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Topics - LivingParadise

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jackfruit - a second (or 3rd?) opinion
« on: August 05, 2017, 01:34:39 PM »
Well, for those who have not had a chance to taste jackfruit yet, I thought I would post this.

I was confused by jackfruit, because I know a lot of people like it, and I was always excited to try it. But I never came across a good one. I tried some canned, and it was rubbery, had a smell that I found nauseating, and a taste that kind of hurt my stomach. Hard to describe, but kind of bland, and yet like chewing on a fruit that miraculously combined overripe cantaloupe with rubber tires and the faint smell of fish. I tried some fresh that was equally unpleasant and disappointing. I love the way it looks from the outside, and as a plant, and of course it produces huge quantities so I really wanted to like it.

I found some in an Asian grocery and since it was a fair price and I didn't have to buy the entire fruit, I decided to try again. I'm glad I did! I don't know what variety this is, nor what variety the others were, but this one has no noticeable latex, tastes sweet, is still a little rubbery but less so, smells more like cantaloupe than fish (lol), and tastes a remarkable amount like cake. What kind of cake? I don't know... some generic yellow or white cake with sweet white frosting. I'm not really a cake person, so I still wouldn't say this is my favorite fruit, but it's definitely pleasant tasting, and I would be really excited to have a tree that produced whole fruits of this. I can definitely see how lemon flavored ones, like the variety I am growing in my yard, would be really desired... a little acidity and complexity would improve this flavor a lot. So if I'm lucky enough for my current little sapling to reach maturity and fruit, that would be great.

As I understand it, jackfruit is hugely useful when underripe as a meat substitute, and the plentiful seeds are also edible and compared to lotus seed and chestnuts.

Another benefit was one slice of jackfruit the size of a slice of watermelon (maybe 3/4" thick x 4-5" wide at the base?) made me completely full! I tried to eat a little more, because I was still really curious about the flavor which is totally new to me for a fruit, but it just made me sick, lol. So easy to eat in moderation, contains a decent amount of fiber, and has a ton of health benefits to boot!: http://www.healthbeckon.com/jackfruit-fruit-benefits/

So happily, this wedge I bought contained a bunch of seeds... haven't eaten it all yet to get to them, but I would guess maybe 20? So hopefully one or more will sprout and I can grow jackfruit around my yard, and someday be able to give it away as gifts and have a major food source of fruit, vegetable, and protein all in one plant!

Plus, now my hands smell like cake...  :)

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OMFG, so excited - one of the first plants I ever planted in my yard when I first moved here, because it was one of the most important to me to be able to grow, was a pomegranate capable of withstanding humid tropical weather. I put 2 Vietnam pomegranates in as 3g from Top Tropicals, more than 3 full years ago. They have done absolutely nothing, grown a bit, died down, grown, died down with spider mite again in dry season. As with most of my plants, I do nothing extra really for them, because the point is to  be able to live off of what can grow naturally in my yard, with as little interference as I can manage. A few months ago, I thought they were done for... they had been doing really well, and then suddenly declined with the yearly spider mite outbreak to 2 leaves left on one shrub and 4 on the other.

Well, they like the water and heat apparently. Because it's gotten way hotter and more humid, and we have gotten finally some rain in the past few weeks (although still nothing like the rest of the state), and I walked past for possibly the millionth time and was pleased to see tons of leaves... and then almost fell down with a heart attack that there were multiple scarlet flowers!!!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 were open so I immediately hand pollinated. A bunch more coming. My dwarf pomegranate nearby has been growing a fruit now for quite a few months, so if I'm lucky that will be ready in another two months or so. But, you know, it's a dwarf, they only get so big, and they are decent tasting if you wait forever for them to ripen but not spectacular. And it's just the one. So I really hope the Vietnams can hold a fruit or two. Screw waiting another year, as this might be my last chance!

If I get to taste, I will certainly update on the quality... although of course a single early fruit might not be much indicator of future quality when the plant is several seasons into production history.

On the complete other side of the yard, I looked over at my newly planted 4' Wonderful from Willis Orchards (mixed reviews of my experience there, but this certainly impressed me) and there were several flowers!!!!! Holy crap, I just got that this year, and no wait time!!!! Yay. :) Never tasted a Wonderful, so again, quite happy to describe it later if I get a chance.

I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, so didn't get a chance to really inspect the flowers much to see a difference, but at first glance they all looked pretty similar to the dwarf ones. Pretty though. Would be spectacular if one day I had a tree full of them - I've never seen that before, but the leaves are bright and dark green on such thick bushy plants, and with flaming red flowers, a mature pomegranate must be amazing.

In other spectacular news, I walked over to the other side of the yard and the Blackberry Jam fruit, which only started flowering profusely this year after maybe 3 years of waiting, has 2 fruits growing!!! This is awesome, because all the delicious smelling flowers were falling off their long stalks, and since there is no pollen to be seen I thought it might be impossible to pollinate them and the plant might not bear fruit this year. It is just the one plant by itself - the plant next to it has not flowered yet because it is about a year younger. So that clarifies that yes, Randia formosa can self-pollinate. Interestingly, the fruit look like little watermelons on the branches, light green and streaked with white. It's very cool to look at. I don't know how long it will take to ripen, but I can't wait to try them, and I hope there are dozens more coming. There are indeed plenty of flowers, so the plant is worth growing alone as an ornamental if you like plants like gardenia and jasmine - these have glossy leaves and similar but large fragrant flowers. I did post a story of the single fruit I found on the plant from last season, but I found it out of nowhere after never even seeing a flower, and by the time I got to it all that was left was flavorless dust inside. So I hope for better luck now that I actually get to see the process.


In other great news of waiting it out, several gingers which I had thought dead for good did indeed come back this rainy season, which I only just discovered today! These include Volcano Rim and I think it was Butterfly...  Galangal is still of course going strong because it is very drought resistant, and I see the red cone ginger (sadly, not edible) is also coming back. The Siam Tulip, which is related to turmeric, is also coming back with the rain, which is awesome because it has good leaves for cooking, what little I've tasted of it.

