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Messages - starling1

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dimocarpus australianus
« on: June 28, 2015, 07:38:59 AM »
I havent tasted it yet though I'm told it tastes similar to normal longan  if a bit juicier. My seedling is 7 years old so it must be close to fruiting. Im reluctant to force it with potassium in case I lose it, this is one of the reasons i tried grafting it to normal longan. Im going to graft 10 or 20 this summer and give them to dedicated people who will share the seeds.

Keep me in mind, I'd like to have a go. Prefer to grow aussie natives when its viable, they're under represented in my patch.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dimocarpus australianus
« on: June 28, 2015, 05:11:30 AM »

Very rare tree that, Druss. Never tried the fruit, is it any good?

genetic modification = molestation and perversion of mother nature

it's profitable, but so is a meth lab.

As in most things, I tend not take extreme views regarding the concept of GMO.  I know that there is the potential for abuse and negative results based upon greed and profit motivation......the quick fix answer which does not have enough information or foresight to make something safe has already been shown to be a concern with projects already in production.  However, the idea that the letters GMO automatically conjure up something akin to molestation or perversion seems a bit over the top. I would equate this type of thinking with the idea that man shouldn't fly because nature didn't give him wings or that man shouldn't develop antibiotics because nature intended us to get sick and possibly die......its just too bad.....get sick and die.

The reality is, at least in my view,  that Nature has no great wisdom.  It survives and flourishes as the result of major trials and errors.  Countless species and their DNA have been lost forever without any intervention from man over the millenia. Nature randomly mutates DNA in reproduction.  The most adaptable DNA survives and passes on its DNA to its progeny.  The less adaptable, less successful DNA formulations die out naturally and their DNA dies with them.  To ascribe intelligence to this natural process and proclaim its superiority to man's potential scientific intervention I think fails to consider all of the failures and defects that Nature has created and continues to create. There are probably even some natural random genetic mutations that are due to exposure to natural chemical compounds and/or radiation that have absolutely nothing to do with man and his corruption of nature.

When man uses cross breeding and hybridization he is interfering with the natural process.  It is not quite gene splicing or causing genetic material to turn off or on, but it is one step in that direction.  We have no problem with doing this non-natural cross breeding of animals or plants but it is a major ethical issue if anyone says,  "hey, let's try it with humans."

So before we just proclaim GMO of the devil, pause should be taken to consider its potential benefits. Close attention has to be paid to what is being modified and the potential negative effects of any such modification. There will be errors made but the potential for speeding up the beneficial process that man has tried to perfect in hybridization is virtually limitless with scientifically engineering changes in the natural world. This process needs to be transparent and appropriate labeling of products that have been modified are musts.

Your understanding of evolution by natural selection is profane. On the point of nature having 'No great wisdom', while it is true that evolution does not design things intelligently, it nonetheless designs biological organisms perfectly in the sense that these will work in equilibrium and co-efficiently within complexities of changing environments throughout the span of time. There is a saying in music that sometimes you have to 'listen to the notes that aren't played'. EBNS is like this. It does not produce organisms which are invulnerable, because this would make all life effectively impossible as such organisms would outstrip the energy and resources available to them, and would then themselves die out as a result.  Evolution is an equation that sets parameters, checks and balances, through probabilities...indeed, the equation of EBNS is at once so complicated, yet so simple, that it is unlikely that if it did not feature as a mathematical syllogism of the material world to be unearthed and articulated, no scientist, nor mathematician  that has ever lived, could have conceived of it. Evolution is not an automobile engineer. It is not designing organisms to be mechanically flawless in the sense that they are invulnerable; it is designing organisms capable of both attacking and defending, of hunting down and escaping, which results in an eternal, continuous ramping-up abilities in organisms throughout successive generations. It is not the end result that is important, but rather the process itself, and its continuance, that ensures biological harmony. Consider cheetahs and gazelles; one is designed to chase down the other, the other is designed to outrun and outmaneuver the other. Both have evolved to accomplish these goals and are  designed  with exquisite discrimination. The result is that sometimes the cheetah gets the gazelle, and sometimes the gazelle escapes the cheetah. In the larger arena of biodiversity, this arrangement has implications for other life. Hence, there is an equilibrium in the appropriation  of energy in a complex system; that is, this arrangement makes sense, and is perfect within our  synergistic, material universe as governed and defined by the laws of thermodynamics (especially considering the first Law thereof, which is something else you opaquely have no grasp of).  Nature does not create 'failures'; not in the sense that you mean--this is an anthropological concept which is not reflected in the biological world.

