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Messages - franciscu

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Oro Negro Avocado in local market
« on: October 12, 2015, 10:07:03 AM »
I agree with Carlos that Florida avocado buyers  (and growers/sellers) would benefit from variety labels. Over time customers would learn discover which ones they prefer - and the success of the better varieties in the market would drive growers to gradually shift to the most profitable trees.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: eugenia stipitata ?
« on: September 21, 2015, 01:14:25 PM »
Well I have tasted some fruits this morning quite ripe, but I have been quite disappointed as quite tart indeed… I reckon the only use for those fruit is to transform them ( jelly, jam etc… )

Great in a milkshake with some sugar or stevia added . The E. stipitata ssp sororia , orange in color , is even better , but still pretty acid .

I like these VERY much in milkshakes too. I usually add some stevia, kefir, and vanilla protein powder.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Planting next to a stump.
« on: September 05, 2015, 11:14:57 PM »
drill some holes in it, and put in some mushroom plugs.
the fungi will help break it down.
i would use 2 or more species, you may have to research which is best.

you can add nitrogen on top also (urine works)

i had a couple of trees i had cut down in my yard.
it took over 5 years, but, it produced the best soil / growing medium i could have hoped for.
everything i planted there took off.
the decaying wood, and channels left by the roots
provided air and water pathways, habitat for worms, and lots of broken down material
I'm thinking as a long range project is there any tree that would grow super fast with minimal effort that i can do this with?
I'm thinking to convert a large area of poor soil say like an acre? Would this be the cheapest way to amend the soil? Grow the species for a few years then slowly start cutting down and planting a edible producing tree next to it. Eventually like in 10 years you have a whole orchard with much better soil. Or would this be a poor idea?

Moringa may be a candidate for that. It grows fast, cuts easy, goes like butter through a chipper-shredder, and the logs rot and turn spongy VERY quickly. Plus you get all the nutrition in the moringa leaves and seed pods.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Planting next to a stump.
« on: September 04, 2015, 10:12:02 AM »
One way to look at those old stumps is to see that nature is providing you with some free 'hugelkultur'....

I have 6 mango trees now -- mixed ages, from recently planted 3 gallon purchases to 35 year old pugged mature ones. As a homeowner my interest in 'production' is not all that great. How many mangoes can we realistically eat in one season? 100, 200, 300? If each of my 6 trees can each produce 30-40 mangoes I will be delighted. They are planted roughly in a row about 60-70 feet long and 14 feet wide - plus a driveway on one side. In my mind's eye I picture this mango-row kept pruned to about 12 feet high - pretty easy to reach up for regular top pruning. As for width I'll let them spread on one side to the property line and on the other side over the driveway. Hopefully it will be pretty easy to walk under for fruit picking. My varieties are Nam Doc Mai, Lancitilla, Wally, Sweet Tart, Lemon Zest, and Keitt.

I have recently become an enthusiastic fan of eugenia stipitate (araça boi). Terrific in smoothies combined with avocado and stevia -- maybe with some milk or kefir too. My preference is for the sourness to be comgined with sweet.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Enjoying Fruit in the Philipines
« on: July 27, 2015, 09:23:29 AM »
Clay, soursops are ready when fully soft. They often turn yellowish when starting to ripen. Try to find some macapuno coconuts, a specialty of the Phillippines that is really yummy! I have some marangs inside my house right now. This is a totally odorless type and is very tasty type. The smelly types smell really bad, like a petroleum distillery. Durians are only popular in southern province of Mindanao, main city there is Davao. Yes there are durians in Vietnam, but don't know if now is the season there?
Enjoy your trip! Keep us posted.

Oscar I just had my first Soursop and I'm sure I nailed the ripeness... I treated it like a Cherimoya basically and checked to see how much give it had..... That being said.... Considering I've been Eating California Cherimoyas, arguably King of the Anonna's... This fruit couldn't hold it's weight at a Cherimoya table....even to a poor sample and crap variety... Too much Fiber, the texture isn't great, flavor is real weak with unwanted acidity.... Hopefully Sugar Apples are better.

