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Messages - KarenRei

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The standard solution to draining swamps is... drains.  Trench, gravel filled, with a perforated PVC pipe at the bottom.   :)

If you go this route, don't be silly... rent a trencher rather than digging by hand.  Also, might not be a bad idea to coat the pipe in copper hydroxide paint, if you can be bothered to, to discourage roots from growing into it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ackee Trees and Small Children and Pets
« on: August 03, 2018, 09:10:55 AM »
Rate of incidence of ackee poisoning:

Note it's hardly the only tree whose immature fruit can sicken or kill children. For example, lychee is a big culprit in India.

Serious problems are mainly an issue in areas with malnutrition. Not only are malnourished children more vulnerable to the toxin, but they're also more likely to eat the immature fruit, and in greater quantities.  But of course it's poisonous in any quantity.

Your call as to the level of caution to use.  :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jackfruit marmelade?
« on: July 23, 2018, 10:35:44 AM »
I can't even imagine that, given how sweet jackfruit already is, and how low acid (hence the lime I guess!). Come to think of it, I've never had ripe jackfruit cooked, only unripe. Guess I'll have to try it - got a recipe?  ;)

My latest obsession is baobab milkshakes. OMG, love those things.

And this is why Brix - on its own - is a terrible measure of a fruit.  I could mix granulated sugar with mud and toenail clippings, and it'd have a great brix score.  ;)

I've always hated all kind of papaya bought in the store.
At the best they were tasting like a BAD MELON (that i don't like)

I think that's a great description of store papaya. They look like they should taste like a mango or something. Instead they taste like a cheap Chinese knock-off of a canteloupe. And dehydrating them makes them taste like a cheap knockoff of a summer squash.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this calcium deficiency ?
« on: July 13, 2018, 01:45:29 PM »
Any leaf symptoms (e.g. is a deficiency in a mobile nutrient?) or unusual growth habits (e.g. boron deficiency usually leads to weirder growth than calcium deficiency)?

Which soil pH meter did you get KarenRei? Been looking to get one myself.

Bluelab.  Not cheap, but based on my experience so far, 100% worth it.  You'll need a meter with soil probe, and a bottle of storage solution, pH 4 calibration solution, and pH 7 calibration solution.  Just keep the storage cap filled up to the line, and brush the probe tip with a toothbrush when you're done for the day before you cap it.  I had to consult their tech support at one point (long story short, I wasn't brushing the probe tip  ;)  ), and got a quick response, and they even offered to send me a replacement probe at no cost if their advice didn't work.   It of course did work.  :)  The probe holds calibration well (I periodically test with calibration solution just to make sure - there's virtually no drift) and gets consistent readings within a given pot.

My first time around testing all of my pots, there were some plants whose readings got a real "Holy heck, no wonder I've been getting those symptoms!" reaction out of me  ;)  I had two pots test in with a pH under 4!  I mean, fine if you're growing rooibos, but otherwise...  ;)  (that was BTW the result of me acidifying the soil based on bad readings from a junk pH meter  :Þ  )

I just wish it was this easy to test for specific nutrients  ;)  Over the years I've come to realize a risk to growing plants in pots that never go outside: nutrient accumulation.  Plants use nutrients unevenly, and if the soil never gets washed through, you can have some build up to dangerous levels (yes, this has killed plants for me  :(  ).  I now make it a policy to regularly "wash through" the soil in my pots - akin to a person growing plants hydroponically changing out their solution at regular intervals. This isn't something that would ever affect people growing plants outside since rains regularly wash through pots.

Have you checked your soil pH?  It's easy enough to acidify soil if you need to. Sulfuric acid (often sold as drain cleaner) is the fastest, albeit harshest way.  Sulfur is the slowest (up to a year), but gentlest way.  In either case, it doesn't take much.

(I got my first *quality* soil pH meter recently, and it's like having my eyes opened, when I was stumbling around blind before trying to guess what was needed or relying on cheapo meters that led me to harm my plants as much as they led me to help them.  Too bad there's no affordable, quality meters for macro and micronutrients!)

You could booby trap some random fruit, just making sure that you know which ones they are.  ;)  I mean, a really evil person could literally poison them, but you could always go with something more mild, like a healthy injection of capsaicin oil  ;)

New IR map:

The Kapoho entry point has moved even further south.  On one hand, it's great that the area it's flowing over doesn't have much there.  On the other hand, I don't like how resistant it's being to go straight to the sea, as if it's built up somewhat of a barrier for itself. Kind of worries me that if it builds up too much resistance on the southern front, it might choose to flow into the remaining houses on the north side of Kapoho  :Þ

No change - neither improvement or worsening - in the health of the flow at the northern branch of the first fork. The partial obstruction that first appeared in the last IR image is still visible.

Latest map. Not too much on the map itself...

However, the IR is more interesting.


