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Messages - Daintree

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Seeds shipped into US
« on: June 20, 2018, 08:52:48 AM »
Yes, you complete the permit process, then they email you the permit and green/yellow labels, which you then can email to the seller (don't email them the whole sheet of stickers - just one!).  Process takes several weeks, and I believe they use e-verify, or some other form of ID and background check.  It is all done online (used to be I had to take a copy of my ID into the local USDA office). If you look at the answer from Dominik, he provided a link to the USDA website. Click on that link, then scroll down to PPQ 587 and click on the "plants for planting" link. Gives you all the info, plus another link to apply for the permit.  Here is a tip (and there are previous strings detailing this also) - when you apply, you HAVE to say what seeds you will be importing, where they are coming from, and what designated ports they will arrive to the US at. I marked all the ports, although my stickers are for the SeaTac Washington location. The USDA folks are awesome there! For countries of origin, I said "various approved countries" and for the type of seeds I stated "eligible taxa".  What that means is that you DO have to do a bit of research and not order anything that is restricted or from an ineligible country (Cuba, for example).
It is a pretty easy permit to get, and it is good for 3 years.  You can have things mailed to you.  You can carry them in your luggage ONLY if you enter the country in Seattle during working hours.  SeaTac is the only entry point where the USDA inspection station is IN the airport...
Have fun!

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Seeds shipped into US
« on: June 19, 2018, 09:04:39 AM »
Both replies are correct - to be legal, you must have a USDA permit, and a copy of the permit must be enclosed in the package, along with a list of the seeds and where they were collected.  Additionally, there is a little green and yellow sticker that goes on the front of the package, and that sends the package to the USDA.  Then they forward it on to you after they make sure there are no "nasty beasties" inside. The permit is free.  When I order seeds, I email a copy of my permit, seed list for them to fill out, and a color copy of the green package label, and ask the seller to fill out the list (sometimes I do it ahead of time, to make sure botanical names are correct and readable, since that can hold up a delivery) enclose the list and permit in the package, and print a COLOR copy of the label and attach it to the package.  The only thing that ever goes wrong is that they don't have access to a color printer... 

On the other hand, it is pretty common to just order seeds and have them shipped over.  I would guess the odds of the package not getting seized is maybe 50-50, or maybe even better.  So I guess it depends on how much the seeds cost and how big the fine is, if there is one, as to whether you want to risk it.


Ok, off topic, just a little, but I LOVE my Cape Gooseberry!  Where did you get the Jaltomata cajacayensis seeds?  Seems I am collecting more and more solanums...

Right now I am growing a "mystery" solanum from Cameroon.  Once it flowers, I am hoping to identify it and not have to wait until it fruits.  In Cameroon, they eat the greens, not the berries.  It is similar to garden huckleberry, but I think it may be something different. Oooh.... aaaah....


Boy, just when I thought I already knew it all, plants surprise me yet again!

I thought this was interesting -
I have two types of tamarillo in my greenhouse, and both emit an odor that smells like creosote, or asphalt.  Not pleasant for most folks, but I kind of like it, in a weird way.
Both my solanum betaceum and my solanum sibundoyense are absolute fungus gnat magnets.  Since the leaves and stems are covered with tiny hairs, the gnats don't seem to be able to escape, so in essence, they are acting like giant sundews, or some other "sticky" carnivorous plant.  They are helping me out, but I wonder if they are getting anything out of the deal - do you suppose they can get nutrition out of the gnats?? I wish they would attract whiteflies also!


I grow various tomatoes in my greenhouse.  In general, all tomatoes are perennials, although I have only ever grown indeterminate ones year-to-year. Supposedly the determinate ones die after the fruit ripens.  Indeterminate varieties DO keep growing also, so keep it pruned down. As far as tiny tomatoes, Isis Candy is really good, and I have also grown Matt's Wild Cherry, which is supposedly THE sweetest cherry tomato.  I have a chocolate cherry tomato going now. When you buy plants or seeds, just check to see if they are indeterminate.  Same holds true for the larger tomatoes.  Anything that tastes good and says "indeterminate" on the tag will give you years of gardening pleasure.  They will fruit less and less as the years go on, and although I once had a 6 year tomato plant, it didn't give many tomatoes by that time, so it went to the compost pile (which then sprouted about a hundred volunteer plants!).


