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Messages - Tang Tonic

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How long does it take for these to germinate?  I have had them in soil for about three weeks now and have not seen any signs of germination.  One of the seeds looked like it was germinating before I planted it but have not seen anything come above the soil.

I hope I haven't been over watering them.  I have them under some tree canopy and a shade cloth above them so they don;t get any direct sun but still see filtered light.   I mist the soil surface with a garden sprayer every morning.  Fingers crossed!

Hi Miguel!

My Neilita seed I got from you last year is doing well and just under 1' tall.

If you still have some available, I would like to order a few more.  Please let me know!

Maybe he is lurking out there in the interwebz. 

From his profile:

Date Registered:
    April 18, 2012, 09:09:42 AM
Local Time:
    May 31, 2018, 09:35:30 AM
Last Active:
    May 27, 2018, 07:39:43 AM

I would love to meet Coconut.  He sounds like a character for sure and his posts were one of a kind!

Seems like he was/is pretty well connected and one of those people well versed in many aspects of life.  Has anyone ever met him before?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Suggestions on how to use comfrey
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:32:42 AM »
Great information everyone.

Comfrey is awesome stuff.  I have used it to heal a few injuries.  Now lets see what it can do for my trees!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chipper recommendations
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:30:26 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.  Looks like I need to spend the money on a good one.  Appreciate the input.

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!

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?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chipper recommendations
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:15:06 PM »
We are also having a large influx of Sargasso seaweed so I plan to do some collecting on the beach and also apply as mulch. 

I found in the past that its not even necessary to rinse, just put right down and when it rains those trace nutirents from the ocean filter into the root zone.

But!  A chipper sounds like fun and a good tool to add to the arsenal.  I bought a Honda mulching mower just to harvest the grass clippings. Now we added a composting toilet onto our property too and its the bucket to barrel type so also generating mulch/compost that way as well.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Chipper recommendations
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:11:34 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone!  Looks like I will have to expand my budget a bit.  There is someone on St. John selling a Generac chipper but that's a different island 40 miles away so might as well be a continent away!

Salty Cayman, we do have the Australian Pines here.  I was not aware of the pine needles making good mulch.  That is very good to know, thanks!

I didn't see a link to anything there savemejebus lol.  Can you post it again? 

I have a lot of Leucaena leucocephala also known locally as Tan Tan and manjack on neighboring property.  Its a property i hope to buy in the near future to expand my orchard.  I figured I could start getting rid of the bush and chipping it for mulch. 

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.


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.


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?


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Luc's / Mexican Garcinia .
« on: April 12, 2018, 04:34:29 PM »
Hi Luc,

Have all the seeds been spoken for?  I sent you an email about 6 months ago and you said check back in May. I didn't realize I could have reserved some seeds at that time.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Flying Fox Fruits Nursery
« on: November 08, 2017, 10:29:54 AM »
Damn that  youtube video is classic!!! 

Adam you must grow other things than just fruit trees!!! 

Hey kudos to you if you can make a good living doing your own thing.  Would love to be self employed myself. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: We are alive but battered on St. croix
« on: October 16, 2017, 10:38:23 AM »
pineislander hit the nail on the head.  After the storm the lush tropical landscape looks like the dead of winter in the northeast, completely barren coupled with massive trees uprooted or snapped in half.  The grass is completely unaffected so when you see aerial footage from after the storm you see the barren landscape interspersed with these bright green patches of grass.

We have tons of beautiful and giant mahogany trees on St. Croix as pineislander pointed out.  Overall they are very strong and hold up to storms very well.  However they are no match for a Cat 5 and several large ones were completely uprooted.  I'm talking about 300-400 old tress that have seen countless storms.  I bet trees like this would live even longer but its probably big storms like Maria that cut their life short.    I saw one that was not only uprooted but some how lifted and flipped over so the roots were pointing straight up, crazy! 

