Monday, November 28, 2022

Tropical guava trees

 This post describes the tropical guava trees I fruited in Davis by the end of 2022.

The large round fruit is Malaysian Red that I purchased 6-7 years ago. The first few years it produced fruits with a relatively low sugar content, but now it makes excellent fruits. The fruits are large but the tree produced just a couple of dozen fruits this years. The tree is very tall and only gets a few hours of morning sun. 

The small yellow fruit is a seedling of a Mexican guava. The fruits are very flavorful and sweet, the tree produced the first time this year, and we got around 15 or so fruits by now.

The orange-fleshed fruits in the lower row are three different seedlings from the same fruit of a Brazilian guava. 

#1 tree is the most productive and started to fruit in the second year from seed. The fruits are bright yellow outside and orange inside, very sweet and flavorful. The tree gets a good amount of sun from noon to late afternoon.

#2 tree produced just a few fruits but they are larger in size than #1. The skin is not as bright yellow as #1, but the flesh is a darker orange-pink in color. The tree gets just a few hours of afternoon sun, but the fruits are still sweet. 

#3 tree produced a single fruit this year. This tree is behind #2 tree and gets even less sun. The fruit was ok, and might need a better location to develop a better flavor.

I also have a 3-4 years old tree of Barbie Pink guava that decided to skip the fruiting this year. Last year I had just a few fruits on it, and they were very good. This tree planted in a prime spot, and I was expecting it to produce better. Below pictures are from November 2021 and show Barbie Pink in the upper right corner. 

Barbie Pink has the best flesh to seeds ratio, but so far it’s production here in Davis is minimal to none.

The white fleshed guava on the same plate is Thai White. The fruit came with the purchased plant that hasn’t made it to the spring. It might be more sensitive to frost than my other guavas. Next to the pot with Thai White guava I had a Beaumont Red guava plant in a similar pot. Beaumont Red survived the last winter fine and now is planted in the ground. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Hawaiian Avocados

The post describes the avocados I came across during my vacation on Big Island in November 2022.

I stayed in a cabin around Captain Cook area. The cabin was on an avocado farm planted mostly with Sharwil. I picked a couple of fruits but none got ripe during my stay. Here is a Sharwil on the tree.

I also found a couple of trees with large round avocados and the owner told me that these should be Linda. Here they are on the tree.

The fist three avocados I bought were from the Cook’s Bounty fruit stand. They were longer, lighter in the outer green color and more textured that the Sharwil fruits. I couldn’t figure out what they were for sure, but they could be Beshore. These were very nice fruits, high oil and high flavor with small seed.

At the ChoiceMart in Captain Cook i found a big pile of Daily 11 together with Sharwil (in the background, in the image below).

Daily 11 is a huge fruit, as seen in the image below. Unfortunately all were too hard, and I wasn’t going to stay here long enough to try one here.

At the Ka’u (Na’alehu) farmers market I bought a seedling avocado fruit with a textured green skin and the black Malama fruit.

On the same day I also found a round green avocado at a Hilo supermarket.
These three avocados, the round one, Malama, and the green textured one I was able to taste on the same day. Here they are next to each other, with Malama on the right.
These all were excellent but distinct in the flavors and textures. The round one was the most intense with the highest oil content and medium dense structure. The green structured one had the least oil content but nice flavor and dense flesh. Malama had the softest flesh, but very good flavor and oil content. The next picture reflects my preference based on how much I consumed from each of these while tasting. The small round one was the clear winner.
Later I got three more avocados from Cook’s Bounty fruit stand, two of which seemed to be Sharwil. They are excellent avocados. Somehow I didn’t take their pictures. But the third avocado was another roundish green. This time the stone was taking most of the space in the fruit. Never the less, the flesh quality was excellent with high oil content and delectable flavor. This is probably a seedling.

And the last avocado I purchased was a medium size black fruit from the Kona farmers market. While it looks like a small Malama, I don’t believe it is. The flesh is much denser, the flavor was less intense, and the seed was very large. Still a pretty good seedling fruit.

In conclusion, I have not met a boring avocado on Big Island in my 10 days here. All were very good to excellent, but some had low flesh to seed ratios.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Bluebush, Diospyros lycioides ssp. lycioides

 This post describes Diospyros lycioides ssp. lycioides fruits and the only use, which I have found for them so far.

Four years ago, in August of 2018 I collected seeds from the plants of this species at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Most fruits I found there were yellowish in color, but it’s possible they haven’t been fully ripe. The fruit or two I tried seemed to be sweet, at the time. The fruits were small, about half an inch in diameter, round or slightly elongated. Now, four years later (October 2022), I ended up with three fruiting females and one male from the seeds I germinated. All trees grow in Goleta, California, on the farm of my employer, Frinj Coffee. One of the females is very productive with lots of elongated fruits. They are dark pink in the color.

The second female made perfectly round fruits, the picture below.

And the third female has slightly elongated fruits, see the picture below.

