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Messages - spencerw

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Red Hawaiian Avocado?
« on: January 20, 2022, 02:03:57 PM »
sounds pretty vague. we have a lot of avocados here in hawaii with reddish skin

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Your 2021 Rainfall totals
« on: January 01, 2022, 08:33:55 PM »
hakalau hawaii. 800' elevation 213 inches for 2021. 148 inches the previous year 2020. we got 40 inches in march! plants love the rain

rollinia, surinam and mulberry (done by cuttings though) are also very fast. also the ambarella and muntingia are very fast. all about the same as the inga. jackfruits can flower in 2 years as well. plants are crazy!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best time to go to Hawaii?
« on: December 22, 2021, 07:34:45 PM »
fall/winter is the best fruit season here in my opinion. lots of artocarpus and the durians of course. its been an off year for the durians though, or the trees lost fruit during the last wind storm.

depends on what island your going to for markets. theres always stuff available in each season though. almost always soursops and rollinia season

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Durian planting ramping up in CR
« on: December 15, 2021, 05:04:31 PM »
very cool! keep up the good work over there! the world needs more durians, its real cool the people are getting into it over there! im getting real close to starting up our new zone here in hawaii. more durians for the world!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How do you get bananas to fruit?
« on: December 15, 2021, 04:59:28 PM »
do you know what variety it is? that will determine how long it takes to fruit. some of my bananas finish their cycle in 9 months some in 2 years. feed it more! i feed mine monthly, they end up getting 50lbs of chicken poop per year. so my 2 year maolis take 100lbs of chicken fert to make them go properly. im in lowland hawaii, bananas are really really really hungry and thirsty! as soon as that flower bud pops out give it Sulfate Potash 0-0-52. they need extra when flowering. dependent on variety will tell how long it takes from flower to fruit. my iholenas take 70 days, my maolis take over 180 days. check out my blog for details on deficiencies and fert schedules.

i harvested a 90lb dwarf maoli rack last month. and four 85lb racks.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: First Cocona (Solanum sessiflorum) Flowers
« on: December 08, 2021, 02:43:35 PM »
very nice! my coconas flowered for over a year before they actually made a fruit here in lowland hawaii. they grow from cuttings ok, but much faster and more vigorous from seed. mine was a red variety. much smaller than lulo fruits. lulo is typically very spiny here, but the cocona was completely thornless and grew into a much larger plant. lulo is much more juicy leading more toward utilizing in preserves. cocona is so small and not very juicy. flavor is kind of like a lemon. was much better on miracle berry though

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pinkglow pinapple
« on: November 15, 2021, 01:48:54 PM »
yall know the pink glow is gmo right?

34 ive got one of these. picked it up locally in captain cook here on big island hawaii. very effortless, but only can crack one at a time. perfect for home use. i want to say it was like $90 USD about 5 years ago

@spencerw which nuts are your favorite taste wise eaten raw? I dont cook my produce and am not interested in any that require being roasted. Mahalo

ive only eaten a few of the ones ive got growing. mac nuts and monkey pot nuts are delicious raw. ive had store bought pili that were roasted that were also really good. all the other plants i didnt have enough seeds to eat and propagate, so just propagated. cut nuts are supposed to be really good raw as well. only had the malabar chestnut cooked, pretty good but quite a bit of effort to remove the husk. sandalwood nuts are good pretty good, but best pan roasted in coco oil.

theres quite a few here in hawaii. ive got all these ones growing: cutnut, paradise nut, monkey pot, Tahitian chestnut, pili, breadnut, dabai, tropical almond, sandalwood, cola, jackfruit, malabar chestnut, mac nut. theres also sacha inchi but not a tree

nice! i used to have two 55 gallon drums set to fill into each other off my nursery roof. we ran out a few times and had to haul down to nursery. i recently set up a 270 gallon ibc tote, im sure you can find them much cheaper than i can. got that baby filled in a few days. weve also got a 10,000 gallon tank off our barn. but the barn is quite far from the nursery. free water is the only way to go!
heres a photo of the 55 gallons. now where the second drum is theres an ibc tote.

