Tuesday, January 28, 2014

18 Months Later...

Before we moved into our home, we planted a fruit tree....We knew we wanted to have a yard filled with edible landscaping. Some trees will take a few years to produce fruit, while others, are very quick to produce a bounty of delicious delicacies. 

This was the fence with our passion vine 18 months ago when we first planted it...notice the small amount of leaves on the top of the left side of the fence. Our banana plants had just been planted for a few months. 

This is 12 months later...we were beginning to receive several passion fruits each day that ripened and dropped to the ground. So far this year, this plant has produced hundreds of fruit.

And the bananas.....

Oh, the bananas!!!

 Our bananas have received water from a drip system along with a thick layer of mulch, ash from burning fallen limbs, and a covering of banana peels and cut banana leaves. The cultivars we currently grow are namwah, apple, raja puri, giant plantain, orinoco, saba, dwarf cavendish, and the most delicious mystery banana. The namwah banana has been the most prolific, sending up over 20 new plants and producing two huge bunches of bananas. All of our varieties have produced large bunches of fruit this year except for the Saba which was planted a few months ago.

We have small plants available from all of the varieties listed.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harvest Face

Today, we cut down the ice cream bananas that were ready. Our neighbor says our ice cream bananas are the only bananas he can eat without getting an upset stomach.

We also gathered lettuce, black peppers, peas, and a carambola to make a salad for lunch along with passion fruit to make juice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Miracle Fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum

Synsepalum dulcificum - It is called miracle fruit because after sucking on the flesh of the fruit, all things sour taste sweet. The fruits have been used in tasting parties with lots of sour fruits available to try before and after eating the miracle fruit. Fruits have been used by diabetics and patients whose tastes have been altered by chemotherapy, masking the metallic taste caused by medications. Miraculin is the glycoprotein which causes this taste transformation. The fruit is also reported to be very high in antioxidants.

This is a bush we purchased two years ago. It has produced over a hundred fruit this year. We water it with rain water. 

After eating the fruit, we plant the seeds around the base of the bush. Once the seedlings have 3-5 leaves, we move them to their own pots. The seedling on the left is a few months old. The plant on the right is close to a year old. 

To use - The miracle fruit flesh needs to coat your tongue in order to have an effect, so don’t just quickly swallow the fruit. Bite into the fruit and make sure the tiny amount of flesh coats your whole tongue. You can cut carefully to remove the seed prior to eating and just suck on the small amount of flesh, but using your teeth to separate the flesh from the seed is sometimes helpful. 

To plant - place seed in a pot of wet peat moss with the possible addition of perlite. Place saucer under pot with water. Try to use rain water or reverse osmosis water. Keep in a warm, sunny spot. The plants cannot handle freezing temperatures. The plants are slow growing, but once established, will provide many fruits. Do not use commercial fertilizers or water with chlorine. Blood meal is an acceptable fertilizer. Be sure to keep the soil moist at all times. 

We have fruit and seedlings available throughout most of the year. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's Growing in January

Our passion fruit continues to drop ripe fruit each day. The meyer lemon tree had two ripe lemons. The tree has been affected by citrus greening, so these may be the last fruits from this tree. The little key lime tree that we have potted us has escaped greening so far. The pimiento dulce and paprika peppers we planted from seeds have been doing fantastic along. Our cherry tomatoes were hit with powdery mildew. I made a spray of baking soda, liquid soap, and a small amount of listerine in a gallon of water. The affected leaves have died off and new leaves are growing. Hopefully the plants will continue to put out delicious tomatoes. 

We also have star fruit that is almost ripe, plenty of ripe cranberry hibiscus, fresh oregano, rose hips, bell peppers, and lettuce. 

Our seminole pumpkin plants are looking very healthy and there are new little fruits forming. Some of the mango trees have blooms forming. The miracle fruit tree continues to put out beautiful red fruits that transform anything sour into a sweet treat.



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