Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fruit for Wednesday, April 30

It looks like we won't have as many mangos as we had last Saturday. 
Rosa... very few
Jakarta... some
Edward... few
Florigon... very few
Dwarf Hawaiian... some
Nam Doc Mai... few

Also should have Sapodilla, Black Sapote, and very few Caimito.
I've been watching a couple of Jak Fruit, but neither seems ready to pick yet.

Open Wednesday  4-6pm
Open Saturday  9am-noon

The Good Old Days

Today I had the pleasure of talking with a man in his late 80's who had been a farmer in Florida for the first half of his life.  As a teenager he began spraying the family farm with DDT.  No safety precautions.  No suits, no respirators, no eye protection.  At the end of an entire day of spraying, his grandmother opened a can of milk and washed out his eyes with that.  He said DDT just gunks up when you try to wash it out with water.

A couple thoughts...
The good old days aren't always the good old days.
Some crops really aren't suited for south Florida.
These are the good old days... we have so much more knowledge and so many more options than we did years ago. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2 Days this Week, 4 Days Next Week

This week we will be open:
Wednesday 4-6 pm
Saturday 9am-noon
Beginning May 5 and continuing through most of mango season, we will be open:
Monday 12-2pm
Wednesday 4-6 pm
Thursday 2-4pm
Saturday 9am-noon

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fruit for Saturday, April 26

A few Black Sapote
Caimito (Star Apple)... very close to the end of its season
A few Coconuts are ready to pick
We might have a small Jak Fruit

Mango varieties that will be available are:
   Dwarf Hawaiian
   Nam Doc Mai
...We have the most of Jakarta, followed by Rosa, Dwarf Hawaiian, Nam Doc Mai, and Edward. (Order reflects quantity.)  Some of the fruit will take up to a week to ripen.  If you put the mangos in someplace warm, they will ripen faster.

Also available... Collard Greens, Parsley and Rosemary

Open Saturday 9am-noon
Open Wednesday 4-6pm
This weekend is the Delray Affair and Downtown Delray will be extremely congested.  If you normally exit onto Atlantic Ave, I recommend using the Woolbright exit (on I-95) and backtracking to our place.
Exit I-95 at Woolbright
Go east to first traffic light and turn right.  This is Seacrest Blvd.
Go 2 miles south on Seacrest Blvd
Turn right immediately after Delray Beach City Limit sign 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fruit for Wednesday, April 23

What a difference a week makes!

Last Wednesday we had one mango for sale.  This week we have a box of Rosa, a small box of Dwarf Hawaiian, some Jakarta, and a few Florigon, Nam Doc Mai and Edward.

Rosa has about three crops on it.  We are halfway through the second crop.  Saturday most of the rest of the second crop will be ready, then we will have another dry period (for Rosas) for a couple weeks until the next crop starts to ripen.

For those unfamiliar with Rosa... Rosa is a variety from Brazil.  It's named for its color.  Typically Rosa is our earliest variety of the season.  The flavor is rich, the texture firm.  The Rosa has a taste similar to the East Indian. 

The Dwarf Hawaiian is beginning its season.  The Dwarf Hawaiian might be a cross between Kent and Julie.  It's small and plump, and has quite a fan base.

As we get closer to June, more varieties should begin to ripen.  Please remember that some weeks will be better than others... there will be dips in supply

In addition to the mangos, we have one small jak fruit (Golden Pillow), caimito, black sapote, and sapodilla.

Open Wednesdays 4-6pm
Open Saturdays 9am-noon

Happy Earth Day!

Some ways we try to help the earth:
  • Grow food
  • Compost almost everything
  • Use low volume irrigation and water only the trees (except for the shadehouse)
  • Avoid nasty chemicals
  • Reuse pots, etc.
  • Use recycled products (the white rock parking area is actually recycled concrete) 
  • Repurpose wood pallets, old picnic tables, concrete stepping stones and other items headed for the dump 
  • Provide a local use for sand, sea weed and wood chips
 Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's getting better..

Last Wednesday the mango supply was pathetic.  Saturday was lame.  Even now we don't have much, but it's getting better.  Today I found a few Florigon, Nam Doc Mai and Edward.  One group of Rosa mangos are beginning to ripen.  I've sampled many runts and bits of mango, and the quality is very good.  This evening I enjoyed a Nam Doc Mai runt that was less than two inches long... wonderful.

The First Dwarf Hawaiian ready to pick!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fruit for Saturday, April 19

Mangos...   I had a delicious bite of a fallen Jakarta today, so I picked the ripest looking ones on the tree.  There are only a few.  I found a couple of other mangos also.  It looks like the first Dwarf Hawaiian won't be ready until May.  Fortunately almost every variety has set fruit, but this year most varieties won't ripen until June and July.

Sapodilla...   I should be able to find some sapodilla that are ready to pick.  None will be ready to eat.

Black Sapote...  There are still some fruit available.  At this time in its season, it seems like the fruit needs to ripen past when you think it's ripe.

Caimito...  This might be the last Saturday for Star Apple.  The fruit is ripening much faster than it did earlier in the season.