I am also blown away by my Native Plant section, which for the first time ever is finally taking off. Not much to report on the endangered fruit front yet, but I am amazed that the Simpsons and Spanish stoppers are both exploding in flowers, which they never did before. The Spanish grows fruit all up and down the branch and trunk like a jaboticaba! It is so loaded with blooms I almost can't see any bark. The Simpsons, which made only 1 fruit last year, makes reddish orange drupes that taste like candied orange peel, and I am so looking forward to what looks like it might be a crop of hundreds this year. It would be my first major fruit crop of anything I've ever grown, if so. I have had many Strawberry Tree fruits in the past, but they were never all at one time, I never got more than 5 in a day. Then the stupid saltwater flood came and killed both my trees. :(  I did get a bunch of 40 Namwah bananas a year ago, which was my best fruiting to date, until the same flood killed that plant with its 2nd crop of growing bananas right on it. (Fortunately, the flood did not kill the mat, and new plants are already almost as tall as the one that died.)

I am not at a point as a grower yet where I can rely on anything, to the level of having steady food throughout the year. But, I do have survival scraps all year now, and a few happy moments of treats interspersed. It took 4 long years of almost daily grueling digging and literal blood and sweat (ok, don't want to admit to the occasional tears) and a tremendous loss of money to dead plants from plague, but finally at long last I am seeing the literal fruits of my labor more and more all the time.

**So to those who are feeling hopeless and discouraged and impatient, take heart! It may happen for you yet, any random day that you are touring through the yard just trying to dodge the horde of mosquitoes, and there it is... the thing you started this dream for in the first place, one of the original plants you hoped you would one day be able to grow. And know that even for those of us who don't use any supplementary water or fertilizer or chemicals, even for those of us who might have some unfavorable conditions, it might still be possible, even if it does take a few years longer, and a few dead plants more of trying.

The next few plants I have my eye on for the coming year to hopefully bring future successes are the Pink Manila Tamarind, my first ever seed grown papaya, the dwarf date palms, maybe the Surinam cherries (both red and black, which are finally starting to reach respectable size), the Australian beach cherry, the sweet Tamarind, and a number of endangered native plants. Oh, and the Diamond River Longan, which is flowering for the first time ever after being planted earlier this year, but which I don't expect to hold fruit this time around. And if I'm really, really, really lucky, finally the Guanabana, the Peanut Butter fruits, some new varieties of bananas, a few of the pineapples, the natal plums (losing hope there though, because for the 2nd year in a row I am getting profuse flowers and not a single fruit), and my blessed Mamey Apple.

You never know what's around the corner. Good luck everybody! :)

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / The Happiest Plant Story You Have
« on: June 06, 2017, 11:51:53 AM »
What is the healthiest, most successful plant you've ever grown? Tell us about how well it went! What was the species? Where did you get it? How long have you had it? Did it produce for you? Did you give it special care, or does it just naturally do well where you live?

Tell us about the happy memories, and if you can manage it, post a picture of your beloved plant enjoying its happy plant life.

Also, other random happy plant memories welcome.


I have to think about the healthiest one I've grown so far, but in the category of random happy plant stories, when I was about 20 and living in an apartment in the big city, I was working around the clock and felt I couldn't really take care of anything. My friend and I had gotten into a discussion about kids, and I said I doubted my life would ever slow down, or that I would be a good parent, because I didn't think I could manage to keep a kid alive. I said I didn't think I could even keep a plant alive in that state! So we happened to walk into a store and there was this baby ficus there in a little pot, and I randomly decided to buy it and see if in fact I could keep it alive. I moved many times after that, and the little plant continued to grow and be happy. It did so well it convinced me ultimately to buy a house and adopt a dog (which fortunately also did well under my care). Then I had to move far away to get my doctorate. My friend had since gotten married, moved to another nearby state, and was pregnant with her first child. When I was saying goodbye to her, I gave her the ficus - which I had so aptly named "Plant," and said I couldn't take it with me, but I didn't want to see it die. So that was 10 years ago. My friend planted Plant in her backyard, and a few years later when they had to move they uprooted it and brought it with them. She and her husband continue to send me photos of Plant's progress, and it is still happy and ever getting bigger! They say every time it flushes out with new leaves, they think of me. That is one hardy little Plant! :)

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Well, I know a number of us have had these experiences, so here is a good place to share stories of your plant that appeared dead for 6 months or even a year or two and then suddenly came back to life! Sure, many plants that die are a lost cause, but if you don't dig them up and they had a chance to establish first, some might have good roots and come back.

I've had taro disappear to the point where I forgot exactly where I planted it, and it returned a full year later. I had a ginger that returned after 6 months. I had a Cherry of the Rio Grande that came back to life TWICE, after 6 months dead each time due to spider mite ravaging. I also had a few small plants return from what appeared to be certain death from aphid infestation, after dunking their pots for 24 hrs underwater. The dry season here is brutal...

I've also had 2 large bougainvilleas (the flowers are edible and highly antioxidant, in case you didn't know) die from saltwater inundation, and come back about 5 months later.

So just last week I noticed that my Rangoon Creeper - which is in fact edible, by the way - is growing new leaves. Um, that vine has been dead for a year and a half, and only had a few months to establish itself in the first place! I just never found the time to pull it out, and then I forgot about it. I guess it likes the new rain we've been having! So excited if I'll finally get to taste it!

So anybody else have stories of plant reappearance, and possibly even full recovery, after a traumatic brush with death? Tell us how long it was gone, what happened to it, and what if anything you did to help it revive? Did you check the roots or cut the flesh to see if there was anything still living in there? Most of mine I just don't disturb, but if it's spider mite, which we have a bad problem with down here, I'll generally pull the plant out and toss it. Sometimes though I don't feel up to it and then I forget... and sometimes, that leads to a very pleasant surprise!

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Hi all. This was actually a joke I posted to another thread, but on second thought, I think there is a real need.

So this thread is a running meeting for anyone needing support for their plant addictions. Are you bankrupting yourself trying to get all the latest varieties, traveling to remote rainforests to collect the rarest species, or attempting to stuff your yard and house to the breaking point with plants? Have you distanced yourself from family members and friends because you're too busy tissue culturing pineapples or devising the best composting worm tea, or pouring over online catalogs, to attend your kid's school functions or your friend's wedding? Do you have trouble meeting new people because all you can think to talk about is the growth habit of your Maha Chanok? Can you no longer make it to your bed or your bathroom because your apartment is so full of plants, now that you've decided to create an artificial greenhouse in the middle of your cold climate highrise?