Tropical Fruit Discussion / My Njangsa is finally up!
« on: June 16, 2018, 10:40:08 PM »
Yay! My Njangsa (Ricinodendron heudelotii) is up! Two out of the six seeds have sprouted. Two rotted, one I accidentally broke the root off of when transplanting and it died  :'( , and I am still hoping the last one sprouts.  In the wild it is a very large tree, so we will see how it takes to container culture...

Here is a picture! Anyone else growing this?


I am zone 6 here. My fig trees are in the greenhouse year-round, but I have a friend here who has a date palm in his front yard.  He makes a tall fence of chicken wire around it, fills the entire thing with leaves, wraps Christmas lights around the fence, then covers the whole thing with a large floating row cover.  Lots of work, but his palm does make it through the winter, and it hasn't burst into flames - yet.  Use the small lights, but not the LED ones, since I don't think they actually generate any heat. I would think the same thing would work with figs.  Just wait until they are dormant.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Happy Eid!
« on: June 15, 2018, 10:00:02 PM »
Happy Eid!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: capers won't set fruit
« on: June 10, 2018, 02:46:42 PM »
Thanks Karen! I think the ones I have been seeing are bisexual, since they have what looks like a very long pistil in the center of the flower. Unless looks are deceiving...


Zafra, those are great links! That is pretty much what I do for my coffee.  The only thing is that I get the grandkids to help me pop the seeds out of the fruits.  They LOVE to do that, and will sometimes see how far they can "shoot" the seeds.  Makes a mess, but we can get through a big batch that way.

I love the coffee cherries, and eat them frequently when I am out in the greenhouse puttering around.  To me, they taste like slightly sweet celery. I tend to eat them seed and all, since the seeds are softer before drying.  Yummy!  They do have caffeine in them, but don't know how it compares to roasted beans. Mine are Kona arabica beans. Never tried any others.

Wow!  This place is now on my bucket list!!!!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / capers won't set fruit
« on: June 10, 2018, 11:49:54 AM »
Does anyone have experience with caper bushes?  I only have one in my greenhouse.  It is flowering profusely but won't set fruit.  I go out in the morning and try to help things along by hand, but still no fruit set.
Any ideas?



I think it also depends on your natural cloud cover.  In the tropics, "full sun" includes a lot of clouds, which helps keep the soil cooler than here in SW Idaho, where we are high desert, and may not see a cloud for three months.  Tropicals in full sun here are scorched to a crisp in a week, poor things!  :'( I quit hauling my plants in and out of the greenhouse in the summer because it just took too long for them to adapt to the pounding rays of the sun, then to adapt to the more shaded greenhouse in the fall. Plus, they picked up "hitchhikers" that I don't want in my greenhouse.  They stay in the greenhouse all year long now, and are much happier.  :D

Incidentally, I spent the entire last year picking and processing my coffee, only to discover that my roasting skills are HORRIBLE.  I burnt a lot of coffee, under-roasted some and had to roast it again, and finally decided it wasn't worth the effort.  But in case of a zombie apocalypse, I will make a fortune selling the only fresh coffee in Idaho!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this REALLY gynura procumbens?
« on: June 05, 2018, 09:14:28 AM »
Yay!  Thanks guys!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Be mindful
« on: June 04, 2018, 10:35:47 PM »
Like my dad always said when I wanted to pick up a colorful snake -
Red against black, friend of Jack.
Red against yellow, kills a fellow.

Hopefully the cute, dangerous little guy is keeping you pest-free!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Plant ID please...
« on: June 04, 2018, 09:03:06 PM »
Looks like limoncito to me...  Try googling Triphasia trifolia. I think you can make jam out of them.


I pick mina according to plumpness, not length.  If you just keep an eye on them, when they quit getting fatter, they are ready.  Once you get the hang of it, you can spot them more easily. For example, I would say the one in the picture is not ready, but is getting close.
But others might have a better way to doing it.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Is this REALLY gynura procumbens?
« on: June 04, 2018, 03:39:02 PM »
This plant was given to me as 'longevity spinach', gynura procumbens.
But, depending on the website I look at for these names, I get different plants.
This is not a vine.  It is sprawling, and weakly climbing if propped up.
The older stems are thick and tough, but I wouldn't quite call them 'woody', and purple with green spots.
The younger stems are five-sided, green and succulent.
The young leaves are serrated, but as the get older and larger they look more undulate.