My 2 cents worth:  As with so many fruits the optimum flavor tends to be a function of where along the ripening curve we choose to eat it.  I'm not a fan of overripe fruit by any means, BUT my experience with soursop from my yard tree is to let it get REALLY ripe. Two years ago I had a couple dozen soursops from a 4-year-old tree. Most of them were big things, several pounds -- and the weight bent my tree over against the house. I had no previous experience eating guanabana so by dumb luck I discovered that waiting as long as possible to pick is the way to go. They ripen VERY quickly -- from hard one day, to some slight give the next day, to quite spongy the next, and then by the next day the weight often rips out the stem and they fall. At that point they almost feel like water balloons and I have to carry them cradled on the open palm of my hand. So soft that I could just stick my finger easily right through the skin and flesh, or just mash the thing up in my hands if I wanted to. By trial and error I've learned that I can leave them on the kitchen counter until the skin gets brownish/copper and a kind of hexigonal pattern becomes visible.

To prepare, I use a very sharp 'tomato slicer' knife and gently cut the whole thing into disks maybe 2 cm thick. That makes getting to the seeds much easier. I wash my hands and then process the fruit disks with my fingers -- removing the skin, feeling for seeds and popping them out. I save the glistening white flesh in a bowl and usually let it get cold in the refrigerator. It's a very messy deal!

I use most of mine in smoothies -- combined with avocado. Really spectacular. Or just straight fruit with a spoon or fork is terrific too. I've also frozen some and used it many months later. Guanabana is delicious with its own unique complexity and an eye-popping flavor INTENSITY in the manner of great mangoes and surinams.  I have found that any presence of fibre is a non-issue at this stage of ripeness.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: One last tree
« on: July 09, 2015, 02:02:27 PM »
Again thanks to all for the suggestions.
I'll give the ross sapote a shot.
Is there anything special about growing the tree i should know?

Nope, very easy.

Growth rate is slow... fyi

Not that slow for me, at least as far as canistels go...on par with most other canistels.  They should not be compared to mangoes in terms of growth rate (they are "slow" when compared to most mangoes).

We planted our Ross sapote about 5 years ago -- 3-4 feet tall. First year vegetative growth, no fruit. Second year, more growth, a couple of fruit. Third year, less growth, maybe a dozen fruit. Fourth year, very moderate growth, 30+ fruit. This year, slight growth, tree looks very healthy, no problems, 70 fruit set on tree as of last counting. Tree is about 10 tall now. Pretty tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: One last tree
« on: July 09, 2015, 09:39:08 AM »
As soon as I read your post my Ross sapote sprang to mind as a suggestion. I LOVE those things in smoothies -- tastes kinda like egg nog, if that appeals to you. The fruit is ready to pick in the November time frame if I remember correctly.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Wally mango: Who knows info about it?
« on: July 07, 2015, 09:46:04 AM »
I pugged my Wally back last year, so I have had no fruit from it this year. It's growing back vigorously, so maybe next year. If we have fruit next year you'd be welcome to try it out.

Those pictures look about right for Wally fruit leading up to ripeness. Big ones probably weigh in over 2-3 pounds. When perfectly ripe it colors up vibrantly into one of the prettiest fruits I've ever seen. The flesh is very slightly fibrous, not the creamy/pudding texture of some fibre-free  mangoes I've tried (and liked very much too!) -- doesn't stick in your teeth though -- gives it a pleasant mouth feel actually. I'd call the flavor 'complex' -- sweet of course, reminiscent of pineapple sometimes, addictive. Someone on here once mentioned that the original Wally at Zill's got torn out years ago. I guess everyone has their druthers, but we REALLY love it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: super haden mango and surpresa mango
« on: July 06, 2015, 12:48:00 PM »
35+ years ago, when I was building my house and starting to shop for some fruit trees, I went to the Zill nursery on Federal Highway in Boynton Beach. Walter Zill took me around on a tasting tour and I got to taste about 10 different varieties -- vague now but I remember 'Philipine', 'Kent', some named after girls, Keitt, Wally, Springfels. He gave me samples to take home and try out on family members. We did a taste test and everyone voted. Springfels came out first, Wally a very close second. I bought a Keitt for late season, a Philipine for early season, and the Wally for mid-season. The following year I went back and bought a Springfels. The first three thrived, but for some reason the Springfels died. I still regret that. Over time I came to dislike the mushy property of the Philipine and took it out. The Keitt is still there and produces nicely. Our head and shoulders favorite is the Wally -- I, my wife, and many other friends who have tasted it consider it the best mango we've ever tasted. The Wally's taste profile was very similar to the Springfels, as I remember.