I was really bummed my Lingum Vitaes did not make it because they grow so slow.  Pretty much the strongest wood in the world so I was really surprised to see what happened to the ones on my property.  Its like a hand from the sky came down and grabbed them and tossed them somewhere else.  No hole in the ground where they were or anything.  On the other hand, my friend on St. Thomas says he has a couple on his old Danish Plantation property with 2' diameter trunk that he says probably saved his house.  So maybe mine weren't big enough to have developed and extensive root system. 

Tbe black ironwood (Krugiodendron Ferreum) trees I have on my property survived which is also a native hardwood. They lost branches but did mostly ok. The West Indian Locust trees also known as stinktoe did very well.  There is a massive one near me that is easily 500' tall and it survived!  The Kapoks and Baobobs seem to have done ok, perhaps due to less windage.  We have tons of big mango trees as well and they do surprisingly well. 

The genips which are everywhere here don't do well at all but they come back quick even if they get snapped in half, those things are almost like weeds! 

Other trees which you would think would do well actually don't.  The Saman do not handle high winds, several large specimens just tossed over like toys.  Neem trees I have come to learn have a shallow root system and are toppled easily.  Tibet trees are the worst, they were coming down in Irma which was only tropical storm force winds for us on St. Croix.  Flamboyant aka Royal Poinciana are susceptible too high winds too. 

Unfortunately like pineislander mentioned the opening up of the canopy is allowing the vines, tan tan (Leucaena Leucocephala), Acacia, and manjack to thrive.  I know a place where there are tons of juvenile mahogany trees so I'm going to try and relocate them to my neighborhood so one day we will have a beautiful mahogany canopy. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: We are alive but battered on St. croix
« on: October 15, 2017, 07:47:21 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone I really appreciate it!

We lost our guavas, eggfruit, mesple (sapodilla), tons of pineapples, Meyer lemon, several avocado, several mango, a tangelo and tangerine, and a few jabos.

The bananas should come back quickly, the ice cream bean made it, guavaberry made it, alll of our dwarf coconuts got blown over but I was able to stand them back up.

I would love just about any kind of seeds people are willing to donate. I am looking at this as an opportunity to replace all the fallen trees with fruit bearers instead.

I will send pms individually.

 It's really a bummer looking at pictures before the storm. Enough time has passed where the shock has worn off and we have accepted the new landscape as normal. Rebuilding structures is easy and realively quick process. Replacing mature tees though is much more difficult and at the mercy time.

This is from an email I received from Sadhu, I hope he doesn't mind me sharing.  I would love to help but am dealing with the same situation of a hurricane battered island here on St. Croix.

As most of you know, the entire island of Puerto Rico was hit hard by category 5 hurricane Maria on September 20th. The hurricane was the worst in the island's recorded history and caused severe damage and devastation in all parts of the country. It took many lives - the exact count will not be known before the center of the island will be accessible again - and it destroyed much of the local infrastructure. The situation can only be described as catastrophic.

Almost two weeks later, gasoline and food are still rationed and it is estimated that rural areas will be without electricity, water and phone for six to twelve months. Sanitary conditions are deteriorating and there is no end in sight in terms of getting landslides and devastated nature under control again.

Unfortunately, Govardhan Gardens, which has served the Caribbean for the last 20 years as the most diversified source of tropical fruit, nut and bamboo species, has been hit directly, as were practically all farms in Puerto Rico. Four out of five nursery structures (and plants) were obliterated; over one thousand trees are down, and most of the surviving trees heavily injured and defoliated. In total, about 80% of the botanical collection are lost. Since many of these species were the only existing ones in the Caribbean, they are extremely difficult to replace.

The total loss was so enormous, that I was not certain that I can afford to clean up the farm again (chainsaw work for 1.5-2 years) or not. Just to clean up the farm would cost around $30,000, and there would be only expense during this period, without much income opportunity. The damage of collapsed structures and other features of the property are in the tens of thousands of Dollars. The collection was priceless, but if one would want to put a price tag on it, its over $250,000.

