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Tropical Fruit Discussion / lemon zest mango? maybe?
« on: May 06, 2016, 10:29:19 PM »
i just had a mango from whole foods that i think may have been a lemon zest  it was light yellow with an undertint of green.  black freckles like coarse ground black pepper.  plump sigmoid in shape, perhaps twelve ounces
the first taste tone was a pronounced "lemon."  not the lemon of a fresh lemon, but the lemon of a lemon flavored hard candy.  sweet and pleasant flesh, almost totally fiber-free except right next the the seed.
there was a label with the words:

followed by the number:

a very nice mango.  sorry, no pic, i ate it.

does this sound like a haitian - raised lemon zest?

i just found the answer.  i googled mango francique haiti  and found that francique is a variety unique to haiti.  it's a very good (not quite great) mango, worth the two bucks each that they cost.  the article i read said that whole foods usually only had them for a short time each year.  they're there now if you want to try one.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / pineapple propagation
« on: May 04, 2016, 12:36:16 PM »
i'm trying a trick on one of the white jades i got from adam a year and a half ago.

 i have heard it is possible to trigger a blossom by laying a plant on its side for a week or so.
a while back, i had a potted pineapple plant (kona sugarloaf) fall over on its side and get neglected for a couple months.   in this case, it did not bring on a blossom, but rather a frenzy of offsets.  the mother plant put out fourteen suckers, many of which have now fruited.

today, i picked out one of the potted flying fox white jades and laid it over on its side.  it's pretty well grown, maybe a little small for fruiting size.  i'm just going to leave it on its side for a while and see what happens.  perhaps, it will trigger a blossom.  perhaps it will trigger a reproductive frenzy.  either one of those i'd like.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / winter papaya
« on: March 07, 2016, 11:56:50 AM »
i just had a papaya for lunch.  it was from my "solo" tree in my greenhouse here in the florida panhandle.  it had quite a pleasant flavor, but it wasn't as sweet as some i remember.  i suspect that having ripened through the winter lowered its sugar content. 
has anyone else experienced this; not just with papayas, but other fruits ripening in cooler months, with less direct sunlight?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / first avocado flower bud
« on: December 22, 2015, 11:53:45 AM »
my "poncho" tree has buds.  a couple clusters of little fuzzy green bb's.  lots of other buds, but they haven't opened their sheaths. 

Recipes / banana catsup
« on: November 28, 2015, 12:47:48 PM »
catsup? chutney? dipping sauce? salsa?  what's in a name?

a well grown stalk of bananas presents its grower with a high quality problem - what do you do with a large quantity (20 -80 lbs) that ripens pretty much all at once? 

how to preserve the bounty so that it can be enjoyed throughout the coming months? 

here is a recipe for banana catsup.  this calls for five pounds of bananas - peeled and sliced.  green or ripe fruit will work, and the spicing is variable dependent on individual taste.  this recipe makes a savory product reminiscent of mincemeat with an underlying heat.  it's really easy and can be used for other fruits with a little adjustment

5 lb peeled sliced bananas
two large onions, peeled and quartered
one bulb garlic separated and peeled
a dozen assorted hot/warm peppers cored
two heaping teaspoons ground turmeric
two heaping teaspoons ground allspice
two heaping teaspoons ground ginger
two heaping teaspoons west indian style curry powder
one heaping teaspoon ground cloves
four cups distilled white vinegar
three cups sugar
one pound raisins

puree the onions, garlic, and peppers in a blender, and then combine all ingredients in a large heavy walled kettle  and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom, until the bananas break down into a gravy-like consistency.  i like mine with a few lumps left for texture.

spoon into wide mouth pint mason jars and steam process for a half hour.  this recipe will fill nine pints

Tropical Fruit Discussion / green banana pancakes
« on: November 10, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
tired of waiting for your nanners to ripen?  eat them green

two cups sliced green bananas
two eggs
honey or other sweetener to taste
your favorite spices (cinnamon? nutmeg? other?)

put it all in a blender and mix until smooth

you can adjust the consistency with a little milk.  you may need a little trial and error here to find what's right for you.  i like mine thin.