If you need help, you're not alone. Post here for support and to vent frustration, and to deal with those god-awful late-night cravings to spend your entire latest paycheck, or run up your new credit card, or to take a vacation wherever they have the best tropical nursery so you can bring back a truckload full of plants... 

Sure, I'm kind of kidding, but I'm kind of not. I don't regret my purchases really, but wow, this addiction eats at me, it's always hungry and never satisfied! There is always something else that sounds amazing that I want to try to grow, that I want to see in person for myself, and smell and touch in real life and not just my imagination! I can never get enough plants. I have so many seeds in my house that I never even have time to plant them all, much less make tags to remember where I've put everything once it's in the ground or in a pot! I'm still paying on last year's plants, bought luckily on heavy sale with a 0% APR credit card so it didn't actually cost me anything extra yet... but most of them of course haven't fruited yet, so it's still a gamble. And then, as hurricane season starts yet again, I have those old worries that the entire collection will get wiped out in a big one and I will have spent all that money and sweat and blood for nothing. But that worry doesn't stop me from wanting to plant more!

So I'll start:

My name is LivingParadise, and I'm a Plant Addict. Right now I'm dealing with a shortage of funds, and other critical priorities in life. But I am thinking that if I don't get a jump start on planting the species I want right away, in a few years the plants won't be there fruiting for me or making plant matter I can eat or providing medicine. So in my head, I am losing money if I wait. And who knows how many years I'll live here, or be alive at all? I feel a need to get started! I look online and there are so many cool plants I don't have yet! And now is the season when there are an abundance of great plants at local nurseries - if I wait they'll be all gone for another year! So the craving is hitting me really hard to buy and plant more. I've already abstained from new plant and seed purchases for about 7 months now, which is a really long time for me. I would give myself a treat and buy a few, but I'm saving the money for something else, and I'm not feeling well lately so it's not like I can easily start digging new holes in the yard.

Anyone else?  :)

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Goji Berry in the Tropics
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:07:11 PM »
I don't have time to post photos now, but thought I would share some surprising and happy news...

I bought Goji berry plants from Ken's Nursery just in I think it was Oct, and only 6 months later several of them are flowering and fruiting like crazy! They're such tiny little plants, but they seem healthy and don't seem to care how small they are. I was very concerned that they would not do well in these conditions, as most temperate plants don't - I have terrible high PH soil, salt in the soil, desert climate half the year, high temps, and vicious spider mite issues in the dry season... but even so, with nothing but minimal supplementary watering, these things fruited. They never had a freeze or much in the way of chill hours, so that is not necessary. They have very pretty purple flowers, so I can see them being grown just ornamentally, although I'm not sure how long it will take for them to get to any big size.

So flowered profusely, and some didn't flower at all though. All are in partial sun conditions. So I'm not sure the reason, although they get somewhat different amounts of sun, and at different times of the day...

I'm really hoping they make it through the intense heat and flooding of our wet season in the next few months. So I'm not bothering to slow down the fruiting for now of the vigorous ones, because who knows if they'll even be here next year...

I also have fruiting from another tiny plant from Ken's, which I lost the tag for so I'm not sure which plant it was. I think it was a Spondea though...? So that plant too is probably just a year old from seed or so. Overall most of those plants have been doing really well, plus I got them at great prices because I bought at the end of their season. Far better experience in every way from Top Tropicals, plus WAY cheaper. Like 1/4 of the price because I got everything in bulk, plus free shipping, plus on sale.

So I'll update with photos hopefully at some point when I have more time. I don't even know which Goji this is. I planted black goji seeds I got off an Amazon seller from China, but they never came up. I've planted 2 other plants in the past of red goji (I think it was barbarum?) but they never lasted through the summer the last time, and never reached the point of flowering. So I kind of thought it might be impossible down here.

Really looking forward to watching the fruit turn color and getting to taste them! Goji leaves are also extremely healthy and can be eaten raw or cooked. I hope at least one of these plants makes it through the summer and gets big enough so I can pick leaves regularly to eat, even when it's not fruiting...

So if you live in an area that never freezes, even if the conditions like mine are unfavorable for other reasons, consider giving goji a try. From the right supplier, you might still have good luck. I will try to update if it lives past this year. If we get a bad flood, I'm doubting it. But it might be a great candidate then to grow as an outdoor container plant, and then I can bring it in if it gets too hot or if a hurricane's a-comin'.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / TR Hovey Papaya question
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:05:03 PM »
So I had a young TR Hovey plant, and I am soooo mad that after a flood this Winter (yes, I said Winter, in the middle of the dry season - thanks sea level rise!), it killed my TR Hovey after it was probably months away from its first fruit.

Anyway, learned my lesson, I now want to plant a bunch in various areas of the yard to see which is less prone to brackish water flood so I can get fruit. But buying a bunch of plants is expensive, and I don't know of a local supplier so they'd each have to be shipped. Plus, since I've never tasted it, I'm not even sure if I'll like it enough to spend that much.

*I see lots of advertisements for seeds - but do TR Hovey seeds come true? I also of course wonder how reliable these sellers are in term of correct variety, but I prefer being able to buy online anonymously on Amazon, Etsy, or Ebay, to making arrangements with people on the forum. (Recommendation of specific sellers on any of those 3 sites that you know would be the correct variety and viable seed would also be appreciated.)

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Cacti thread
« on: April 10, 2017, 03:31:18 PM »
People may not think of cactus as a tropical plant exactly, but it frequently grows in tropical areas. And what many don't realize is that you can eat both the pads, and any fruit that grow. The Florida Keys actually have 3 native species of cacti. I bought a few others to add to my collection. I don't really care for the look of cactus personally, but they are certainly drought tolerant, interesting looking, and a good choice for survival needs.

So for the moment here are the species I have that I know to be edible:

*Opuntia Cochenillifera, Slim Jim Cactus - slim, mostly spineless pads, with abundant red flowers
*Consolea Moniliformis (a.k.a. opuntia ferox), Hawaiian Lights  - thicker pads, frequent bloomer, yellow and orange/red flowers, flowers from a small size
*Opuntia Splendens, Giant Wavy Blue - large relatively thornless bluish pads, large yellow flowers
*Opuntia humifusa - native Florida prickly pear
*Acanthocereus tetragonus, Barbed wire cactus - native Florida species
*Consolea corallicola, Semaphore cactus - native Keys species
*Opuntia triacanthos, Keys Jumping cactus - native Keys species
*2 thus far unidentified Opuntias just labeled as "prickly pear"

If the unnamed Opuntias don't turn out to include them, I will probably add Opuntia ficus-indica (indian fig) and Nopalea Karwinskiana.