All fruits are seedy as they all have been pollinated by male tree growing next to the females. I couldn’t find a single fruit on the male tree now in October. However, I remember seeing few immature fruits on it earlier in the season. Most likely, the male tree produces some perfect or female flowers too.

The fruits are bitter-sweet in the flavor and taste to me very similar to the Spaten Optimator beer with more bitterness. The fruits have a beer yeast flavor component even when not overripe.

I decided to check if the juice from these fruits will help to develop a sourdough starter quickly. After crushing the fruits, I added some filtered water to the bowl, and then filtered the extract through a fine sieve. The filtered liquid was used instead of water to initiate the starter.

I didn’t have a bread flour at home, and used the all purpose flour for the starter and for the bread. The starter seemed to be ready in just three days. My first sourdough bread (in the last 4-5 years) came out pretty good, the family and I enjoyed it very much.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Kampir Qovun or Old Lady melon

This post describes the late honeydew type melon from Uzbekistan called Kampir Qovun. It goes under a few other names such as Kampyr, Kampir Kovun, Old Lady, Old Maiden, Old Woman, and Babushka. In the picture above, there are five of these wrinkled grey-green round melons with the stems attached.

The summer of 2022 was the first season I planted and harvested them. The fruits started to be ready in the second half of September, and this was my latest melon so far. It seems these melons can be stored for some time as they have a pretty hard skin. The fruits are round, wrinkled, green-grey with occasional yellow marks. The flesh is white, very sweet, soft, and melting.  Excellent late melon. In the picture below, a Kampir fruit that is just under 8 lbs, which is about the average weight for these melons.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Avocado seeds. Mexicola, Aravaipa, Long South Gate, Holiday

 This post documents the looks of avocado seeds from four cultivars. Left to right on every picture below: Mexicola, Aravaipa, Long South Gate, Holiday.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Large Fruited Strawberry Guava

This post describes my strawberry guava tree fruits that can be pretty large, up to 20 g in weight. It seems the higher the fruits are on the tree, the larger they grow. The tree is by the Eastern wall of the house and only gets few hours of morning sun. The upper branches get a bit more sun than the lower ones. The fruits are very flavorful, sweet and complex.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Afghan Green Melon

This post describes the large green melons from Afghanistan, a friend and I grew this summer. I could not associate this melon with any similar melon found on the web.  It is NOT Bateekh Samara melon offered by rareseeds, and it is NOT Kukcha, although it looks very similar to the later. Kukcha has hard flesh, but this Afghan melon has soft flesh. This melon is very sweet honeydew type fruit. 

This selection ripened for us in September and produced large to very large melons, 5-10 kg, or 10-20 lb.  Below are the pictures with a different fruits on the scales.

One of the larger fruits in kilograms (7.8 kg) and pounds (17 lb).

A half of another fruit in kilograms. This scale doesn’t take more than 5 kg, so I had to half the fruit. This half is over 3 kg.

And the smallest fruit collected so far. This scale managed to weight it whole, 5.7 kg.

The flesh is green, sweet, and melting. Excellent melon but probably requires long ripening period. These fruits ripened over the summer of 2022 in Woodland, California with many days over 100F. Planted by seed in late spring with the first fruits ready in early September.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Holiday and Daily 11 avocados fruited in Davis

 This post describes my experience grafting Holiday and Daily 11 avocado cultivars onto my old (>20 years) Mexicola tree. Holiday was grafted in 2017 and Daily 11 was grafted in 2019. Holiday graft is a very weak grower. This year I grafted it onto a stronger branch of Mexicola to make sure that it has enough support from the stock tree. Daily 11 is a vigorous grower. Both cultivars fruited first time this year. Daily 11 made just one fruit, and Holiday produced four very large avocados. It seems that July is the month when they are ready here in Davis, CA. Daily 11 fruit is actually fell from the tree. I picked the first Holiday fruit on July 20, the same day the Daily 11 fruit fell. Here they are on the scales in the pictures below. Daily 11 is more elongated. 

Daily 11 ripened in 4 days, below pictures are from July 24 2022.
It has hard shell, the flesh can be scooped out as in the picture below 

I wouldn’t call this avocado taste excellent but it is good and has a lot of flesh as the seed was very small. Has a little amount of insignificant fibers.
This graft is making a good number of fruits that should be ready next July.

The Holiday fruit that I picked on July 20 got soft only on July 30. The fruit had perfect texture, very creamy, and gets a very good mark from me. It didn’t have any distinct flavors that could be found in some other cultivars. The shell is hard, the flesh can be easily scooped out. Beautiful fruit with no stings at all.
This small Holiday graft produced 4 large fruits this year.
 I only see one developing fruit that might be ready next July.
I don’t know why, but the seeds from both fruits Daily 11 (left in the image below) and Holiday are pink.

Tropical guava trees

 This post describes the tropical guava trees I fruited in Davis by the end of 2022. The large round fruit is Malaysian Red that I purchased...