Side note: Take a look around. What evidence is there, exactly, that human beings are better suited to driving the direction of life, according to your observations, exactly? Why would you assume that Human beings would do anything other than replicate, extrapolate, and exacerbate the pure, unmitigated fucking disaster they have effected unto themselves and everything else in existence both historically presently? Does the idea that we'd do better really sound like a smart bet to you?

You infer that nature is cruel. It is. But it is necessarily cruel. For unnecessary cruelty--the sort that is expressed in all manner of depraved and sadistic acts of physical and psychological torture limited only in scope and detail by the human imagination, you need human beings.

Snakes eat mice. Human beings tie razors to the spurs of roosters, make dogs fight to death for entertainment, and consider  bullfighting a sport.

We are, in fact, the only organism in existence that inflicts cruelty, knowing it to be cruelty.

Additionally, you seem to be confusing lemarckism with Darwinism in your assertion that: 'The most adaptable DNA survives and passes on its DNA to its progeny'.

No. That's not how it works. DNA does not, cannot 'adapt' to the environment, as a reactionary process to the conditions of the natural world, at the molecular level. Adaptation is driven by random  mutations which either succeed, or do not succeed in said environment ipso facto. As it is worded, you are expressing the inverse of this, which is, as I have said, Lemarckism (eg, Giraffes have longer necks from straining to reach leaves at higher and higher levels).

['i]When man uses cross breeding and hybridization he is interfering with the natural process[/i]' the most scientifically illiterate  sentence of your entire post. No; Hybridization is not interfering with the 'natural process'. Insects, fish, and even mammals readily hybridize without anthropological interference and have done since, well, probably since they entered existence. Hybridization is, while rare,  one of the key mechanisms by which the probability of survival is increased within a species. Mutations also occur at an increased incidence in hybridization. What you are referring to, in an extremely abstract way, is artificial selection. That is, the process whereby human beings select genetic traits in plants and animals based on anthropogenic preferences. This has nothing to do with Genetic modification whatsoever, because hybridization can only occur between species which share very large amounts of the same genes.
That is, hybridization, as far as we know, cannot occur between organisms of different orders. Most hybrids occur within a Genus.There has never been an example of an interordinal hybrid, which is, excuse me, exactly what GMO's are. GMO's are abominations; they could not, as a result of either natural, or artificial selection, have occurred as a result of the processes of gene swapping which occur in the natural world. GMO is the process of splicing genetic material from seperate organisms, which are not related, to create monstrosities.

Unless of course you think it is possible for fireflies to procreate with mice, and that's why we now have mice that glow in the dark through luciferase proteins? I can assure that you no matter how lonely fireflies or mice become--it ain't going to happen.


Oh--any by the way---all those artificially selected organisms are ultimately useless in the conditions of the world. Stick a poodle out in the environment of a wolf (common ancestor of all dogs) and see if can take down a moose. And so it is the case with all animals. In fact, one only has to look at 'feral' populations of pigs, dogs, and cats to see that these organisms become stronger with successive generations exposed to natural, not artificial, selection.

'I would equate this type of thinking with the idea that man shouldn't fly because nature didn't give him wings or that man shouldn't develop antibiotics because nature intended us to get sick and possibly die......its just too bad.....get sick and die'.

Where did you pass the bar--French Guinea?

 Antibiotics are designed to work with our own DNA, and neither change, nor augment,, DNA at any level. Genetic modification is precisely the opposite; it is, by intent, the process of augmenting  gene sequences in natural organisms to create unnatural organisms.  The science of antibiotics and aeronautics is well understood, and when it was not, the risks associated with proceeding in experimentation did not equate to 16th particle of that presented by GM Research.  Moreover, planes and antibiotics are inherently necessary. GMO crops are not inherently necessary inventions, because we already have non GMO crops which are capable of feeding our populations. They are, as it stands, inherently unnecessary.  Nobody needs to eat GMO crops. Monsanto needs people to eat them to expand their margins. It is what it is.

So please, do me favor; the next time you want to express an opinion relating to a scientific principle, or matter--that is, one that has a provable, falsifiable, objective reality in the material universe, you could at least make the effort to to become at least quasi-scientifically literate. If you don't understand the how, you shouldn't even be thinking about the why.  Consider first that you might not even know what you don't know.


have you thought about joining the legal team at monsanto?

you've got your work cut out.

If you're interested send a PM to JCaldeira, I bet he has a contact there.

