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Messages - pineislander

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cashews anyone? Anacardium
« on: May 29, 2024, 05:07:40 AM »
I was surprised that the seedling I got from a local nursery flowered the first year after planting. I think these might be a nut which can escape the squirrels and look forward to burning some. From videos I see it isn't as dangerous as some put it out to be, unless you have a terrible poison ivy allergy.

I recently obtained seeds of this from the US Virgin Islands and they germinated well even from fruits which had been stored  nearly a year whose pulp was no longer nice to eat. I nicked the seed coat and got nearly 100% germination, currently have 12 pots into the true leaf stage. I'll be using them as agroforestry support trees in southwest Florida. I also distributed some seedlings to friends. I liked the pods.

A couple of years ago I cleared an acre of my land which is typical Myakka flatwoods soil and saturated about 3 feet or less most of the summer. rainy season with occasional ponding to the surface. That's why susceptble species like avocado must be mounded. The land was forestry mulched to remove surface brush, then I used a chainsaw and PTO chipper to remove all the tree top growth. Most trees were Ear Acacia, Brazil Pepper and Melaleuca, all invasive. I saved all the tree trunks and used the chipped tree tops as mulch. Burned the stumps and spread the ash and charcoal. Nothing left the farm. Here is a video showing the stumps.

Then, an excavator came and pulled the stumps over. It was an easy job because even though the trees had roots 20 feet horizontally none had roots below that 3 ft level, including the largest Acacia which was 24 inches diameter at breast height.
This shows the root balls of the typical trees. When pushed over the excavator laid them back down and could stand them back up on the root balls, no tap roots.

Here the excavator pulled over the largest tree, 24" diam. I made benches out of it. It's about the size of that alleged "Guanacaste" tree, which looks like Enterolobium contortisiliquum to me. It had no tap root either but horizontal roots out 60 ft diameter.

You may wonder what I did with that huge pile of wood which wouldn't feed through my small chipper?
I used them to "armor" tree planting ridges on a half acre plot of Achachairu and soursop trees.

Im not sure what happens to the fungal network when soil becomes saturated up to the surface and above like during hurricanes. I doubt it extends into or below the waterlogged spodic layer anyway. I have a shallow well which I can use to measure the perched water table on my place. At the height of the dry season it is only 6 ft down. I can suck that water up with a 2" gas driven trash pump at 40 gallons/minute virtually forever.

florida natural farming[/url] (fnf) doesn't water any of his trees, are his mango roots deeper than the roots of mangoes that are regularly watered?   

fnf is on a mission to plant bananas next to all his mangoes.  the bananas trade, via fungi, their surplus potassium for the mangoes' surplus resources.  potassium provides greater tolerance to cold stress among other things.  an interesting tidbit from the fig article is that figs have more potassium per ounce than bananas.   
Fnf either doesn't know what he's talking about or has deceived himself.
The soil type in Erics area are "Flatwoods" types, the most common type in the state, a Spodosol called Myakka fine sand, or if the sand is deeper it is called Immokalee soil. They are of very low fertility and poorly drained. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to use a post hole digger and see what he has. As you dig down it will be some grade of sand on top and eventually you will find the Spodic layer which will be very hard dark and nearly impermeable, full of organics. The spodic layer got that way by organics washing down till they cemented the existing sand. Usually the soil above that layer can hold a few inches of water. We often get 3-4 inches of water a week, sometimes in less than a day. At that point, the soil is fully saturated and may stay that way for a week, maybe more. Try digging down in the rainy season and when you reach water your hole will start caving in with sand. Sometimes it will be dry just until you reach the spodic layer, but when you permeate that you will see water coming upward from below. The water will be stinky and anaerobic, full of sulfur gas.

It's also common for the soil at the spodic layer and even below to remain saturated, and anearobic, through much of the rainy season. Tap roots of almost all fruiting trees cannot survive in anaerobic conditions. Anybody who tells you that mango or almost any other fruit trees have deep tap roots in spodosols is not living in reality.

This fellow goes into a backhoe cut then shows and explains very well how it works. He also explains how seemingly good looking  trees perish in Florida dry season when the shallow rooted trees haven't enough to keep them going.