I think that the squirrels around my place prefer to go after fruit still hanging on the tree. I think that the 'tree rats' must feel safer up there in the branches and leaves than down on the ground where they are exposed to predators. Some years we have a nest of Cooper's hawks set up in one of the oaks in our front yard. I've observed the hawks stalking squirrels -- sometimes with success. Maybe the squirrels' have passed on a kind of instinctual memory that danger lurks above.

 I notice that when down on the ground the squrrels are always pausing, lifting their heads, looking nervously around. Up in the trees they seem less skittish and more focused on climbing around on the branches to reach the fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Thank God for the rain!
« on: June 30, 2015, 09:48:33 AM »
Here in eastern Boca Raton we've had 3 good rains over the last 3 days -- Saturday, Sunday, and a really big one on Monday afternoon. Total accumulation over 4 inches.

"... imagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, genetically-manipulated seeds are in your crops. A multi-national corporation pay you a visit, demand that you surrender your crops - and then sue you for $200 000 for the illegal use of patented,... "

The documentary  "David vs Monsanto" tells the story of Monsanto efforts to crush an innocent Canadian farmer whose crops got contaminated by GMO patented DNA blown in by the wind.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: My first cabelluda!
« on: June 26, 2015, 09:30:56 AM »
I bought a cabelluda several months ago (from Excalibur). Nice tree -- about 1.3 meters tall. I planted it in full sun and have been giving it plenty of water. Tree still looks ok, but no new growth flushes have appeared and the tips of the leaves have been starting to look burnt. Should I dig it up and move it to a spot with partial shade?

John Kempf of Advancing Eco-Agriculture has a lot to say about soil fertility, plant health, and "regenerative farming". I'm just a suburban duffer with a garden and fruit trees, but what John has to say in his website and videos make a great deal of sense to me. Worth a look....

I saw the same thing at Costco recently. I told someone at their customer service desk that they were not doing their customers any favors. She listened carefully. But on my subsequent visit there the northern zone trees were still there. Sigh....

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Black sapote varieties
« on: May 02, 2015, 07:46:03 PM »
I make a smoothie with ice and water, a black sapote, half of an avocado, heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder, large scoop of chocolate protein powder, stevia to sweeten to taste. Chocolaty in taste and appearance and very good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Buy soil in bulk
« on: April 09, 2015, 05:22:08 PM »
Amerigro, located west of Delray/ Boynton sells a range of mulches. Comes in both bags and bulk. They sell a black Ecomix which seems pretty good.

He needs top soil, not mulch.  Also, most of Amerigro's mulches are dyed and not recommeded for fruit trees.  They do have cypress but I do not believe it is pure and from the samples I have seen, it os of poor quality.

They may have top soil also but that is much further of a drive than a trip tp the Glades...
I'm not pushing Amerigrow -- just trying to be helpful. Their website claims to offer 'custom soils' as well as mulches, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to let the questioner know about that.



Amerigrow Soils specializes in high-quality, yet, affordable custom soil and plant media blending. We customize blends to your exact specifications with our fully-computerized European blending system, which has weight scales for precise incorporation of fertilizers and other amendments. Mixes are made 100% exact and consistently blended. We custom blend: planting media, soils, root zone mixes, top dressings and field blends (schools, athletic, wildflower, etc.). There are no weed seeds or pathogens in our soils. We offer bulk and bagged products for pick up or delivery. We use an assortment of products and amendments, including the following high-quality options (many others available upon request):

Amerigrow's organic compost: BLACK MAGIC ECO-SOIL™
Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss
Florida peat moss
Fresh pine bark fines
Composted bark
Aged bark
Cypress chips
Cypress dust
Hardwood fines
Hardwood dust
Coir coconut fibre

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Buy soil in bulk
« on: April 09, 2015, 10:53:19 AM »
Amerigro, located west of Delray/ Boynton sells a range of mulches. Comes in both bags and bulk. They sell a black Ecomix which seems pretty good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First avacado fruitset in my yard 2015
« on: March 21, 2015, 08:17:41 AM »
Most of my avacado trees are too young to produce. Only my Lula  and Nishikawa are old enough to produce. I am afraid I may have the same gap to fill. Many of them just went into the ground in the last few months.

