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Topics - Epiphyte

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tropical Fruiting In Guanacaste Costa Rica?
« on: October 09, 2022, 02:26:26 PM »
Next month I'll be visiting Costa Rica for the 1st time.  Going to be staying primarily in Guanacaste for a couple weeks.  Any suggestions or advice?  Is there a particularly good fruit market?  Botanical garden? 

I love all sorts of plants.  I've been obsessed with epiphytes for the longest time but am getting more and more preoccupied with tropical fruit... especially Garcinias and Eugenias.  I'm dying to try achacha and all the other Garcinias in the Americas!  Are any readily available in Costa Rica?  What are their names in Spanish? 

There are a "few" epiphytes that I'd love to bring with me to share in Costa Rica, such as Kalanchoe uniflora.  How strict are the customs agents? 

Thanks in advance! 

Recently I sent the following email to the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP)...



In Southern Spain there's a public park with a bunch of subtropical fruit and nut trees...

How would we go about doing the same thing here? 



I received this response...


Thank you for your interest in collaborating with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP).   In order to fully consider your idea/s and determine the best route to implement actions, we need to obtain some more information about your organization and what type of service you are proposing.  Please find below some basic proposal questions to provide us with initial information.  If any question is not applicable, merely indicate so. 

1.  Provide Organization legal name, address, phone, website.
2.  Brief description of proposed program, idea, project, or general proposal.
3.  What specific RAP site(s) is the Organization interested in?
4.  How will the program/project be funded, and what is the general program/project budget?
5.  Is there any program/project sponsorship or grant funding involved?  If so who, and are they requesting any form of recognition, promotion, or future facility use? 
6.  Will the program or completed project be free to the community to participate/use?   If not, what will the fee(s) be?
7.  Who is the program/project geared towards serving (adults, seniors, youth, women/girls, men/boys, etc.)?
8.  How frequently will the program be provided?
9.  What is the program/project development timeline?
10.  Has there been any community or Council Office involvement in the program/project planning process?
11.  Are there organizations or companies (non-funding related) who may/will be involved in the program/project, and if so, in what capacity?
12. Will the proposed program/ project be implemented solely by your organization or will another entity be involved?
13. Has your organization entered in a similar arrangement/ collaboration in the past with another government agency (local, state, federal)?
14.  What is expected of Recreation and Parks?


Heh.  I'm hoping that this is something that the local chapters of the California Rare Fruit Growers might be interested in pursuing?   ;D  Personally I'd be more than happy to contribute some trees and labor. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Botanical Garden Optimization
« on: July 04, 2022, 09:02:56 PM »
Which botanical garden in California has the best variety of tropical fruit trees?  I'm guessing that it's the Fullerton Arboretum? 

Several years back I was surprised when the LA Arboretum planted a bunch of tropical fruit trees.  How, exactly, does a botanical garden end up with a decent collection of tropical fruits?  Does credit go to the director, the curator, the board or a generous donor? 

I don't remember seeing any tropical fruit trees at the South Coast Botanic garden, but I did see this donation box...

Imagine if there was a 2nd donation box next to it specifically for tropical fruit trees.  How would you divide your money between the two boxes?

Right now you can decide how you divide your donations between the South Coast Botanic Garden and the Fullerton Arboretum.  But does the Fullerton Arboretum give you the opportunity to divide your donations between tropical fruit trees and roses?  Maybe if you donate enough. 

I've been a member of The Huntington on and off for many years but have never been given the opportunity to specify how my $100+ annual membership gets divided between the library, museum and garden.  How much difference would it make if the members could decide how their dues were divided? 

Let's say that botanical gardens did make it ridiculously easy for all of us to decide how our dues/donations were divided.  Could I guarantee that tropical fruit trees would be the winners?  Sadly no.  All I could guarantee is that botanical gardens would be maximally beneficial. 

And perhaps you'd prefer to hold out for a new director or curator who is gung ho about tropical fruit trees?  I remember being so surprised when I learned that Myron Kimnach, a past director of The Huntington gardens, was gung ho about filmy ferns, especially since he was most well known for succulents.  Here's a pic that I took at Myron's house of him and Elmer Lorenz admiring some Rhipsalis...