As for bananas trading potassium, I'd enjoy seeing some research documenting that. But I do know that banana accumulates potassium, even in the pseudostems. Since banana stems are disposable annually at harvest, that biomass production contains the potassium and can be used as chop/drop around the fruiting trees. Ive done that continuously but eventually trees crowd out bananas in most cases. A quicker source of cheap potassium is wood ash of any type, even washings from biochar production is good.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Planting mangoes deep
« on: April 01, 2024, 07:42:36 AM »
When I plant my citrus I plant it deep. It produces roots from the trunk and if I'm running behind covering there's less chance of them dieing to the graft. Can I do the same for mangoes? I have heard that they are hard to root, but since it can be done can they do well planted deep?
Depending where you are in Texas planting high might even be more important because you have many clay soils.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 31, 2024, 07:50:31 PM »
New shadehouse and worm bins are looking great!
Just wondering about the metal lids and how hot it can get in there. It looked like all the worms were at the bottom when you poked around in there and the temp on top was 88.
And then you manually scoop it onto a little trailer to move around the farm?
The covers are vinyl soffitting, and after winter I leave them propped open. That was two years ago. I use a fork and front end loader to move the castings to trees, sometimes a large wheelbarrow. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: When to pick Tamarind pods
« on: March 31, 2024, 09:38:21 AM »
I usually try to crush them the pulp will recede from the shell and dry out then the shell becomes brittle and can be broken into. Be aware Florida has a weevil which gets in and destroys the pulp if not propmtly harvested. In other tropical places I've seen them hang on forever and still be good, but here they can get infested.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 31, 2024, 09:19:26 AM »
but just the fact that I use irrigation and mulch made me part of the horrible ones....

What's wrong with mulch? I never heard anyone in the organic/regenerative space criticize the use of mulch. In my Environmental Horticulture AS program, the instructors drove the point home about all the benefits of mulch.
pineisander...why are you not mentioning that you use synthetic fertilizers? As far as I remember, Eric didn't like the fact that you were doing 100% clearing of the land before planting "permaculture" in its place, not that you used mulch. I understand you had lots of "bad" trees like melaleuca but 100% bulldozing of land and then creating a "permaculture" forest in its place is something I would consider quite questionable if you want to be teaching permaculture to others and be the example of it. Would be nice if everyone named things by their names, not tried to make things look like they're something they're not. then no one would argue.
There were significant differences in our sites. Eric started with a 50 year old mowed horse pasture and scattered mature trees. I started with a complete suite of the local invasive trees, Brazil Pepper, Melaleuca, Ear Acacia, wild grape and Smilax. So clearing that was called for, you aren't going to grow trees inside there. I have a video of it, and if you check the channel you can see how the clearing progressed. All the biomass possible was recycled back on site except stumps were burned.

Eric was against mulch, until he started using it. He said that mulch didn't let other plants grow but that's only if you don't plant in the mulch and just leave splace as a "mulch desert". I see that he's now using imported hay animal bedding from his midget cows as mulch piles around his trees. It humorous to watch.

As for irrigation, Eric got screwed when he bought a place with a great artesian well that free flows. The problem with that turned out to be such poor quality water it poisons the soil with salts. At first he claimed he could let the well flow and flood the property for frost protection. But he found that irrigation wasnt possible with the poor quality artesian water. After that anybody who irrigates to grow trees became a sinner.

Yes, I use every rational form of fertility management. I've used commercial slow release, made massive compost and biochar, made my own drums of fish emulsion from fish house scraps, spread about 6,000 cubic yards of mulch, planted legumes from all the continents, chop and drop. My latest has been vermiculture I built a system to generate 5 cubic yard batches of worm castings twice a year.

Im generally eclectic in my approaches, seldom dogmatic, and always open to experimentation. Most years I've broken even on profitability despite a fairly high capital startup cost during establishment.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Whats the "biggest" mango
« on: March 21, 2024, 04:46:02 PM »
Springfels are massive. There was a mango talk that I went to years ago and the guy who gave the talk had one on his display table that I first thought was a papaya from a distance. I think one of the pineapple series mangos from Zill is a seedling of Springfels and is also quite large. Lara Farms has a mango they say is quite large.

I agree about Springfels. I have two trees

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: rat chewed jackfruit bark - goner?
« on: March 12, 2024, 06:41:16 AM »
rabbits love jackfruit and will girdle them relentlessly. They are especially active in spring.

