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Messages - Doug

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is this tree?
« on: August 19, 2017, 04:25:32 PM »
Sure looks like some type of young garcinia to me. If so, I guess that narrows it down to maybe one of a hundred types of plants. LOL

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Please ID this plant
« on: August 16, 2017, 01:28:33 PM »
Looks like a paw paw to me. But growing that far south?

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Different forms of calcium . . .
« on: August 15, 2017, 08:58:17 AM »
Costa Rican soils are generally acidic and the application of calcium is very common.  I don't know about calcium hydroxide, it's a good question, but calcium carbonate is applied at a basic rate of .5kg. Per meter.
My soil ph ranges from 5.8-6.3 which is pretty good for most things.  For avocados and black pepper it can be important.  Coffee and banana growers also use it.
I have had some success treating Jakfruit that tends to have splitting fruit and physiogical problems with mangosteen.
Peter

Peter, I don't use calcium on any plants other than bananas and citrus, but I read somewhere (maybe here) that some calcium on slow growing seedling sopadillas would be helpful. Of course, at my age everything grows too damn slow, but what do you think? My farm was an old cafetal and the soil was very acid, but I always use "chop and drop" with weeds and grasses, and now the earthworms are abundant. Maybe now the soil is much more balanced.

4
A couple of weeks ago I finally visited with fellow forum member Peter at his truly amazing fruit farm in Puerto Viejo on the beautiful southern Caribbean coast. Living somewhat in the same neck of the jungle, it's stupid of me that I hadn't gone over there to visit before now. Actually though, my first visit with him was shortly after I moved here 18 years ago. During that visit he gave me my first mangosteen to eat. WOW! But, I only got bitten by the tropical fruit growing bug seven years ago after I finally decided to settle down and buy a farm here on the Caribbean slope. Anyway, Peter's place is simply remarkable...along with his equally remarkable knowledge gained by many, many years of growing tropical plants. Finca La Isla is billed as a botanical garden, but it's not like other prim and proper manicured botanical gardens here and elsewhere. It's a true "fruit forest"...or I should say, "fruit jungle". Perfectly natural! In fact you need a guide or I'm sure you'd get very lost. As we rambled and talked along the many rough paths, Peter pointed out each fruit tree along with details about the particular variety, and I was able to see what my plants hopefully will eventually look like. Growing here and there across the large jungle farm were scores of varieties of fruits that Peter raises for market. Visitors can sample whatever is in season. I got to taste a durian....which was the first durian that I ever tried that didn't immediately prompt the gag reflex. It was sweet and "somewhat" edible....so now I can understand how some people can develop a liking for the fruit. (Never me though!) Great place to visit....as is Puerto Viejo which is arguably the most eclectic and unusual town in the country. BTW,  I came away with a nice seedling zapote variety that I hadn't been able to find elsewhere. I plan to go back soon to find some more rarer varieties. That place is a Costa Rican jewel for sure! (Not a paid commercial review...LOL)

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Different forms of calcium . . .
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:37:02 AM »
I went to the agro for a bag of calcium for my bananas and citrus but they didn't have my usual brand. So, I bought another brand. When I got home I realized I'd bought calcium hydroxide instead of the usual calcium carbonate. I know organic farmers won't usually use cal hydroxide. What is the objection? I'm not a scientist but it seems ultimately calcium is calcium. Have any of you had problems with the hydroxide form?

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Help mature lemon tree has never fruit
« on: August 04, 2017, 04:24:04 PM »
I had a misbehaving lemon tree a while back. I read someplace (maybe on this site?) to do something counter-intuitive to citrus care: pile on the wood chip mulch. It worked, and the tree is now green, healthy and productive...with no other changes. Probably a deficiency of some kind.

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: bananas keep failing under fruit load
« on: July 16, 2017, 10:44:16 AM »
I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here older banana root systems almost always become infested with a type of grub that eats the roots and bores up into the trunk of the tree. And, this almost always causes a fruiting tree to fall. This happens mostly after the plant has become established and has put out a number of pups that are allowed to mature. I always have 30 to 50 banana plants growing, but I don't allow a root system to produce more mature pups after it has one pup that matures and produces. Every time I stop a root system, I transplant a pup at least 20 to 30 meters away. This stops an infestation, and I never have to poison the ground to kill an infestation.

Having said all that, the REAL reason I responded to your post is out of curiosity. Why did you write that "curiosity killed the vegan"??? I'm a very curious old vegan.... but I'm not totally dead yet. LOL

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Visit to Costa Rica
« on: July 14, 2017, 02:22:56 PM »

The Cocobolo Plant Nursery is located up near Liberia. They grow nearly every type of tropical fruit tree and they have many mature trees of fruit bearing age. Very interesting. But, Nosara is so very isolated. It takes a good while to get anyplace from there. Very nice place though!

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Types of Key Limes . . .
« on: July 08, 2017, 05:23:19 PM »
I only know of regular and thornless key limes.

Simon

I guess that answers my question. I didn't know there is a thornless variety.  Maybe it has a different flavor?

10
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Types of Key Limes . . .
« on: July 07, 2017, 01:30:06 PM »

Here key limes are called limon criollos, and they are quite good. But, even though they look the same, they don't quite have the same taste (to me at least) as those key limes we had in Florida. I like Florida ones much better. So, a
re there different types of key limes?

11
Caesar....I assume you are in contact with others in Puerto Rico who have the same goals as you? That seems like the obvious route to finding out the info and answers that you seek. I was looking on Google, and there does seem to be interest in permaculture in PR.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chaya in socal
« on: June 23, 2017, 07:45:59 PM »

.
Tree spinach is rather good also (chenopodium giganteum ?)
[/quote]



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

13
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.

14
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.

15
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.

16
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.

17
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.

18
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.

19
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!

20
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!

21

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. 

22
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.

23
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.

24
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.

25
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.

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