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Messages - JoshuaTilaranCR

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I have a plant here at my house that's not more than 2 feet tall. I'm not sure the age of it but I got it last year, put it in the ground and right away it started to flower. It held a couple fruits to about golf ball size and then dropped them. This year it bloomed again and set maybe 6 fruits, 2 stayed on and ripened. They got to maybe tennis ball size. I used them in a fermented hot sauce and it came out amazing. You should definitely get some fruit soon if it's anything like the one I have. Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What's wrong with these bananas?
« on: November 22, 2022, 08:42:02 AM »
That's the problem right there then. Were they sword sucker size. Tall, strong and thin leaves? Or were they water suckers, also called seedling or tissue culture babies? Short with wide leaves and a thin trunk?

I bought a dwarf plantain once that was a water sucker or "seedling" and when it fruited there were maybe 10 plantains, probably less, and they were small. Some people say to cut those down when new pups start to grow but I always leave them.

The next racks you get should be much bigger and fuller. Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What's wrong with these bananas?
« on: November 21, 2022, 09:28:49 AM »
I skimmed through this and didn't see anyone ask if the plants that were fruiting were from the first root corm that was planted. It could be that the corm was harvested and cut far back before it was planted and that's why there weren't many bananas and they weren't that big. Give the plants time and see what happens with the next racks, they should be bigger.

Just my thoughts but that could be the case for the small racks. Also for the people saying to only leave a couple pups, that's more recommended for plantations. As long as you're giving the plants a lot of organic matter, like dumping kitchen scraps around them and cutting and dropping all the leaves and spent plants, you can certainly leave all the pups. One year I tried the "two to three" pups thing and my total harvest went down quite a bit. Now I leave everything except the occasional plant I take out to gift or sell and I almost always have racks on the plants.

Today is my day off from work and I'm going to try to graft at least one scion of the pitanga onto my mature plant, maybe two. It'll let me do two things, one is trim the seedling because it's going straight up with no branching. And two, see if I can get it to flower faster. My big Pitanga is just starting to flower now and flowers heavily these next few months.

I used to distill at home and I've had ideas for flavored "rums" for a long time since I've been living in Costa Rica. I think I would first start out by distilling evaporated cane juice into a rum. The flavors that come over from the cane are really good. Then you can do one of two things, soak fruit in the rum and redistill to get a rum with the fruit essence or take the finished clear rum, soak the fruit in it and then sweeten. For anyone interested in home distilling there's a forum with amazing safety information and recipes that you can look up. There's even recipes for things you can make without having to distill your own alcohol.

Thanks for the replies. I've always wondered if this would be true in breeding programs to try and get a seedling to bloom and fruit faster and be able to see quicker results.  I'll maybe try one graft from the fastest growing seedling and see what happens and report back.

I have at my house a big Pitanga, nothing very special, the fruits are good but small. I also have a bunch of seedlings of Zill's dark. I was thinking of grafting them to the established plant to see if I could get them to flower and fruit faster and be able to select one to keep from there. How.much quicker would a seedling scion fruit on an established plant? Or is it not worth the hassle?

I know this is mostly for nitrogen fixing trees but I'm thinking I could crush and use almost any seed to give plants a boost. I have a ton of oaks around so I'm thinking I might gather the acorns to crush and use on my trees. They don't have as much protein/nitrogen as a legume but I have a LOT of them.

I actually asked him this exact question, if the seeds are what's pumped full of nitrogen, why not crush them and throw them around the plants you want to fertilize. I actually did that with some pigeon peas and mixed them with rock dust and tossed them around some trees.

No problem, I found it super eye opening. I just asked if we should be collecting the seeds of the perennial nitrogen fixers and grinding them and using that along with chop and drop as the best way of getting nitrogen back into the soil from these plants. It seems that would be the way to go

Here's a link to the post

And here's what a person, u/SaintUlvemann, replied about using them. I think it's very insightful and interesting and it cuts through a lot of beliefs that these plants are pumping nitrogen into the soil like crazy.

I'm a crop geneticist who studies legumes and knows nodulation down to many of the individual protein-protein interactions. We say that form follows function; it is typically necessary to understand what a thing is, in terms of things like shape and molecular structure, before one can understand its ecological function.

