7 Fastest Growing Tropical Fruit Trees that will Produce Fruit in Under 3 Years

7 Fastest Growing Tropical Fruit Trees that will Produce Fruit in Under 3 Years


This is John Kohler. Today I have another
exciting episode for you and this one’s going to be like no other because I have a special
guest here and I admire this special guest highly. He’s a world-renowned tropical fruit
expert. He’s traveled the world in search of different tropical fruits. He has his own
farm in Hawaii where he grows hundreds, if not thousands of varieties of tropical fruits.
He’s all about no GMOs, he’s all about local food, he’s all about, you know, getting fruit
out to people because it is so delicious and he’s taken many, many years of his life to
research tropical fruits and in this episode, he’s going to share some of that knowledge
for you. Now, this episode is specifically designed for people that live in the tropics.
If you live in the subtropics or somewhere else, some of these things are going to take
longer to grow and many of them you may not actually be able to grow at all. So, today’s
episode’s going to be very simply the 7 different fruits you can grow and produce from in under
3 years. I like to grow vegetables because literally within 30 days on some vegetables,
like radishes, you could be having the crop. On fruits, they take a little but linger but
the benefits of the fruits is that, once you grow the tree they’re there to stay and they’re
going to be producing for you reliably years after year. I like that a lot. So, let’s turn
it over to Ken and we’re going to share the first fruits you can grow and produce fruit
in under 3 years. Well, thanks very much, John. Boy, it’s so
hard to choose form when you have 250 different types of fruit to start with, but maybe first
of all, I’d pick papaya. Now, papaya’s not the quickest necessarily, but it’s one of
the most well known. So, form seed to fruit, it’s in 2 years and which is remarkably fast
considering that it usually grows 10 feet in those 2 years. So, Ken, one of the things that concerns me
about growing papaya, I love eating papaya, but now, you know, I know in Hawaii they are
GMOing papaya, so how can my viewers be safe and not grow GMO papaya? Well, one of the things you have to do is
find the local anti-GMO people who can do test kits for the papayas. You can go to whole
foods Hawaii organic farmers association and often they have people who can help determine
whether or not it is. There are some papayas that we know are from GMO, but papayas found
in the wild, or sunrise papayas, which tend to be more red on the inside, those are usually
90% safe. So, it takes a little while to determine it, but we have to work in that direction,
and that’s particularly on the big island. On other islands, there’s a much better chance
of getting nonGMO strains of papaya. Thank you, Ken. So, what’s the second fruit
that you can grow in under 3 years and produce some fruit for you and your family to eat? Well, the second is probably my first. My
favorite, and that’s fig. I mean, you know, everybody knows fig, so if we’re marketing
them, just eating them or we’re marketing them at the farmers market, everybody knows
figs. Even kids know figs and they’re much better off with the fresh ones than some of
the other things that are made with them, but figs are incredibly durable. First you
just need a cutting of about 16-18 inches, you put it in some potting soil, and it grows.
Within a year, you probably have a little fig on the top. It’s really quick. Plus, as
it grows up over time, you can (unclear) along the wall, you can tie it to the fence, you
can bend that branch down any way you want. I mean, figs in japan are amazing. They come
out the ground about 15 inches, to a 90 degree turn, and then every 15 inches, there’s another
vertical with each one of those has 20, 25 figs on it, and that’ll go 50 feet. So, it’s
really amazing what you can do. Plus, were used to wanting 2 types of figs. The USDA
has 290 types of figs you can pick from, and they range in flavor from honey with sesame
seeds in it to raspberry jam, blackberry jam, just amazingly sweet. Wow. You’re making my mouth water, there,
Ken. I wan tot just taste some of those figs, but Then visit. I also want to encourage you guys tot grow
genetic diversity. Don’t just grow that standard mission fig, you know. Find some o these heirlooms
and exotic ones. We need to keep these lines alive, these genetics alive, so that they
can be continued to be propagated and shared with others so that these varieties, you know,
do not go the way of the west. So, Ken, what’s number 3 fruit that’s going to, you know,
allow people to grow fruits within 3 years? Another one of my favorite is, well I was
born year of the dragon, so naturally the dragon fruit. So, dragon fruit has, there’s
2 main types of it. Hyloncerous and celoncerous. Now, hyloncerious is this pretty pink ones
that you get and sometimes they’re white with little tiny black seeds on the inside. Sometimes
they’re dark purple on the inside, which tend to be a little sweeter and better, and then
there is celoncerous which is the yellow one and more commercialized type of dragon fruit
in the tropics and the only problem is it has thorns, but to brush those thorns off
is worth it because it’s 10-15% sweeter than the pick skinned ones, and it’s so incredibly
diverse with what you can do with it and eat it in terms of smoothies and shakes and dressing
and if you want to juice it with one of your machines you can take the seeds out and you
can leave the seeds in. I mean, in dragon fruit I really like the seeds. It adds a bit
of texture and thickness. You’ll like some of these yellow ones. You got to come try
them. I’ve tried many varieties of dragon fruit.
