My project to test out various Ficus species as potential nematode-resistant rootstocks for edible figs has made slow but steady progress in 2019. Root-knot nematodes are one of the biggest challenges in growing figs in Florida and other warm climate regions around the world. I am trying to acquire every Ficus species that’s reported to … More Fig nematode resistant rootstock project, 2019 status report
In growing a grove of fruit trees, I am carrying on a long tradition. I love learning about that long cultural practice, especially the history of the citrus industry here in Florida. One place you can learn about that citrus history is the Winter Garden Heritage Museum in Winter Garden, Florida (just west of Orlando). … More Exploring Florida citrus history at the Winter Garden Heritage Museum
‘Turkey Lake’ is an American persimmon variety I selected from the wild, which has better fruit size and flavor than any other form of this species I’ve encountered in Florida. I have planted a tree of this variety in a public location in Gainesville, Florida, where it is accessible for anyone to sample the fruits … More The ‘Turkey Lake’ American persimmon: free fruits & scionwood are available in Gainesville
I’ve always been intrigued by something I’ve heard about raw food diets: the energy and mental clarity people say they experience while eating that way. I’ve heard similar stories from numerous people over the years about how eating diet of raw foods only, especially fruit only, gives them a high, a mental lightness, extra mental … More I tried a fruitarian diet for a week. Here’s what I experienced.
If you’re a fruit geek like me, you sometimes wonder what kind of fruit trees you can successfully manage to graft together. Several years ago, I started wondering that question about two excellent fruits in the Ebenaceae plant family: American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and its cousin chocolate pudding fruit, also called black sapote* (Diospyros nigra). … More Chocolate pudding fruit successfully grafted onto American persimmon
The original chocolate is the fruit of the cacao tree. This tropical fruit is still the source of all chocolate and cocoa today. Every chocolate candy bar you’ve ever eaten, every chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, fudge brownie, chocolate Easter bunny, chocolate milk, every steaming mug of hot cocoa you’ve ever sipped – it all … More What it’s like to eat cacao fruit
South Florida grows a lot of tropical fruits. Drive south from Miami into the agricultural areas around Homestead, and you’ll see commercial groves of mango, avocado, litchi, mamey, atemoya, banana, papaya and much more. But sometimes it’s not obvious when you’re a visitor to the area just where you can actually buy some of that … More Where to get tropical fruits in South Florida – Redland Market Village
We’ve been having a great loquat season here in North Florida, and one seedling loquat tree that’s been languishing in a neglected part of my grove has made its first crop of fruit. They’re outstanding, among the best loquat fruits I’ve ever eaten. It’s always exciting when a new seedling tree starts making fruit for … More A seedling loquat tree with very impressive fruits
When you’re getting young fruit trees established, deer can be a major challenge. There’s not much that’s more frustrating than proudly planting out a very special young fruit tree, only to to discover the next day that your precious little tree has been reduced to a skeleton, with every leaf and green twig stripped off … More Protecting your mulberries and other fruit trees from deer
We humans can look at a calendar to know what time of the year it is, so that we can prepare for the weather of the upcoming season. But we also have the luxury of being able to go indoors if the weather doesn’t suit us. Our fruit trees (or any trees) are completely exposed … More How do trees know winter’s coming?