I've found lots of interesting avocado info on the 'avocado 24/7' thread. Sounds like many of the Hawaiian varieties are wonderful, but there's uncertainty about whether they will perform well here in Florida. I sure hope so!

BTW, Day is a nice avocado that has worked out for me. Nice creamy avocado that bears late July into September...

Do you have any experience with the Marcus Pumpkin? Is it worth having in backyard?

For what it's worth, I had a Marcus Pumpkin for many years and finally got rid of it. The fruit from my tree had that "watery" quality a lot of folks don't care for. Also, it's a HUGE fruit. Too much to eat. I prefer smaller avocados with creasmier, tastier flavor.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First avacado fruitset in my yard 2015
« on: March 20, 2015, 12:31:20 PM »
Glad to hear that your Nishikawa is doing well in Palm Beach Gardens. I am in Boca Raton, so roughly the same climate as you. I bought 6 3gal avocado trees last year - Monroe, Catalina, Nishikawa, Fuerte, Lula, Wurtz. My Nishikawa looks like the weakest of the lot - no bloom, no new growth yet. The Fuerte, Lula, Wurtz, and Catalina all flowered and set many fruit (which I won't leave for long). The Monroe started to flower but seems to have stalled in a kind of mini cauliflower stage.

My goal is to try for year-around avocado availability. I still have a couple of planting spots, so I'm hoping to score some super early cultivars to cover February through June. Hopefully a Kampong, and maybe a Doni or Simmonds. I'm open to suggestions!!!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Earliest / Latest season Loquats
« on: March 18, 2015, 09:43:04 AM »
The "supreme" from Charlie is the only loquat I have ever tasted, so I can't make a comparison judgment.  It was very enjoyable and I'm glad I bought a tree home. I bought a Wolfe loquat from Excalibur as well - taste-unseen. Looking forward to tasting it next year!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Diversity or Diversity
« on: March 17, 2015, 12:44:23 PM »
Thanks to both StuartDaly88 and Fruitlovers for the wealth of ideas on the merits of the various nutritional lifestyles. In past ages people were just fortunate to glean enough to fill their stomachs from whatever they could raise or find within walking distance. Now we have so much choice - brought about by transportation, energy, technologies for propagating, growing, harvesting, processing, preserving, packaging foods from all over the planet.

We're surrounded by so many folks advocating this or that systematic approach to nutrition. There's the high protein 'paleolithic' school, the low protein 'plant based' school of Campbell and Essylstyn, high fat/ low carb school of Perlmutter's Grain Brain, the evolving 'zone' school of Barry Sears, and many many others. How very ironic then to read a book like the Blue Zones (Dan Buettner) and his conclusion that the healthiest people seem to be lifelong eaters of simple, local foods - people who work hard and live simple, uncomplicated lives.

I really believe that nutrition is not a 'one size fits all' kind of deal. As these simple people living in Blue Zones across the globe show there can be many solutions. In each 'blue zone' the traditional 'system' of life and nutrition had come down from the trial and error of their cultural past. The challenge today is that most of the cultural wisdom of the past has gotten totally confused by the vast increase in available food types and quantities, by the technologies which adulterate food with additives, dyes, preservatives, ag chemicals, and food 'processing'. Awareness is increasing of how aspects of industrial food are leading to enormous public health crises. And this in turn has stimulated the growing interest in nutritional 'systems'.

The difficulty for young people like my granddaughter is that their knowledge base is thin and their maturity lacking. The young often get swept up in enthusiasm for 'systems' being touted by partisans convinced that they have the whole answer in a 'one size fits all' package. No one needs to convince me that a vegetarian system COULD work for her. The problem is how to lead a teenager to acquire the necessary knowledge and discipline she would need to make her vegetarian diet healthy in fact and not just in theory.

If I seem to be picking on vegetarianism here it's only because that is the case with my granddaughter. Heaven knows that uebermillions of our youth are extremely badly nourished from eating omnivore diets too.

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