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Messages - Caesar

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: June 11, 2019, 08:36:04 PM »
I had all mine die back to just tubers. Luckily I set aside the tubers placed inside a plastic bag with slightly damp coco coir stored at room temperature. The tubers did nothing for months. I was beginning to worry they would never resprout. Long and behold 3 out of 4 have sprouted leaf shoots.

Waiting on the 4th. It seems you could possibly regrow to bigger tubers every year then store indoors as tubers replant outside during late spring.

No idea how long would need to fruit and flower but I figure it may be able to fruit like this in mild winter locations. Might be possible to even grow in NE like this.

Maybe it needs a couple of seasons, but it definitely sets fruit on the current season's growth, as the plant dies back to the root even in mild climates. The roots are hand-like clusters of long (and slightly thick) finger-like tubers... I'm hoping that breaking them apart might be a good way to propagate it vegetatively (especially since I broke mine on digging them up). If so, it'll be easier to multiply known male and female plants.

Ceasar, I will post more photos soon, but a second seedling is now putting out small clusters of flowers, most likely male. Strangely, the flowers from the first seedling look to have small green fruits appearing... but there were no male flowers at the time. I did not think this was possible with Jarilla Chocola.

They might just be the flower's ovaries, like in papaya and cucurbits, but if you're especially fortunate, you might have a hermaphrodite or apomictic specimen. You'll find out soon, whether the "fruits" take or drop.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: June 09, 2019, 07:23:28 PM »
I was lucky to get 4 of 4 to sprout. They are planted in a large pot and are growing well... one is already flowering. I live on zone 9B, so I hope to get fruit this year. Any suggestions ad tienes on fertilizer, etc. from your experience?  Does anyone know if these are Male or female flowers?

I got nothing to say on fertilizer, I'm a bit of a neglectful grower at the moment (though not nearly as bad as I used to be). I didn't see the inner flower structure in your pic, but comparing them to the flowers I saw on mine, and on Papaya, I'd say they look female. Single flowers tend to be female in Papaya, clustered flowers male. But the final word is on the flower structure, styles versus anthers, so sneak a peek and tell me what you see.

Question may be stupid, but has anyone tried to graft papaya on it?

Because it's from the same family and I think
1) this may be the opportunity to make papaya bloom faster and thus to have fruit fairly quickly in the first year.
2) the ability to keep the roots cool like potatoes in colder climates.

What do you think ?

It's been a bit of a finicky plant for me, and it's somewhat rare and slightly expensive, so I wouldn't use it as a rootstock. But if you got some fruiting plants providing extra seeds, go for it.

As for keeping the roots cool, I assume you mean the roots would survive even if the cold killed off the upper growth? In that case, the rootstock (Chocola) would survive while the scion (Papaya) gets killed off. In that case, you'd have to re-graft every season. Even if you kept it warm in a greenhouse, the upper growth of chocola (which would receive the rootstock) dies off yearly, so you'd still have to re-graft.

If it was me, I'd rather graft Chocola onto Papaya, in the hopes of getting a more vigorous plant to provide the chocola fruit.

How long do they take to fruit from seed? And do they grow true to parent from seed?

I don't know how true they grow, but I'm not aware of any variability in the species, other than fruit pigmentation. With proper care, they might fruit in under a year. Fast grower past the seedling stage (I'm already seeing a few looking taller than the rest, the earliest seeds I planted).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cerrado Cashew (Anacardium humile)
« on: June 06, 2019, 01:01:35 AM »
My seedling cashews are a week old, and they already match the Cerrado species in height and girth. I think I'll try grafting them soon. Here's the thing though...

This'll be my first time grafting anything. I've seen it in person, I've seen pics, videos and diagrams, and I've read about it, but since I've never actually done it, there's always the impression that I'm gonna mess everything up. My intention was to take a Cerrado Cashew, cut it at the base, defoliate it, shape it for a cleft graft, cut the Common Cashew and prepare the cleft, stick the scion knto the rootstock and tape it together with grafting tape. I have no idea if this is right, or if I'd be doing it wrong. Anyone got any pointers for a first time grafter?

My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) are sprouting... the first yam to sprout!  ;D

They're usually the last ones to sprout for me. I think they're gonna like it over there, they really seem like a more temperate climate species, though they're capable enough of growing in the tropics. Mine are finicky; I've treated some of them well (but not ideally), and have had rather small, wimpy vines, incapable of carrying a good crop (though they were mostly first year vines, with a few second years). Meanwhile, I've had some be utterly mistreated, and grow more vigorous vines that might reach bearing size if I just gave them a good spot (mostly second year vines). I think they like good spacing from other plants, and strong support from the start (this is vital: if the vine doesn't find something to climb, the tip will die, and it rarely produces a branch or second vine in the same season). I made this mistake with my D. japonica, and I wonder if it's done growing for the season, or if it'll put out new growth. It's my first time growing D. japonica.

