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Topics - Tang Tonic

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His posts were most entertaining and he seemed to have a lot of knowledge.  I messaged him awhile back about the elusive Soursop but no reply. 

Just curious if anyone knows him and why he doesn't post here anymore.  Also would love some seeds from the fiberless seedless Soursop he talked about!

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Suggestions on how to use comfrey
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:21:22 PM »
I have a few potted comfrey plants that are quite happy.  I've read about various ways to use comfrey but not sure what is the most effective.

Looking for any suggestions on how to use comfrey effectively.

I also have tons of stinging nettle on my property.  So my thought was to fill a 55 gallon barrel with drain spout on bottom.  I would fill the barrel with water and place comfrey, stinging nettle, sargasso, seaweed, etc and allow to sit for awhile.  Then drain the liquid from the drain spout and apply via watering can.  Or I could strain what comes out of the drain and add that to totes which I use for gravity drip irrigation during the dry season.  A bit labor intensive but sounds like a good idea right?

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Chipper recommendations
« on: May 22, 2018, 05:07:34 PM »
I am looking to chip small diameter trees and leaves for mulching purposes.  Since I live on island and would need to ship one in.  I don't want to break the bank on this either and would like to keep it under $1000 and if I could find one under $500 that would be even better.    But I've learned my lesson with cheap tools. 

Any recommendations on chippers that can handle say 1" diameter freshly cut brush?  I'm open to electric or gas.

Thanks!

4
So I have a couple Genip trees that I chainsawed down to stumps and I am planning on planting a grafted Butler Avocado close by where the stumps are.  I have tons of Genips on my property so I have been eliminating some of them to have more diversity.

The Genips would grow back if I let them because they shoot up new growth at the stumps all the time.

If I leave the stumps, would they cause problems for the Avocado?  It seems like they could actually be beneficial by pulling up deeper moisture with their intact root systems.    But then again, perhaps they would cause unnecessary competition for moisture and nutrients.

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks


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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Vetiver grass
« on: April 16, 2018, 04:48:31 PM »
I know this is not a tropical fruit, but I just learned about how this grass can really be an asset to a permaculture or food forest type of setup. 

I'd like to order a few plugs but can't seem to locate them anywhere.  Puerto Rico has a farm but they were hit hard and only recently starting to recover so they are not accepting orders at this time. 

Does anyone have any Florida sources?  Or perhaps would a forum member be willing to sell me a few plugs?

Thanks

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / We are alive but battered on St. croix
« on: October 13, 2017, 02:38:49 PM »
Greetings everyone,

As you all know the Caribbean was hit hard this year.  First our sister islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and British Virgin Islands took a serious beating from Hurricane Irma.  St. Croix was the hub for relief efforts to those islands and many of us donated our hurricane supplies to them.  We had just come down from the stress of barely being missed by Irma when Maria showed up on the horizon.  Everyone hunkered down and while the entire island was spared a direct hit, the west end suffered extreme damage as the northern eyewall scraped by. 

My property is on the north side of the island and I estimate about 15 miles from the eyewall.  Needless to say, the island got severely damaged and my property was thoroughly shredded.  Luckily much of my plantings are juvenile so not a complete loss as I could stand them back up.  But my beautiful genip forest was hit hard and several large lignum vitae trees on my property were uprooted and never to be seen again.

I was in the process of building a house and all my concrete forms and rebar got blown down along with the electrical conduit I had worked hard putting in place.  It's going to be a long road to recovery.  6 months before I expect to see electricity again.  We are grateful though for health and life!  We are also better off than Puerto Rico because most houses have cisterns and generators.  I also run the reverse osmosis water plant for the public drinking water supply and we had our system back up 48 hours after the storm so both St. Thomas and St. Croix residents have access to potable water which is something PR is struggling with.

If anyone has extra seeds they would be willing to send my way I would be very very grateful.  This severe pruning event gives me an opportunity to replace some of the surrounding forest with more fruit trees.  Any seeds, scions, or small plants are very welcomed.  I would be willing to pay the shipping via paypal but can't afford a lot right now as much money is needed to redo what was lost on my construction project.

You probably don't hear much about the Virgin Islands in mainstream media but our territory was hit with two CAT 5 storms while PR was hit with one CAT 4.  So its bad here.  There are 300+ year old Mahogany trees uprooted which says a lot about the strength of the storm.  Hugo decimated the island in '89 as a CAT 4 and those trees survived that storm.  So Maria was significantly more powerful.  I could write so much more about the before during and aftermath of the storm.  It's been a whirlwind of emotions and the ups and downs fluctuate daily.  But the community is strong!  And me and my family are survivors!  We harvested fallen coconuts, I've been spearfishing which is a passion of mine so we have plenty of fresh fish, and we are good friend with some folks here that teach survival skills classes so we know what and where to forage wild greens to add into our staples for vitamins and taste.  Its like long term camping!

