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Topics - Finca La Isla

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / New Plinia sp.
« on: July 10, 2023, 01:36:23 PM »
Plinia costarricense is a new species recently found at fairly high altitude by workers at a hydroelectric project. So far there have been only 2 trees identified. The photos were taken by a friend who has shared a small amount of this material with me. Unfortunately the fruits found on the ground were passed so we donít really have a gauge of the fruit quality.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Nice dwarf mulchi harvest
« on: July 07, 2023, 02:55:42 PM »
Tasty small fruit from a cute, small tree that tolerates shade. While I was harvesting some of the fruits this morning a red poison dart frog cruised through and you can see him in one of the photos.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / CR fruit harvest season
« on: June 21, 2022, 10:34:46 PM »
So, weíre off to a good harvest season this year.  Whatís really interesting is that some crops are having multiple flowering.  Champedek, and especially durian have seen multiple flowering and thus several generations of fruit on the same tree.  A durian tree might drop fruit for barely a month but we think weíll have durian from now until November.

We have been eating nice, fat mangosteens and will be picking commercially this Friday for sale at the farm and out Saturday farmers market.

Something interesting is the Brunei cherry.  G. parvafolia is such a beautiful tree and the fruits are tasty and have a bountiful harvest that could go on for weeks.

Coming up will be lots more like Matisia, cherapu, Langsat, longanÖ..

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 22 brix jakfruit cleaned and ready
« on: February 04, 2022, 02:15:29 PM »

Weíve cleaned some very nice red jakfruit to sell at the farmers market tomorrow. This stuff often sells out at the beginning of the market, mostly sold to other vendors.
It comes from a grafted tree I got from Gary Zill several years ago. I believe itís a selection that was made from seedlings he planted at his project here in CR.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Durian planting ramping up in CR
« on: December 13, 2021, 07:37:53 PM »
We are currently in one of our two planting windows of the Costa Rican Caribe Sur.  At our Finca the planting is modest.  Currently weíre planting Musang King, 101, Golden Phoenix, Rainbow, graveleons, and a select Suluk.  This adds up to 14 grafted durians with the graveleons being a seedling.  So that itís not a mono crop weíve added in some grafted champedeks and jaks.
I say modest because our nursery has probably sold some 300 grafted durians this year.  Another nursery has sold way more and new offerings of grafted durians have appeared.  Two of my clients are planting with an eye on exporting to the US.  My personal model is to retail almost all the durian directly from my farm.
During the last season some people rented houses nearby to be able to eat durian every day.  Whole families drove for hours just to get here for durian.  Itís like gold fever, Golden Pillow!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tampoi enters production
« on: October 10, 2020, 08:33:57 PM »
A new fruit for Finca la Isla, tampoi, has entered production and passed the test. The test is to determine commercial acceptance in our market. Nobody at the farmers market was familiar with it but on sampling pretty much everyone bought some. This contrasts with our other baccaurea, dulcis, which has a poor reception. Although itís called Ďdulcisí itís much more acidic than the white fleshed tampoi that I introduced today.
Baccaurea are dioecious and the trees were planted out as seedlings some 4.5 years ago. In the pipeline is also a yellow fleshed tampoi. 
The fruit season is waning here and the stars like durian and mangosteen are no longer part of our offer I did manage to have rambutan, duku, Rollinia, champedek, and some mamey sapote.
Itís pretty exciting for us still when something comes into production for the first time here. Inevitably the workers havenít ever tried these fruits and often our family hasnít either. To introduce something that will grow well here and be easily accepted is what itís all about for us.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Yellow pulusan
« on: September 02, 2020, 06:38:43 PM »
We had never seen a pulusan look like this. The quality is quite good, a consumer offered to pay twice the normal price after trying it.
Whatís even more interesting is that it comes from a tree growing along the roadside in front of a friends house who had no idea what it was until it produced. Pulusan was introduced to this area in the mid 80ís but there have only been red fruit until this seedling showed up with its nice fruit.
My son plans to put air layers on it once the harvest is done.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sour pear garcinia
« on: August 07, 2020, 03:47:17 PM »
So, weíre calling garcinia lateriflora sour pear now. Itís been an impressive harvest and the fruit is interesting but...
A lot of fruit people have tried this fruit and are impressed by the interesting complexity of flavor within which there is a very distinctive pear flavor. But, the tasting experience finishes sour. Itís funny how at first itís not that sour but then acid dominates. Itís nice to sample but I donít think anyone could eat very much of this fruit.
The tree is beautiful, dioecious, and the fruit has wonderful presentation.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Brunei cherry producing commercially
« on: August 04, 2020, 01:01:59 PM »
Garcinia parvafolia is something Iíve been working on for probably 7 years. This is not the first time itís produced but the first credible commercial production where I could take it to my stall at the farmers market and sell several kg.
The pulp is sweet and appealing, this was not a hard introduction to make. On Borneo the locals dry the skin, powder it and use it as an ingredient in curries to give tang to the dish. Iíve had reports that the skins, blended with water and sugar makes a good juice drink. Most of my customers are eating the pulp and casting the skins away.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Durians falling nicely
« on: August 02, 2020, 12:19:04 PM »
Overall we are off to a great start on this fruit season. Certainly one of the highlights is the durian season!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Aguaje harvest
« on: January 30, 2020, 08:04:04 PM »