Great link on Mukago potatos!

Those are definitely D. japonica, as described in the link, but they look really similar to the D. polystachya.

That one's a D. bulbifera, for sure (maybe an African strain). Polystachya and japonica don't bear bulbils anywhere near that size, and it's the wrong shape for alata or pentaphylla.

My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) sprouting...   ;D


They look lovely! Be warned though, if your soil is good, you'll be seeing a lot more of them in time. With their slow sprouting, I often forgot mine, only to have them sprout in a lot of different pots. I even have one in my mom's flower garden... That's what I get for recycling soil (there's a potato and my last D. trifida growing there too).


Thanks for the article! I do wish they'd gone into more detail regarding the amino acid profile. Lots of plants are touted as being high in protein, but very few of them are high in "essential amino acids", and almost none are a complete protein (with all of the essential amino acids, each one at or above the minimum threshold to be nutritionally significant). Other than meat, the only complete protein that I remember is Quinoa and some legume crops (I can't recall them off the top of my head, but I think that Soy isn't one of them, though it comes close).

A few weeks ago I got a good 2 handfuls of small Plectranthus tubers from a friend and put them in a community pot to sprout.
They sent up many shoots and I have 125 those rooting in 2" pots. When I get up to 200 plants I'll be putting two on each side of 50 one year old mango trees which have just gotten 4 wheelbarrow loads each of good homemade compost. It has been two years and I just got around to adding this crop to my farm I know they will do well from my friends experience. It will probably be 2 weeks before they are in the ground we have been under a high pressure for weeks(hot and dry) but our rainy season is imminent in June.

You're gonna like those potatoes, they're a pretty low-care crop. A bit small, but easy to manage post-harvest, versatile and tasty. Have they gone into the ground yet?

My two bulbs of dioscorea bulbifera are showing the first signs of sprouting...  ;D

Pics man! Show me those babies! And if you haven't already, stick 'em into the ground. They're one of my slower yams to sprout, but the fastest ones to grow, and they sure grow long and vigorous.

Caesar the most popular eggplant in Puerto Rico were Rosita and Rayada, but light purple/pink and striped respectively. I think they are open pollinated so if you found one on the local market that was overripe the seed would come true and do well for you. Of the solanace eggplant is easiest. If you'd like I have plenty of the best cherry tomato it is called Everglades. It is small but very sweet, bears in large clusters spreads widely and is resistant to everything. The finest aspect is that it self sows and once you have it going you will probably not have to plant it again it just grows here and there where it finds suitable conditions.

Oh, and it can also climb up into trees!

That sounds about right, those are the ones we usually used to buy. The black one was a recent try. I'll get some Rosita and Rayada to compare with the white ones once they start bearing, and save some seeds. I'm going to graft some plants on the more perennial Turkeyberry as well. I brought back some seeds from my time in Utuado, and now they're threatening to take over the yard.

And that tomato seems like an excellent variety! Please save me some seeds, they'd be well appreciated.  :D

I think I might get in trouble if I sold the lobsters for aquaria instead of eating them myself (¿unless I ship them overseas perhaps?). I've seen the little Cambarellus types in pet stores here, but the big ones (like the redclaws I had wanted from the start) are considered as invasive species. Indeed, I think there's a feral population of redclaws on the north side. We have freshwater crabs here that breed little crablets in full freshwater, but they need land, and they don't get along well. Folks eat them but they prefer the coastal land crabs 'cause they grow bigger and are easier to find. Breeding saltwater crustaceans seems problematic, with all the larval stages they have to go through.

Most of the info on Clarias talks of rearing them on pellet-based food. They're intriguing enough, especially with their low demands, but we can go lower! What kind of crop residue could they feed on, to eliminate outside input? That'd be an ideally raised permaculture fish!

I'm with zephian, it'd probably be cheaper to go for the seeds. But if you still want plants, they're definitely growing well enough, if a bit slow. I had added more seeds, and now the little jiffy pellets have little carpets of green.

No issues on my end, and I'm not aware of this species having any poor standing in the California legal system. I have sent Artocarpus there, so I think it shouldn't be a problem. I'll keep you updated on their growth.