I weighed my options carefully and I decided to try the following:

- Clean up the entire farm, if possible in 1.5 years or less
- Repair the landslides
- Restore the fruit tree nursery again over the next few years
- Rebuild and expand the bamboo nursery

All of this can be done for approximately $40,000. This is still a larger amount than I could come up with myself, but if at least a fraction of it could be raised, there is hope to save Govardhan Gardens.

I already received one substantial offer to start the process of restoring as much as possible, and I will start the work already within the next days. It will be physically very demanding to cut up hundreds of thousand of pounds of fallen trees and then integrate them into the eco system of the farm but I have made my decision to commit myself to the task.

On a larger scale, the eco system of Puerto Rico is in an extremely precarious state now. We desperately need more ecological role models to save our environment before it collapses completely. For this reason, I will expand my services of providing tropical bamboo species that are hurricane resistant and extremely helpful for erosion control.

Although I am hesitant to ask for support, I have no choice this time but to reach out to all friends of Govardhan Gardens. I know that the economy is affecting everyone because it is designed to feed only the elite and drain the rest of us. But if everyone who is concerned about the future of Govardhan Gardens can help in some way, there is hope to save the project.

If you want to donate for the cause, please send whatever you can either via PayPal to, or mail a check, written out to Sadhu (my first name is sufficient) and send it to: Sadhu, POB 8132, Mayaguez 00681, Puerto Rico. Please make sure to declare the donation as "Hurricane Relief Donation".

With my sincere thanks,

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!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Category 4 Hurricane Irma
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:06:32 AM »
Irma was something else, our neighbor islands saw 185 mph sustained winds with gusts to 225 mph.   :'(

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Category 4 Hurricane Irma
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:03:18 AM »
Checking in from St. Croix.

Wow, we really dodged a bullet here.  Only experienced tropical storm force winds.  All my trees and plants made it.  A couple 3 year old dwarf cocos blew over but I staked them back up and hopefully they will be alright.  A huge Moringa branch fell on my seedlings but miraculously none got smashed! 

However, our neighbors to the North: St. Thomas, St. John, British Virgin Islands did not fare well at all.  St. Marten, Barbuda, St. Barts did even worse.   Its almost complete devastation over there.  Unlike the mainland where you can evacuate and supplies can be brought in post-storm very quickly, we don't have that luxury here.  You can only prepare as best as possible and hope the storm spares you and your property. 

We saw her sitting at 17.2 deg N and moving straight West.  St. Croix is at 17.7 N.  We started getting really nervous.  When the storm was about 200 miles away, it started heading WNW.  This put it at about 18.1 or 18.2 when it was due north of us which is pretty much right over our sister islands. 

Was talking with my wife's dad on St. Thomas before the eyewall hit and he was very worried and saying he couldn't hold the sliding glass door closed much longer.  Then we lost contact.  It was about 24 hours later before we confirmed he was alive and ok.  Somehow the little fiberglass home my wife grew up in on St. Thomas came away unscathed. 

The aftermath has seen a lot of people come together to help each other out.  But the situation is desperate.  The islands need food, water, supplies, etc.  President Trump is visiting in a few days and has pledged relief.   Unfortunately the media hasn't given us much coverage even though we are US citizens.  If anyone is interested in donating money, clothes, or anything else please let me know.  Those impacted by Irma in the Caribbean really need all the help they can get. 

I could go on and on about the stories of both during the storm and after.  Some are what nightmares are made of.  Some will make your heart swell with compassion for the good that is still present in humanity.  Its a very strange time for us here in the US Virgin Islands.  British Virgin Islands are even more devastated.  My heart goes out to all of them. 

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)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Shocking! Watch for yourself
« on: August 02, 2017, 01:57:50 PM »
I grew up drinking milk, eating meat, pretty much normal American diet.  But my mom was a good cook, so all meals were made from scratch and she didn;t buy junk food for snacks.