Just because I don't see inherent evil in the letters GMO, doesn't mean I want to work for Monsanto.  Although, I guess if they wished to pay me to give them legal advice, I would consider employment with them or any other company.  Its the American way, you know. Companies that lose their way putting profit ahead of safety to the detriment of their customers health are generally only changed by two possible groups of people.  The first are the people they injure through the actions of those injured person's lawyers or through the lawyers who work for the company who warn the company that not changing their actions is going to be too costly to the company in the future because of the lawyers, previously mentioned, suing them. Capitalism, seeking to maximize profits, with lawyers as watchdogs (some would say vultures), seems to be the way our system works.


 lol don't hold your breath, Mr. Hausman.

I believe there are some of the small hawaiian types that are not GMO.  Am I wrong about that? 

Oscar sells sunrise solo, sunset solo, and waimanolo solo and I don't think he is down with GMO.
Only rainbow solo is GMO. The other types are not.

Does Rainbow Solo cross-pollinate naturally with other papaya in Hawaii?

Hawaii is one of the GMO seed capitals of the world, growing many GMO seeds for the mainland and world by Monsanto and others.  There must be a lot of GM pollen in the air, too.

That's a good point, really. I can't see how there could be a way to legislate against GMO pollen fertilizing heirloom/ natural fruits. Seems ultimately impossible.  Insects do not, after all, have a sense of political discrimination--and neither do air currents. I suspect it would happen in the former case however, papaya pollen wouldn't travel far in the airborne sense, I'm assuming. Insects traveling between trees MUST happen. Unrealistic and naive to assume otherwise. Unless Oscar has some kind of very effective exclusion netting, it's not only possible, but very likely, that successive generations of his produce will contain GMO markers.

Oscar, what guarantee can you give people that this isn't the case given that you do post seeds to Australia, and that there are extremely strict penalties in place in this country for  importing of GMO crops which far, far exceed the statutes of regular quarantine infringements? Not to mention that I doubt many Australians would want to inadvertently introduce GMO crops into Australia. Very, very unpopular down here.  For example, I can say with confidence that there is no risk of GMO contamination in  seeds leaving Australia, because no GMO crops are produced in Australia. However, this cannot be said of Hawaiian crops, since there exists the potential--indeed--the probability, of cross pollination between GMO and non GMO varieties.


One of the few Australian 'bushtucker' foods that are eaten fresh out of hand. Taste is aromatic, creamy and with a ginger note. Attractive small shrubbing plant with ornamental flowers. Good groundcover. Very attractive to birdlife.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Davidson's Plum.
« on: June 26, 2015, 07:11:18 PM »
I heard that they are dioecious. Experience seems to confirm this: 2 years of one tree flowering without setting fruit.


There are three types of Davidson's plums; D. Jerseyana,  D. Johnsonii, and D. Pruriens, which is probably the one you have as it is the most common.

I have personally seen gigantic and isolated specimens in rainforest clearings with bumper crops. If yours isn't fruiting by itself, it probably just means it hasn't reached the point hormonally that it will hold on to fruit as opposed to abort them. It's probably too young. Perhaps you might benefit from holding off on making premature assumptions based on facile observations.

Here's a picture of a Davidson's Posted by a fellow Aussie on the Daleys site last year, which shows exactly what I am talking about.

As for the fruit, again, it is extremely sour. It is not eaten fresh out of hand, unless you happen to be a cassowary. It is used to make jams, and one Australian company has begun using it to flavour yoghurt. I am sure it has other applications I'm not aware of. Probably it is used to make wine also.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Davidson's Plum.
« on: June 26, 2015, 05:56:13 PM »

Davidson's plum is a native Australian fruit. Extremely sour.

They are self-pollinating if that's what you mean. One tree will, upon maturity, produce more fruit than you could ever possibly need.

Dragonfruit fetch a good market price here in Australia. I will be commercially farming them within the next 4 years, life willing. My main float will be the trellises, soil ( I'm probably looking at about 3-5k for backfill) and insurance. This last will be the worst, as I'm zoned for flood damage.


Actually, you can grow grapes from the stems the grapes are attached to. If you can make it work, they will be true unlike seeds.

You mean these ?!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Nifty Gadget; the Parrot Flower Power
« on: June 23, 2015, 01:22:06 AM »

Records air temperature, moisture and fertilizer levels in potted plants and transmits signals to your IOS or other smart device in the form of alerts if any of these variables reach critical levels. You can set the parameters for different species, I believe.

About 30 bucks.