Generally speaking, Opuntias are considered to be edible, and here is a huge list of them with some common and alternate scientific names: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Cactaceae/Opuntia.html
Not all of them though are going to be tolerant of the humid conditions of the tropics, and of the excessive rain we get, particularly in a rainy season. So be mindful of whatever your local conditions are if you're looking to bring outside species in.

I want to see what does, and does not, do well in my local conditions. And also what does, and does not, taste good. I haven't eaten much in the way of cacti pads, or fruit. Maybe 10 years ago was the last time I tried any, and that was pickled pads, which I remember as being slimy and edible but not great, and prickly pear fruit being again edible but not as sweet or tasty as I was hoping for.

The problem with any of these is glochids, the tiny nearly-invisible hairs that latch onto skin and are quite painful - more of a concern to me than cacti spines which are easily seen and thus fairly easily avoided. So handling and preparation are to be thought about. Generally speaking, you need to peel them - maybe with gloves. I think they need to be cooked - I'm not sure if you can eat any pads in a raw state. From what I understand, usually you want to eat pads when they are young and don't have many spines on them yet.

I hope you'll share your recipes and methods of preparation here. As a vegetable, the pads apparently can be thrown on the grill, and I've heard of people eating them in place of burgers. Never tried it yet, but I'd like to.

Opuntia are noted for multiple strong health benefits, both from the fruit, and the pads. So aside from being easy in drought-prone areas, it certainly has other things to recommend it.

My plants are all still very young, but I will say that the Hawaiian Lights already had its first flowers, which was exciting. Would be cool if it made fruit. All of my plants are still too young for me to want to cut off pads to try them as a vegetable yet. But it's a nice dry season option for harvest, when all the fruits and many of the vegetables are still waiting for their rainy season prime.

Of course, keep in mind that dragonfruit and pitaya are great to grow too, although I'm unsure about their edibility as a vegetable.


Please share what edible cacti you have growing, and your experiences so far with them as a vegetable!

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Edible "weeds"
« on: April 03, 2017, 11:51:03 AM »
A few to add to the list:

Purslane - Portulaca oleracea  (high in Omega 3 fats, very tasty raw)
Sea Purslane (same, but very salty)
Spanish needles - Bidens alba (a godsend for fire ant bites, among other medicinal benefits)
Dollarweed/Pennywort/Gotu kola - Hydrocotyle (astounding health benefits - here are some: https://caloriebee.com/nutrition/Pennywort-Tea-And-Its-Many-Benefits)
Amaranth - Amaranthus (a complete protein, edible leaves AND seeds!)
Sow thistle - Sonchus (popular in many countries, multiple medicinal properties)

So silly that people take so much time out of their lives, and spray poison all over their living spaces, to eradicate such abundant food, much of which has properties that could possibly cure cancer or eradicate many chronic illnesses, and then go to the store and spend a bunch of money on less fresh, less nutritional produce that had to be shipped in from elsewhere.

What is considered a "weed" where you live that is edible (and likely also medicinal), but that people get rid of because of their extreme abundance, and perhaps less than desirable appearance and/or taste? Food is food, and medicine is medicine, and there is no need for humans to go hungry virtually anywhere on Earth, nor to have most of the diseases that exist, if we only knew how to use what is so readily available to us.



And yes, I would be remiss if I did not mention the wealth of information available at http://www.eattheweeds.com/, including in the forums, which in many cases cover plants found throughout the world.

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Sweet pepper (Capsicum) thread
« on: April 03, 2017, 11:34:05 AM »
What varieties of sweet (not hot) peppers thrive in the tropics?

I recently planted Aji Dulce seeds (an exclusively sweet version of Capsicum chinese), popular in Puerto Rico and around the Caribbean/tropical South America, but they haven't come up yet.

Who knows, and can share cultivation stories (and of course recipes!), of others?

11
Wiri wiri, thai/bird's eye chilis, jalapeno, habanero...

Perhaps ultimately there will be individual threads for favorite pepper species, but for now, let's start with a big thread of delicious hot pepper varieties that grow in hot climates!

My neighbors are growing scotch bonnets in buckets, with such flourishing success that I have no need to ever try to grow any myself!

I have not grown any hot peppers since the first year I moved here, because they all got such a terrible attack of whitefly it didn't seem worth it. But I am more on top of things now, and am considering trying a few varieties again. I wonder if they can grow in the poor soil here, or if they can only grow in containers - neither myself nor my neighbor has ever tried them in-ground yet. I am more partial to Thai red varieties, than the harsh bite of most Caribbean peppers I've tried. But I think I'm ready to try a variety of them and just see how they all do. I'd prefer anything that can just grow in my soil and doesn't need a ton of care at this point, and can handle our scorching summers, drowning wet season, and parched dry season (or at least one of those!).

I found this to be a really fun article on India's love for chili peppers:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/et-magazine/indian-chilli-displacing-jalapenos-in-global-cuisine/articleshow/8190311.cms

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Edible tropical mushrooms?
« on: April 03, 2017, 11:00:25 AM »
Who can tell us more about different species, sources, how to cultivate, how to identify, etc?

From the old forum:
Re: Anybody know how to grow mushrooms?
Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 12:22:39 PM

I found this page which discusses the attempt to grow mushroom in Samoa. I figure they have similar conditions to here. I am considering trying the species they mention as successful (P. pulmonarius - tropical oyster, Auricularia polytricha - wood ear, Ganoderma lucidum - reishi, and Pleurotus citrinopileatus - golden oyster mushroom):

https://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/2007/03/01/daisuke-goto-the-first-to-cultivate-mushrooms-in-samoa/

I found multiple kits on Amazon for things such as pink oyster that seemed like they had a good chance of success. I can't recreate cool underground conditions here outdoors, and I don't want fungus growing in my house because it is too much work at the moment to do so in an environment that can be contained and will not cause mold growth in m house, which is a serious problem here in the Keys that can destroy your health and house value.

