Sunday, January 31, 2016

FRUIT YOU THOUGH WERE VEGGIES

  FRUIT YOU THOUGHT WERE VEGGIES

The definition of a fruit is that if it has seeds it's a fruit, and if it doesn't, it's a vegetable.
The most common fruits that are though of as vegetables are: Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers and Squash. Other fruit's are Beans, Corn, Peas and Eggplant.      

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are members of the nightshade family Solanum lycopersicum, they are not poisonous. Tomatoes were first brought back to Spain from Mexico, where they were being eaten by the Aztecs. It took Europe some time to accept Tomatoes. Tomatoes were originally from south america.                          

PEPPERS

Peppers originated in south and central america. From there they were spread around the world first by the Spanish and then by everyone else. Peppers run from mild to very hot. This heat is produced by a chemical called Capsaicin and is measured using a scale called Scoville Heat Units. Size has no bearing on the heat which is produced by the juice in each pepper along with the seeds and their ribs. therefore, by leaving or removing both seeds and ribs you can control some of the heat. 



CUCUMBERS

Cucumbers originated in India. Most people are not aware that there are many types of cucumber's which are in the gourd family. Most Super Market's carry only a few varieties, slicing, pickling and burbles. They were brought to Haiti by Christopher Columbus in 1494. The Spanish later planted them in the america's.









Wednesday, December 30, 2015

INSECTS IN YOUR YARD

INSECTS IN YOUR YARD
good and bad


Butterflies:

Butterflies are the pretties of all the pollinators and they do a great job of improving fruit production, unless you are growing passion fruit. butterflies start out as caterpillars. Caterpillar's just love to eat leaves and passion fruit leaves taste great to the average Caterpillar. I hand pick caterpillar's of my passion fruit and introduce them to my milkweeds.





Dragonflies;

Dragonflies in your yard just one of a small list of predators  you will find improving your life style in your garden. if you are lucky to have them visiting you.they eat mosquitoes and moths. Unfortunately they also eat butterflies, which are one of our more productive pollinator's. so, I guess dragonflies are both helpful and harmful if you are trying to retain pollinators.


DRAGONFLY

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

GOLDEN APPLE


Gold Apple or June Plum (Spondees dulcis) is native to pacific islands where it can grow to 60 feet. I expect mine to grow to 30 or 40 feet in florida.  I planted mine and in less then 6 months it flowered and fruited. This tree with lots of fruit on it is only 2 1/2 feet tall. Can you imagine how much fruit it will hold when it is 10 or 20 feet tall. Some people eat it while still green. they just add a little salt or sugar. I'm inclined to wait until it turns yellow and ripens, at this point it can be made into  a jam or eaten out of hand. the leaves are used to season meat or chicken. I received it as a gift from my friend Du, who has a few acres not far from me in which he plants tropical fruit trees.

Golden Apple Flowering

                         
Golden Apple with Fruit

Sunday, October 25, 2015

BANANAS


HOW TO GROW BANANAS

Plant them in a sunny place and water them twice a week. It takes about 18 month for it to produce a flower and grow fruit. Fertilize you plant at least twice a year , some people fertilize more often.  I don't, but I still get more bananas then I can eat every year. Allowing only three plants to grow from the corm at a time will produce bananas every year. when they begin to turn yellow, you can cut them off and place them in indirect light. You can either cut the stalk to the ground and dispose of it, or you can leave it, and it will continue to fertilize the new pups.

Within a week or two the will begin to ripen. Sadly they will all ripen at the same time. so, enjoy them. Regarding the flower, it is edible  but it a lot of work preparing it.

For your information there are over one hundred  different varieties of bananas, ranging  from dwarf to eighteen or twenty feet tall. Bananas themselves range from four inches to six inches long. all tasting a little different. 








































Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Photo's of Dragon Fruit

FOOD IS BEAUTIFUL

Dragon Fruit Cactus 
Growing food can be as beautiful as any plant you grow, satisfying not only your eye's, but also you stomach. For your eye's I present the Dragon Fruit, originally from Mexico, the flower opens at night.


Dragon Fruit flower starting to open

Closeup of the open flower

The open flower

Flower starting to close

Flower closing, soon to fall off
The fruit growing



The Dragon Fruit ready to cut and eat
Dragon Fruit ripe and ready to be picked


Monday, July 13, 2015

GROWING DRAGON FRUIT

                              DRAGON FRUIT       

              HOW TO GROW DRAGON FRUIT FROM CUTTINGS  










List of ingredients:

Pot or commercial food bucket (must be food grade or new.
Potting soil
Pine mulch 
4 to 6 foot trellis 
Cloth ties 


If using a food bucket Drill 8 small drane holes in bottom of bucket
Fill w/potting soil to within 2 inches of top of container 
Pant cutting with needles pointing up
Add pine mulch to the top, covering all the soil to deter weeds
Insert trellis next to pot/ bucket
Water until water draines out the bottom (rain water is best)
Water once a week, if it rains that week don't water
As it grows tie plant to trellis 


Monday, March 16, 2015

MANGO'S



 I've been experimenting with exotic tropical fruit for a few years, I'm always pushing the zone requirement of fruit that the experts say won't grow in tampa bay because it is to cool here. I believe that if you maintain control of the critical growing factors, you should be able to grow anything in this sub-tropical zone ( 9A to 9B  ). Some of the plants that is marginal is mangos, location is the prime issue with growing them. Below 40 F mangos start to go into shock and a little below that they just die. What I am trying, is planting them close to a window on the south side of the house. I expect that the heat escaping from the window should be enough to protect it from the cold.

March 8,2015
Follow-up:
                 February 2015, the temperature in Tampa Bay dropped down into the 30's (F). My mango's had already flowered and set fruit, had the normal fruit drop. But the tree's retained a large number of fruit.