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Messages - agroventuresperu

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Just a mini Rant about Youtube
« on: February 17, 2024, 08:42:04 PM »
I look at all these video titles and they pretty much say the same thing: "This was the worst soil on the planet, and then overnight with my super magical green thumb, everything changed!

That pretty much sums it up. Add in a dash of flowery language...voila!

I haven't seen videos where they actually show detailed soil analysis to prove just how "bad" their soil was at the start. Nor is the viewer graced with the results of a third party audit to detail the inputs added or economics of the entire operation. I mean I could make a terrible soil great in a day, just give me a back hoe, rototiller and a few side-dump loads of lime and compost.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc3-3s115mM

And a comment I read in its comment section that pretty much sums up my thoughts:
"Title is a little deceiving, that's not "desert sand", that area of Baja is quite fertile and local farmers have been growing vegetables there for decades. This isn't new at all, why do foreign people like to try to appropriate everything? Give due credit to the local guys who have been doing this for decades and pioneered these techniques."


I'm on this soapbox, because I know everyone's trying so hard to motivate others by making it look easy - like if you just take a PDC and listen to hippies talk about fairies then you can take a box of seeds and some builders clay and scatter seeds in the middle of the Sahara Desert, forests will pop out of nowhere, and the wildebeast will once again roam the ancient plains of the extinct Saharan prairie browsing tree Aloes to help ward off skin cancer. Nonetheless, everything is so much more nuanced than presented and there are situations where the same approach will be a disaster in someone else's neck of the woods.

My favorite ones are the ones where they plant thousands of trees and then "walk away" and come back a few years later, supposedly for the first time, with all sorts of camera gear, and ooh and ahh about how neat the new forest is, and brag about how only a few of the tree saplings have died. Congratulations, you have good soil. Go try that in most parts of the world on severely degraded, marginal, non-ag land and you might as well throw away money.

2
Likewise, Peru, I have suriname cherries all along the fencerow in my back yard and one big one at the front of my house.  They all fruit and drop the fruit so I see dozens of seedlings that pop up shortly afterwards. (I just loophoe them all under.)  And yes, BTW, these new seedlings all have really skinny stems!

My yard is mostly Florida sand, the same in the front but with a layer of leaf mulch in the flower bed there.

OK ó HTH

Paul M.
==

Must be some sort of spodosol. Good luck with that. Have you added a lot of inputs over the years?

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2024 FL Mango Season
« on: February 15, 2024, 09:02:03 PM »
At 950 m, your altitude may be a factor. I've heard mangoes in Hawaii above 1200 ft start having issues flowering.

Do you know any varieties for high-altitude areas?

By the way, flowering isn't the issue. They have flowered every year since I've been here, but they usually set zero fruit. This year they produced a lot of fruit.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco coir as seed starter?!
« on: February 15, 2024, 08:58:39 PM »
What if you mix in worm castings at 10% and then fertigate with duck pond water? Can you get away with using coir?

If you can fertigate / modulate PH with relative certainty, it's ok in my opinion, it's just a lot more work than peat based mediums in which that's already taken care of. A bit of acidifier and calcium / magnesium supplement will sort it out.

Just my experience, anyways.

Eventually we'll probably all need to figure out coir I guess, since peat is not a renewable resource as I understand...

Isn't peat the opposite problem: too acidic?

Peat isn't that acidic. Maybe in the 5.5-6.0 range, which is pretty bang on for a lot of the sub-tropical species. It has good holding capacity, and like coir, can be modulated with acidifier, or alkaline supplements. If you have acidic water, you could probably have really good luck with coir. In my case, my well water is super alkaline, well into the 8+ range, so I will take any acid bump I can get!

Oh, I didn't know it's in the 5.5-6 range. Definitely err on the acidic side in Santa Barbara. I used to live there. I wouldn't use coir there either. Here, I'm not sure. Our water is surely acidic, but I've never measured it. It's just Amazonian rainwater, which I don't think would be super acidic. Certainly not enough to acidify coir significantly. I'd probably just go with Peat and buffer with a small amount of dolomite, and worm castings. But I don't really like to make my own mixes. It's a lot more economical though.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco coir as seed starter?!
« on: February 15, 2024, 08:52:18 PM »
On another note, can you use finely screened, aged compost?
do you mean only using that ???,
or do you mean my aged compost need to be dried nicely ??,

Yes, I meant using 100% compost with nothing else.

Don't understand your second question.

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sap Analysis?
« on: February 15, 2024, 08:49:06 PM »
I could see it being useful in certain situations where you might add a particular fertilizer and then notice aphids or something a couple weeks later. You might observe increased levels of one nutrient with a simultaneous decrease in another. For example, if you added a K fertilizer and notice your Mg levels decline as a result. But yeah, there's probably not enough data to interpret all the weird stuff people grow.