So I'm not ready to do this yet, but I will look into try some of these in the next year. The problem is that you have to wait so long to know if it was successful or not! But I do know that some mushrooms grow here, since I have some growing on stumps already in my yard. I just don't know how to identify them to be sure what kind they are, and if they are edible.

13
Copied from old forum:

Mikesid

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Pigeon Peas
on: June 25, 2013, 09:59:24 AM

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I see these growing wild along the road sometime in the city, probably from old plantings...I would like to grow these...anyone try these yet?
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Always be planting!
Tomato

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 05:41:52 PM

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Yes, they make very good hummus.
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Mike T

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 04:48:15 AM

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I have a couple of plants that have never been watered or fertilized and are in bad spots. They have a few peas on so are very tough plants.
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The world needs more rooting.
BMc

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 07:04:50 AM

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Great for fast growing shade for young trees. Grow and crop 2-3 times per year without any inputs. No idea how to use them though. Great chicken feed. Can have borer problems after 3 years old and encourage pod suckers in sub tropical oz.
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Mikesid

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 06:27:34 AM

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Quote from: BMc on June 26, 2013, 07:04:50 AM

    Great for fast growing shade for young trees. Grow and crop 2-3 times per year without any inputs. No idea how to use them though. Great chicken feed. Can have borer problems after 3 years old and encourage pod suckers in sub tropical oz.

Someone I work with was showing me these when we were out in the city and said his mom use to cook them all the time when he was a kid...Cuban decent I think..I'll have to find out some recipes..
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 11:32:26 PM

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Another name is Gandules.  Quite tasty, fixed like black-eyed peas or like beans in rice.
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Luisport

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 04:01:54 PM

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Hi! I just start to trys them here in Portugal! ;D I will tell my experience, but untill now they are fine.
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 05:40:28 AM

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Interesting blog: http://pickmeyard.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/please-pass-the-pigeon-peas/#comments
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 05:18:10 PM

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Pigeon Peas (Cajanus cajan)
I have been growing them for several years now. I use them as a nitrogen fixing agent and because they have a tap root they break up a hard layer of soil I have that is down about a foot.
They become a nice looking bush with great yellow flowers that attract bees. I do not know how long they will live but I pulled the first ones a the end of the third year.
They produce multiple crops a year with many pods. They originally came for India where they are called Toor Dal. Used exsensively in their cooking. Grown and used for cooking in the west indies.
Nice plant but you have to have room to grow it.
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plantlover13

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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 06:34:10 PM

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If you have a indian grocery near you, you can find the seeds dirt cheap.
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 08:56:06 PM

What's the deal with these? Do they need any special care to sprout? I bought a bunch of packets, and planted one entire packet in a grow bag, on the same day as multiple other vegetables. That was close to a month ago. All of the other seeds I planted, including spinach, parsley, cilantro, bok choy, creeping cucumber, artichoke, scarlet runner bean, bitter melon, thai peppers, and a host of other vegetables have sprouted. All have the exact same soil, watering schedule, lighting, etc. Is this bad seeds? Or do I need to coddle the seeds more first, and actually put effort into sprouting them, unlike all the other plants which I just planted directly into their final container?

Usually, I don't need to put a lot of fuss into things to get them to grow, so I did not do anything special with these seeds, like scarify them first, or soak them, or anything... I'm looking forward to planting the rest of the packets, but only once I see the first ones growing!
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 11:01:32 PM

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I have found soaking helps with beans. I would check to see if they rotted in the soil. I have had luck with buying the bag of dried beans and planting them.
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #12 on: May 28, 2015, 08:13:34 AM

Quote from: from the sea on May 27, 2015, 11:01:32 PM

    I have found soaking helps with beans. I would check to see if they rotted in the soil. I have had luck with buying the bag of dried beans and planting them.


Thanks, I'll look into soaking them. I don't think they could possibly have rotted - the grow bags get excellent drainage. I think it's more likely they're not moist enough. I haven't had any trouble with other beans with this method though, so far my scarlet runner beans, soybeans, bumble bee bush bean, yin yang beans, and purple hyacinth beans all sprouted this way with no difficulty (if sometimes it took a little longer than they might have to start, but I didn't mind). A month is longer than any others have ever taken, though, so I'll try to dig them out if I can find them and soak them to get them started. Otherwise I'll just start a new pack. I'll give an update if I get some success.
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #13 on: May 28, 2015, 08:16:56 AM

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Hope they grow for you they are cool plants.
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Re: Pigeon Peas
Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 10:05:56 AM

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A few years back my friend gave me a plant-pulled the whole plant with dried pods on- she had grown from a bag of dried pigeon peas bought at Publix. I shelled the pods into a bed of sand with a little manure and a little chopped leaves- watered once a week. 4 grew the first year and now I've got a batch of little guys coming up from stuff I dropped and couldn't find while harvesting. Honestly, if your area is hot enough, you shouldn't have a problem with growing them. They need HEAT!
All my reading said that they were treated like annuals for cropping- pull after the first season and replant fresh seeds. I asked an expert gardener at Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in N Ft Myers why and he said, Fertilize them and they'll continue to bear. Makes since. Heat degrades nitrogen very quickly. I threw out some 6-6-6 on my pigeon pea plants for every weekend for a month and they started bearing like crazy. So far this year I've 4 flushes of peas to harvest and stashed away lots of peas in the freezer.
I KNOW that the SFL heat causes a LOT of plants to need extra feeding- heck, even Irish potatoes during the winter only gave me 1-2 tubers per plant still I started planting them in 3 inches of Black Kow Manure and toppijng with miracle Grow Garden Soil- then started getting some decent yields!
Pigeon peas are very good in savory dishes. My Jamaican friend suggested in a beef stew, pepper, pigeon pa, rice and coconut milk stew. I learnt the hard way- don't put coconut milk in a rice cooker. WOW what a mess!
Anyone else had anything new with pigeon peas since the original posting.

14
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Edible Flowers!
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:43:13 PM »
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LivingParadise

I figured this would be a great topic for a thread.

Please add any flowers that you know to be edible. I know there is a very, very long list. (PLEASE INDICATE if you know that a flower needs to be cooked before eating!)