7
Hi everyone,

Well one of my Avocados got attacked by a deer.  I took the fencing down protecting it figuring it was mature enough to survive on its own now.  But alas, the deer have been scratching their antlers on the trunk right above the graft and now all the leaves are wilted.  Not sure if its going to make a comeback which is a bummer because it was a rare variety from Puerto Rico and thus far has been thriving.

So can anyone give me some recommendations of good varieties that do well in the Caribbean and the tropics.  My location gets about 65-85 in of rain annually and I also have them on drip irrigation.  Good fertile soil.  About 100' elevation but due to proximity to a low lying area that collects water, we do get some pretty cool nights in the winter and various times throughout the year.  Thanks for the help  8)

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / My little slice of paradise
« on: July 21, 2017, 01:51:07 PM »
Purchased a one acre property on St. Croix about 2.5 years ago.  Started with clearing by hand with machete and chainsaw. 

This is what it looked like in March 2015:


We have come along way with just my wife, six year old son and myself doing all of the work.  Now in the process of building a house.

Here is a video I made this morning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i_F2zogAJI



9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Are yellow Grumichama polyembryonic?
« on: July 20, 2017, 02:44:21 PM »
I have a yellow grumichama sprout growing and it appears to have two stems but they join together at the base.  Are these polyembryonic or do I have a sprout that already has two stems?

In any case, what should I do?  Let them both grow or cull one?  They are at about equal height.

Thanks!

10
After learning about this forum, I have done lots of reading on here.  After doing keyword searches, I recently started on the last page of this forum and am slowly working my way to the beginning.  Not reading every thread, only the ones that pique my interest. 

There is so much great information in this forum and so many great members!

Has there ever been a forum meet and greet?  Would there be any interest?  Something like a seed and scion exchange and an opportunity for forum members a chance to meet and arrange trips to come visit each other's fruit paradise. 

I know there are a lot of FL members on here and you all probably know each other already.  I am originally from Lake Worth but have been in the Virgin Islands for over a decade (with a brief respite when I spent a wonderful year in Kauai).  But I would definitely make a trip somewhere for something like this!

Just throwing it out there to see if there's much interest.


11
So down here in the Caribbean we are in the midst of our yearly fruit bonanza.  All kinds of awesome fresh fruit available.

I would like to add some fruits to my collection that would be available during the winter time.  I believe starfruit is one that will sometimes be around in winter. 

What are some other types fruits that produce in the tropical "winter" season?


12
Hi everyone,

So I started planting up my property here on St. Croix a couple years ago.  Started with raw land and carved out areas by hand with machete and chainsaw.  We started with grafted mangos and avos, guavaberry, carambola, tangerine, and lots of dwarf coconuts and along several other species available here on island.

Lately I have really gotten into buying seeds from forum members here and also a recently placed order with Fruit Lovers.  So now I have several Pitanga seedlings, Sabara, the Boca Snob Jack fruit, Miguel's 'Neylita' Jabo, Mangosteen, Blue Jabo etc etc etc.  Its such a rewarding feeling seeing those seedlings pop up through the dirt!  I know I will have to wait 10 years or more on some of these but that's ok I'm still in my early 30's  8).

Fighting the urge to buy more more seeds ;D  I have a dream of one day having this great variety of fruit trees with lots of rarities that no one on St. Croix has- much less even heard of.  I am also germinating more seeds of each species than I will be able to plant so hopefully can recoup some seed costs in a few years as they mature.

Until then, does anyone have any tips on how to maintain my growing collection?  I am starting them all on a covered lanai with a few hours western sun exposure before it sets in the evening.  I am having good success with germination.   As the seedlings grow and mature, I re-pot them into bigger pots and move them outside to my "nursery".  The nursery is a table under some large Moringa trees which provide dappled sunlight and also drop their blossoms into the pots which seems like it could be beneficial.  I have a worm inn and put the vermicompost on top every couple weeks.  Besides re-potting when it seems they need it, providing adequate water, and topping off with vermicompost, is there anything else I can do to ensure vigor and health? 

