Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sawsall meets the coconuts

I was tired of husking these with the machete, so I pulled out the old saws-all!

Harvested some nice tasting coconuts this week. I've included a photo of a glass of the coconut water, to show its consistency. The outsides of the coconuts are light green, with portions/stripes grey as they age.
Inside, however, is some quality Coconut!

Prickly Pear are here, also

In addition to the Dragonfruit, the Prickly Pears are ripening. Unfortunately, many of them split, and ants invaded. I attribute the splitting to the erratic periods of drought, then excessive rain, then lack of rain for weeks!
The split here, however, is caused by my knife, in the careful ritual I have to open the fruit.

Dragon fruit are here!

The dragonfruit have finally made fruit! Here are a series of photos taken as I opened my first one up this last week in August, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Harvesting Jaboticaba

Well, this week was the time to harvest the first round of Jaboticaba from the tree. I was surprised the tree did so nicely - it was transplanted, actually relocated, about 100 feet due to some construction occuring at the house.


This is the amount I harvested, between 350-400 fruit:


And here I am boiling / simmering them for making juice used in preparation of Jaboticaba Jelly.


Inga - First Week of June

Originally uploaded by z_kevino
The Inga are about three inches in size now. Still, they are no more than 5/8 of an inch wide.

Annona - First Week of June

The Annona fruit are developing from the blossoms. In the two photos below, you can see them in various stages. This is Annona Squamosa. The Atemoya are not yet this far along.



Friday, June 1, 2007


Originally uploaded by z_kevino
The jaboticaba is a slow growing large shrub / small bushy tree. The one in this photo is at least 8 years old, and is native to Brazil.

Click on the photo to see more detail, but the fruit actually grow on the trunk and main branches, and has a very tough and thick skin.

I eat the fruit fresh, but I have several friends who make jelly/jam from them.

The California Rare Fruit Growers site says that Jaboticaba can be propagated by seed, although since the grow so slow, you might as well do that for your children to enjoy with their kids

Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Originally uploaded by z_kevino
The Opuntia is blossoming this week.

At this point in time, I only have the yellow flowering (and white/yellowish flesh) kind of this unique cactus. I am looking for some mature leaves from the red variety, if you have any :-)

My first introduction to this fruit was in Sicily, and I believe the variety I tried to be Opuntia littoralis, coastal prickly pear. If you have problems swallowing seeds, forget this fruit. Also, you must be very careful when harvesting - I use a thick silicon glove, and remove the fruit.
Then make one incision laterally, just to the depth of the skin. Two slices, one at each end, and then peel back the skin - watch for the spines!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

The Wikipedia entry says that virtually every part of the coconut palm has some human use.

Sine this is my first tree (it took 10 years to bear fruit), I am not sure about when to pick them. The fruits are quite large, but still green. I imagine they are holding somewhere around 0.5 to 0.75 liters of water inside.


Inga developing nicely

Originally uploaded by z_kevino
In the last week of May, the inga are developing nicely. The fruit is no more than 1.5 inches in length, barely 1/4 inch in diameter.
The tree is still loaded with flowers.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cashews are getting bigger!

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
this is what they look like in the 3rd week of May. Unseen here, are the loads of new flowers, with their fragrant, almost cinnamon smell.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
The Longan tree is also starting to set fruit


Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
The persimmon tree is starting to fruit. This little bug is hiding in the crevices of the flower petals

Up the skirt of a Sugar apple

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
This is the view an insect gets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Atemoya still ripening on tree

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.

This strange variety of atemoya is still ripening on the tree. While the size and color is eye candy, the flavor of this particular cultivar does nothing special for me.

Can anyone identify it?

update: This is a custard apple, and not atemoya


Originally uploaded by z_kevino.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna) in bloom

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
Also known as the Chocolate Pudding Fruit, the black sapote is one of my favorite fruits. Surprisingly enough, this tree is 6 years old, always flowers, but never sets fruit. Let's see how it does this year.
If it fruits, I'll write an entry about the fruit.

This tree has flowers which have both male and female organs, and others which are solely male. I assume this photo shows both types.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Litchies are ripening

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
These Mauritius Litchies are doing two things: getting plump, and changing color. Last year, they were ready for harvesting around the end of June. I suspect this year they will be a bit earlier, due to the mild Winter we had.

Split Mangoes!

Originally uploaded by z_kevino.
I'd sure love to know why this happens!
Half of the Mangoes fell due to high winds. I can not afford to lose more to splitting!
anyone have ideas on how to prevent this?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

this week's flowers - first week May

This week the black pepper (Piper nigrum) continues to develop nicely. I'm waiting for one or two berries at the base to turn red, which I've read is when you harvest them and prepare for drying.

The blackberries are in bloom this week as well. Here, you can see both flower, and under it, developing fruit. (note: however hard I've tried, I'm unable to check email on this variety of BB)

It's almost Litchi time! Here is a close up of the developing fruit. I estimate about another 5-6 weeks until harvest.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Native from Iran to Northern India, I find it a bit strange that people refer to these as Chinese Apples (well, at least they did in the 1970's, when I first was introduced to them). According to a wikipedia entry , The name "pomegranate" is derived from Latin pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded"). If you've ever cut one open, you'll know why. But be careful - Pomegranate juice permanently stains!