7
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2024 FL Mango Season
« on: February 15, 2024, 10:41:08 AM »
While some fruits may ripen in late March, April is usually when some of the early varieties start, with May being much better and probably the official start to the season. June and July seem to be the peak months, with August mangoes being harder to find. Some of my neighbors have trees holding fruit as late as early November. Hoping for some August and September mmm4's this season.

Southern FL does have drier winters, but rainfall can vary dramatically between locations that are close to each other.

Very good to hear! I will be there about early-mid May. Do you have any recommendations for places to visit (primarily in the Homestead area) where I can sample all the different unusual (yet choice) varieties? I've pretty much only ever eaten Kent, Edward and seedling mangos. I would love to go with family to do a tasting somewhere. We're going to be spending a lot of time in southern Miami, the keys, homestead and southwest Florida.

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco coir as seed starter?!
« on: February 15, 2024, 10:23:26 AM »
On another note, can you use finely screened, aged compost?

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco coir as seed starter?!
« on: February 15, 2024, 10:22:09 AM »
What if you mix in worm castings at 10% and then fertigate with duck pond water? Can you get away with using coir?

If you can fertigate / modulate PH with relative certainty, it's ok in my opinion, it's just a lot more work than peat based mediums in which that's already taken care of. A bit of acidifier and calcium / magnesium supplement will sort it out.

Just my experience, anyways.

Eventually we'll probably all need to figure out coir I guess, since peat is not a renewable resource as I understand...

Isn't peat the opposite problem: too acidic?

10
i have had S. American stuff sent from Brazil-> France-> Belgium-> JFK-LA-> HNL and still ok. But SE asia stuff.  they dont' seem to like it as much.

Sorry for a side topic but how did you receive stuff from Brazil? Was it sneaky packages or legit? I havenít bothered trying to sell and ship anything because I assume the process was too crazy to be worth it.

Yep, latin american countries love tedious bureacracy. I get hit up via private message on here from time to time, "Can you get this seed or can you get this rare mountain papaya? etc. etc" Maybe I should put something in my signature about how I don't ship seeds?

Do you think there's a viable market opportunity for folks like us where we can charge a daily stipend + travel expenses and people can send us to X part of the country looking for X plant, and then agree to do an in person meetup, where these interested individuals travel to us and pick up the seeds?

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: any kadsura coccinea successfully planted ?
« on: February 15, 2024, 09:55:37 AM »
Very glad to see interest in this species and genus growing as well,

I got 25 Kadsura longipedunculata seeds from tradewindsfruit that will go into germination now.

Would love to get in line for some of those hybrids Ted, and thanks again for joining!

Any update elouicious? I also got a bunch from trade winds months ago with no luck.

I remember ordering from them about 15 years ago. Surprised they're still around. Great place to get fossilized seeds.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: any kadsura coccinea successfully planted ?
« on: February 15, 2024, 09:53:40 AM »
Very good. I live in a forest, and if I can grow this fruit under dappled forest shade that would be fantastic. Even better if I can use existing trees as trellises/support and maximize my space as I have an undeveloped forest lot next to my improved lot. I don't see many people talking about actually eating this fruit or their plants bearing fruit yet is this very newly introduced to the west? Would be nice to get things like this and my feijoas in the ground. I'm guessing most people have seeds from tradewinds when they were available a year or so ago. I tend towards preferring the flavors of tropical fruits more than most temperate fruit trees (though melons and berries are nice). I'm also curious how well this will resist the forest critters.

There's a website selling this fruit plant with obnoxious branding and marketing. I'm sure you know the one, I won't mention them by name because I can't stand that stuff. From searching this forum I see they were on Etsy once but are no longer which is a poor sign.  Anyone know if they are actually legit or what kind of plants they are actually selling? I'd much rather buy from a complete stranger here than patronize a company that looks so skeevy so I'm more curious than anything.

Are you talking about Wildlands Farm & Nursery?

13
Looking across the landscape, there's Mangos, Avocados, Cashews, Spondias purpurea, Ice Cream Beans, Majambo, Surinam Cherry, Camu Camu... and I'm sure there are many others.

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sap Analysis?
« on: February 14, 2024, 06:17:37 PM »
I've been a regular listener to the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast by John Kempf. He definitely favors sap analysis over foliar testing, which I understand. I personally don't have such a service available near here, so I had to do a foliar analysis instead. Either way, I don't think I'm going to be doing either test on a regular basis. I doubt many on this forum would either. It seems more geared towards commercial growers that need to keep things on point to make realtime adjustments. It's a pretty useful tool, but you probably need to have a commercial operation to justify the cost of that level of precision.

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2024 FL Mango Season
« on: February 14, 2024, 05:23:59 PM »
They're back! And since it was so much fun last time, letís do it again!

Preliminary signs point to a very good mango season, in our garden. Sugar Loaf is busting with flowers at different stages. Edward is a bit behind, but is getting going. Sweet Tart, Orange Sherbet, Ceci Love, Guava, Kesar, mmm4, and even Coco Cream are starting to push.

