this discussion board, but I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience using guanabana fruit or leaves as treatment for disease? A friend here enthusiastically says he is growing the trees to be used as a potential cancer treatment in place of chemo. Interesting idea! I have read about the fruit's supposed medicinal qualities but never have heard it directly confirmed by someone who has used it for this purpose. I have no opinion pro or con and am not interested in argument...just experiences. But, wouldn't it be wonderful!

That is remarkable! Just curious, but aren't there abiu trees in Argentina that you can get seeds from?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fertilizing Biriba/Rollinia
« on: February 01, 2017, 04:40:30 PM »

With my biriba trees it's been normal for them to lose most of their leaves from time to time. I have never fertilized my trees. They seem to have wide reaching root systems to find whatever nutrition they want, I suppose. I even have one very large old tree that is almost completely shaded, and it produces a good number of big wonderful fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this Biriba?
« on: January 16, 2017, 07:28:28 AM »
Biriba is right above a.reticulata as the worse anona except for Hunucma amarilla here is the mother tree in hunucma Yucatán

Well, I suppose this proves that taste, as well as beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. My durian-loving friend proves the adage as well. I have four biriba trees here in my farm, and I cherish every single fruit I can get my mouth on. To me they are simply wonderful....the epitome of sweet tropical flavor and uniqueness. Super easy to grow and very productive trees.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Must-Have Fruits
« on: December 27, 2016, 03:47:30 PM »
To answer this I am thinking about fruit that I grow and could eat as staples every day.

Washington Navel Orange...great juice...easy for me to grow, large and very sweet and juicy fruit, prolific.
Avocado for a salad....probably Catalina...big, buttery and satisfying...tree produces over a long period...
with Persian Lime.
Breadfruit as part of my main course. I love it stewed or fried. Trees produce year round.
Definitely Biriba for desert. Incredible fruit like none other in my book! And, I love them cold especially for breakfast.

I love mangosteens, rambutan, longons, etc...I like to pig out on these fruits when the come in, but then I don't want them anymore for a while. But, I would have to include bananas as a versatile every day staple. I have a number of varieties, most of which can be cooked green...delicious.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: trip to costa rica recommendations
« on: December 26, 2016, 01:46:55 PM »
How safe is it to travel around?

Is there a reliable public transport system or is it better to rent a car and use maps/GPS?quote]

I live here and have a car, but I mostly use the bus system, which is very modern and efficient and cheap. If I were visiting here and just going to one popular easy-to-get-to spot for the duration of the trip, I'd definitely use the buses. Traveling off the main roads would be another matter, of course. Four wheel drive vehicles are common and recommended. But, driving a car here can be risky!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: trip to costa rica recommendations
« on: December 26, 2016, 11:06:33 AM »
thank you both for your suggestions. since the farmers markets are just on the weekends, would we only shop on the weekends rather than a few times a week?
i think my mom is thinking she will just mostly relax on the beach, so i am going to make it a very slow paced trip without alot of driving or lots of touring activities.
for her eating , we may try to stay in a place with a kitchen or microwave or visit restaurants.
is the beach in puerto viejo, calm for swimming? that is another thing i must think about for her.

While the ferrias are always interesting and fun to shop at, you can always find fruits and everything else to eat all week long nearly anywhere in CR...especially in the small shops that specialize in veggies and fruits. You wouldn't have any problem in Puerto Viejo. Also the beaches are wonderful and safe for swimming there. The ocean is calmer on the Caribbean side of CR than on the Pacific side. Having said all that, CR is a wonderful place to visit anywhere you go.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: trip to costa rica recommendations
« on: December 25, 2016, 08:34:40 AM »

I'm not concerned about you, Mr. Fruitarian. You'll do OK anywhere in CR. But, what about your dear 86-year-old mom. What does she want to do and eat? Kudos to her! She must be a very special lady! I'm 13 years younger than her and I don't ever want to get on an airplane. LOL. Anyway, you can find small fruit/veggie stores (verdurias) everywhere in the country. But here's my suggestion . . . If you want to be near beaches, lots of nature, have many choices of unusual and eclectic restaurants and places to stay, I don't think you can beat the rather funky small town of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side right on the ocean. It's a very busy and interesting place with lots of very interesting residents and tourists from the EU and the States as well as Ticos. Surrounded by LOTS of nature. Finca la Isla (on tropicalfruitforum) is nearby...growing damn near every tropical fruit you can think of. My favorite place to visit here is the great national seashore park located a short drive away in Cahuita. Monkey heaven! I think you and your mom would find it very enjoyable with little effort. Buen vieje!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Moving a mango tree . . .
« on: December 18, 2016, 11:59:08 AM »
On the CR Caribbean side it rains a lot all year. The dry Pacific side is mango country. Years ago I just decided that I could very cheaply buy here all the wonderful mangoes I desire, so why fight Nature. I don't spray anything on my 100 plus fruit trees.  But, I do wish I could get hold of a variety like Nam Doc Mai to give mangoes another try. Also, I'm a healthy 73, but I don't cherish the thought of cutting a 3 year old tree and starting over on any tree that may take 5 to 6 years to mature. I'm sweating some varieties now. Almost every day I have prayer over my beautiful but lazy-growing mangosteens and jabos to try to speed them up a bit. Hahaha

In my part of CR it's all but impossible to grow mangoes. Too wet! TA seems to at least survive here so I planted them. Fruit is lousy but the birds and jungle critters like them. I'm gonna follow some of the good advice here and give it a shot. Thanks all!

Maybe one of the SE Asian varieties like Nam Doc Mai would do OK where you live. They get lots of rain in some locations.  You are at same latitude as Thailand/Vietnam. For mangoes it helps to have a dry winter to help them go dormant even if your yearly rainfall is high. Maybe even a semi-dry winter would still get you mangoes if you go for SE Asian varieties.  Tommy Atkins is an India to Florida derived mango

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Moving a mango tree . . .
« on: December 18, 2016, 08:35:04 AM »
2nd for cutting it down and getting something in the top tier. What do you have access to?

In my part of CR it's all but impossible to grow mangoes. Too wet! TA seems to at least survive here so I planted them. Fruit is lousy but the birds and jungle critters like them. I'm gonna follow some of the good advice here and give it a shot. Thanks all!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bannana tree tea
« on: December 16, 2016, 07:12:11 AM »

Hahahaha. I thought the nutrition capitalists had finally run out of their so-called "super foods" and the only thing left to sell is banana leaf tea.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Moving a mango tree . . .
« on: December 14, 2016, 03:10:14 PM »
What is the approximate trunk diameter?

Three inches.

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