I haven't fried up the bulbils like I said I would, but maybe I'll try it later this week (if I can remember it). There's plenty of smaller bulbils on the vine, and the ones near the base are putting on size, and interesting shapes:

😂😂😂i still remember how i poisoned myself with raw Dioscorea bulbifera when i was 8. I really wanted to know what those "fruit" on the vine tasted like.😂😂😂

That could've been a very dangerous experience, I'm glad you're okay. As kids, we'd taste anything without giving it a second thought. As long as we live to tell the tale, I consider it a lesson learned.  ;)

You travel a lot through Southeast Asia, they should have a lot of edible varieties there. Avoid the wild ones, ask the natives for the ones they eat, peel 'em, boil 'em up, season them and try them on video; I'd love to see more vids on edible air potatoes. And if you could bring back a few, I'm always looking for more varieties.  ;D

I have always be fascinated by Solanum sp. Some are so tasty and some are so toxic. I made a playlist about eating Solanum species:

Mostly cultivated eggplants for now but as soon as the season starts ill start foraging for the wild species, too.

Thanks for the videos, very interesting! Even with the original post, I didn't realize eggplants were such a highly variable crop. My mom used to bread and deep fry the light purple ones when I was younger, and they were good. She fried up a black one not too long ago, and it was bitter, I couldn't stomach it. Off that experience, I went looking for a variety that had good reviews for flavor and settled on a white one from Baker Creek Seeds. I just put the seedlings in the ground, here's hoping they do well.

The Jaltomatas were an utter failure for me, perhaps I'll have better luck next time. I recently put the "Giant Cape Gooseberries" into the ground, and they're growing well. I managed to sprout seeds from a storebought package of fruit, and those fruits were huge! 4 times the size of the ones I grew a few years ago. It's not so much that they seemed large, rather mine were tiny, and I could never pinpoint why. With these 3 varieties in the ground, I hope at least one of them will bear decently sized fruits; if not, I'll have to conclude that they just don't like my ambient conditions.

I also got Phoenix Tears Goji from Rain Tree Nursery, so I'll report on how well it takes to the local climate in Puerto Rico.

I'm sprouting seeds from a wild tree growing near me. It's pink instead of red, but it tastes the same. I could grow them out and send when they're bigger, if you're interested.

Pics of the mother tree and seedlings:

I'm glad to hear all these good things about Lacy Phacelia. It was on my list of companion plants, and I had intended to include it in the flower strips between crop beds.

I might include some aquaponic systems on the farm for the short term, but in the long term, I think I'd keep aquaculture simple, maybe some crayfish or acociles in the aquatic crop ponds; nothing too fancy, just for subsistence rather than production.

Animals are a huge responsibility, and I'm in no rush to deal with them, but they do have their benefits, and the work can be minimized if you work them into the farm according to available resources and niches. Again, I'd keep them more for subsistence, with the crops being the main productive force of the farm.

I got myself some Mesquite seeds, Prosopis alba. I already had the Breadfruit and the Air Potatoes, now I need the Maya Nut, the Tahitian Chestnut, and the Sago Palm, and I'll have a strong collection of some of the most productive starchy staples in the world. For fat, Avocado, Macadamia and other tropical nuts & oilfruit. For vegetable protein, mainly Chachafruto and annual pulse crops. With a good system in place, I could theoretically keep myself fed without a supermarket... Not that I'd stop going, but it's good to have food security.



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cerrado Cashew (Anacardium humile)
« on: May 12, 2019, 07:16:20 PM »
Perhaps temperature isn't the only factor. I finally ended up losing another one. 3 remain in pots, 1 in the ground.

I got a bunch of common cashew seeds from a friend, I'm going to sprout them and make my first attempt at grafting. Perhaps the Cerrado Cashew will do better on a Common Cashew Rootstock. If it works out with the first tree, I'll graft the remaining trees as well.

Not sure what the ops bb is but you can graft onto this guy for a tree like blueberries. Somewhere on you tube is a video of a bunch of shb being grafted on at a university research planting

How is it for fruit quality? I'll try anything once, but the arborescence of the "Blueberry Tree" from the thread isn't the main selling point for me (though it is a factor). It's the fact that it seems to be so resilient compared to other blueberries: low-chill, seemingly adaptable to multiple soil types, and productive to boot. It's an elite tree that may very well merit cultivar status. I'm really hoping Adam will release it soon, but the matter might not be in his hands. Time will tell.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: The Official "Blueberry Tree" thread.
« on: April 30, 2019, 12:59:39 AM »
Checking in for 2019! Any updates on the blueberry, Adam?  :D

Hmm, thanks. You method does not sound too different from mine. I'm guessing that my seedlings were killed by fungus gnats before I even noticed they had germinated.
Austromyrtus dulcis sounds very interesting. Where did you get those seeds?

