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Messages - jcaldeira

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit Recommendations for a Wet Soil
« on: November 20, 2015, 09:06:07 AM »
This is the second time you've created a thread about this John...don't you remember?

Looking for new ideas, Adam.  Thanks for sharing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit Recommendations for a Wet Soil
« on: November 20, 2015, 03:24:43 AM »
I have an area in pasture now because the ground becomes too waterlogged during the rainy season to grow most fruits.  I'm looking for recommendations on what might do well on this rich clay loam that can go for a week or two at a time without much air in the roots.   Something better than Pond Apple.

If necessary I'll dig drainage trenches, but my preference is to find species that can live in the soil as-is.  Suggestions appreciated!

So sad that intelligent people can not discuss topics without personal attacks or other inappropriate notes that led the forum owner to this conclusion.  We all love fruit and fruit-growing here, so it is unfortunate that the forum owner could find no better solution than to censor speech.

I, myself, have refrained during the past several months, due to censorship, posting  thought-provoking charts and images on contemporary matters affecting us all.  Perhaps its the best for a forum that can't keep up with the reality of our times.

The need for open discussion remains.  I know some forum will open up to fill the void.  I look forward to participating with off-topic forum participants, even those I disagree with on so many topics.

You friend,

John Caldeira
Rakiraki, Fiji


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sugar Cane Juicer
« on: November 07, 2015, 09:54:30 PM »
What has been the best tasting cane for you? I expect to have cinta and Cristalina

The same cane cultivar will taste different depending on its state of maturity, part of the cane plant, and environmental factors.   Here in Fiji, one reason cane is grown on the the dry side of the largest islands is because the stress from lack of rain gets the brix (sugar) of the juice up to 25% or so. 

If the cane is harvested before at least some flower tassels are in bloom, the brix won't be as high.  Also, cane sections nearest the ground level have the higher sugar content.

I realize there are other taste differences between cultivars, but a high brix is always nice!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Seedling mango getting too tall.
« on: October 22, 2015, 06:45:27 PM »
It looks as if its suffering from lack of sunlight and being in that pot.  The trunk is mighty thin for its height and the internodal spacing looks mighty stretched, even for a seedling.   I would cut it back, put in a larger pot or in the ground and make sure it gets as much sun as possible.

If you have the room and patience,  growing it to fruiting is not a bad thing.  I have tasted many a great seedling fruit just as i have tasted many a garbage seedling fruit.  Hey, if you let it grow till fruiting and the fruit is not hood, you can always top work it at that point.

Yes, it looks like it needs more sun or it will continue to be a lanky tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: best time of year to graft
« on: October 09, 2015, 01:04:14 AM »
The best time to graft is when both the scion and rootstock are in the early stages of a growth flush.  Most of the fruit trees you listed go through intermittent periods of growth and dormancy.  Swollen buds that have not yet broken are are best to graft. 

Following a drought or dry period, grafting a few days after a good rain is usually highly successful.

By the way, I have multiple varieties on a few citrus and mango trees and find that it's hard to achieve a balance with multiple varieties.  Some of the varieties seem to dominate without regular pruning.  I don't know whether it is due to the vigor of the variety of access to sunlight. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya air layer
« on: October 06, 2015, 01:54:34 AM »
Don't know about air-layering papaya, but I've rooted side branches from papaya.  Hardly worth the effort, though.  Papaya plants mostly come true to the mother tree so not much to gain my cloning.    Maybe it's their hermaphroditic nature, but I haven't seen much cross-pollination between my 4 varieties.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit Trees that root well from cuttings
« on: September 24, 2015, 12:49:28 PM »
- Citrus? (I have read that this can be done, but does it make vigorous viable trees?)

The problem with starting citrus from a cutting or air layering is that the tree does not develop a good taproot.  In times of drought, citrus with a taproot performs better.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya: why does this happen?
« on: September 24, 2015, 03:27:49 AM »
Perhaps too much water.  Root rot.

I recommend buddyguygreen. 

The common name for a wild seedling that spouts on its own is a'volunteer.'

Rainbow is the only GMO papaya. Yes it can cross pollinate with any other papaya and contaminate it. This is only the case if you're growing in vicinity of commercial GMO rainbow papaya fields. To get uncontaminated papayas you need to grow minimum 1/2 mile from any GMO field because papaya pollen is wind borne. Seeds can be tested for GMO contamination.
Monsanto does not have any fields or operations on this island. They have been effectively blocked out by legislation here. They do have fields though on some of the other islands. Anyway, Monsanto has nothing to do with GMO papaya. For that we have to "thank" our stupid university.

There's a lot of GM papaya grown on your island Oscar, and probably other GM crops as well.

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

The truth is that Monsanto has never sued anyone for accidental use of their patented seeds.

Here's the real story of 'David (Percy Schmeiser) vs Monsanto':

Monsanto v. Schmeiser
"In 1997, Percy Schmeiser found Monsanto's genetically modified “Roundup Ready Canola” plants growing near his farm. He testified that he sprayed his nearby field and found that much of the crop survived, meaning it was also Roundup Ready.  He testified that he then harvested that crop, saved it separately from his other harvest, and intentionally planted it in 1998.  Monsanto approached him to pay a license fee for using Monsanto's patented technology without a license. Schmeiser refused, claiming that the actual seed was his because it was grown on his land, and so Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement on August 6, 1998.

"For the next several years, the case traveled through the Canadian court system. Meanwhile, Schmeiser became a popular figure among those opposed to genetic engineering. He accepted speaking engagements around the world. Ultimately, a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling found in favor of Monsanto, because Monsanto owned a valid patent and Schmeiser violated the patent by intentionally replanting the Roundup Ready seed that he had saved."

