Sunday, September 25, 2016

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." -- James Michener

I THINK this is the ID of the tree that germinated in my southeast back bed.

My fifteen year old avocado seedling of a large green smooth fruit has never bloomed or fruited and has badly shaded my formerly productive container gardens behind my house. So I will do a severe crown reduction and use all the many downed branches as mulch. I will have light again for those gardens, and perhaps the new tree growth will bloom and fruit. I've learned that mine is a seedling of the tropical type called West Indian, and I was taught much about varieties, grafting, laurel wilt, own root and girdling by smart people like Oliver Moore, Craig Hepworth and Josh Jamison. Along with the intense crown reduction I will take Oliver's advice and do a full girdling of the main trunk with a single cut and leave the bark in place. I will use a hoop saw to remove easily 80% of the branches to admit light to my gardens and see what happens. I planted that pit long ago when I still lived 90% of each year in Denver (38 degrees tonight!) in my then empty yard to celebrate having my retirement home in Tampa. I will be so glad to going back to growing crops in those gardens due to the light, and surrounding the entire area with four foot tall goat fence to keep out my chickens...already I have planted the forage rape 'Bonar' that I love as a winter crop.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Yellow Passion Fruits

Years ago I grew two red passion fruit plants, each came from seeds from fruit I bought at Publix. One died maybe nine years ago after a freeze, the other killed three years ago by a neighbor's well meaning relative clearing out her yard. About eight years ago a few people and I tried a few differing varieties of yellow passion fruits, but all grew like crazy and made no fruit. Mine is a seedling of a yellow strain I bought three years ago at a Tampa Rare Fruit Council meeting.....they are packed with a truly delicious pulp I will freeze. Tea from the leaves is very mild and is great for treating high blood pressure. Even though squirrels ate maybe a dozen, this is yesterday's harvest of yellow passion fruit plus ones I gave to a neighbor and the one I ate. With this sudden huge abundance of yellow passion fruits today I made a delicious smoothie in my Bullet Blender using the pulp of four fruits, plain soy milk, the heart-aiding sugar D-ribose, food grade diatomaceous earth, and two capsules of magnesium glycinate. Future batches I will also add coconut milk. Wonderful flavor!  John