Actually, you can grow grapes from the stems the grapes are attached to. If you can make it work, they will be true unlike seeds.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kesar Mango
« on: June 22, 2015, 09:38:47 PM »
Look delicious and low or no fibre. The seed looks rather large however, how was the ratio?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Huge score on jaboticaba
« on: June 21, 2015, 08:44:43 AM »

Great score fruitbox, that's a perfectly sized and shaped jabo and if it isn't ready to fruit, it couldn't possibly be far off. I would be surprised if it wasn't. Make sure you give it a hefty seaweed treatment when planting, really makes a world of difference for in situ trees.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to prepare a hole the right way
« on: June 18, 2015, 05:41:40 AM »
yes it's a post hole auger. We have spots that are rocky as well and that's when I use a san angelo bar to pry out big rocks, which sounds like what you're describing.

Thanks. That's it. Never knew the english name because that name is not at all used here. This is an essential tool here.

It's not worth expending the energy to try and dig out large rocks or boulders. Much more efficient to use a hammer and pins. Greatly reduces the time and energy input, and makes the stones easier to dispose of. You can split truly massive boulders using this method, it's very old, and very easy (so long as you have a decent drill and bit).

Absolutely no sense to split rocks and leave them in place here, as everything is rocks! The aim is to remove a good amount of the rocks, so as to make a hole to fill in with good trucked in soil. The bar pries them loose, then can easily remove with shovel or by hand.

I wasn't suggesting they be 'left there', obviously.

If you split the rocks, it's easier to cart them off/ dig out the halves. It saves time and energy. Try it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to prepare a hole the right way
« on: June 18, 2015, 03:52:04 AM »
yes it's a post hole auger. We have spots that are rocky as well and that's when I use a san angelo bar to pry out big rocks, which sounds like what you're describing.

Thanks. That's it. Never knew the english name because that name is not at all used here. This is an essential tool here.

It's not worth expending the energy to try and dig out large rocks or boulders. Much more efficient to use a hammer and pins. Greatly reduces the time and energy input, and makes the stones easier to dispose of. You can split truly massive boulders using this method, it's very old, and very easy (so long as you have a decent drill and bit).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to prepare a hole the right way
« on: June 16, 2015, 01:02:28 AM »
Now this can mostly be applied to central florida and areas with deep sand, I doubt you going to dig an 8 foot hole in clay or rock, I think you would hit salt water if you did this down south but still if you have room underground to excavate and prepare the soil this is an idea how its done.

Im digging up my whole yard and re doing the soil so i dont have any soil problems and can start to build up more organic matter and have a high Cation Exchange Capacity. Turning sand into soil. Conserve water, time, and nutrients. Keep the trees warmer and cooler and lowering the PH to 6.2 to 5.5 depending on what is to be planted. The remaining sand Im using for the border and so I can still plant trees that like the high alkaline sand like goji berries.

Started with digging a 10 foot long 6 foot wide and 8 feet deep hole

I didnt take a pic of the whole process because i didnt want to get my camera dirty, but i put a bag of peat moss down with some different soils, then I put a good size oak log about 50 pounds down, Then i proceeded to fill it in with green material like weeds and clippings and what not.

Some of the soils I used. I filled just about the entire hole up with green material then proceeded to fill it up with the soils and peat moss mixed together, also drpped a huge oak log and jammed a couple oak branches down in it as i was filling it.

I was trying to get a picture of a huge 100 pound oak log that i also put in there, total about 5 or 6 oak logs in the lowest part of the hole.

More oak logs and now adding the green material again

Filled it with a bunch of compost and helicon branches

Then a bunch of banana leaves and a few bags of peat moss and a bag of fox farm ocean forest just to get the bacteria in it.

then more oak branches

then more green material and oak leaves, starting to fill the rest in with a compost soil, peat moss and garden soil (turkey manure soil mix)

And filled the rest up with the soil peat moss blend.

total about 15 oak logs, a bunch of branches, a bunch of green material, half a giant helicon, 20 bags of sphagnum peat moss, 25 bags of compost soil, 25 bags of garden soil, a few bags of cow manure and about 10 hours of work. Also im going to put more cow manure peat moss and compost soil blend, mulch and green manure about another foot above this hole for the top soil layer. The huge amount of carbon  will rob your nitrogen so large amounts of manure and green material is needed to balance it out, but you'll be surprised how the logs and branches suck all the nitrogen from the soil so what is being put in will even it out so the carbon can get its share of nitrogen and when you start to grow plants in it, the hole will have just enough nitrogen to get your plants to start growing. So an additional nitrogen fixing plants or trees will have to be added to maintain a proper balance. Im going to use sunn hemp at first then finish by planting a inga tree.