I got 'em off ebay, searching for Austromyrtus (they were labeled "Midgen Berry"). They're usually available periodically (I had saved a listing a couple of months ago, but now they're gone and I'm not seeing any others). I'd actually rather get my hands on the hybrid with A. tenuifolia ("Coppertops" or "Copper Tops"). It's said to have bigger berries and be more productive (with less sprawling bushes). But I can't find Copper Tops anywhere outside Australia, and I don't think they ship out live plants.

Ive had bad luck germinating Ugni seeds too,thats why i decided to buy potted plants.

I was tempted to do the same, but not many nurseries that have ship to PR, and it tends to be expensive for a plant that has a high chance of failure in my climate. I haven't even seen being sold as a live plant. has the bigger fruit (and supposedly greater productivity), but is said to be tastier, at least according to barath:

I'm growing it and find that it fruits heavily and continuously, and is more precocious than normal ugni.  The fruit are solid black when fully mature, but hang for a long time (and I usually eat them before they get fully black).  They're slightly larger than normal ugni -- like the size of an average blueberry.  I think they taste a little spicier than ugni, but with the same general flavor (maybe a hint of clove flavor).
I think I like the flavor of Ugni molinae better -- I find that I want to keep eating Ugni molinae whereas after eating a few of Ugni myricoides I take a break.  The fruit is still tasty and is bigger than U. molinae, and even when the plant is small it will produce well, so I think it's worth growing.

How did you germinate the seeds? Out of three packets of seeds I only got one seed to germinate.

Nothing special. A pot of moist soil, sprinkle the seeds then cover them with a shallow layer. I kept them in the shade, and didn't allow them to dry out until I had plants (and then never for long). I had good germination last time too. The Midyim Berry seedlings were very similar at first, but much faster growing. I killed those by planting them in the wrong spot before they were ready; I'm dyin' to try those again. I would've been eating the berries already.

Anyone have experience growing these in South Florida, and if so, under what conditions...

I've read they do well in partial shade, so they'd probably do best in shady conditions in the South. That's how I plan to keep mine, until I figure out how much sun they can take. I just separated my U.m. and fertilized them.

Great gallery! The ones from Haiti looks Asian. And as suspected, it seems African cultivars are more common, especially "Hawaii". We gotta get more people growing these. They're good food.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cerrado Cashew (Anacardium humile)
« on: April 26, 2019, 04:33:00 PM »
Mine have seen better days, but they're still alive. Some have died back and re-sprouted, others had a tip die off and then branch out lower. The ones in pots are in full sun and quite yellowed. The one in the ground is deep green, in the shade. None has showed substantial growth. I'm thinking of fertilizing them.

The one in the ground is in heavy clay, the others are in a very fast draining sandy mix. I saturate all of them when watering, and water with moderate frequency (ideally no less than once a week).


My pentaphylla has been actively growing and lengthening for several weeks now, and I have planted the bulbil from the seemingly sick Sena vine, hoping it won't inherit what the mother vine has... If it does, I will cull it. Another Sena vine has already dried up without bearing, and the others show no bulbils at all, save for a tiny one from a healthy vine, which I've already plucked and planted, my last hope at a healthy vine (unless a tuber resprouts healthily soon).

The new bulbiferas have all sprouted, with the bumpy one from India taking things slow, and "Hawaii" speeding up, overtaking the pentaphylla. I also have 5 D. japonica well-sprouted, and a couple of D. esculenta just beginning to sprout. Several D. dodecaneura vines are growing between two pots, but they look like they've seen better days (probably because they weren't able to climb in time and had their tips die off before I transplanted them).

The polystachya, while clinging to survival with an iron fist and multiplying like crazy (from the occasional bulbil and many root pieces), has failed to thrive. It hasn't produced a decently sized root for me yet, and very few of my vines have lengthened enough to climb properly and bear bulbils (and these didn't grow that far). Perhaps it prefers temperate climates, but I hope I can get them to grow well enough in the coming seasons so I can get a decent harvest.

I've taken stock of my alatas, and currently have 6 varieties. 2 purples (one sold to me as Dark Night St. Vincent, one from Pineislander in Florida), 2 "domestic" bulbil bearers (one from Pineislander, and one sold to me as a bulbifera by Rare Palm Seeds - they did not answer when contacted regarding the discrepancy), a feral bulbil bearer from my back hillside (I call it "ñame de monte", hill yam) and the domestic Florido, obtained from local markets.

And finally, I've one D. rotundata, and one cayennensis which grew from the roots again after failing to develop a tuber last season.

The season is starting to pick up! Hopefully I'll have a better harvest than last year (which was itself decent).

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted: White Jade Pineapple
« on: April 19, 2019, 10:56:46 AM »
Hi all! As in the title, I'm looking for White Jade Pineapple. Does anyone here have an extra pup off the mother plant that they can sell me?

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