cook like pancakes on an oiled griddle

garnish with powdered sugar, fresh fruit, whipped cream, whatever


Recipes / midnight guava breakfast
« on: October 29, 2015, 12:02:33 AM »
i just invented a cool treat.  midnight guava breakfast

2  eight inch diameter common pancakes (recipe on the bisquick box)

cream cheese sauce

1/2 pack of creamcheese, 1/4 stick of butter.  nuke it a minute in a coffee cup, stir 'till smooth

guava marmalade (latino grocery) or ho-made

put first pancake on a plate, and while the second pancake is cooking, spread half of the cream cheese sauce and a couple tablespoons of marmalade.  when second pancake is done, put it on top and repeat'

to die for!  i wonder if a layer of bacon in the middle would help?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / home made foliar feed mix for pineapples
« on: September 22, 2015, 01:32:31 PM »
i make my own foliar feed mix, and have had great results.  i've been running low, partly from using it, but mostly from giving it away to friends a little at a time.  i just made up a new batch.  here's the recipe:

four cups saltpeter (greenhouse grade potassium nitrate) from the feedstore
half a cup epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) from wallgreens
two tablespoons trisodium phosphate (mildew retardent) from the paint store
two tablespoons iron supplement (iron sulfate granules) from lowes
two tablespoons minor nutrient and trace element supplement from the feedstore

i run all this through a kitchen flour sifter, and any granules that don't pass i grind in a mortar and pestle until they do.  this gets mixed well and put up in jars.  a teaspoon of this mix in a two liter soda jug full of water gives me a good mild concentration for a spray bottle.  i like lighter applications more often.  a light misting of this mix every week or two on my pineapples, and they grow like gangbusters.  they really seem to like the potassium and nitrogen.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / malabar chestnut pachira aquatica
« on: September 02, 2015, 02:55:39 PM »
does anyone have experience with malabar chestnut?  the source i saw said it would tolerate some frost and brief freezes.  looks like a good candidate for a food forest.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / squirrel chaser squad reinforcements arrive
« on: August 18, 2015, 12:47:10 AM »

Tropical Fruit Discussion / naranjilla
« on: July 29, 2015, 02:31:25 PM »
i picked up a naranjilla plant as a novelty a couple years ago.  i just had my first taste.  i'm underwhelmed.  it's o.k., but nothing to get exciited about.  maybe as the plant matures, it will get better.  first fruit is often dissappointing, but for now, meh.
very much the eye-catcher, but fruit-wise, not so much

Tropical Fruit Discussion / california drought relief on the way?
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:36:27 PM »

el nino forecast

this may fill the reservoirs and aquifers to overflowing!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / video: great way to cut a mango!
« on: June 23, 2015, 10:04:41 PM »

this street vendor is an artist!

i'm looking for a couple small plants.  rooted cuttings, air layers, whatever.

any reasonable price, or even mildly unreasonable.



Tropical Fruit Discussion / mexicola with strange fruit
« on: April 11, 2015, 02:33:56 PM »

ms cardinal sitting three eggs

Tropical Fruit Discussion / succession blooming mangoes?
« on: March 24, 2015, 02:00:55 PM »
is it normal for mangoes to continue blooming for two or three months on one tree?  perhaps this is the result of greenhouse culture, but my mallika, cac, and lancetilla mangoes are exhibiting behavior i can only describe as "succession blooming."  in particular, my mallika opened its first blooms in the middle of february, and has been in bloom on one panicle or other (often many at once) ever since.  not only that, it continues to push blossom buds.
typically, a panicle will begin as a bud, and open individual flowers two or two and a half weeks later.  it will be in bloom for two or three weeks, and set a few (sometimes more than a few) tiny fruit.  maybe five weeks for the whole cycle for one panicle. 
some of my earliest blossoms have set fruit, but on the next branch, very early blossom buds are emerging.  if this pattern holds, i may have trees in bloom for three months (or more - this isn't giving any signs of stopping).  if this extended blooming translates into an extended ripening schedule, i will be delighted.
i have noticed that the first blooming panicles are usually terminal, and all blossom, while the subsequent blossom flushes seem more likely to be lateral, and  combined  blossom buds and leaf bearing.

