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Messages - Doug

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chaya in socal
« on: June 23, 2017, 07:45:59 PM »

Tree spinach is rather good also (chenopodium giganteum ?)

I love katuk and chaya. What are referring to when you write "tree spinach"? I always heard chaya called Mexican tree spinach.

If I were doing what you are doing Guineafowl would be an early purchase.

How do you buy GFs....chicks or adults? Do they actually stay around the farm? Do they require a coop like chickens or do they live in a wild state? I've heard that GFs live in trees at night so you don't have to be concerned as much about predators like with chickens. I'd really like to buy some...neat birds for an organic garden or farm.

I admire your thinking. I always thought what you're dreaming of doing to be a nice idea but not very practical, back-breaking and not very sustainable. But then I got to know a family of seven (mom, dad, five youngsters) who for a dozen years now have tapped into the growing interest in organic produce and products here. They have a very small farm of just a couple of acres with fruit trees and pasture, and their income is derived totally from a rather small garden of less than a quarter acre where they intensively raise wonderful clean organic veggies, along with a cow for organic milk to make yogurt. (BTW, they just got electricity in the last couple of years, and the still don't have a car.) It's hard work, but they are a beautiful and happy family. I think the key question for you is, how strong is the organic market in your area? If there's a good market, anything's possible. I have been an organic gardener/farmer for 50 years. Organic principles are actually very simple. I think too many people make it too academic and study it to death. LOL. Common sense about how Nature works is the rule! Best wishes to you on your journey.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: mammee apple
« on: June 11, 2017, 10:42:02 AM »
Is this fruit also called, mamy sapote? If so, great in shakes nasty raw.

Actually, the word "zapote" in the Hispanic world refers to a fruit that's soft when ripe. So, mammey apple is not a sapote.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Happiest Plant Story You Have
« on: June 10, 2017, 12:23:54 PM »
I have a "happiest plant story" every time one of my trees fruit for the very first time.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: mammee apple
« on: June 10, 2017, 08:20:21 AM »
Ok thats a pretty nasty tasting fruit.

Not my favorite fruit by a long shot, but I've managed to hit the jackpot a few times and found its melon-like crispness and sweetness very nice. I don't know what the variables with the fruit are that cause it to be bland and boring sometimes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: mammee apple
« on: June 09, 2017, 06:55:55 PM »
 Scratch the skin with your finger nail. Green...not ripe. Orange...ready.

Peter....refresh my memory. Is cinnamon apple what's called here pan de vida? If it is, at least I like the name. LOL The fruit's not much to get excited about. Pretty tree though!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: PINEAPPLE TROUBLES
« on: June 04, 2017, 10:49:42 AM »

I grow mine VERY close to each other without any problems. I notice they do pretty much the same at the big pineapple farms here. Every now and then I collect a big bag of the tops at the local farmers' market...they twist the tops off with they sell them. I just punch a hole in the ground and stick them in about 3 inches deep. No fertilizer, no nothin'. For some reason every now and then one will not take root, but I've always got lots of pineapples to eat. Great low maintenance plant!


I'm no expert, but my place here is at 1000m on the Caribbean side of the country where there is very high rainfall, and I've had no success with mangoes. I don't know of any mango trees in this area. I do have a couple Tommys that seem to stand the high disease pressure (mas o menos) but so far no fruit. If people grow mangoes where you're at they must spray the hell out of them. As for papayas, I finally discovered that they won't stand wet feet at all, and that's hard to avoid here. But, I've noticed they will grow here on a decent mound of soil or on a fairly good slope. The problem with low light (i.e. lots of cloud cover) is that it means lower fruit production. I've noticed that even with my citrus. There are coconut palms in this area and I have three varieties, still small, but I noticed that on bearing are trees the fruit is smaller and undeveloped. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Costa Rica mango cultivar question
« on: May 29, 2017, 06:04:37 PM »

Doug, I'm going to be visiting CR end of this week...I hope there will be mangoes for sale by then. What other fruits are in season? I love fresh fruits  :)

No problem. Lots of mangoes. Many "regular" fruits and some unusual ones too. Go to any "ferria" (farmers' market) which are held usually toward the end of the week in nearly every town of any size. I'm particularly enjoying right now the many varieties of avocados grown here.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Costa Rica mango cultivar question
« on: May 28, 2017, 05:26:38 PM »
I was unimpressed with every mango I had there. Both our drivers told me that there are all seedlings but I kinda doubt that.

Over the season, I've seen in the markets maybe a half dozen varieties grown commercially here, and most are grown on the more dry Pacific side of the country. All are hybrids and are very good to my liking. I know there are many other varieties home-grown here. Zill's Nursery near Orotina has a good selection. We're a couple of weeks into the season, and the markets are right now full of primarily one variety...large, colorful and very cheap...that everyone says is Tommy Atkins. If it is, I have no complaints about Tommys, in spite of what I've been told. There is a "wild" variety here which is wide spread that makes a more or less 3 inch long, hard skinned fruit that is very bright orange inside and very sweet. I like them a lot, but it takes a lot of them to satisfy my appetite for them.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What type of fruit is this?
« on: May 23, 2017, 10:27:26 PM »

Here the mamones are in season. They are small (1 inch)green fruit with a hard skin that contains a large seed surrounded by a sweet white/yellowish pulp, much like a pulisan or rambutan. The photos are definitely not jocotes.

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?

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