30 Bananas a Day!

Hi traveling folks,

Terra Frutis ( https://www.facebook.com/TerraFrutis ) is a fruitarian community/permaculture food forest in southeast Ecuador. It is located on 326 acres of land with a large banana grove and a small number of other fruiting trees including abiu, papaya, zapote, araza, soursop, and mandarin orange. We recently received an order of over 200 baby fruit trees including 120 durians, and our nursery also includes jackfruit, rollinia, salak, marang, mangosteen, and others.

We are currently looking for new long-term members, and you are welcome to visit and check it out for a few weeks or months if you like. We need people who are interested in staying here long-term and being a part of our fruit forest. You are especially needed if you are experienced in working with tropical fruit trees and permaculture farming/gardening, construction with wood, bamboo, or clay, graphic design/marketing, or emergency first aid. You can come here and build a bamboo house on the land if you'd like.

More information about the location and other details are on the website here: https://www.TerraFrutis.com

If you have questions you can reply here, or you can send me a PM on 30BaD, or you can send an email to: terrafrutis.ecuador@gmail.com

-Peter

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That's so cool. :-D 

Awesome! This might be just what I'm looking for. I will keep this in mind.

Btw I think the link is broken. http://www.TerraFrutis.com works though (http without the s)

Correct, it works without the s. My

That's so cool, that makes Florida seem like Canada in terms of fruit abundance!  I'm a chiropractor and would go in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner.  I would keep everyone's spine subluxation free (and would learn as much as I can about growing tropical fruit/building)

Great, we would love to have a chiropractor here. Time to get to work on that partner :-P

How can i help convince your partner?

Hey folks, just an update, we have this sweet new video to give you a quick preview of what goes on here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh5sa4O7dyM

Could you make a vid on how others could get started doing this?  I'm at the stage where I'm buying up small fruit trees in my area on Craigslist.  I'm just going to have to keep them in big pots cause we're renting and might move up north to Orlando.  Any recommendations for good books about growing fruit trees?  It seems like buying them for $10 is a lot easier than planting the seeds myself.  

There's a lot for sale in Naples, 5 acres, agricultural zoning, $25k, 2.5 miles away from my friend who has a 2.5 year old permaculture food forest. PM me if interested ;-)

South florida is better for fruits because you can grow more tropical stuff. Papayas, some mango varieties, bananas, etc. all grow in naples and south of there, and even as far north as St. Pete's.

We'll def do a few videos soon on how to get started with a fruit forest - buying pots vs. starting from seed, good starter varieties, etc etc.
I personally wouldn't get any books, but they can be useful. Maybe a general book on permaculture methods, but it's just as easy to watch Youtube videos or do Google searches on "how to grow ______." That being said, if you want to spend $20 on a good book about tropical fruits, that's great. Most are oriented towards conventional growing and may have some inaccurate advice, so just be aware of that. Even the books about organic growing may be geared towards more conventional methods.

Papayas go from seed to fruit in 9-12 months, passionfruit and dragonfruit/pitaya are pretty quick, and bananas from shoot to fruit are about 18 months-ish. So some things are worth growing from seed b/c it's cheaper to plant 100 papaya seeds than to buy 100 potted papayas for $10 each.

Nitrogen fixing plants and chop-and-drop plants (trees/bushes/etc grown just for mulch/fertilizer) are just as important as fruit trees. For example some people do a row of bananas, a row of inga bean, a row of papayas, a row of pigeon pea, a row of rollinia, a row of acacia. So they have chop and drop plants growing in between; 2x/year they walk through, chop the branches off the nitrogen fixing trees and throw them on the fruit trees. Just an example. A lot of people plant circles of bananas or papayas or both, and have a big pile of mulch/compost in the middle where they plant veggies or other plants that like more shade.

I would conditionally disagree; I understand there are some issues with grafted vs from seed, but it's not quite as simple as "go with a nursery most of the time." I would say keep the nursery to a minimum, but still go there for some prize varieties and hybrids that don't grow true to seed.

Diseases/pests/etc: A great counterexample is growing citrus in Florida. There is so much monocropped citrus in Florida, that many home gardeners experience problems with pests and diseases that make it nearly impossible to grow the grafted nursery trees (yes, those bred by 'experts' for pest and disease resistance) without chemicals and extensive care. Some citrus varieties are true-to-seed (or nearly so), and although citrus trees may take 10 years to fruit from seed, a grafted tree is not necessarily safer from disease and pests. And many people are happy waiting 10 years for something if it means the tree will provide fruit for decades without constant application of chemicals; in the meantime, there are lots of other things that will be fruiting so no emotional problems there lol.
Also - having 1 grafted tree or 5 grafted trees of the same variety is one thing, but in any decently-sized fruit forest project, having 500 grafted trees means that it is that much more likely that one pest or disease will be able to wipe out all of them before you even have a chance to scream. The breeders do their best to breed against common pests and diseases, but they're not magicians, and what they gain in disease/pest resistance they lose in genetic diversity which is another great defense against disease and pests.
Doing your own grafting can also be preferable, in some circumstances than using a nursery. Sometimes, you just have to have a graft from a nursery - like when you want Cara Cara oranges for example - but  sometimes, you have a few trees with great fruit and great disease resistance that you want more of, so you can just start from seed and graft onto the rootstock from the trees you like. No reason to pay a nursery.

If you have any decent amount of land to play around with, buying trees from a nursery is just going to be financially impossible. Starting from seed works great with most of the tropical stuff we do - jackfruit, durian, soursop, etc - and we plan on grafting a number of them from known quality trees so that we get fruit sooner, but will still leave a number ungrafted just because we know which types of fruit grow true to seed and which don't, and don't want a whole forest full of "clones".
IMO there's a lot more room for starting from seed than you may think, especially when one considers budget, and the fact that you will get many quality, producing trees if you know what you're doing and are able to graft yourself as much as is necessary. Leaving the nursery purchases to some select, prize varieties or rare varieties that you can't source seeds/cuttings for. Of course, with a small amount of land and a significant budget, going with the nursery for most of the trees isn't a bad idea, it can save time and get you producing fruit faster.

Breeding and selecting new strains and cultivars is something we look forward to with our large amount of land available. When confined to a backyard it can be invaluable to only use pre grafted known cultivars for growing.

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