Here are a few:

*Hibiscus
*Bougainvillea (to my knowledge, the colored leaves, not the stamens)
*Banana blossoms (banana leaves are technically edible too)
*Citrus blossoms - lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, calamondin, kuqmuat...
*Jasmine - just makes sure it's true jasmine!
*Honeysuckle
*Ixora Coccinea
*Plumeria
*Pineapple guava/Feijoa flowers
*Coral Vine flowers (COOKED!)
*Purple hyacinth bean FLOWERS - 2 different sources state the flowers can be eaten raw, although the beans have to be thoroughly cooked


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Re: Edible Flowers!
Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 07:52:05 PM

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blue porter weed, moringa, squash/pumpkin, and nasturtium.
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Re: Edible Flowers!
Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 06:59:35 PM

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elderberry, violet, canna; the first two are not tropical, but are where I live in zone 9
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Re: Edible Flowers!
Reply #3 on: May 22, 2015, 01:31:59 AM

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Just found out baobab flower is edible

15
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:40:38 PM »
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LivingParadise
Turmeric
on: April 25, 2015, 04:18:56 PM

So, I have embarked on a new quest. I don't go to my local grocery store very often, since I'm trying to grow most of my own produce. But I noticed they had made a change since the last time I was there - they were selling turmeric roots in a refrigerated section next to the ginger! I'll be honest, I had never seen a turmeric root before, and it had never really even occurred to me that the spice comes from a root (rhizome), just like ginger or galangal.

For $4, I could buy about 22 little roots. They seem in decent enough shape, although since I've never seen fresh turmeric before I'm not really qualified to know. I looked up info, and in fact these sound really easy to grow, and like they might have a great deal of success in many parts of my yard here in the Keys. I read some information that sounds like people in more central US states have had some success, too, so I would assume I would have even better luck!

It looks kind of like a carrot stick, stains fingers yellow, and has a strong, peppery taste. It is renowned for its ability to aid the immune system potentially in fighting cancer among other ailments, as a powerful antioxidant. It also makes a beautiful plant, and has pretty flowers! Apparently, it can take full sun, and is pretty drought-resistant... it doesn't really need much attention (especially in a hot climate). So it seems to have endless positives to growing it, and for such a reasonable price, I decided to buy 5 packages of it!

I hope to plant them in the various areas of my yard that don't get much water, but are sunny and need a little beautification (including in between some of my fruit trees!), sometime in the next 2 weeks.

While I was researching turmeric, I also read some articles on growing ginger, as well as garlic, potatoes, and jicama. As it turns out, all should be able to be grown in Florida, and all have a shot at doing fairly well in my yard. Up until now, I have been growing pretty much all of my tropical vegetables in containers. But I decided to try to venture out into the yard with some soil amending, and see what happens. So I bought some ginger for the shady areas, plus 2 kinds of garlic, a few sweet potatoes, a bag of mixed gourmet potatoes (small red, purple, and yellow varieties), a few standard white potatoes, and 2 jicama. The potatoes and ginger one apparently cuts into chunks and plants, and the garlic is grown by planting separate cloves.

Jicama is apparently typically grown from seed as a legume, which is too bad I didn't know because I could have just bought the seeds, but nearly every article online says it also can be grown from the tuber, although none state how. So, I'm not sure if you have to plant the whole thing, or can cut it up like potatoes. Apparently, it makes a pretty vine with flowers and seed pods, but everything growing above the ground is poisonous to humans. Bigger tubers result when the flowers are cut back before they can produce pods, but one plant allowed to go to seed will allow for the next crop of jicama. Apparently the vine creates new tubers at various points where it hits the ground. I'll give it a shot and see what happens!

The store recently introduced other underground vegetables new to me. One was boniato, which is apparently a white sweet potato popular in the Caribbean. They also had malanga, which is apparently like a Caribbean version of taro. I may go back to buy both of these, too!

I'm hoping the turmeric experiment at least turns out well. From what I've read, all that needs to be done is to cut them into chunks, plant them in soil that's fairly moist at least until they sprout, and harvest eventually when the foliage starts to die back. Hopefully I'll have hundreds!


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Re: Turmeric
Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 10:58:58 AM

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I have been crowing turmeric for two years and it does well here, so does jicama and ginger. The ginger from the store likes a lot of water and just dappled shade. Malanga taste great, I have it growing all over my yard. My experience with potatoes is they die off in the summer and don't set tubers same with garlic.

I have tried the growing jicama from tubers but the rotted but the grow well from seeds.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 10:00:31 PM


Great to know! Thanks for info from a local!

Hopefully others here will be encouraged to try these out!
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 04:33:50 AM

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Turmeric is bullet proof! Very cold sensitive upper parts and completely dies back in winter but I got -4C last year and it still came back from roots.
After first year I split and multiplied
Second year I watered more often and even got a very pretty flower:)
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 05:34:41 PM

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My turmeric just don't sprout... my jicama seeds too, i just don't why!  :-[
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 07:54:52 PM

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Fresh tubers work better than older ones. I started with 2lbs of tubers off the web but many of them rotted. The next year the plants were better and this year they are already bigger than last.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 06:04:36 AM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 27, 2015, 07:54:52 PM

    Fresh tubers work better than older ones. I started with 2lbs of tubers off the web but many of them rotted. The next year the plants were better and this year they are already bigger than last.

I buy mine from several sources and plant them in diferent places, but none sprout. I tink i will plant in big pots next time.  :'(
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #7 on: May 28, 2015, 08:32:04 AM

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Had the same problem, just don't give up ;) worth the effort.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #8 on: May 28, 2015, 09:50:31 AM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 28, 2015, 08:32:04 AM

    Had the same problem, just don't give up ;) worth the effort.

Thank's!


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Re: Turmeric
Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 04:52:54 PM

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I grow mine in a shade house here in Queensland, Aus.
They sprout out of the ground a lot later than the other ground dwellers such as yams, oca etc. I just bought rhizomes from the local store and they grew easily. I did get a little disappointed in the beginning when they took so long to sprout.....I thought they had died. Mine gets a very beautiful white flower.

We've had down to -6C while the plants were dormant and they came back in the spring with no problems.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #10 on: May 28, 2015, 04:57:03 PM

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Quote from: Denman on May 28, 2015, 04:52:54 PM

    I grow mine in a shade house here in Queensland, Aus.
    They sprout out of the ground a lot later than the other ground dwellers such as yams, oca etc. I just bought rhizomes from the local store and they grew easily. I did get a little disappointed in the beginning when they took so long to sprout.....I thought they had died. Mine gets a very beautiful white flower.

