GAC Fruit – How to Grow, Pollinate & Eat this Strange Tropical Fruit

GAC Fruit – How to Grow, Pollinate & Eat this Strange Tropical Fruit


Okay this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
Today we have another exciting episode for you. We’re all the way here in Hawaii at
my buddy Chris coconut Chris’ house. It’s amazing like not just a food forest it’s
a food jungle with all kinds of crazy stuff. Ah man more GAC fruits. All kinds of crazy
growing all around me here’s just two GAC fruits but there’s two of them over there
there’s like three over there. There’s two here there’s two there. They’re all
over the place and this video today is about the GAC fruit. A fruit you guys never heard
of before and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna show you guys actually how this grows.
It grows as a large vine. Share with you guys some of the culture of the GAC fruit. If you
do wanna grow it and if you can grow it and also you know like the root zone all this
kind of stuff and then we’re gonna get Chris, the gardener here who maintains this fabulous
property and makes it all happen. Man there’s so much stuff growing it’s insane. We’re
gonna get him on the camera to share with you guys how to pollinate it cause it can
be actually quite difficult and we’re also gonna be able to crack open a ripe GAC fruit
today. So first I wanna show you guys actually the growth habit and show you guys actually
how this is grown what it looks like and all that good stuff and share with you guys where
it will grow and how long it takes to grow and mature if you wanna grow it out from seed.
Alright so as you guys could see I’m walking to the back here and actually there’s some
more GAC fruits hanging. You guys could see that right there. And we’re walking around
this like big trellis thing he created and he’s got some Cuban oregano growing right
there and there’s me. And then what I wanted to show you guys is this right here. This
is actually where the GAC fruits come out the ground. This is where the GAC fruits come
out the ground right here and this is what it looks like. Now the GAC fruit is related
to the uh cucumber it’s in the Kermit family actually and has a nice long kind of root
thing right there. This is like a 3 year old plant and that’s kind of what it looks like
right there. Pretty woody actually and there’s one two right there and there’s a third
one so he actually has a whole bunch of plants here, three plants at current time.
SO check it out man these are like some of the coolest fruits here. Here’s a unripe
GAC fruit here’s one starting ripen and whoa when they just start to turn orange like
this they get really soft but this is not yet fully ripe. It needs to be all orange
and a bit softer actually. Now the GAC fruit is a tropical plant we are in Hawaii but you
can grow it in like zones 8B and above and you need a very long season. From the time
you plant it to the time it fruits it’s like about 3 months and before you even plant
it you wanna start it in orders probably 3 months before that because it can take up
to two weeks to germinate so uh you know. And then you could have your own GAC fruits
so you can get a nice long frost free season. It’s not gonna work in places that frost
these vines will just croak. The next thing I wanna share with you guys actually is uh
get Chris in here share with you guys harvesting a ripe GAC fruit. We’ll share with you guys
actually what it tastes like what it looks like uh, some of the nutrition in it and Chris
will tell you how to pollinate the GAC fruit. You guys can see there’s uh one there that’s
uh ripe he just picked it up there for us. And then there’s a few hanging in the back
and it grows on a large vine. So Chris do you wanna come in and tell us what this GAC
fruit is called. Chris: So uh yea here’s a perfect ripe Momordica
cochinchinensis and uh they change color and get soft. I’ve eaten a few. Um, they’ll
fruit within 8 months of planting but you know there’s male and female vines and thankfully
I met Joseph Simcoks, who travels the world collecting plants and he knew exactly what
this was right when he walked up and it was flowering and we started pollinating the every
early rising sun and uh now we get to enjoy it.
John: Look at that man. This stuff looks like blood on the inside like uh maybe when somebody
gives birth or something like the bloody color. And check out the outside the flesh here.
This is like nice and bumpy kind of like the little West Indie bergerkins that I like to
grow actually this is related to to cucumber. Hey you could use it to scratch quite itchy.
But uh Chris: It’s just like rich in antioxidants
and John: Yea this is rich in the beta-carotene
like more beta-carotene like 10 times more than carrots and we know that carrots are
good for us. I mean they’re good for our eyes. This stuff is like 10 times better for
your eyes than the beta-carotene if you want that like x-ray night vision like I got you
gotta eat your beta-carotene people and I’m glad I’m eating some GAC fruit so I could
eat 10 times less carrots now. Another thing that oh dude check out these seeds. Oh my
God dude that seed is crazy looking look at that it’s a flat seed. It kind of looks
like a pebble or something and it’s so huge. It’s amazing. Wow.
Chris: Yea it originates in um, like Vietnam, Southeast Asia. There’s some different varieties.
We got a bunch of different types from India uh and Thailand. I’m not sure which one
this is. A friend of mine ordered the seeds and got them going and brought me some starts
so there’s three vines left. There’s two female vines and one male vine. I think it’s
just once a year but uh we’re gonna probably get hundreds of seed off of all of these fruits
and we’ll be providing them in little pots growing for people. You can order them online
I think they’re like a buck each. That’s what I got I got some coming in the mail,
different kinds. So yea check it out. There’s endless treasures all over the world at our
fingertips now with the internet, make use of them.