Tindora cucumbers, spineless cactus nopales. Akee tree fruit is used as a vegetable. Green banana and plantain are staple carbohydrate crops many places.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 04, 2024, 07:54:49 AM »
One thing to consider when assessing the question of a possible "3 crops per year" is that mango fruit development from flower to ripeness takes somewhere between 100-150 days. If you do the math based on a 365 day year you will see the problem. That would mean that flower initiation would have to come back very quickly after fruit pick, which is unlikely in most cases.

In the above discussion of Lemon Zest holding on the tree at August 31st, counting back 125 days obtains a likely fruit set date of April 28th, maybe a bit late flowering but not out of season at all..

In the case of the mango variety "Fralan(aka Falan)" as mentioned in this image, that variety is usually picked immature for eating green. It's possible that the early stripping of fruit tends to allow a quicker reflowering than most other varieties. My two Falan trees also tend to have significant fruit splitting if allowed to mature too far so essentially the tree self-limits maturity  by aborting fruit.

You might experiment with just using a massive branch cutting direct in ground. Many folks, including me, have done this with Gliricidia, Gumbo Limbo, Red Mombin, and Moringa. Dig a post hole, plant the "post" in the ground, refill with soil while watering to fill it. You might still have nematode problems if that variety is susceptible but would be an interesting experiment for low investment.

Here is the Gumbo Limbo(Bursera simaruba) 4 inch diameter post I set 1.5 years ago, it was an instant tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2024 FL Mango Season
« on: March 03, 2024, 08:08:31 AM »
Found the first mango of the season "Fralan" .That tree makes more than one crop for me so not to unusual.For me those trees are to vigorous so I'm top working.

John I also had a few Fralan in Dec that split and dropped. But my first and largest fruit holding are Nam doc Mai pic taken today.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 03, 2024, 07:42:00 AM »
Please note our videos have copyrights and the use of images from my videos without permission is against the law

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 02, 2024, 03:23:15 PM »
So, Eric I searched your youtube channel (since you weren't doing it) and suffered through 30 minutes of monologue in your video titled:

Our Late Season Mangoes Produce 3 Crops Per Year - August 31, 2023

Here is the transcript:

the mangoes are starting to pop up it's really truly amazing but here's our lemon zest mango and
lemon zest really isn't one of my favorite mangoes but
this one this particular tree
this particular tree fruited three times so in once one year
so in this in all this this summer so you get a first crop that looks like this and then it'll send out another
flush and then I got a second crop and then I got a third crop and the third crop had four mangoes on it so we still
have mangoes of lemon zest

Here is what you called "a third crop". Two mangos, maybe it was four a few weeks earlier.

Lemon Zest is typically a later season variety July-August. Eric may find that two late fruits hanging on in August constitutes "a third crop" but most will see he is stretching the truth beyond reasonable.

Eric, these were my comments which you called "angry" and "hateful".

And you believed him when he claims that he is getting 3 crops of mangos per year?
Did he say what seasons he gets these 3 crops per year?
Does he get a spring, summer and fall crop, cleasrly he's not picking the winter crop!
Or just 3 staggered blooms which all ripen in summer?

I assure you what he should have said is that some trees have staggered blooms with some earlier and some later. There are also a few varieties like Choc Anon and Nam Doc Mai which can partially bloom out of season but probably not a full crop.
This is pretty common on some varieties, and not so remarkable. No honest person would claim to be getting "three crops in a year" when it's really just a staggered bloom across a couple of months. He is counting on people's gullibility and his ability to delete comments to carry on that boast.

Eric your own video shows that, even with me not seeing the tree in question, I was 100% correct, not angry or hateful, just stating the facts which turned out very true. Two or 4 late blooming fruit hanging on doesn't constitute a "crop".

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 02, 2024, 03:22:47 PM »
Is there just language gymnastics going on here or am I missing something.
I don't watch alot of video's .
Which Mango Cultivar is flowering and fruiting 3 times in one 365 day cycle?

I read you harvested Mango's  during 3 season's, which is awesome! But not the same thing as 1 single Mango tree flowering and fruiting 3 separate times in 1 year.