    We've had down to -6C while the plants were dormant and they came back in the spring with no problems.

Do you think they still can sprout? I plant them on March-April when temp wasn't cold...
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #11 on: May 30, 2015, 10:55:09 PM

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In Australia I plant them in Winter and spring, so that's from June to about October or even as late as November.  So whatever time of the year is winter and spring in your country should be good. Don't let them get too wet while they're dormant or they could rot. I cover the ground with plastic or tin through wet winters to stop the dormant root plants from rotting.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #12 on: May 31, 2015, 02:16:30 AM

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Mine dint sprout until summer here.
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 01:40:54 PM

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Quote from: from the sea on May 31, 2015, 02:16:30 AM

    Mine dint sprout until summer here.

That's good to know!
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Re: Turmeric
Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 02:37:13 PM

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The Tubers can survive the cold but for me the plant declines when nights go consistently below 10C. It likes it hot and moist. When it's cold needs to stay pretty dry and wait for the the heat to come back

16
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Chayote (Sechium edule)
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:30:32 PM »
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LivingParadise

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Chayote
on: February 18, 2016, 09:49:19 PM

 
I'm trying tons of new vegetables, and hope to start many threads about them in time. But one I'm very excited about is Chayote. Never heard of it, found some in a store and looked it up. Apparently it should be easy to grow and fruit prolifically, and the leaves, fruit, seed, and even root are all edible! I looked up various recipes to try it, but in the end I'm glad I just tried it raw, because it was delicious! Very crunchy, similar to jicama or a sweet cucumber.

Weirdly, you can only grow it by planting an entire fruit/squash in the ground. So I had to go back to the store and get more after I'd tasted it so I would have some to plant.

It has many health benefits, and I'm excited to try growing it!

Anyone else already growing chayote?


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Re: Chayote
Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 06:39:31 AM

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Mine grew fine for a while, but was eaten to the ground and died. I have not had a lot of luck with the fruit from the supermarket here, but the ones I got from the farmers markets in homestead grew. Iguanas love the leaves, deer love the whole thing (not a problem for you). They do get HUGE though so plant accordingly.
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Re: Chayote
Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 10:34:44 PM

Thanks for the heads up on the iguanas. I do not have the Key Deer issue, for which I'm grateful. I planted 4 of them. I saw them somewhere online as needing to be planted with the squash only partially in the ground, so that's how I did it. Is that also how you planted them? Do they need a lot of water or attention to get started? Do you recall how long it took to get some leaves?

Thanks -
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Re: Chayote
Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 06:01:06 AM

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I planted them with a little bit of the top sticking up, mine had sprouted before I bought it so I don't know how long till it will sprout. I just watered mine with the other plants a few times a week and it did fine.
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Re: Chayote
Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 10:36:49 AM

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Has anyone had any luck growing the white chayote? Usually sold at expensive organic farmers markets.
And mine is kept in semi dry conditions but some of the vines (roots) still rot? What gives?
It's grown in fabric pots 50/50 coarse perlite and generic "organic" aged compost (cow patty I guess) and watered very sparingly.
Its typhoon season now so I've covered the entire trellis area with greenhouse poly to keep the water away from the roots.
Everything went south a week later.
I did cover it up before the rains started and watered even less like every other week instead of weekly?!!
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Re: Chayote
Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 10:26:47 PM

My chayote experiment did not work out. Only 1 plant even started to sprout, and before it had even finished putting out its first leaf, it suddenly died. I will have to try again. I probably should have tried planting in the rainy season, so it could get wet without municipal water. Not sure if that was the problem though, since I am otherwise unfamiliar with the plant and its fruit...

 
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17
This is delicious! The flowers are a little slimy, but the leaves have a remarkable cranberry-tart flavor and are not slimy at all. I enjoy them plain, even without any dressing or flavoring. I could eat a ton of them, with no condiments at all. I also have put a few in some SE Asian-style soups for a sour flavoring.

I have also eaten leaves and flowers of a number of other types of hibiscus, including sabdariffa, and both a red and a yellow rosa-sinesis. But when I eat the leaves of the other ones, they are a bit slimy, and don't have quite the great flavor of the furcellatus. I don't think any of them are really known for leaf-eating, so much as for brewing tea with the flowers, but I am always on the lookout for more vegetables, and I have never had any ill effects from using them in what so far has always been fairly small amounts of maybe 5-6 leaves at a time. I hope to increase that to more now that I found a variety with a flavor and texture I really like.

**Note though that hibiscus has medicinal qualities, and can affect blood sugar, as well as lower blood pressure. Consume with caution, especially at larger doses.

18
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Baobab
« on: April 01, 2017, 05:04:49 PM »
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LivingParadise

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Baobab
on: September 18, 2016, 11:18:47 PM


Baobab trees are pretty amazing, and bear fruit that has possibly the highest antioxidant count of any plant in the world. But it can take a really long time for the fruits to appear - apparently 50-200 years! So in the meantime, you can eat the leaves, which apparently are tasty, and also have a high antioxidant count (although not as much as the fruit).

I was growing one from seed, but unfortunately it died after it had produced only 2 leaves due to a pest, so I never got to taste it. I have tasted Baobab fruit powder, though, which I bought online and really enjoyed its creamy sour taste, which I thought was like tamarind mixed with milk. I expected the leaves to also taste a bit sour, like tamarind leaves taste a bit similar to the fruit.

Anybody eating baobab leaves to be able to share with us how they taste, and favorite ways to prepare them?
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Re: Baobab
Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 07:22:31 AM

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Not sour at all :)
They actually taste alot like baby spinach when young and tender. They are very nice in my opinion, maybe some are the tiniest bit floury.