Miracle Fruit...  Still some available.

Parsley, Rosemary and Collard Greens are still available.

Open Saturday, 9am-noon

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Cleaning = Spring Savings

Organizing the shadehouse has meant re-evaluating the plants in it.  Many of the large plants will be sold for low prices.  Some have iron stains from the well water and most look a little shabby.  All should be quite happy once planted in your yard.  We have Lady Palms, Coconut Palms, some other foliage plants, Carambola and other fruit trees.

Spring cleaning has spread to the fields.  Some plants that are in the way of future mangos are big and look great.  The following are Free to a Good Home.... they have been growing in the ground for years... you'll need help...
Sabal Palms
'Hart' Carambola
'Wolf' Loquat

Saturday we will have free plumeria (frangi pangi) cuttings.

Also... nice, very large Bismarkia Nobilis is for sale, but can't be moved until July.

~I'll try to post pictures of some of these plants tomorrow~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tour Dates

A couple of people want to plan vacations around fruit-picking tours, so I'm posting a schedule for the summer.  Small changes are possible.
Last year tours were on select Sunday afternoons at 4pm.  Two memories persist:  Nice people, and Brutally Hot.  This year we will try beginning the tours at 5pm, and we'll offer one day other than Sunday.

Sunday, June 8

Monday, June 30 
Sunday, July 13

Sunday, July 27

Fruit for Wednesday, April 16, and another project...

Caimito (Star Apple) is ripening quickly, so this might be its last week for 2014.
Black Sapote, Miracle Fruit, Sapodilla, Papaya and Coconuts will also be available.
Mangos still are sparse.  We're still waiting for the next bunch of Rosas to be ready, and we're eagerly anticipating the Dwarf Hawaiians.  The first crop of Jakarta will probably ripen in May.  Most varieties are still very small and will probably ripen in June and July.

Also, Collard Greens, Parsley and Rosemary are available.

Here are some pictures of a current project...

Now you see it....

Now you don't
Taking out a large Royal Poinciana and making room for more fruit trees.  (Waiting for a friend with a big chainsaw to stop by and make the final cut.)

Fertilizer, etc.

We are often asked for fertilizer recommendations.  My quick answer is to use a high quality palm fertilizer.  This type of fertilizer usually contains the minor nutrients important to tropical fruit, and is readily available in garden centers.

But there's a long answer.  It's important to build the soil.  Fifteen years ago the only decent soil on the farm was under the big trees.  The accumulation of more than fifty years of falling leaves and fruit became an important part of each tree's ecosystem.  Unfortunately we had to plant all our new fruit trees in sand.  Even weeds couldn't grow in some places.  Our solution to help the trees establish was to use mulch from tree-trimming companies.  Over the years we have used hundreds of truckloads of mulch (wood and leaves) and our soil is much better.  Mulch also helped cool the tender surface roots and was an important part of our low-volume irrigation.

In addition to building soil, retaining moisture and cooling the ground, mulch provides virtually all the nitrogen we give to our trees.  To provide other necessary nutrients, we use modest amounts of Gypsum (calcium sulfate), Ironite, Sulfate of Potash Magnesia, Triple Super-Phosphate, Rare Fruit Council 'Fruitilizer' (8-3-9 with minor nutrients), 0-0-6 Minors Mix, and seaweed.  Also, from time to time we spray specific trees for specific reasons.  Products we use include Sulfur, Copper and Zerotol for molds, various soaps for insect problems.  (These products are OMRI approved.)  Most of these sprays also provide some nutrition for the plants. 

Also of note, we're starting to try composted horse manure in several situations.  It seems to be a great product for our type of operation.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fruit for Saturday, April 12

Caimito, Black Sapote, Miracle Fruit, one small Jak Fruit, a handful of NDM mangos, and probably some Sapodilla will be available tomorrow. 
Parsley ($2/bunch) and Collard Greens ($3 for 7 large leaves) will also be available.
All of our fruit and greens are grown organically.

The next bunch of Rosa Mangos is not yet ready to pick, and we're still waiting on our first Dwarf Hawaiian.  Perhaps soon we'll get a few Florigon.  The first crop of Jakarta and Edward will probably be ready in May.
Unfortunately only five of our mango varieties flowered early this year and many of the varieties will ripen later than usual. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adding Greens to the Menu

We're starting new plantings of flat leaf parsley and collard greens for summer selling.  In the meantime we have begun to sell parsley and collard greens from our small winter planting.  We harvest these on demand for absolute peak freshness.

Also in the next few weeks we will plant callaloo and three varieties of sweet potatoes in raised beds (made from shipping pallets). 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fruit for Saturday, April 5 ..and additional hours

Fruit for sale will include:
  • Rosa Mangos...next week should be better..VERY FEW ready this week
  • Miracle Fruit
  • Black Sapote
  • Caimito (Star Apple)
  • a few 'Golden Pillow' Jak fruit will be ready sometime in the next couple weeks

Open Saturday mornings, 9am - noon.
Beginning Wednesday, April 9, we will also be open Wednesday afternoons 4-6 pm.