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Author Topic: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation  (Read 1616 times)

starling1

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I've been tossing up whether or not to do this for a while now, but the more I think about it, the less reasons there seem to be not to. I have about an acre of space I could use to do this, and have access to water (property backs onto a freshwater river, which I can pump from at the price of fuel). The market price for dragons seems to stay reasonably stable, and as far as I'm aware, if I did start farming them, it would be the closest operation to the CBD.

I had the power put underground a few years ago now, and have some large telephone poles I can use as growing poles for the vines. How many tonnes I would need to produce to make it worthwhile, or the  time investment involved, I've no idea.

Where should I start? Who should I be talking to?

Rannman

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 06:27:18 PM »
Morning Starling. I can't offer any real advice but I'll be watching closely as I plan to be doing the same thing in the next 12 months. I've narrowed my selection down to about 4 varieties that I will grow and will plant as many of each as I can cram into 1 - 1.5 acres.

starling1

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 06:47:21 PM »
Morning Starling. I can't offer any real advice but I'll be watching closely as I plan to be doing the same thing in the next 12 months. I've narrowed my selection down to about 4 varieties that I will grow and will plant as many of each as I can cram into 1 - 1.5 acres.

Excellent! Solidarity!

I'm not really sure which varieties to grow out. I guess they would have to be good producers, reliable, and hardy above all else. I was thinking definitely Colombian red and possibly Aztec gem....but I wonder if the small fruit size of AG would be a deterrent from a market perspective? It's delicious, but small. I actually can't think of a better tasting dragon.

Would like to farm Frankie's but  man, is it ever slow. I have not seen any images of it cropping profusely either.

Mike T

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 07:15:22 PM »
Just a few of the self fertile ones should work well.AG might be a bit small and might not produce enough weight/area. I know my friend who has dozens of varieties has strong opinions on what are the best options due to productivity,taste,size and production without hand pollination.I might check to see what he reckons about the options but it would be different I suppose in a sub tropical climate from a tropical one.

simon_grow

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 07:20:28 PM »
They sell a very small variety here at Whole Foods, I believe it's the sugar dragon. It is only about the size of a duck egg and they sell for $10-18 dollars a pound and ice seen them sell out. They also sell Fruit that that are larger and appear to be similar to American Beauty and Halleys Comet for the same price. I thin the non organic was about $12.99 a pound and organic was $17.99 a pound.

Simon

BMc

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 08:52:43 PM »
There is a commercial farm at Samford, so its definitely viable in the NW.
It depends on your target consumers. I know that the top hotels go nuts for good vibrant dragons for their fruit platters and fruit salads. If you come up with good sized pretty purples you could probably hook an agreement with a few of them and get a decent return.
AG seems pretty productive for me. Its a great fruit and can be easily peeled and eaten straight like that as its a great small serve size. With a bit of small scale marketing (farmers market sampling and the like) you could easily build up a cult following for it. Lots of small producers under 2 hrs from town have been quite successful with this recently and their small 2-3 day per week farm gate businesses have gone nuts.

Rannman

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Re: Considering starting up a small dragonfruit farming operation
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 09:52:59 PM »
Morning Starling. I can't offer any real advice but I'll be watching closely as I plan to be doing the same thing in the next 12 months. I've narrowed my selection down to about 4 varieties that I will grow and will plant as many of each as I can cram into 1 - 1.5 acres.

Excellent! Solidarity!

I'm not really sure which varieties to grow out. I guess they would have to be good producers, reliable, and hardy above all else. I was thinking definitely Colombian red and possibly Aztec gem....but I wonder if the small fruit size of AG would be a deterrent from a market perspective? It's delicious, but small. I actually can't think of a better tasting dragon.

Would like to farm Frankie's but  man, is it ever slow. I have not seen any images of it cropping profusely either.
I think the best thing about the smaller Dragonfruit varieties such as Aztec Gem, is the size itself. Great snack size and at a per kilo price you get a bunch of small fruit as opposed to 1 big fruit? Perfect for kids lunch boxes and stuff like that. Get the kids onto Dragonfruit while they are young and they'll eat them forever.

 

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