I believe there are some of the small hawaiian types that are not GMO.  Am I wrong about that? 

Oscar sells sunrise solo, sunset solo, and waimanolo solo and I don't think he is down with GMO.
Only rainbow solo is GMO. The other types are not.

Does Rainbow Solo cross-pollinate naturally with other papaya in Hawaii?

Hawaii is one of the GMO seed capitals of the world, growing many GMO seeds for the mainland and world by Monsanto and others.  There must be a lot of GM pollen in the air, too.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Samoan coconut trees
« on: June 25, 2015, 06:16:00 PM »
Here's a 3 year old Malaysian Dwarf with its first fruit at waist height.  It fruited despite the rhinoceros beetle damage.

I've not heard of it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

One of my beekeeping friends is one of Fiji's most productive pineapple farmers.  I'll ask him next time I talk with him, but that may be month or so from now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Little update from Thailand
« on: June 23, 2015, 03:00:32 PM »
Nice simple shadehouse design.  And a nice report.  Thanks for sharing.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Samoan coconut trees
« on: June 21, 2015, 04:27:28 PM »
The Fiji Dwarf is a good juice coconut.  It's most admirable quality is that it bears fruit in about 5 years, when the fruit will less than 2 meters off the ground.  It's oil content is lower than many other varieties so it is mostly a backyard tree and not grown commercially that I'm aware of.   The Malaysian Dwarf is another popular variety here. It has a yellow fruit.

The Fijian name for this coconut, 'Niu Leka' actually means 'Coconut Short' but they eventually grow quite tall, 15 meters or more.   Like most coconut trees, the trunk attains it's full girth before putting on significant vertical growth.

This is one of my 6 year old trees:

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Free Clean Water
« on: June 18, 2015, 03:26:36 PM »
Plants certainly do grow faster with rain water.  I'm not sure if that's because its more acidic or lacks the minerals present in most ground water.

Millet, do you have a mosquito problem with so many open barrels of water?   

I use a sealed 5,000 liter tank that captures water from roof guttering.  It has a homemade first-flow diverter so the water is also potable.

Can't say about 10b, but in Fiji the purple passion fruit are much sweeter than the yellow ones.  The sugar:acid ratio on the purples allow eating out of hand a joy when in the field.  The yellow ones here don't develop the sugars as well, so are used for juice.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: apples anyone
« on: June 17, 2015, 03:06:15 PM »
I had the pleasure of working on an apple farming development project in Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapse.  Here are a few photos of their propagation methods.

They were using dwarfing rootstocks, mostly M26 and M9.  In the spring, they grafted onto bare sticks of rootstock - no roots.  The roots would develop at the same time the graft wound heals.

When planting, the grafted rootstocks were prepared with a rooting hormone.  The wet rootstocks were also dipped in water-absorbent crystals to prevent drying out while roots develop.

Planting was performed by first plowing the field.  Then two guys would make wet holes and several women following would insert the grafted sticks. Other women would tamp down the soil and seal the hole.


The trees were trained in a columnar fashion.

The mature trees were planted less than two meters apart.

I don't recall the varieties they were planting, but the graft wood was mostly smuggled in from Poland and no royalties paid.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Our Fruitcation to Homestead
« on: June 09, 2015, 02:11:17 AM »
Geosulcata, thank you for the wonderful trip report.   I envy your access to such an opportunity, and applaud you for taking advantage of it!


Citrus General Discussion / Re: OJ Consumption In The USA
« on: June 06, 2015, 10:36:41 PM »
"In the United States, fresh flavor is paramount, so juice makers include a compound called ethyl butyrate in the flavor packs. This compound isn’t an artificial flavor: It occurs naturally in fresh-squeezed orange juice as an aroma, but because it’s volatile, much of it is driven off during pasteurization and deaeration. Adding more ethyl butyrate to the juice after these processes actually restores the impression of freshness."      - Cooks Illustrated magazine

The entire food industry is in a difficult market to make money.  The U.S. population is growing at less than 1% annually, and overall per-person caloric intake remains the same, so the total U.S. food and beverage market is only growing 1% per year.  Any significant growth means capturing market share from other food and beverage producers.   A tough nut to crack.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Timing outplanting for root health
« on: June 06, 2015, 04:11:20 PM »
I share the concerns about poor taproot development if a fruit tree is left in a bag or pot too long.  The taproot winds around the bottom of the pot.   Avocados, especially, perform much better if planted out early.   More than half by mango and avocado grafting is done in the field now to allow better taproot development.   

The ideal time for planting out is the beginning of the rainy season, but unfortunately some fruits' seeds are only available at an inconvenient time of year.

A good taproot is one reason I prefer seedlings and grafted seedlings over air layering and cuttings.  Air layering and cuttings don't seem to have the genetic programming to send down a taproot.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango topworking without water shoots
« on: June 01, 2015, 04:35:08 PM »
I've top-worked a couple of trees on my farm without waiting for new shoots.  My success was around 30% on approximately 20 grafts.  Here's how we did it:

We  cut the scion the same as we would for a cleft/wedge graft.  On the rootstock, we made two vertical cuts through the bark.  We lifted the bark, inserted the scion, and wrapped the wound as tight as we could with old tire rubber.


In hindsight, to improve our success, we should have put three or four scions on the above branch, then wrapped.

A similar method was good when the rootstocks of my young trees were too thick for cleft grafting.

I prefer cleft grafting in part because they are so strong.  Birds can land on them without concern.  The bark/veneer grafts must be wrapped well to prevent accidental movement of the scion.

As with any mango grafting, for best results the rootstock must be in a growth flush and the scion buds swollen, ready for their growth spurt.

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