My name is Cory and I have always loved gardening and fruits. I earned a degree in Fruit Horticulture from Michigan State University, then learned about tropical fruit during an internship at ECHO in Florida. That led to a mission in the Santarem area of Brazil, for 21 months and I planted fruit trees at a remote jungle camp they had as a training school and working farm, with the goal of making it more self supporting. (I was dissapointed with how few jungle fruits there were in the Manaus and Belem markets after being to the Santarem market many times!)
I married a medical Dr. who had lived in Haiti for two years as a child and we started work in Haiti with the Wesleyan Mission in Anse-a-Galets, island of LaGonave. After 9 years we were invited to thier north Haiti campus. So after the years of killing many tropical fruits on the dry, salty island, (enjoyed the productive canistel, papaya, sapodilla, and moringa), it was exciting to move to an area with good soil and plenty of well distributed rainfall. Time to find and grow the Amazon fruits that Brazilians loved and most Haitians never heard of. I have about 6 or 8 acres of tree-gardens & yards on the mission campus and nearby planted to introduced fruit trees. Close to 3 acres are peach palm, some spineless. (Will post soon on the Edible Palms thread.) The campus is about 12 acres total and has a school, church and hospital plus 3 acres nearby that I purchased and planted 2 years ago.
After 10 years here, this summer we plan to start work at a new Wesleyan property, 30 acres of tree-less garden, brush, and pasture, at 4,400 feet elevation. Time to put the old Michigan studies and experience with apples, peaches and strawberries, etc. to work. The area grows good corn, beans and cattle but many of the children have protein malnutrition (probably landless families or because they sell the beans and cattle and just eat corn? Big need for nutrition education and/or higher value crops). I plan to keep my current 3 employees in charge of the nursery here so it should continue to produce fruit trees for this area. We will also see which species do well at higher altitude. I like planting and sharing fruit as much as eating fruit or trying new fruit so I am looking forward to the move even though many of the trees here are just coming into production.
We have productive carambola, canistel, malay apple, thornless jujube, thornless and regular peach palm, cupuasu, jackfruit, black sapote, sapodilla, biriba, breadfruit (local and Ma’afala) avocado, barbados cherry and miracle fruit. Not so productive or just starting include acai, loquat, dragon fruit, fig, okari nut, atemoya and macadamia. Many more types should fruit soon.
Mango - The climate here is wet enough that only the blanc mangos set fruit every year. There are several strains of fil blanc/manga blanca, all stringy, and they set fruit 2-5 times per year, at lest two or 3 branch-bending heavy crops each year. Some are in the markets almost all year. I have some crosses with local and Florida varieties that I look forward to fruiting, will save details for a mango discussion.
The new fruits are spreading in this area and to other parts of Haiti. I hope more tree and perennial gardening will be done in the highly erodible mountains. Erosion from annual and root crops takes a heavy toll on the environment, especiallly on the hills around this valley with over 100 inches of average rainfall per year.