Aguaje is the common name we give to mauritia flexosa, a particularly large and beautiful palm from South America. Itís very tolerant of wet, swampy land but will adapt to generally wet tropical climates. Itís said to be the most useful palm of its region as itís appreciated for thatch, etc.
what weíre interested here is in the fruit. You can wait for the fruits to drop or climb and cut a large bunch that must have been 50kg. The un ripe fruits are kept in water which gets changed every day or two. As the fruits ripen they turn a brighter red and soften. The skin gets soft too and is easy to wipe off the surface of the pulp. The aguaje pulp is a savory fruit almost like a cheese, kind of like safou as well. Weíre really enjoying it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Salak id
« on: November 28, 2019, 08:39:58 AM »
We grow s. Salacca, s. Affinis, s. Walllichiana, and what was represented as a Bali salak. So this is about the ĎBalií version.
The fruit is very similar to salacca. But individual plants seem to be diocious and have flowers that look quite different, especially the male flowers. In the photos you see a male plant and in the other a receptive female cone that we have pollinated by tapping a picked male flower on the female and leaving it there.
What salak is this?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit Id help
« on: November 05, 2019, 12:43:45 PM »

I collected the seed of this plant at the fruit park on Penang. It was collected from underneath a Fijian longan. Obviously itís not that. To me it looks most like rose apple. Can it be anything else?
Thanks, Peter

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Baccaurea dulcis
« on: September 03, 2019, 10:03:07 PM »
So this is a fruit that I originally got my material from Jim West several years ago when he stayed on my farm for a few days. I admit I wasnít very convinced by this fruit the first time it produced but now it seems pretty good. It reminds me of some tampoi I had in Malaysia. As you can see itís an abundant producer. Now that the mangosteens are done Iím going to promote this fruit at the farmers market. Itís not mangosteen but not bad either!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Golden pulusan
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:31:20 PM »
My son brought these pulusan fruits from a friends property. They have thick skins which will probably give them better shelf life. The flavor is quite good.  Certainly this fruit is the product of a random seed although we have seen nothing around here anything like it. Our pulusan are very dark red. In Malaysia you see some green one but I like the look of this better. Weíre going to make some air layers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / First safou harvest
« on: August 02, 2019, 12:30:27 PM »
Something exciting for us that stands out from the incredible fruit harvest we are currently getting is the harvest of safou. Itís fascinating how these beautiful fruits take about 6 months to develop into a bright pink oval shape, then slowly turn into a dark, royal blue. We pick them at this stage and let them ripen like avocadoes which is kind of what they are like, with an olive like after taste. Quite good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Durian/mangosteen harvest upcoming
« on: April 23, 2019, 10:41:51 PM »
Weíve got flowering and fruit set on the king and queen of fruits in epic proportions right now.  The harvest could start in late July but I am expecting August, especially, to have large quantities of these and other fruits.  Itís not Asia but itís close for fruit people from North America to get their fill of these and other freshly harvested, high quality, ecuatorial tropical fruits.
There are other farms in this area and other parts of CR that will have a good fruit season this year.  To top it off there are several very good tree to bar chocolate producers to be found.
Iíll be giving further updates as the season approaches and hope to share fruit with more forum members this year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / First time flowerings
« on: March 21, 2019, 06:27:28 PM »

So, the first two photos are of safou which is something weíve been waiting on for about 5-6 years.  Itís another thing that weíve never really eaten before.  Every year we keep planting new stuff and, in many cases, we havenít eaten the fruits until they bear here for the first time.