They’re definitely my favorite if you get a good one, and I want to encourage everybody
to leave their fruit on the vine, let it ripen to peak ripeness when they got the peak sugar
content but also the peak nutrition, high flavonoids, higher anti-oxidants, etc. So,
Ken, what’s fruit number 4? Fruit number 4 is polha, which you might know
as Cape gooseberry. It’s called physalis pruvianous and it’s a husk tomato. I mean, a husk cherry.
It comes in a little paper husk. Some of its close relatives are tomatio, Japanese or Chinese
lantern plants, but polha, especially upper elevations in Hawaii, you know, 1-2 years
before you get a couple fruit and then just expands form there, but it’s incredibly sweet.
It tastes almost like an orange, you know, little orange juice, caramel texture to it.
I mean, it’s just an amazing thing to add to anything or just to pop in your mouth.
It’s a great additive if I’m working out in the fields and the polha is usually spread
wild by the birds. So, although you can plant the seeds, it’s not a problem, but it’s just
an energy booster. You know, I’m just going to pop a couple of those and it just gives
me the energy to keep going. I love the poha berry. I grow them in California, the subtropical
environment. Even in my greenhouse, I can keep them alive year-round and they continue
to produce through the winter. The way I like to harvest them, actually let them turn on
the vine, actually let them drop to the ground, that’s when they’re fully completely rip and
going to have the best flavor, I found. So, Ken, what’s number 5? Number 5, I would say, would be passion fruit. I love the passion fruit. It’s the passion. I know you’re passionate about what we call
lily coy. Lily coy comes in yellow, purple, mixes of those colors, and actually there’s
thousand of types of passion fruit plants, passionflower. Now, they don’t all produce
edible fruit, but the ones we’re used to, (unclear) is the most common on in Hawaii,
and it’s just yellow, kind of tangy one. There’s lemivi, or what they call Jamaican passion
fruit, and it’s kind of an orange sweet one, but, yea, it’s great for a barrier too, because
you can grow it up on the wall, as a vine, it can grow up trees. We used to plant it
to keep out invasive species form the jungle moving into the farm. So, what do you do when
there’s like the trees behind us? There you just plant passion fruit everywhere and it
just blocks all of the stuff from coming in. I love the passion fruit, especially the Jamaican
ones. I first actually had those in Hawaii. So, Ken, what’s number 6? Number 6 is bananas. Everybody loves bananas,
and again, what you were saying before about genetic diversity is incredibly important
in bananas, and in addition to genetic diversity and protecting the future in all bananas,
we need to also protect some of the endangered ones right now, especially the native Hawaiian
ones, and one the ways to do that is if you have a banana patch, you have to take out
the babies or well kakis and plant them someplace out, because the banana rhizome, which ahs
all of the trees in it, it’s just one common root basically, that’s a magnet for the boars
and other insects who just drill into it and eventually cause the end of the plant, but
if you take out those small ones with the clean rhizomes, move them 50-100 feet away,
and you’re going to get another stand and that’s going to keep those, perpetuate those
bananas and keep them healthy and that’s really important. We also have, you know, close to
100 of them on this big island, and around Hawaii and there’s the regular cabinish types,
there’s yellow bananas, there’s blue bananas called ice-cream bananas, we have 3 types
of red bananas, we have a striped banana, manini or ayay as we call out on the big island,
and it’s green with white stripes in it, Just amazing, and from starch to sweet, you can
get every range. Some of them when they’re fully ripe you get a little gelatin pocket
in the middle of it. Just incredible. Wow, so many different kinds of bananas, you
know, and, once again, you guys buy bananas in the store and you don’t like the taste
of bananas, Ken’ll tell you, I’ll tell you, bananas off the plants are just incredible.