There seems to be some overflow from the main channel during the first third of its travels. The cause looks to potentially be at the first fork: the northern channel looks to be half closed off. If that continues and that channel dies, it'll be the most alteration in flow patterns since the Kapoho flow began.  Guess we'll know tomorrow. It could still reestablish, but if it gets any more cutoff from how it is now, I'd expect its closure to be a self-perpetuating process.

I also use BT. It's kept them at bay but it washes off after a rain so I'm often having to re-apply.  I also use BT on my banana plants when the worms starting hitting it too.
My vines are less that a year old but growing fast.  Lots of flowers but only one fruit so far, even after hand pollinating.

Agreed. BT is great against caterpillars if you're diligent about reapplication; I used to use it in my garden to control cabbage looper, tomato hornworm and a few other lepidopteran pests.  There are few pesticides in this world that are more selective about what they target than BT. Its only downside is that it has no "staying power", you have to reapply. But then again, that's yet another win for the environment; as far as the environment is concerned, you don't want pesticides that stick around.

Is the lava map wrong, or are the things that look like tidepools and are labeled as tidepools wrong?

Regarless, moot point now with the latest map:

Weird, I should check to see if mine ever caught any!  I've actually heard (although haven't checked into it) that tomatoes are technically carnivorous, in that they do just that - catch certain kinds of insects in their hairs, and then digest them.

(file me under the "most folks" category, I don't like the smell of tamarillo leaves!)

New thermal image out.


Only obvious change is that the Kapoho entry point has moved from the northern end to the southern end - I guess she decided that there's some tidepool areas that she's yet to destroy  :Þ. The rest of the flow looks largely unchanged. Oh, and also they've stopped following F16 / F18, calling them just "small flows"

It wasn't a cyanide driven delusion that made me recommend it and all the requested information didn't come to me in an altered state from eating the fruit

Oh no, wasn't by any means attempting to suggest that!  I asked because I appreciated your review; more to the point, it pushed P. edule from "not worth my time in collecting and curating data" into the category of "not practical for us, but interesting enough to be worth having curated data in the database about it"  ;)

Thanks for all of the extra info, that's superb!  :)

Would you say that a good guestimate on the growth rate is maybe half a meter (1 1/2 feet) per year on average?

The trees owners consume large quantities of flesh without ill effects.

The fact that there's no bitterness is also a good clue that cyanide levels are low (although I'm still curious if they're present at all  :)  ).  Cyanogenic glycosides are often bitter.  With cyanide-containing plants, the more cyanide-rich ones are almost always the more bitter ones.

Soursop, cashews, almonds, ackee and many other fruits have also been accused of being toxic.

Well... let's just say that I wouldn't recommend throwing caution to the wind when it comes to ackee...  ;)  It kills something like a couple dozen people per year. Just just a couple months in Haiti in 2001 36 people died from eating insufficiently ripened ackee.

Lychee is another one that's like that. Perfectly safe when properly ripened, but it kills kids who don't know any better and eat fallen immature fruits.  :(

I'm collecting more info on this species. Do you know any of the following:

 * How fast it typically grows in good conditions?  (Or contrarily, since it's around 8 years to production: how large it usually is when it starts producing). It's apparently fast-growing in its juvenile period?
 * How sure are you about that 8 years?  Useful Tropical Plants says 10-15 years.
 * The flowers are supposedly fragrant. Is it a *good* scent?  And how long are the flowering / fruiting flushes?  Apparently they're 1-4x per year.
 * How long the flowering time, fruit maturation time, or fruiting season is?
 * The breeding system is supposedly "mainly dioecious" but sometimes yielding hermaphrodite flowers on the male inflorescence - do you know how common this is, and how the (quantity? quality?) of the fruit on the males compares to the females?
 * Anything about its desired cultivation environment?
 * Since it's normally grown for its seeds in most places, I presume the seeds take up a good chunk of the fruit? Were the seeds problematic in eating it?
 * Compared to how much space the trees take up, how productive would you say they are? I'm sure you don't have actual yield figures, but is there any other (more common) fruit tree you'd compare its productivity to, on a mass basis (taking into account that it fruits multiple times per year)?

Massive tree. Apparently can get up to 60m and 120cm in diameter, not counting buttresses. Also apparently uses the same trick as coconuts; its seeds float and can be distributed by the waves.

It's surely not a plant for us here ("large" x "long time to fruit" x "fast growing during that time" x "potential risk"), but still interesting enough to collect info about  :)

Those speeds seem reasonable for near the fissure.  That corresponds to a cross section of around 7 square meters.  Remember that when it emerges it's hot and has very low viscosity, so it prefers fast, thin flows.  The further away from the vent you get the cooler the lava, the higher the viscosity, and the more it deepens and spreads out.  Here's a video that has shots of what the flow looks like at the Kapoho entry:

A week ago:

The flow is only 100m³/s. Which is a lot by Hawaiian standards, but not global standards. Fountaining fluctuating, but in general 130-200 feet.

New map. Not much changed, although it's slowly filling in the gap between the Kapoho flow and the northern lobe (which may be due to the reduction in flow channels on the Kapoho flow, as per the IR image, causing some spillover).