This is a 3 year old, planted from seed, baccaurea motlyana.  I have 6 of these diocious trees planted together and Iím hoping another one will help this one out with a few flowers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Is this a passiflora?
« on: March 16, 2019, 08:35:29 PM »

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Malaysia pilgrimage
« on: September 04, 2018, 10:35:46 PM »
My son and I recently made a trip to Malaysia, something Iíd been contemplating for awhile.  Thereís a lot to experience and  I wanted to prioritize learning about growing fruits from people who have been growing them for generations, see the fruits in the markets, then eat the food, see some nature...
With this thread Iíd like to report on this trip over the next days  and hear from others, share their experiences from S.E. Asia..
The first day we met up with Lindsay who was guiding another forum member, Micah and his wife Nicole.  We were East of KL in Hulu Langat looking for wild durians.  The area is hilly and replete with small durian farms. The locals bring durians out of the hills loaded in baskets on the back of motorbikes.  There are several fruit stands along the winding roads offering mangosteens, Langsat, durian, etc.  As soon as the durians come in they get sold by the piece to people like us or by the pickup load to an intermediary.
Besides D101 we had some nice kampung durian and a good amount of durio oxyleanus and durio lowianus.
This was the perfect start to our more tha 3week trip.  In KL we were still getting used to the 14 hours of difference between Malaysia and CR when we headed up to Penang.  We had been told that the durian season was finished in Penang but decided to go anyway.  Over the course of this trip we were advised off and on by Lindsay and we connected with her friend Eric at Greenacres farm on Penang for an extraordinary day sampling fruits at his place.  Besides excellent pulusan and one of my favorite durians of the trip, Goldfish, he had some interesting concoctions, many made from nutmeg husk.  A nutmeg cold drink, a cider, etc. 
From Penang we rented a car to drive across the peninsula to the east coast, looking for more fruits. That report to come...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Brix readings for some fruits this season
« on: November 01, 2017, 10:31:24 PM »
Just for fun, with our portable refractometer we have taken some comparative brix readings with some of this seasons fruits from our farm.  These are just a few of the fruits and specifically those that are not only sweet but have a tangy aspect to their flavor balance.
G. prainiana 16
Rambutan.  19
Mangosteen. 22
Longan.        22
Pulusan.        28
What do you think, I will add some more as they become available.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / G. Prainiana in full production
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:04:00 PM »
Cherapu is something I've been working on for a few years, there's not too many fruit trees that are slower growers than this.  We're still trying to decide if it's better to graft prainiana in the pot or, maybe grow them out and then top work the extra males.
Anyway, this is the second time this tree has produced and the first time it has really loaded up.  There can still be flowers appearing as the more mature fruits ripen.
I have my cherapu trees in what passes for full sun on my farm but at a friends farm in a drier part of CR the ones he has in partial shade are doing better than the full exposure planting.
The flowers are pollinated by our stingless melipona bees.  As you can see they are very efficient.  Hopefully, I'll be able to take a quantity to the farmers market in the coming weeks, see how they do.  We're doing nicely at the moment, eating this fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Dwarf mulchi production
« on: July 30, 2017, 06:01:46 PM »
I originally got this material from Jim West a few years ago.  In my experience it performs best in some shade. It probably started fruiting about 3 years ago when it was only .5m tall. 
The fruit is nice, not sour at all.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Novelty citrus id
« on: June 17, 2017, 10:40:08 PM »

I am wondering what this bush is. The fruit is sweet, maybe 3/8", 1cm, with greenish citrus like seeds that are similar to the seeds of lime berry. As in the photo the fruit is black and does not taste like lime berry although there are similarities. The small bushes are about .5m tall.
Thanks, Peter

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cherapu update
« on: May 14, 2017, 08:56:04 PM »

We have been getting pretty good flowering and our melapona bees have been working overtime on the very fragrant g. prainiana flowers. 

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