As my collection grows, I will start segregating like species together since they will start to have different needs.  I sort of fantasize about the idea of having a small rare fruit nursery one day and be able to offer these hard to come by species to other residents of St. Croix.  Any tips on how to do this are much appreciated!

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Anyone heard of Don Ramon Avocado?
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:22:53 AM »
Hi everyone,

I ordered a grafted Avocado from Puerto Rico with the name Don Ramon.  I ordered it from a place called Proganics.  I can;t seem to find much info on the interwebs, hoping you experts can help me out here and tell me a little more about the variety.  Here is the link to anther one for sale:

www.ebay.com/itm/GRAFTED-Organic-Avocado-Aguacate-plant-by-Prorganics-/152473647479?hash=item2380233977:g:5OkAAOSwNSxVLaka]

What other varieties would do well here in St. Croix?  I also have Russell and Semil 34.

Thank you!

14
Hello everyone,

I am a coconut aficionado.  I have many colors and varieties.  Someone from Hawaii sent me a "Samoan" but its looking more like a tall as it grows so I am thinking it got cross pollinated with a tall and will not be a true Somoan dwarf.

If anyone has any or knows where I can obtain a Samoan aka Fiji dwarf coconut, I would be much obliged.

I am also looking for a brown dwarf.  This would complete my collection (except for a macapuno).

Thanks

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Black Ironwood
« on: May 31, 2017, 04:50:56 PM »
Greetings everyone,

Have really been enjoying this forum here.  So much information to digest.

I live on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  About two years ago I purchased an 1.5 acre of property at about 100' elevation with very fertile soil.  The raw land was mostly a Genip forest with a nice gut on it.  Guts here are stream beds that flow when it rains heavy. 

My wife an I spent the first year clearing by hand with chainsaw and machete.  Not easy work in the tropics where its hot, lots of difficult vines and thorns to deal with-  don't forget the Jack Spaniard nests you will inevitably slash with the machete and then get swarmed and stung multiple times.  But by clearing by hand we were able to preserve some of the forest and also some really nice trees that were scattered among the genip and tan tan. 

Lignum Vitae is one type of tree that we have in various stages of maturity.  Biggest one is about 12' x 8'.  Lots of slightly smaller ones and tons of babies popping up everywhere.  There are some beautiful mature ones close by so I think the deer eat the seeds and then leave them on our property with their redneck fertilizer (thanks for that lesson on a different thread coconut).

So to finally get to the point of my  thread, there was another type of tree that I had a hell of a time identifying.  Beautiful glossy green leaves that never fade or fall off even in the driest of times, fissured trunk, and this time of year produces a small purple berry that is amazingly good!  I searhced and asked and searched some more but had no luck with a break through trying to identify the tree type.

A friend of mine who runs a survival skills class in the rainforest mentioned that he heard it called ironwood.  With this bit of info, I went back to the interwebs and found a reference to Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum) and had a epiphany!  That's the tree! Densest wood in the USA (I guess Lignum Vitae doesn't count since its not considered native to FL).    Looks like this Black Ironwood does grow in FL so I'm sure someone on here knows about it.

I know this isn't your typical fruit tree people talk about here on the forum.  But the berry it produces is that good!  I picked a bunch and am making some different creations with them.  If you have ever heard of Guavaberry and Guavabery rum, then you know us folks in the Caribbean like berries we can make intoxicating beverages from.  That's one thing I will try with these.

I am also going to see ho difficult they are to sprout.  If anyone is interested in seeds let me know.  If not for the berries, the tree is really an exquisite specimen when mature. 

http://www.regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Krugferr
















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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Help with ID'ing bananas
« on: May 31, 2017, 04:27:26 PM »
Hi everyone,

Checking in from St. Croix Virgin Islands.  I have a banana tree here that I was told is a Bacuba.  I am not 100% sure it is and also having a hard time finding many references to Bacuba on the interwebs.  Attached are a couple pics.  It really is a great variety.  Produces fruit when its about 12' tall.  Good resistance to drought. And the racks it produces...let me tell you are a sight to behold.  60 pund rack is pretty normal and the banans are on average 1.5 -2" in diameter.  Somewhat firm but no fibers and very sweet. 

Any thoughts?

I also have another type that I have no idea what it is.  I'm thinking Burro Banana?  It doesn't start fruiting until about 15' tall.  Produces big racks and the fruits do get sweet but not overly sweet.  They are very firm.  We have never cooked them green but I'm thinking it could be a good type for this.  I attached a couple pics of that one as well.

Bacuba?

Bacuba?

Bacuba?



Burro?

Burro?

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