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Topics - JCorte

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Starting a farm in Southern California
« on: November 17, 2023, 04:08:17 PM »
Iíve posted previously about an old avocado orchard we are restoring in Fallbrook.

This post is about the first property we bought a couple of miles away.  We refer to this property as the Farm and the second as the Orchard.

In May of 2020, we found a 16 acre property in San Diego County to start our family farm.  We had been looking at farm properties on and off since 2006.  There are really nice farms for sale, but anything with a decent house and mature trees come at a premium.  We were looking for a diamond in the rough where we could build value over time through sweat equity.

The previous owner had cleared the flat area at the top of the property which I think is about 4 acres.  They put a tiny house trailer on it and put up solar panels and a little shed.  The structures are not built well.  Scott put some temporary supports in areas that were falling apart.  We will rebuild, but for now weíre focusing on the land. 

We are hooked up to city water for irrigation, but one of the first things we invested in was a well.  They had to drill twice because the first hole collapsed.  The well is 490 feet deep and we get about 35 gallons per minute. 

Most of the property has been left undisturbed and is covered with natives.  Itís completely overgrown and thereís lots of dead underbrush and old trees that need pruning and lots of love.  We have to clear trails to access the property and thereís a lot of poison oak. 
There is a seasonal creek that flows for half the year and when the rainy season starts in the fall, the property comes to life.  When we first visited the property in early May, we could hear the creek flowing from the top of the hill.  There wasnít any access to see it, but it was one of the main reasons we decided to buy it that day.

For those not familiar with the climate in Southern California, we usually donít get any rain from late spring until the fall around November.  Thatís the biggest challenge to farming here.  The natives have adapted and go dormant during the summer months, so the property seems so dry especially after the creek dries up around the beginning of July.

Our goal is to develop our farm using concepts of agroecology and utilize rainwater harvesting techniques to try and be as efficient with water as possible.  We are working to restore the native ecosystem, grow a diversity of food, and co-create a beautiful farm with nature.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wildlands Farm & Nursery on John Kohler
« on: October 06, 2023, 08:26:56 PM »
Just saw John Kohler's video on this year's Heirloom Gardening Expo and he does a segment on his favorite tropical fruit tree grower.

Hope you'll still have some plants available for members of the forum! ;)
Wildlands starts around 33min.

Was happy to see your nursery featured!


Just wanted to share one of my favorite Youtube channels.  There is a new video featuring a Bellamy Trees Nursery Tour.

Highly recommend checking out his videos and watch till the very end, there are some great outros.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mamey and Green Sapote review
« on: March 22, 2023, 04:03:11 PM »
August of last year I ordered 3 different cultivars of Mamey from Lara Farms: Lorrito, Akil Especial, and Cepeda Especial.  I thought there had been some sort of mixup with my order because all three looked and tasted exactly the same.  Later, I saw a Fruitful Trees Youtube video where Julian Lara made a comment that those three are very similar.

That was my first time tasting Mamey and I thought it was okay but not a fruit that I would seek out.  I still have some in my freezer to try and make into milkshakes which I've read is really good.  To me it tasted similar to American orange sweet potatoes like Garnet.  I prefer the taste and texture of Asian sweet potatoes.  The Mameys were slightly sweet and I had imagined that the texture would be creamy, but it seemed very similar texture to orange sweet potatoes.  The color of the fruits were beautiful.

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered Whitman green sapotes from Lara Farms.  I liked the size and texture better than the Mameys.  There was some fiber at the stem end and a little around the seed.  My family all thought it tasted similar to dried Saijo persimmons with some sweet potato, with the dominant flavor being persimmon.  When I say persimmon flavor, I specifically mean dried persimmons which have a more concentrated candied flavor compared to fresh.  The sweet potato flavor seems like the sweet potato/ marshmallow side dish that served at Thanksgiving.  The green sapote was only slightly sweet but had the flavor components I described,  but we all agreed we like the fruit.  I read other reviews that describe the fruit as very sweet, so maybe ours weren't at peak ripeness.