Those two guys were so incredibly cool, they are legends in my book, but neither of them told me about the achacha.  That credit goes to the Weird Fruit Explorer guy on Youtube, who seems to have zero interest in sowing any of the precious seeds he ends up with, heh. 

Sure, I've definitely informed curators and directors about plants they've overlooked, but I'm 100% certain it would be more effective to inform everyone instead.   

X = everyone trying to inform 1 person
Y = everyone trying to inform each other

X < Y

We educate each other, we donate to botanical gardens accordingly, and voila, optimization. 

Anybody know if it's possible to cross these two guavas?  Does a hybrid already exist?  If so, what's it called and how does it taste? 

While on the topic, if I plant a Eugenia selloi in between my two unifloras, will they hybridize? 

Does anyone ever group their fruit trees with the intention of facilitating hybridization?   If so, which trees?   

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Prioritizing Fruit
« on: December 02, 2021, 05:58:23 PM »
I recently tried yellow dragon fruit and liked it way more than the red flesh and white flesh varieties.  I also recently tried jackfruit and really liked it.  Since I like these two fruits so much, I really wish that I had learned about them decades ago.  It makes me wonder just how many other fruits I haven't tried yet but would love. 

One of the worst things in life is overlooking the best things in life.  Unfortunately, overlooking the best things is way too easy, given how many things there are competing for our very limited time and attention. 

Fortunately, we don't all look in the same places.  It's a given that plenty of you have tried yellow dragon fruit and jackfruit way before I did.  Those of you who loved it told others about it, which is great, but it took way too long for me to get the memo.  Way too many other people still haven’t gotten the memo.

The solution is simple.  We make a list of fruit and sort it by donations to this website.  For example... I could donate $10 to this website in order to increase the ranking of jackfruit by $10.  The higher up jackfruit is on the list, the more people would try it. 

Why not just use voting?  Because then the top fruits would be things like apples and oranges... fruits that everybody already knows about.  The majority can't know anything valuable before the minority does.  Plus this website needs donations anyways. 

I'll share a couple relevant examples from nature. 

When the 1st bee discovers that my cherimoya is blooming... hah.  Dragon fruit?  Nope.  I can't remember if I saw any bees on my Surinam cherry, but let's go with it.  She flies back to the hive in order to recruit other bees to help harvest the pollen/nectar.  The way she recruits is by dancing.  You probably already knew this, but maybe you didn't know how she conveys her valuation.  She does this by the intensity of her dancing.  The more valuable she perceives my Surinam cherry, the more intensely she will dance, and the more bees she will recruit.  It's important to appreciate that dancing intensely will burn more of her precious calories, so it's a sacrifice for her, just like spending money is a sacrifice for us.  We should use our sacrifices to prioritize fruits, just like bees use their sacrifices to prioritize flowers. 

To be clear, whenever we buy a fruit we are making a sacrifice to help prioritize it.  But of course we aren't going to pay more for the fruit than we have to.  We all want the best possible deals.  The problem with deals is that they skew the prioritization.  No deals with donations though. 

The second example from nature involves a creature that we all hate… slugs.  Ugh.  Go to the ant thou sluggard?  Actually, it seems like slugs are extremely effective at finding and destroying valuable plants.  This is because they are essentially completely honest with each other.  One lucky slug finds your jackfruit seedlings and fills its belly with 5% of them.  Of course the bastard wants to eat the rest of your seedlings, which means it needs to be able to find them again.  It does so by leaving a trail of slime that it can use to essentially retrace its steps.  However, if any other slug happens to stumble upon the slime trail, they will also be able to use it.  So the next night there are 3 slugs eating your seedlings.  The night after that there are 10 slugs… within a few days your seedlings are all gone.  Any subsequent slugs will leave new trails that say “empty belly”.  Well, they won’t sacrifice their calories to say “full belly”. 

Slugs are way too good at recruiting each other.  Good for them, bad for us.  Bees are also really good at recruiting each other.  Good for them and us.  What about us humans in terms of recruiting?  We have lots of room for improvement. 

Logistically, maintaining the fruit prioritization list would only be a lot of work if lots of people are regularly making donations.  By then though a portion of the money could be used to automate the system.  And then another portion of the money could be used to promote the list.  As a result, we will minimize the amount of time it takes for the best “new” fruits to go from scarce to abundant. 

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