I want to make sure of what it is before I start eating it...


older stem at base of plant

older stem

younger stem and leaf

young leaf

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Piper methysticum cutting
« on: June 02, 2018, 08:39:33 AM »
Awasyd, I am in Boise too! 
I have a few cuttings from fruitlover that I got literally days before the volcano went off.  If they get going (two look promising) I will give you some cuttings once they mature.


PM me if you want to come see my greenhouse!

Wow. Impressive video.  Mama Earth is truly a living, breathing creature.
Just wish she weren't breathing on houses right now...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Wax Jambu anyone?
« on: May 28, 2018, 04:17:05 PM »
I have a rose apple, and now I want a wax jambu, too!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Good fruiting indoor plants
« on: May 26, 2018, 11:40:13 PM »
You could try some citrus.  They can be pruned to stay small, and several folks on the Forum have had good luck with them indoors.  I did have a banana bloom indoors once. My sister has a small fig tree that she keeps in the house over the winter, and it does pretty well, but doesn't fruit until she moves it outdoors in the spring.  You could probably do tomatoes also, although you may need supplemental light for any of those.  T5 or T8 shop lights with cool white bulbs work well.

Good luck!


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Bad experience with FHC
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:58:32 PM »
I order from them fairly frequently, and just received my latest order from Wirsiy at Forest House Cameroon two weeks ago.
I find them very good to deal with.  I have a USDA permit, so my seeds never get confiscated.

As for sprouting en route, yes, I have had that happen on several occasions, but that is certainly nothing that FHC can control.  Recalcitrant seeds are traveling half way round the world through a sometimes very "iffy" African postal system. I just throw those puppies in the dirt and jump back! I always order way more seeds than I need in case of low germination, then usually wind up with a dozen weird African trees that nobody in Idaho wants. :(

I do know that they personally sprout seeds from each batch to make sure they are good.
Recently they processed a special order for me, which took months.  They had to find growers for the vegetable plants I wanted, pay them to let the plants go to seed then harvest the seeds, travel to pick up the seeds, process them and ship them. Wirsiy planted his batch of seeds about two weeks before I did, and immediately notified me when he noticed that his germination rate was fairly low.  These were plants that the locals only grow from cuttings, and they had no experience growing them from seed, but my permit doesn't allow cuttings  :'(. I told him I was willing to take the risk. It isn't like buying from the local garden shop. And that was all for less than the price of two movie tickets and popcorn!  Can't beat that.

Plus, these folks are doing tremendous good by training young people to use their forests in a sustainable manner to help support their families, in an area where the logistics of getting these seeds sent out is affected by civil unrest, government shutdowns, power outages and wet season weather.

So I would say give them more chances, and remember that not everything to do with the shipment is under their control.


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Indoor Citrus planter
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:50:47 PM »
Dude, you need a greenhouse  ;D
Seriously, though, I had my citrus inside for a while, and even in a window with grow lights, they grew really slow and didn't flower. So you can probably put a bunch (like, 4) of them in there, and they will grow slowly, then move them into your greenhouse  ;) when you get it built!

I use Kellogg Organic Raised Bed and Potting Mix that I get from Home Depot.  It is about $10 for 3 cubic feet, so you would need several.  But it saves your back from mixing potting soil. The pH of the Kellogg stuff is around 6 - 6.5. Fairly lightweight and nutritious, too.

I doubt either rocks OR bark would work for drainage, since the soil will just fill in between it anyway.  While you are building it, make a little peephole on the side, right down near the bottom, so you can stick your finger in and make sure it isn't too wet at the bottom.

Also, I would put the banana in a separate pot, since it will get taller faster than the trees. Put the citrus together, since they will have similar nutritional needs, and put the pomegranate in its own pot also.

I'm sure other folks will have good ideas also - if you have 5 people, you will get 10 opinions!

Have fun!

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