John: Yea check it out the other thing that this is rich in besides beta-carotene is like
the zeaxanthin which is also in leafy green vegetables. That’s another powerful antioxidant
and another antioxidant that you guys know and love it’s in tomatoes what is it? Say
it out loud people. Lycopene yea you guys got it right so this is like 70 times more
Lycopene than even in tomatoes. This is truly as super fruit and now for the firs time ever
I mean he’s been snacking on it I better start eating some before he eats it all. I’m
gonna try it for you guys and let you guys know what I think. Man this is like red kind
of a bit slimy right there check out that consistency. Whoop. I dropped it party foul.
Alright good thing the dirt’s organic. Alright so we’re gonna go ahead and try that now.
Chris: its only 2 seconds it’s good. John: I got a 2 second rule. Alright when
you put it in your mouth don’t bite down on the seed the seed is the most important
part so you could spread the genetic diversity. Sucking all the fruit out the seed.
Chris: It’s not sweet but it’s delicious. John: Yes it’s like really neutral like
you know how like a cucumber flavor you know like when you have like a cucumber on a hot
summer’s day it’s like cucumber doesn’t really have a flavor but you taste just good
and like refreshing. I don’t even have one man. You only gave me two.
Chris: Here let’s trade. John: Alright
Chris: Look at this you can, I don’t think you’re really supposed to eat close to the
peel part but um John: Yea you could scoop out the all the
red stuff all the deep rich colors that’s the stuff you wanna eat man rich in phytochemicals
and phytonutrients and you know for the most part this fruit is not even researched like
all the benefits it has. I mean they use it natively usually only in special ceremonies
and special occasions so it’s not like a everyday fruit people would eat. The other
thing is you’d never find this in your local grocery store why? Because man this thing
is soft and it needs to be harvested only when ripe when it’s like this. This is what
it looks like when it’s ripe it’s not like green not like mostly green with some
orange, all orange and soft and actually I was checking out some of the fruits on the
vine just back there. Actually even on the vine when they’re not ripe they’re still
soft and so they just will not ship well. So if you wanna eat these guys you will have
to grow them. So one of the problems that Chris ran into actually was uh having this
set fruit it grew for several years and it never set fruit until he learned how to do
it so now he’s gonna share that information with you so if you wanna grow GAC fruit you’ll
know exactly how to pollinate it so that you will get fruit the first year.
Chris: Well it’s quite simple. There’s 3 vines over there. One’s a male and has
male flowers. The other two are females. John: I like that ratio two female’s one
male remember that. Chris: Yea and they’re crawling all around
this trellis here. So when the sun rises up the flowers open up and the bigger ones are
the males John: Yep remember big male small female.
Chris: So and I think the leaves have a different color too um so you just get a male flower
break it off and you go up to the female flower and you gently peel back
John: Yea gently remember guys gently Chris: Yea treat it like a lady peel back
the uh petals and you stick it in there and just
John: Peel back the petals Chris: Just kind of rub it around the stigma?
The ovaries there we go the stigma to the ovaries
John: I don’t know. Well those female and male parts you guys know what they look like
if you forget look down. Chris: You just stick it in there. Just rub
it around and then John: Rub it around
Chris: And that’s all you gotta do really. John: Super simple to make some baby GAC fruits
yeah. That’s it. BOOM oh a baby where’d it come from?
Chris: It don’t take much. John: But remember once again remember do
it in the morning right when it opens up you know right when you wake up right when you
wake up right. Do it in the morning right when you wake up. That’s it alright. Alright
so Chris actually had to take off and pick up his new intern or at the airport and actually
some of you guys if you’re looking for a serious position where you’re seriously
gonna work but also learn so much here at the garden you know Chris is looking for interns
to help him out here but not just any intern you need to have experience you need to know
the plant stigmata from the plant stamen and all this kinda stuff and you need to have
actual experience working on farms and you need to be a self motivator self starter and
hard working. You know you’re not gonna be slacking around here you’re gonna be
actually working doing things planting new fields out planting some of these heirloom
exotic rare crops. Dude this guy has so many rare crops he has a bigger seed collection
than I have and plants I don’t even have and I was like walking around in awe and amazement
and I wish I had the time to share his whole place with you. Hopefully next trip to Hawaii
I’ll totally do it but I gotta leave tonight it’s quite and actually I’m kinda sad
actually I’m not gonna be able to be here to experience new tastes new flavors and all
this kind of stuff. So actually I’ll put a link to his YouTube channel if you wanna
learn more about coconut Chris you could see some videos about farm when he gives them
farm tours and you could contact him through YouTube if you wanna volunteer on his farm.
So hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. Once again my name is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
We’ll see you next time and remember keep on growing.