thats a good question! my body knows it wants to be eating taro greens. once you smell the leaves cooking you just want to consume them. so im assuming the nutrients are still in there!

as long as you have taro (colocasia esculenta) they all can be cooked, it just varies by cook time. the bun-long Chinese taro is known here in hawaii as one of the most favorable with the shortest cook times. can be fully edible in 20 minutes of boiling. about two months ago i was desiring leaves. i went out to some of my plants and harvested a large pot full of leaves. we cooked them for 4 hours and it still had some slight itch. we cooked it another two hours the second day and still had some light itch. nothing horrible, but enough to notice. ive decided not to eat that one anymore. most of the small sized taro corms sold in stores/farmers markets here is the bun-long variety.
if youre up on your botany you can figure out what variety you have. but being on the mainland im not sure what other cultivars you have. we can narrow things down pretty quickly here in hawaii by assuming most are local varieties plus only a few commercial non-hawaiian cultivars. heres the best site ive found for information.
id prefer to collect a specimen from a known cultivator and be sure about variety rather than messing around with unknown varieties. but ive yet to come across for sure known edible leaf varieties. ive found other taro relatives for short cook times, but for some reason taro is a hard one for me to find. even here in the apex of ancient taro cultivation

ive only cut it twice at that height. so the trunk is only about 6 inches diameter at the cut point. only a few years old, and growing in a forest condition so its not super fast. id like to grow some more but pollard them at 10' to get some posts eventually

from my research e. deglupta is only allelopathic in a dry-ish environment. when they are receiving plenty of rain they play well with others. as you stated they dont seem to spread like say e. robusta here. maybe the seeds have a hard time germinating or something else. they can get huge though. ive been coppicing mine at about 6' just to watch the trunk grow fatter and get the colors. i cannot allow a tree to get that big especially in the lava soils where there is less than 6 inches of soil!

my two favorites are sissoo and okinawa spinach. sissoo is a bit more work processing because you dont use the stems, however okinawa spinach if you just use the fresh growth tips the shoots are quite pleasant. and taro leaves are incredible, but finding favorable leaf varieties can be difficult and non ideal cultivars can take hours to cook out the itch. check out my blog for other options as well!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Not enough Durian Discussion
« on: March 24, 2021, 02:38:07 PM »
Which cultivars do you find grow best and produce the best fruit in your climate in hawaii?

According to the malay farmer of black thorn claims only 15% will come true from seed, this was second hand information.
Some of my best tasting and best fruiting trees have been seedling trees. But it's too early to answer your question as i have only a few cultivars planted, and they have not all fruited yet.

all the best tasting fruits ive had on big island were also from different seedlings. wonder if its our soils not equating to the original cultivar growing region, or trees arent old enough, or somehow things got mislabeled and were just riding those names out. or maybe just the adaptation of one tree in place and the next generation being slightly more adapted to our climate.

Hi. This is just a proposition. Ignore it if you want.

Anyway, I was thinking of adding these categories to the forum:
-Ultra-tropical (durian, mangosteen, etc.)
-Mango Corner (Mango questions/comments? Take them here. I notice that there is a lot of mango-related discussion going on on the forum.)
-Zone-pushing (People like me, in zones <10a, who are attempting to grow tropicals at home.)
-Tour (Show us around your garden!)

Just a suggestion.

that sounds like the ideal categories! ive been pondering this a few days and thats actually the same conclusion i came up with. was just going to share the idea but youre already on it!

weedy isnt necessarily bad. its actually one of the main things i look for in plants when im searching for biomass producing plants. they grow fast and create shelter for more delicate plants. here the cosmos dont spread on their own unless the soil is bare or lightly mulched. that doesnt happen too often around here. so they pretty much stay wherever i plant them. weedy is one thing, invasive is another. do they disrupt the ecosystem or do they just grow too well?