 For the past 10 years I've lived in the Caribbean.  A place with a lot of Vegans and Vegetarians, particularly the Rastafarians.  The isolation of where I live requiring meat products to be shipped in and my infatuation with Rasta has made me look at my diet very closely.  High grocery prices I will admit have also played a role.

Over the past 10 years I have become healthier and much more selective of what I eat.  I've always been big into spearfishing and fishing so for much of the past 10 years at least half my protein has been seafood based and harvested myself.

About this time last year,  a friend told me about a book called "Clean" by Alejandro Junger.  I won't go into to it too much but it was very inspirational and I went through the 21 day cleanse following his recommendations.  He does advocate eating grass fed organic meat during the process which I did.  After doing the 21 day cleanse, I felt so good I didn't want to go back to how I was eating before.  Mind you, I went into it already eating healthy so many of the side effects I read about and was expecting, I did not experience.  But I did experience wonderful positive effects from eliminating the acid and mucous forming foods.

That cleanse sharpened my microscope on what I eat.  At the start of 2017, I decided I wanted to try cutting out all meat except seafood.  I haven't been 100% true to this, but have done my best and only eaten meat in situations where there were no other options or I just wanted to have a taste.  My main reason for wanting to try this is actually more ethical and this is the main point of my post.

Over the years, all the fish I have speared has given me somewhat of a guilty conscious.  I can remember my first Mahi and the beautiful colors fading away as the life from the fish faded away.  I can remember the giant Cubera Snapper that pulled off the spear before I could get him and how heart wrenching that was.  I have felt pangs of remorse for every life I have taken.  I don't feel that when I eat store bought fish or order seafood in a restaurant.  I never felt that when I threw a nice steak on the grill.  I think there is something wrong with that disconnection.

So my thing is, if I can't kill it myself or would be unwilling to kill it myself, I prefer not to eat it.  As fruit lovers, everyone here should be able to understand this.  That mango you picked off your own tree tastes way better than anything you could buy in the store and probably even better than a mango from your neighbor's tree. 

People are so far removed from the food they eat.  It goes into their mouths and straight to the digestive system without a second thought.  If it tasted good, one might have a glancing thought about that.  But not about where it came from, how many hands or machines touched it, how many chemicals fertilizers or hormones were added to it. 

I have considered hunting. We have deer here and many of my old Florida buddies hunt so I could take a trip up and load up a cooler and bring it back down with me.  I know that I will feel that same pang of guilt when I kill my first deer though.  Just like that time I shot a bird with a pellet gun when I was about 12.  I was crushed.  So for now, I'll stick to fish. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My little slice of paradise
« on: July 21, 2017, 04:14:50 PM »
Thanks for the kind words everyone!

That's coincidental Frank.  I had been living in St. thomas and Tortola about 9 years ago.  My girlfriend at the time and future wife was moving out to Kauai to study a type of body work called Rolfing aka Structural Integration.

Being a lifelong surfer, I thought about it for two minutes before I decided to quit my awesome job in the British Virgin Islands and move to Kauai with her.  We settled down in Kapaa on Hauiki rd.  Views of Mt. Waialeala waterfalls out of our living room window.  I love Kauai so much!  It is an amazing place.

After about a year, we learned that we had conceived a child.  People had told us that Kauai is a fertile place in more ways than one.  An opportunity in St. Croix came about which was more on the "professional" side of things than the boat captaining and waitering I was doing in Kauai.  With all moving expenses being paid, we decided to make the move even though I had never been to St. Croix. 

So far, its turned out to be the perfect fit for us.  Been here about 7 years now.  My son was born here so he is a "Crucian" rather than Hawaiian.  But he is about as close to a mini Tarzan as you can get lol.  We absolutely love the northshore of St. Croix. 

Definitely miss Kauai and very much looking forward to bringing my son back so he can see where his mama and papa planted his seed. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My little slice of paradise
« on: July 21, 2017, 02:32:46 PM »
Thank you! 

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