Enjoy these photos I took today. If you click on them, the full size image should be displayed, and you can see more detail.

These photos show the various stages of the flower/fruit development. The first one shows a flower before it "opens up."

No more than a few days later, the flower will burst open, as shown here - it's ready for pollination. (If you click/zoom in, you can see the yellow pollen contrasted against the red petals.)

Above is the result you hope for: a developing pomegranate fruit, somewhere near a week old.

Even in Florida, where the Winter was quite warm this year, my pomegranate still lost its leaves (it is deciduous). I have a white variety, but it is quite young still. My friends at the Tampa Bay Chapter of Rare Fruit Council International made it for me from a clipping a few years back. It seems to be a slow grower (for me, anyway).

Well, that's all on the pomegranate until I can harvest some fruit. But before I save this post, I want to share one interesting thing I ran across when researching this fruit: There was an statistical analysis done on just how many seeds a pomegranate has. In their analysis, there was on average 613 seeds per fruit, which is (coincidentially) why Jewish tradition teaches the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness - it is said to have 613 seeds corresponding with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments of the Torah. (amazing what a little can teach you)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Summary - last week of April

The cashew flowers have been blooming for about two weeks now. In this photo, you can make out several of the cashews and what will be the "apple", just above the familiar "C" shaped nut.

Avocado flowers are also out. Like with the cashews, some of the early flowers have been pollinated and are developing into fruit.

OK, so I forgot to rotate them (actually, I hoped that blogger would read the rotation in the exif data). Here, you can see (if you turn your head) my huge longan tree in blossom. It just started this week.

One more head turned is this one which shows the surinam cherries.

First signs of canistel flowers.

Key lime fruits forming - you can still see the stamin of the flowers, and other flowers that just opened in the background. This tree is on its third or fourth flowering since January.

A fruit I need to post an entry on is Spondias purpurea, a.k.a. Red mombin (jocote, in Costa Rica). It is flowering now, and since this was a mild winter in florida, there are also fruit developing from a few months back alongside new ones.

Imbe, Garcinia livingstonei, is beginning to fruit. It also is blossoming. More about this East African tree later...

The annona squamosa, sugar apple, flowers are blooming, Here you can see both male and female stages of the flower. I'll leave it up to you to guess which is which.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Inga Edulis - Ice Cream Bean

This week, the Inga started to bloom.
The Inga is native to the Amazon, and grows quite nicely in Florida. However, our sandy soil (combined with the Inga's shallow root system) causes lots of problems. These trees have suffered in almost every hurricane. In fact, the tree you are looking at has been cut to the roots several times after it has fallen in the 80+ mph winds of hurricane seasons.

The Inga makes pods, which inside, have green seeds covered with a white, fluffy pulp. (that's why some folks call Inga the cotton candy fruit).

The best and most in depth info on Inga, and on its utilization, can be found in two excellent books by T. D. Pennington: The Genus Inga - Botany ( ISBN 1 900347 12 1) and The Genius Inga - Utilization (ISBN 1 900347 58 X)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)

Sorry it has been quite some time since I posted. I hope you have been checking and will be glad to read that the cashew flowers are in bloom. They are quite beautiful, and their smell reminds me a bit of cinnamon.

Cashews are native to the northeast coast of Brazil, and are mostly known for their nuts -which grows externally in its own kidney-shaped hard shell at the end of a pseudo-fruit. Illike the "apple" myself, but you better make sure it is ripe or you'll get a sour surprise :-(

More on the cashew as it matures.

thanks, and please check back. I'll try my best to update more regularly.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Barbados Cherry / Pummelo (updates)

(sorry the images are rotated incorrectly)

Just a photo to show how "loaded" the Barbados Cherry tree is in the middle of February...

And this little bee is helping make some pummelo for next year

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Barbados Cherry

Look back at this blog 18 days ago and see what those beautiful flowers in the last photo produced: Barbados cherries.

Barbados Cherries are very rich in vitamin C (2000 to 4600 milligram per 100 milligram of edible fruit).

I have seen several botanical names for this fruit, but M. Punicifolia L. (M. glabra Millsp. NOT Linn.) has been generally approved as the correct botanical name for the Barbados cherry (see )

The tree is bush-like. The Fruit are about 1 ich and bright red. The skin, is a bit glossy. The pulp is orange in color, juicy, but a bit on the acidic side.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Canistel - Pouteria campechiana

Imagine a fruit that has a dry custard-like texture and tastes like egg yolk. That is the canistel, a.k.a. Egg Fruit. Quite different that its relatives - sapodilla, and mamey sapote...
As you can see in the photo below, canistel should be harvested when fruit turn yellow-orange. suggests allowing fruit 3 to 10 days to ripen at room temperature until soft but not mushy. Once fruit is ripe it may be stored in the refrigerator for several days prior to use.

I do not know the variety I have, although they seem to have or 1 or 2 glossy brown seeds per fruit, as seen above.