It turned out to just be BS. Reply incoming.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 02, 2024, 07:37:01 AM »
Maybe some people can be convinced that you get 3 mango crops per year in Florida but most of us know better. I'm still waiting on the photos.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: March 01, 2024, 10:25:01 AM »
I am really sorry that sharing my experience has affected and angers you so much Pineislander/chief, this is not my intent.
I guess I must have disrespected someone you know because I wouldn’t conform with the masses and follow one conventional modality to grow Mangoes, unfortunately when I started growing tropical fruit in Florida there were no Biodynamic models so I had to teach myself
Please accept my apology for any disrespect you perceived and please know this was never my intent
I hope that you can come to a place where you can fill this space and share your experience growing, I always enjoy reading about different ways to grow and even though I may not follow exactly the model presented there is usually something I can glean from the information provided.
I never enjoy reading someone tearing another person apart and this includes personal attacks with words online and I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment
This site could be so much more but it has devolved to this, I hope we can move beyond the hate🐸❤️
I still look forward to one day meeting you, all the best to you🐸

No anger or hate here, Eric, but you are continuing with plenty of disrespect. Either you are getting 3 crops of mangos per year or you aren't. I don't care about you personally or anything else you do but misleading folks is wrong and you probably know that, which is why you've dodged the question here where most of us know better. In my experience people who try to mislead others show disrespect for them and a lack of personal integrity.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: February 29, 2024, 04:47:56 PM »

his mango trees would be happier if he irrigated?  maybe, but it's incredibly cool that several of his mango trees produce three crops in a year without any irrigation. 

And you believed him when he claims that he is getting 3 crops of mangos per year?
Did he say what seasons he gets these 3 crops per year?
Does he get a spring, summer and fall crop, cleasrly he's not picking the winter crop!
Or just 3 staggered blooms which all ripen in summer?

I assure you what he should have said is that some trees have staggered blooms with some earlier and some later. There are also a few varieties like Choc Anon and Nam Doc Mai which can partially bloom out of season but probably not a full crop.
This is pretty common on some varieties, and not so remarkable. No honest person would claim to be getting "three crops in a year" when it's really just a staggered bloom across a couple of months. He is counting on people's gullibility and his ability to delete comments to carry on that boast.

However, to be fair he should upload the photos of these unicorns with exif data showing the dates taken. I'll eat crow.

Lastly, its common for mango beyond 5 years or so in Florida to not need more irrigation. It does help move them along at first and this was pointed out to FNF by an experienced grower who commented on the one year old mango at Frog Valley which died from frost a few years ago. Getting them up to maturity offers some advantages against frost. Eric just scoffed at a grower with over 40 years of experience.

These are professional quality and price was $50. They worked well for microgreens.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Just a mini Rant about Youtube
« on: February 29, 2024, 05:54:04 AM »
the two tropical fruit guys i watch religiously are flying fox fruit and florida natural farming.  fnf, on the other hand, doesn't have quite the same charm, but i love that he's always reading relevant scholarly papers.  and his garden is the closest to my dream garden.

I used to follow fnf but haven't visited in a long time. I don't think he gets around much because he hasn't compared his mango trees to those of others. Mango is about the easiest fruit to grow in Florida but his trees look highly stressed with very small twisted leaves showing deficiencies. Many of the leaves are growing in strange horizontal angles. He is getting some flowers but admits to poor fruit set.  Anyone growing mango will quickly see something is wrong, but he seems blinded to it. Ive tried before to make productive comments but he is recalcitrant and shuns people just like he left this forum.

To see what I mean have a look at his latest video and compare to your own mango trees. I wish he would be open to discussion but that never happened.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Leaning papaya
« on: November 02, 2023, 09:48:29 PM »
Try planting the hybrid papaya seeds from They are "feminized" which means produced from a female forced to produce pollen, therby making all seeds be either female or hemaphrodite, almost no chance of any male plants from these seeds. The commercial growers can't ber spending effort growing male plants so that is what they use. I've grown several hundred and never got a male. My favorite is Red Lady, even folks who thought they didn't enjoy papaya like the flavor, very nice red flesh.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Florida Natural Farming?
« on: October 30, 2023, 06:25:33 AM »
fnf has his own abrasive and very boastful attitude. Nobody forced him away. Generally he wasn't receptive to anything or anyone who made suggestions, even folks with decades more local experience, it's his way or the highway...... The same happens at his youtube channel, blocks and deletes anything which doesn't agree 100%. You can see that he doesn't get along with neighbors, has few friends, which should tell most of what you need to know. I grow similarly to him, but just the fact that I use irrigation and mulch made me part of the horrible ones.... You are dealing with an extremist mindset, huge chip on each shoulder type of guy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 13, 2023, 01:15:48 PM »
Can’t wait to retire ! , buying  mountain top hone in PR off the grid , no neighbors, HOA, nothing but nature ….

Fruit thievery happens in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean.

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