That's good news to hear it has a long shelf life. I think the market in California would be very receptive 2 Durian fruit with the proper education and promotion. On the other thread not enough talk about durian. They mentioned that Durand is not generally grown in areas prone to Cyclones. Are the trees tall and brittle and is there any agricultural practice that can be used to mitigate high winds. How long is the fruit cycle. And how long from sapling to producing trees. If I remember right from discussions on this forum . Costa Rica is already an exotic fruit travel designation  adding Durian would be a wonderful thing. I will inquire from my in law that have a Fruit Stand in Castries St Lucia if they have heard of this fruit but they may call it by a different name.

certain varieties have longer shelf life than others, some remain closed while others split open. through my research, one of the flavors dissipates after 30 minutes off the tree. very few lucky people will get it at that point. but the other flavors stick around longer. probably picking them would allow the shelf life to be longer as well, but once again the flavors wont be fully developed. but older durian is better than no durian. im sure if the industry was kickin, they would fill airplanes during the season and get them over same day for sale. all we gotta do is get them to san francisco chinatown and los angeles chinatown. the fruits will be sold almost immediately. there are already markets and cultures who want the durian.

winds can be an issue. trees grow large. ive heard from many growers broken branches due to wind and heavy fruit set. this can be mitigated by pruning grafted trees (who arent as strong as a seedling), and thinning fruit set per branch. some farmers prune branches to allow wind to penetrate easierthere are farmers who have this down to a science. if you plant them in a forest they will be protected by the other trees from high winds as well.

flower to ripe fruit is 180 days. seedlings can take 7-10 years to produce, ive heard as little as 5 though. they can drop all their fruits in a few weeks. some hang a little longer. planting a mixed culture will allow you to have a longer season by having different genetics. fruits are normally collected off the ground once they fall so they develop full flavor. the sooner you eat them after they fall the more flavor they have. they typically arent pruned to a particular size because they drop their fruits naturally when ripe.

a different location, but here in hawaii we are quite far from the 'normal' durian growing regions. i know people that grow them at 50' sea level in puna and hilo (very young volcanic rocky/lava soils). and people growing them at 1000' in hakalau, which has at least 10' deep soils that are almost consistently wet with very little rocks and organic matter and with high rainfall, average >150 inches of rain. and even in kohala at 100' elevation in drastically less rainfall, <100 inches. this is basically the entirety of east big island. meaning we have the potential to grow them over the entire wet side of hawaii. all of these locations fruit and produce fairly good quality durian, at least as far as we are aware, only a few people have been around the world to taste south east asian and hawaiian durians, and i am not one of the lucky few.
at this point we can only ship inter-island. but there is efforts for us to get them to the mainland via containers to tap into the real market potential. thick skin means it has shelf life, so it can be sent out and treated prior to arrival in california. i know people travel here to taste durian, but its not the same level of food tourism as other countries. and luckily we have a large mixed asian influence here, so thats created a market and cultivars for the fruit. its sold here currently from $4-6 per lb dependent on variety

oh cool you found some genetic variation!! heres my website and some info on cosmos caudatus. ive got some seed if yours dont end up germinating. but they are pretty weedy, im sure youll be fine! please post some photos of the flowers once they start showing up

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Not enough Durian Discussion
« on: March 18, 2021, 03:17:49 PM »
Hi Mike yeh i realise most of the members are from south florida so Im kinda giving the yanks a bit of a ribbing about the mangoes (although they are 2nd rate compared to durian!!!)  Maybe we need an ultra tropical sub section.  I reckon peter salleras could get red prawn to fruit in florida though.

i like that idea for an ultra tropical sub. id spend a lot more time on this site if there was a way to filter. its easier to just spend time on hawaii tropical fruit growers facebook. where everyone has the same playing ground   

im planting 4 acres of durian here in hawaii. got a couple grafts but mostly focusing on seedling genetics. its gonna be fun! durian is the undeniable king   

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Trimming casava branches
« on: March 15, 2021, 03:11:22 PM »
i use cassava quite a bit. they can be topped and pruned at intervals, but the root harvest will be smaller. but you can still get some good gains. especially if you plant quite a few of them and harvest as you need. i have separate plants i use strictly for biomass and cut them every other month down to waist height just to feed the soils. but ive allowed them to grow more than a year so ill never get a non-woody harvest. but im fine with that.
but yes minor pruning and trimming is fine as cassava is so vigorous and carefree it will just keep on going

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