a three month (more?) bearing season? this looks like a high quality problem.  at worst, i will have to thin out the fruits to prevent the trees from becoming exhausted.  i expect the trees will do a lot of the culling by themselves. 

has anyone else encountered this pattern?  is it common?  this is not a complaint, i'm just puzzled.

lancetilla flushing leaves with small panicles emerging from leaf nodes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / "treated with irradiation?"
« on: February 28, 2015, 12:19:18 PM »
i recently purchased some mexican cream guavas at an ethnic produce market.  their label tells me they were "treated with irradiation."  i was thinking of starting a couple dozen seeds and wondered if the irradiation will affect the seed viability. 
it is my understanding that irradiation is an anti-fruit fly measure.  does anyone have any knowledge of the levels of radiation involved?  if the radiation level is high enough to kill fruit flies, is that high enough to kill plant germ material in the seeds?  will the radiation increase the chance of mutation (frankenguava?)?
more questions than answers!
i guess the first thing is to plant the seeds and see if they germinate.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / avocado blossoms
« on: January 18, 2015, 10:44:51 PM »
spotted my first open avocado blossoms today.  mexicola.  only three or four so far, but the tree is full of buds.  buds in various stages on joey, brazos belle, poncho and wurtz dwarf but only mexicola's are open..

Tropical Fruit Discussion / avocados pushing buds
« on: December 27, 2014, 02:46:53 PM »
joey, mexicola, brazos belle getting ready to bloom in january.  wurtz dwarf, winter mexican,poncho, fantastic?  not so much, maybe later.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / papaya gender bender
« on: November 15, 2014, 02:46:35 PM »
female papaya plants bear fruit, but this one doesn't look female.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / punta gorda sugarloaf?
« on: October 30, 2014, 10:35:17 PM »
i think i have two varieties of sugarloaf pineapples.  one, was sold to me as a "kona sugarloaf" by just fruits and exotics of medart, fl.  the other, i bought from a backyard nurseryman who said he collected it on a creekbank in punta gorda, where there used to be a commercial pineapple producer that "went out of business years ago." 
i had thought they were the same variety until lately, when i noticed (painfully) that the punta gorda plant has more developed thorns on the leaf margins than does the "kona."

i did a little research on punta gorda pineapples and found that charlotte county was known as a pineapple capital in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
i will be interested to see if there are any differences between the two other than the thorniness.  i repotted the "kona" last spring, and it had a lot of pups or "ratoons," but i have only the one "punta gorda" survivor.  it seems healthy and is (i think) large enough to bear fruit this coming year.  with luck, and a few slips or crown offsets, i can expand my supply of this scion of florida history.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / naranjilla?
« on: October 25, 2014, 05:39:50 PM »
anybody have any experience with naranjilla?

i picked one up lately, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  year round vitamin c source, perennial, besides it was cheap.  what's not to like?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / home made foliar feed mix
« on: October 03, 2014, 02:34:59 PM »
i've been using foliar feeding the last few months and things are growing well.  i haven't used any scientific comparison with control groups, etc, but i'm pleased with the results. 

my foliar feed mix is

one tablespoon hi-yield stump remover (95-99% potassium nitrate - saltpetre)
one teaspoon epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
one teaspoon triple superphosphate (hi-yield)

dissolved in two liters of water.  i use a two liter soda jug.  i run it through a coffee filter to remove any grit to protect the sprayer.

i've been using this on pretty much everything in the greenhouse on a weekly basis through the summer and early fall, in addition to monthly light applications of 8-8-8 and trace elements to the soil.  everything looks lush and healthy.  when temps start to cool down, i expect to cut back.  dilute by half and drop back to bi-weekly.

here's the msds on the stump remover:

edit to add:  a drop or two of dawn dish soap to two liters of mix helps the spray stay on the leaves long enough to get absorbed. 

i'm going on a camping trip in new mexico soon, and may be coming back to north florida through central texas.  i may be near enough to devine to go for a look-see and maybe pick up a tree or two. 
devine avocados has only a minimal web presence, no website or published email contact info.  does anybody have any experience dealing with this outfit? 


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