Weíve had several nights in the high 40ís (F) here, and even more in the 50ís.

Here's some pics of SL.













...also, non-FL growers are welcome to post their experiences (and especially pics) here. Just seems like we have a unique situation and season here in FL, and wonder about trends and changes.

So what month does Mango season typically start in southern Florida?

We actually had Mangos for the first time this year on some of the existing old trees on the property. According to the previous caretaker the largest tree had never produced before. We're talking a big tree that measures about 30ft x 30ft. It was also one of the harshest dry seasons ever here, so I'm sure that had a lot to do with it.

Does southern Florida have a dry season? I always heard mangos require an absence of heavy rain during their flowering period. If so, that is probably the main problem here. We do have a marked dry season, and rain is less that time of year, but we still usually get a decent storm every 1-2 weeks. August is the main flowering month here, and most years I've witnessed some very significant downpours that month, but this year was much drier without any major storm the entire month.

16
How big do they get when mature?

I really can't believe how skinny the stems are based on the size of the seeds.

I noticed a couple sprouts in one other spot today, but it looks like one of them was defoliated by grasshoppers. That's probably what happened to all the other ones. Oh well. I probably should've used some finished compost instead of the aged bedding that I covered the seeds with. The one I found yesterday seems pretty healthy though. There is also what looks like another healthy seedling that I came across while weedwacking a broadacre section of the property today, even though I don't remember sowing any there. I thought I had only planted avocado seeds in that area.

17
Nevermind, I just went out and looked at one spot and noticed a seedling. It already has its first true leaves. But wow the stem is extremely skinny!

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Requesting Germination Info for Surinam Cherry
« on: February 13, 2024, 05:19:29 PM »
A couple years ago, I went to the local nursery and saw they had a plant in the edibles section that they were calling cereza, which is the generic spanish name for cherry. I asked for a proper scientific name, and of course no one at the nursery knew. They just reiterated "cereza". ::)
So, I decided to get one and see for myself, now that it has fruited it turns out it's a Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora), and the fruits are actually pretty decent. We decided we want to grow more, so we planted 2 seeds per spot in four different spots near the house. That was over a month ago, and I was expecting to see some seedlings by now.

The oldest ones were only sitting around the house for about a week. The freshest were planted the same day we ate the fruit. How long do they typically take to germinate? We used some wood shavings from spent animal bedding, so we have some tomatoes, pink bananas and papayas that have sprouted from the spots, but I haven't noticed anything that looks like a Surinam Cherry seedling.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Coco coir as seed starter?!
« on: February 13, 2024, 05:11:59 PM »
What if you mix in worm castings at 10% and then fertigate with duck pond water? Can you get away with using coir?

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 60 Lbs of KNO3
« on: February 07, 2024, 04:32:46 PM »
Not a good fertilizer for alkaline soil.

21
What are your recommendations? I'm interested in touring awe-inspiring edible fruit gardens and extremely beautiful botanical gardens with lots of palm trees and vibrant tropical flowers, etc.

Also planning a visit to ECHO, as I've always heard good things about their demonstration gardens to get ideas for rural development work.

Also, what else is fun to do in Florida? Thinking about visiting Key West, as I've never been. Also want to swim with the manatees north of Tampa area.

I probably won't: Do the beaches of Miama, everglades, disney...been there done that.

22
If this is seed seller Wong, i will not buy seeds from him again. In my case it was not failed delivery but rotted seeds. I bought a pretty large amount of various species and 95% already arrived rotted and moldy. And the real reason i am not buying from him again is because he did not seem to care much about the fact that they arrived useless.


I have only dealt with Maryoto once and i liked him for his honesty. I had already paid him for a large shipment but after a few weeks he found out that he can not ship from there due to phyto restrictions so he refunded me the whole amount effortlessly.

I don't know. Sounds like the consensus is that the only decent seller is Maryoto, so just avoid anyone that isn't him, and you should be fine.

23
1) Didn't follow customer instructions the first time: I requested and paid for an additional service, which was not honored. Outbound shipment rejected.
2) Didn't follow customer instructions a second time. Outbound shipment rejected a 2nd time.
3) If you know that orders will always be rejected due to lack of phytosanitary certificate, why take someone's money without a phyto?
4) If the shipper had actually followed my instructions, there's a good chance the outbound shipment would have been accepted.
5) If they had followed my instructions and the shipment still got rejected, then I would have assumed 100% responsibility.

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Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / BUYER BEWARE for Indonesian Seed Orders!
« on: December 27, 2023, 06:38:50 PM »
Just thought I'd give you all a heads up, as I didn't expect for this forum to lead to such a level of disrespect for a customer.

https://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=51265.msg509590#msg509590

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Here are the relevant screenshots:

(In random order)

















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