Root nodules are a novel organ that legumes (and actinorhizal relatives) develop. The organ exists in order to provide an enclosed anaerobic environment for the symbiotes to live in and for the plant to eat from. It is an internal microhabitat within the plant, that plants grow for their symbiotes.

There is a lengthy and tightly-controlled process for how plants get these symbiotes inside themselves without ending up infected with pathogens. Developing a nodule is a risky and energetically intense process; plants extract as much benefit from it as they can.

They invest large amounts of photosynthate into tasks such as feeding these symbiotes. To give another example; they regulate the oxygen content of this anaerobic environment through production of leghemoglobins. Those leghemoglobins, oxygen-binders like heme, are the reason why legume root extracts can be used to make plant-based meats taste meaty. This oxygen regulation is also energetically expensive.

Given the amount of energy plants put into developing these nodules safely, they can't just secrete nitrogenous compounds out of those roots: that would defeat their purpose. The nitrogen is produced inside of their bodies; it must be brought out of their bodies in order to make it to the environment.

The life cycle of the nodule itself provides little opportunity for nitrogen to make its way into the soil.

For those legumes with determinate nodules (meaning that the nodules are developed for a set, determinate, amount of time, and then discarded), a small amount of nitrogen may be expected to return directly to the soil at the programmatic end of the nodule's lifespan; but like the extraction of nutrients from leaves in fall, the plant avoids this waste where possible, and many legumes don't even have determinate nodules in the first place: their nodules are indeterminate in lifespan, organs that die only when the roots to which they're attached do.

Thus the route by which the nitrogen fixed by nodulating species ends up in the rest of the environment, has to be through the decomposition of the dead body parts of that nodulating plant; because the nitrogen was fixed inside the plant's body.

Mulches would be one way of doing that. The dead root systems of legumes would contain nitrogen too.

However, for many species, the majority of the nitrogen fixed by the plant is not found in the roots, leaves, and stems; it is packaged up by the plant into its seeds. Nitrogen is a core atomic building block of protein; nitrogen fixation is why beans are protein-rich. We may find that protein delicious, but from the plant's perspective, it is meant as a bequest to the next generation of the species. Annual plants' reproductive strategy is to deliberately self-sacrifice (timed to match what would be their seasonal death anyway) in order to produce higher-quality seed with the nutrients required for the developing embryo to have a higher chance of survival.

The survival strategy for perennial nitrogen fixers is not to completely kill themselves off each year; so they will reserve more nutrients for themselves. But plants that produce protein-rich seed do so for the sake of increasing the survival rate of their offspring, and perennials may adopt this strategy as surely as other plants will. This is part of why nuts and seeds are such sought-after food for animals.

The precise proportion of nitrogen that remains in the leaf, root, and seed material of a perennial nitrogen-fixing species, is likely to vary by species, depending on life strategy. I might imagine that perhaps the roots of an asexually-propagating rhizomal nitrogen fixer such as the potato bean maintained a higher nitrogen content within said roots, than a nitrogen fixer such as alder that maintains heavier seasonal investments into its reproductive structures.

Some plants that do not really fix nitrogen per se, are called nitrogen fixers due to casual associations.

The term for nitrogen fixation that is done on the outside of plants, by microorganisms that are only in casual association with them, is associative nitrogen fixation. It is harder to study, and so not as well-studied. Plants that participate in such casual relationships need not necessarily have any nodule organs; grasses lack nodules, yet have been found to participate in associative nitrogen-fixing symbioses.

Nitrogen fixed by these organisms would enter the environment via usual aqueous routes, having been fixed in the environment, not inside the body of a plant.

Yeah, don't take the risk of bringing something here and getting caught. It's really not worth it.

It's chupa chupa season now, they've been around for about a month already or more. They're good, a little mango, a little pumpkin. They're very fibrous but they're juicy. My wife loves them, I think they're good but nothing special. Also in those photos are these fruits...I was going to post names before but I was at work when I uploaded them and right when I did it got busy.
Jocotea or hog plum
Dragon fruit
Peach palm
June plum from the big trees
Cas guava
Chupa chupa
Passion fruit

I didn't see anything that really caught my eye or I would've bought it! I did get a bunch of watercress which is a little different and you don't see much, here at least. I think we'll make a pesto from that.

Here are some pictures from the market today...

