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.

Frost tolerance of Himalayan Mulberries

 The past winter of 2023-2024 was the second test for my Himalayan mulberries frost tolerance. I have five two-years old trees of four culti...