There you go, not only will it now hold water and give lots of carbon and nitrogen and breed various microbes, but when the winter comes the peat moss and soils will act like insulation to keep the heat in and now you dont have to worry about your plants getting cold. Its the hard way but its the best way so you get all the maintenance out of the way like fertilizing as much or watering or anything that you would have problems with on sand.

also I wait about a year or two before planting any trees to allow the decomposition and microbes to build up, I also use mushroom mixes to help break the wood down faster and myceleium to start the connection. I plant banana trees too for the shade to keep the sun off the soil while i wait to plant the final tree.

Hey, good for you buddy; and I finally have somebody to commiserate with RE digging huge trenches. I know how much work goes into one of these, it's Backbreaking and really takes it out of you especially in the heat, I know your pain.  Will work well. Only thing I might add is that you might want to consider switching around the measurements if you can get away with it--wider is better than deeper. If you're planting an annona in there, dig out and extra depth for the tap root.

One other thing, if you're filling the base with decomposable stuff, you will have to add extra top soil over the depth of the tench height at at least a foot--over time, it will shrink down at least that much. I guess you can just do this as it happens though really.

Just finished doing a smaller one today for some sapodillas, I'll post a pic a little later.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Clash of Some Titans......Mango Style
« on: June 15, 2015, 10:05:02 PM »
These 'which mango is better' threads are pretty silly, really. The fact that one's preference is mostly determined by their culture (American coke, for example, is different to Australian Coke and tastes like cola syrup to me) notwithstanding, there's just too much subjectivity involved to denote different cultivars into categories of better than or worse than. Obviously there's going to be some exceptions, such as turpentine mangoes which are used as rootstocks.

LZ might be the GOAT in the US, but the Asian market might preference MC. For example the most popular prickly pears in Mexico are the green fleshed types--but I and many other collectors find them bland and sometimes strange tasting.

Normality is culturally bound.

Those don't really look like raspberries. Do you know the species name of this fruit?

It looks like what we call here thimble berries. The ones we have here growing wild are Rubus rosifolius. I find them to be pretty tasteless.

Not thimble berry, that's rubus parviflorus. Wouldn't have thought they'd grow on Hawaii, surprising.

I do actually quite like the Atherton, more than regular raspberries.

Those don't really look like raspberries. Do you know the species name of this fruit?

Rubus Probus.

So yeah, it's a raspberry.

A couple have set so far, early into the season. Pretty much the only raspberry in existence that does well in the tropics. I prefer them to regular raspberries, sweeter and have a more intense flavour. Not doing seeds sorry, too much deliberation required. I CBF picking out seeds the size of grains of sand and trying to dry them.

Here's what they're like ripe. Kind of like little berets.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: A New Maha Chanok Convert
« on: June 10, 2015, 08:48:14 PM »
Oscar - my response was to Harry where he said there is one individual who doesn't like the Mahachanok....and that would be Sheehan.

As for the cola syrup taste, no idea what these people are referring to.   I have eaten plenty of Mahachanok and never tasted anything that would rresemble what i would perceive as a cola syrup taste.  Now i will be honest, i dont scrape the skin with my teeth but still...

never had a maha that had even a hint of anything that even remotely resembled cola syrup.

Havnt grown it myself but read that it tastes like a tart cucumber with a tinge of sweetness.

Oscar sells the seeds on fruitlovers so Im sure he could provide more info:)
It reminds me of what they call fruit salad fruit a related plant that I have grown but is perpetually plagued by pests especially aphids

This family of plants is very interesting I found out a short while ago that nightshade berries are edible and they even make what is supposed to be a delicious jam from it at one of my local markets(I have been abit chicken to try though!)
Mandrake amazingly also makes an edible fruit and that surprised the hell out of me!

Sorry if I wasnt clear these pics are definitly not Tzimbalo they are Mandrakes!

My fault, skimmed your post.

Well. we'll see how they work out. I don't mind pepino melon--an ok fruit.

I have a couple but they won't fruit.

I think we might have a bit of a taxonomical mix up here. The kind I have come from a plant cropping in England, which is confusing because wikipedia describes them as a tropical/ subtropical crop. The plant, and fruit, also looks vastly different from what Stuart posted. My guess is that the yellow one is something else. The one I have looks pretty much like a miniature pepino melon. Also, when I type S, caripense into google images, I don't get any yellow fruits as hits.


Variety I have is completely different to what you have pictured. Fruits are striped and only about an inch in size, foliage is different. I suspect they may be different things:

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