Nothing in Huacas but it looks like there's a farmers market in Saturdays in Tamarindo from 8am to 1pm next to the "Alfaro" bus station and a place called "El Pescador". I asked my friend from there but he said he didn't know about it. There's also a place called Tama Market, you can find them on Facebook. I'm not sure if it's the same thing.

You just missed achacha season, I finally found some fruit a month or two ago in Cañas. Right now there's a lot of mangosteen but I don't know if they'll be in season next month. I go to the farmers market every Wednesday in Cañas to get stuff for our restaurant but there's usually not a lot of "different" stuff there. I'll go this Wednesday and take some pictures and put them up here. I think you told me you'll be in Tamarindo. My sister in law lives in Huacas, a big town you need to go through to get to Tamarindo. I'll ask her when the farmers market is there. And I'm sure in Tamarindo there's markets too. I have a friend that used to work for us that's there now. I'll ask him also where you could go.

Quick question for eating Lagos Spinach. I see on the ECHO site it says it needs to be cooked before eating because of oxalic acid and nitrates. It's also said to be added to soups when I search for recipes. My question is, if I add this to a soup do I need to precook it to remove the oxalic acid and then add it to a soup or can you just add it straight to the pot?

The other day I was chopping down some stuff in my front yard and I think I have a round leaved Mexican sunflower that grew from seed.

I have nothing else to say about it really, just thought it was cool and different haha. Here is a picture.

Thank you for this explanation!! A lot of people here told me it's called Platanillo but they didn't know it had seeds.

I have a Musa velutina here also, could one cross these two species and expect anything interesting from the cross?

Yes!!! Thank you Peter!

I'm not sure about blending but maybe mashing and straining would be better. It does have a really good taste.

Hahahaha! Thank you for this amazing tidbit of information, you've won a the grand prize. I'll send you all the seeds of the banana. Just send me your address and they're all yours! Hahahaha

You know the worst part. I was so excited that it was actually Pitogo that I already went and grabbed a pup and planted it at the house. It's going to be biomass now until I find something else that will take it's place. I need bananas in the dry season and it hurts me to cut out ones that I actually use the fruit from

I went to the market today in Cañas, Guanacaste and finally found someone selling jorco, which here is a yellow Garcinia. I've had something that was said to be intermedia and the fruit was small and the skin was edible. This fruit is bigger, say golf ball sized to almost racquet ball size. The seeds are also bigger and more elongated. The skin is thick and cracks easy and has an acidic, astringent taste that is kind of piney. Say like the skin of a jaboticaba but stronger. The fruit is acidic at first then sweet with the more orange ones being sweeter. I'm hoping it's humilis, I've been trying to get my hands on one for a couple years now.

If you need clearer pictures I can get better ones. These are the "holy s, I finally found them, let me show my wife" pictures

Well they yellowed up so i picked off the softest one and tried it. I think I answered my own question. It's full of seeds! The taste is actually nice but there's so many seeds you just kind of have to suck off the flavor and then spit them all out.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is this white sapote ripe in June?
« on: June 28, 2022, 02:23:51 PM »
I found one of these in my town here in Costa Rica and tried it. I had seen the fruit falling for years and asked people if you could eat it and no one had an answer for me. One day my wife's mother gave me a fruit and told me what tree it was from and it took me a couple minutes to realize what it actually was.

I took a bite to try it and the first flavor i got was weird, Thanksgiving turkey and gravy. After that initial taste it got sweet and I tasted a little bit of the strawberry tree, Muntingia. I can't get over that turkey taste though. I've eaten more and it's always there. It's pretty funny to me that it tastes like that. Has anyone else ever tasted that in a white sapote?

This one here is probably from seed and it's super old. The tree is probably 5-8 feet around the trunk and maybe more. Definitely not a named selection.

The other day I was taking a ride along some back roads when I saw this banana with a small rack along a stream. I got out and checked it out because they looked different from a normal banana. Does anyone think they're the Pitogo variety?

I cut the rack and brought it home and it's starting to color up already. I guess when it's ripe I can comment on the taste and see if it compares to the Pitogo but I'm excited to know if it is so I can go grab a pup and plant it back here at the house! I like collecting different varieties of banana and this would be a cool addition.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: CR fruit harvest season
« on: June 22, 2022, 12:42:15 AM »
Looking good!

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