On the fruit forum I think it was that someone pointed out to me about the 50 to 200 year that baobab grows in very nutritively poor arid regions many years will get little rain at all  and the baoabab will survive fine but miss a whole years growth. If we can get the fine balance right and get fast as possible growth then this figure could come down drastically in theory>

To anyone trying to cultivate this tree it requires a very long drought period of at least 5 months over winter and is very suseptable to rot if wet during its dormancy.
Cool thing is you can treat it as a bulb and dig it up and keep it in your garage for the whole five months. Seems to do well in a pot like a very large bonsai or succulent.
Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 07:41:23 AM by stuartdaly88
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Re: Baobab
Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 01:48:25 PM

Thank you for this info! I had a chance to get baobab (digitata) but the order was cancelled because they made a mistake and ran out. ow I have an opportunity from a different company, but it is Adaonsonia grandidieri, which is much harder to come by information about. Do you know if the leaves of this species are also edible? It is apparently very rare outside of Madagascar. All I know that is a few of the 6 species of Baobab have edible leaves, but have not read anything that confirms it specifically for A. grandieri. Since I'm not likely to get to eat the fruit, I'd like to be sure I can eat the leaves if I'm going to buy it.

19
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Living Paradise
on: October 21, 2016, 01:53:46 PM


So what's the deal with Pandan? This is new for me, I'd never heard of it before. Now I have 4 of them growing in my yard, and I'm not sure how to use it or what to expect. Apparently it is popular in SE Asia, but it's not used much in savory foods? I thought it was used in soups or stirfry, but then I read that you pound the leaves into a pulp and mix them into dessert foods.

Are you supposed to eat it raw? I tried a bit, and it tasted sweet and grassy, a lot like wheatgrass to me.

Supposedly quite good for you. Anybody know about it, or growing it themselves?

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 Hummingbird Tree
on: October 21, 2016, 02:11:40 PM
So I'm growing Hummingbird Tree (Sesbania grandiflora) - both in red and white varieties. So far, it is a gorgeous, and easy to grow tree. I lost 2 before this to iguanas eating them to death, so I have to keep them netted to get them to live, because they are apparently VERY desirable plant matter.

Supposedly the white flowers are better than the red for eating. I wouldn't know, because I have not had one survive long enough for me to harvest a flower yet. But, now that I am protecting my new ones, hopefully that will not be the case for long! I did taste a few of the leaves, though, which were also edible, and they had a pleasant flavor. They were a little strong probably for me to eat in abundance raw, but I'm not even sure you're supposed to eat them raw anyway...

Anyone else growing this or know about it? Recipes to share? Can you tell us how to prepare the flowers and pods? I'm not sure if I'm supposed to pick the pods, which grow easily after the flowers, when they are young and cook them, or wait until they are older and shell them to eat the seeds, or what? And do you cook the flower when it's mature and opened, or before?

Very excited about these beautiful trees, and hope I can keep them alive this time, and some day that I can enjoy them without all the netting for the stupid invasive iguanas...

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Colocasia Gigantea/Bac Ha
« on: April 01, 2017, 04:51:20 PM »
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Living Paradise
Colocasia Gigantea/Bac Ha
on: October 21, 2016, 02:31:24 PM
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I could use some advice on this.

I recently acquired a Colocasia Gigantea from a Vietnamese grower, which is a variety with edible stems known as Bac Ha in Vietnam. But I don't really know what I'm doing with the plant. I have read that the stems need to be peeled before cooking. As I understand it, you STILL can't eat this raw, the same as with Taro. But I have a lot of questions.

How do you prepare it? What are good recipes? How do you "peel the stem" of a fleshy stalked plant? Which part is edible and which is not? Is the root on these edible as well, as in Taro?

Anybody know anything about this plant? Would love to hear more, or from anyone else attempting to grow.

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Culantro (Eryngium foetidum)
« on: April 01, 2017, 04:48:16 PM »
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LivingParadise

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Culantro
on: October 21, 2016, 01:56:57 PM


OK, so I got come culantro seeds from Puerto Rico. That's CUL-antro, not CILantro. It's a plant that tastes like cilantro apparently, but does better in the tropics. Very much needed, because I have grown a ton of cilantro plants, only to have each one of them die shortly after becoming a nice leafy plant. They don't like it here.

Haven't planted the seeds yet. Anyone know about or have experience growing culantro?

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Bob407

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Re: Culantro
Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 11:12:20 PM

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These are easy to grow and require very little care. They are excellent when cooked in beans and soups and fresh in salads and spring rolls.


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Living Paradise
Reply


Thanks for the info - awesome to know! I got busy and didn't get around to planting them yet, but they're in an airtight sealed packet. Should be planting soon. I hope they turn out as great as they sound from your description.

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knlim000
Re: Culantro
Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 10:09:39 AM

    Quote

make sure to keep it away from snail slugs. the will eat all of it if the find it.  i grow mine in hanging basket and they love water. dont give full sun.

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Taro
« on: April 01, 2017, 04:44:01 PM »
I have had a lot of trouble growing taro so far. It seems to need constant watering. And then, you have to work to protect them against snails.

Anyone growing taro? Been successful? Tell us about it! Better yet, show us pictures! :)

So far, I'm keeping my most recent plants alive through this rough dry season. Hopefully they'll start to flourish when they are most established, and it's wetter out. I also probably need to work to give them better soil, since the natural soil here is very poor.

Remember if you are new to taro that it has to be cooked thoroughly before eating.

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Well, I had written a thread about this in the old forum, but it appears that forum has been deleted so I can't copy it over.

So to start off with, this is a good tropical potato, tasting very much like standard white or yellow potato, and growing pretty easily. The top greens and flowers are also edible, but as the plant is related to mint, they have a strong flavor and may not be best suited to large quantity eating like a vegetable. More like an herb. Without much help and in poor rocky soil, my experience so far is that they grow very tiny. I hope that the tubers I did leave in the ground will grow new plants in the next season. But so far, they have not sprouted in the dry season, even with supplemental water.

If you put effort into it, you'll probably have more success. This should give some idea of how to do it, and benefits:
http://www.bioversityinternational.org/fileadmin/PGR/article-issue_130-art_65-lang_en.html


This is a great plant for hot climate food security.

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Katuk (Sauropus androgynus)
« on: April 01, 2017, 10:56:47 AM »
Great, low-maintenance plant, that prefers shade. High protein content, apparently a complete protein. Leaves, flowers, and little fruit it makes are edible. Has a pleasant, nutty taste. But, eaten in large quantities can be toxic.

Multiple strong medicinal benefits. Saw this general guideline in an article:
"To reduce the side effects of katuk leaf, should consume in small amounts (maximum of 50 g per day), leaf cooked first, and do not consume continuously for more than 3 months."

So best used as a supplemental plant, not the main course.

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