The interesting thing though is that the several other fruit that are still in the fridge aren't being eaten.  I just had one before writing this post to see if the taste is the same and it was.  Not sure why no one is eating them.  I'll freeze them to try in milkshakes, hopefully they won't just sit in the freezer for months like the Mamey.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Trees with Edible Leaves
« on: February 17, 2023, 12:18:55 PM »
Want to share a free PDF publication by the Perennial Agriculture Institute.

Trees with Edible Leaves by Eric Toensmeier


I bought a couple of Cas guava (Psidium friedrichsthalianum) plants from Wildlands Farm & Nursery last year based on a post by BSBullie saying it was his favorite guava.  Saw this video by Weird Fruit Explorer this morning reviewing the fruit and juice and wanted to share the video.

In the video, there is also a different Cas guava from Brazil that he describes as having a creamy, soursop, tropical pineapple, banana flavor.  Marco on the film describes it as a Rollinia flavor very different from the Costa Rican Cas.  Does this look like Psidium Angulatam?  Leaves look wavy at 3:57 on the video.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peluche loquat white flesh
« on: October 21, 2022, 11:01:30 PM »
Earlier this year, I had brought up that I had thought the Peluche loquat offered by Adam (Flying Fox Fruts) is white fleshed.  I noticed the one sold by Viking Guy was orange.

This is one of the videos I referenced, the other was on Austin Barnhill's facebook.

So there was a question of what color Peluche loquat Flying Fox was selling.  I noticed last week he sold another Peluche on ebay, and this week he is selling a second one showing a picture of the white colored flesh.

Does anyone else have a white fleshed Peluche?  Did Flying Fox sell orange Peluche in the past?


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for Viking Rootstock
« on: October 14, 2022, 07:09:13 PM »
Does anyone know where I can source Viking Rootstock?  It is a vigorous rootstock for peach, nectarine, almond, plum, and apricot that is nematode resistant.  I'm especially looking for it because it is tolerant of saline, calcareous, and alkaline soil conditions.  I think it can be propagated by cuttings.  Any help is appreciated.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Restoring a 30+ year old avocado orchard
« on: October 10, 2022, 07:08:14 PM »
March of this year we bought an old avocado orchard about 5 minutes away from our farm in Fallbrook.  It looks like it had been declining for a few years due to the costs of water.  There were past due water bills of 85K on the property that had to be paid before the meters could get turned back on.  By the time we bought the property, the irrigation had been turned off for over a year.

There are three water meters to the property with 70 manual valves.  My husband has been spending the last 6 months converting the manual valves to automatic and finding and repairing all leaks in the irrigation above and below ground.  It's been pretty challenging.  We had our 2 inch main line break one night losing over 100,000 gallons of water.  Thankfully, he's almost finished with the irrigation.

Next main project will be pruning all the dead wood.  There's so much, it's pretty overwhelming, but we're going to just take it one tree at a time.  We haven't done a final count yet, but we estimate we still have over 2,500 live trees.

The main thing I wanted to share today is how amazingly resilient old trees are.  All the trees and plants on the property that are still alive have survived on zero irrigation and only about 10 inches of rain for over a year. 

Next up are some photos...


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Mission Dolores passion fruit
« on: August 13, 2022, 02:32:48 PM »
Hi guys,

Just wanted to share that Annie's annuals has Mission Dolores passion fruit for sale right now for 20 bucks.  This is a cross of 2 of the rarest passifloras, Parritae and Antioquiensis.  Rare and hard to find if you have the right growing conditions.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mission Dolores passion fruit
« on: August 13, 2022, 02:32:00 PM »
Hi guys,

Just wanted to share that Annie's annuals has Mission Dolores passion fruit for sale right now for 20 bucks.  This is a cross of 2 of the rarest passifloras, Parritae and Antioquiensis.  Rare and hard to find if you have the right growing conditions.


I recently saw a new variety of mulberry being offered on figbid.

The seller got the variety from Amanda, who brought a cutting from Thailand and first introduced it in the US.  I contacted Amanda directly and she also has seedlings of a red fleshed sour tamarind.