It's not really blocked in there - beyond the small gap between the Kapoho flow and the northern lobe, one can expect the flow thickness near the gap to be significantly less than the thickness at the main channel from which the lava is pouring in.

Very interesting. I knew you could ferment the seeds to make them edible, but I'd never heard of pangi that you could just eat fresh without getting sick - let alone that it would be a quality fruit.  I wonder what the results would be if it were sent in for lab testing for cyanogenic glycosides?

New map:

For the first time, there's no new expansion near the ocean entries - only underwater.  There's a couple new expansions closer to the fissure - hopefully they'll stop like the last one did.  No news about fissures 16 and 18, except that they are still erupting.

ED: IR out.


The flow path up to Kapoho appears to continue to lose side channels, and just in general looks less healthy.
Fissures 16 and 18 appear to be in decline once again.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Patinoa almirajo anyone growing it?
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:40:19 PM »
I noticed how hard it was to find info about this plant when gathering data on it.  Here's the various descriptions I found:

"Large fruit, sweet canistel-like pulp. Commercial fruit in the Colombian Chocó."
"The edible fruit is highly esteemed in its native Colombia, but is little known elsewhere".
"Edible qualities varying from custard-like to mealy and with an agreeable sweetness and flavour lying somewhere between banana and apple". A-vítamin rich.
"The pulp is yellow with an acid-sweet flavour. Sapote [Q. cordata] usually fetches higher prices than almirajó " -  Page also however says that the tree is only 2m, which seems to contradict other sources that say normally to 15m, exceptionally to 20m, with a 25cm trunk.
"with pulp is formed by powdery matter, agglutinated by a bittersweet molasses that allows its tasting with spoon"

I found no pollination data, although the flowers at least look bisexual. Found no productivity data. Supposedly likes clay loams with pH 4,5 to 7, with a "normal" level of moisture, and is flood (but not drought) tolerant. Likes  daytime temperatures from 25-27°C, tolerating 19-35°C. Apparently likes some (but not heavy) shade. Ideally 1300-1800mm of rainfall per year. Loves humidity.

Crossreferencing its GBIF sample locations with NASA climate data I get the following averages:

Winter (low/avg/high): 17,8 / 22,6 / 27,4
Annual avg. (low/avg/high): 18,4 / 23,3 / 28,2
Summer (low / avg / high): 18,9 / 23,9 / 28,2
Daily temperature fluctuations (min / avg / max): 9,2 / 9,8 / 10,6
Average cloudcover (min / avg / max): 72% / 78% / 83%
Wet days per month (dry season, avg, wet season): 13 / 19 / 23,7
Sunlight daily average W/m² (min, avg, max): 113 / 131 / 149
Average humidity (note: the humidity data from NASA is sometimes a bit weird and I'm not sure why) (dry, avg, wet): 79%, 82%, 85%
Average windspeed (min, avg, max), m/s: 2,76 / 3,7 / 4,87
Daily precipitation, mm (dry, avg, wet): 6,42 / 10,66 / 15,02
Monsoonal climate rating (my formula): 39% (somewhat, but not heavily, monsoonal)


It's nice having a database  :)  Just wish I had more info on some of these less common species...  Right now I'm digging through research papers for PPFD saturation data (aka, how much sunlight the leaves can *actually* use, rather than just "Some guy on the net says that they like full sun")... unfortunately I didn't find any for Patinoa sp.  So right now all I have to go on with this species is that they prefer some (but not heavy) shade to full sun.  And it's worth noting that they're from a place with pretty heavy average daily cloudcover.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fig trees
« on: June 13, 2018, 06:34:28 PM »
Good video on why Ficus palmata/carica hybrids are the solution for nematode-afflicted soils. And some cultivars like Hava and Digger's Purple Heart are extremely good tasting.

Interesting, I haven't investigated F. carica hybrids.  One thing I have investigated is grafting (I was hoping that it would be possible to graft F. carica onto F. religiosa, to get the aesthetics and significance of the former while actually getting a useful fruit).  But apparently ficus are difficult to graft outside of their specific tribe (and even within their tribe there can be incompatibilities).  If I remember right, the purpose of the studies I was looking at was testing grafts with F. carica on different rootstocks to increase nematode resistance.

They do have a long juvenile period, are a bit touchy and are not vigorous. Maybe the cool Mediterranean climate and controlled conditions will be to their liking but I have a feeling it wont be the booming success some may predict.

What, in your experience, are their ideal conditions?

IR maps out.


Most notable news: fissure 18 has opened back up, although at a very low rate.  So either fissure 8 has started clogging, or there's renewed pressure underground.

The liquid height in the main fissure 8 flow appears to have gone back down. One noticeable difference: one of the branched paths halfway along the flow appears to have died off.  It's not clear when this happened; if this started blocking off a couple days ago then that could have been what raised the lava levels in the flow from fissure 8.  If it's new, however, it could lead to another increase in flow heights.

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