They slowly ripe instead of gas and they ripen fast and don’t get the full flavor and you
may not get the varieties that’s grown in good rich soil and you’re not going to get
the total flavor of what a bananas is. I mean, so important to grow your own food to secure
these varieties, to get them spread out and allow to have new taste sensations. So, Ken,
we’re down to number 7. Oh, boy, number 7. Number 7 is probably what
Hawaii’s been known for hundreds of years and that’s pineapple. Just cut the top of
the pineapple off, put it in the ground, 2 years, you got a fruit. It’s that simple,
and usually store-bought ones, if you get it at a farmers market or it’s a good organic
quality pineapple, you just take that top off, you put it in the ground, and wait. Now,
pineapples, like bananas, are heavy feeders. So, they like to have mulch and good organic
matter in the soil with them. And once again, you know, just like all the
other varieties of fruit that we talked about, there’s many different cultivars or varieties
in all of them. You guys know about the apples. You know they got the Fuji apples, granny
apples, you know, all different kinds of apples. There’s all different kinds of the pineapples
as well. I remember Ken brought one time some white sugar pines to California with him from
Hawaii and we tasted them and they were amazing. So, I want to encourage you guy to just reach
out and find different and new varieties. Those sugar pines are just the sweetest pineapples
I’ve ever tastes. Definitely melts in your mouth. It’s just
incredible. So, you want to research about some of these
rare and unknown cultivars, try to get hem, grow them in your garden, and spread those.
Give the plants to others so that we can all grow them and stay safe and keep the genetic
diversity. So, Ken do you have any last words you want to talk about? The GMOs? I know that’s
a big issue for you. It’s really something that we all have to
become more aware of. We all have to work to protect the genetic diversity, protect
the future of our land and protect the future of ourselves. We have to be against GMOs.
Otherwise, you know, it’s impossible. Once again, I want to remind you guys what
GMO is all about. Basically, GMO’s like me trying to have sex with a fish or something
like that and create a fishman. I mean, that’s what a GMO is. It’s not like me trying to
get with like an ethnic woman form other ethnicity of myself. That’s kind of like just regular
crossbreeding and hybridization, which can occur naturally. This is something totally
artificial that would never happen in nature, and in my opinion, it’s defiantly not a good
thing. So, you definitely want to avoid the GMO seeds. Get tested papaya seeds if you’re
going to grow them to make sure they’re not GMO because we don’t want to propagate any
more of those than absolutely necessary than they’re doing on their own without our help.
Once again, this change will start from the bottom up, not the top down, and we need to
save the genetic diversity and the heritage, so I always encourage you guys to save your
won seeds, pass them on to friends and family and others that we can continue to grow and
spread the genetic diversity. Ken, I really want to thank you for your time today, and
I want to let my viewers know that Ken has produced some amazing posters with all different
varieties and rare varieties and cultivars of different things like figs and papayas
and fruits form the big island and how could some of my viewers find out more about your
important work, Ken, and buy some of your posters? Well, thanks. Yes, hawiifruit.net. And it’s
that simple and it’s an old fashioned website. No frames or bells or whistles, but you can
just go in there. There’s a posters section and I’ll give you links so that you can see
all the posters. Even at the end of that page there’s a dropdown and you just see the four
seasons, and if you click on spring, you’ll get a little printable in decent resolution
guide to the spring fruits that are available in Hawaii. So, all four seasons are there,
plus all the posters are available through localharvest.org. Awesome, Ken. So, I appreciate your time spending
with me today and I hope to have Ken on in future episodes sharing more about his knowledge
on the tropical fruits and fruits that are growing around the world. He’s travelled so
much he is an encyclopedia of tropical fruit sitting right next to me. I’m so honored to
be able to be interviewing him and hopefully you guys glean some information that’s going
to help you grow more fruits at home. Once again, my name is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
We’ll see you next time, and remember, keep on growing.