Iím not sure if this is the same but found this article and image about red fleshed tamarind.

Seedlings of the tamarind are available at Amandaís eBay store and she told me she will have rooted cuttings of the mulberry available soon, last batch she sold for $35.

I do not know this person but bought plants from her because I am excited to try these trees and just wanted to share if anyone else is interested.  I have been corresponding with Amanda through email and she seems very nice and a passionate gardener.


Yesterday morning there was a mandatory fire evacuation a couple miles from me and we were on standby.  As the helicopters and planes were flying over my house and officials on loudspeaker saying to prepare for evacuation, we were prioritizing what we needed to take.  Fortunately, the firefighters were able to get it under control, but it was really windy and Laguna Beach had a huge fire in the past, so I was seriously assessing what I would save.  Besides my pets, photos and important documents, the only thing I cared about were my plants.  Our van is in the shop, so I couldn't really take anything with me.

In the past couple of years, we have been simplifying our life and considering what really matters to us as we plan our future.  Now I was in a situation thinking I could lose my garden and plants and what I've worked to create over 20 years.  I surrendered to the moment and put the container plants that would be difficult to replace in the garage, my jaboticaba collection, yangmeis, hilo white pineapple, passiflora antioquiensis, a young surinam cherry that is said to be large and taste like tangerines, yellow grumichama, butterscotch sapodilla, a couple eugenias, and my favorite rare orchids.  As I walked through the garden later, I was/am so grateful to have all these plants in my life.  Also, so grateful for the firefighters, they are heroes to me.

This opportunity also made me realize I need to make back ups of my rare plants to keep at the farm, and share the genetics with others so they're not lost.  In my personal life, there aren't very many people passionate about plants and fruits.  So I am thankful to have found this community here.  I am assuming there are others here who would be priortizing plants during an emergency evacuation.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Dave Wilson Nursery/ Zaiger all new lineup
« on: December 10, 2021, 09:47:27 PM »
Dave Wilson Nursery has an all new lineup of patented varieties of fruit trees on their website

Iím assuming these are new Zaiger introductions.  Has anyone tasted any of these new varieties or have any additional information on them?  For those not familiar, Floyd Zaiger is the breeder of some of the best stone fruits available,  including the pluot, and Dave Wilson Nursery is the main supplier of Zaigerís trees. 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / My coastal southern California garden
« on: November 29, 2021, 10:02:18 PM »
Hi everyone,

Iíd like to share with you the beauty and abundance even a small garden can provide.
I live in a cool microclimate in Southern California.  Iím a couple of blocks from the ocean and at the base of our local hills, so my garden can be foggy many months of the year with summer highs in the low 80s.  This year has been especially cool with highs only in the upper 60s until July and only a handful of days in the 80s.  My total outdoor space is about 4,000 square feet and my native soil is heavy clay.

This is the right side of my front yard.  Tropic Snow and Midpride peaches bloom early February.  Loquat, kumquat, lemon, Surinam cherry, plum, mandarin, grape, and persimmon.

Red Baron peach blooms late February

Garden Prince almond is self fertile and has a soft shell

Marcona almond blossoms are huge and smell like honey.  It grows next to Tuono, an Italian variety, for pollination.

Hood pear is self fertile and blooms late January.  Blossoms do not smell good, kinda fishy

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Gary Zill interview and nursery tour
« on: July 05, 2021, 12:22:35 PM »
CRFG Letís Find Out YouTube channel just posted video #27 interview with Gary Zill at his nursery in Florida.  He mentioned possibly shipping 1 gallon mango trees to California in the future.  The channel has several great interviews and garden tours including episode #17 featuring the first grower of Yangmei in California.

Happy gardening,

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share my favorite source for root crops from a breeder in Washington.  He just made items available for pre-order for next season.

He specializes in Andean potatoes, yacon, oca, mashua, and ulluco.
Iíve also ordered perennial sea kale and dwarf Jerusalem artichokes.
I love his potatoes.


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