Public Park Grows Over 500 Varieties of Fruit and Spice Trees that you can Taste

Public Park Grows Over 500 Varieties of Fruit and Spice Trees that you can Taste


Alright! This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com!
Today we have another exciting episode for you. I’m here still on my vacation in South
Florida and a trip to Miami-Dade county would not be complete without visiting one of my
favorite parks in the whole entire country, maybe even the world. Where I’m at today
is actually the Preston B. Bird & Mary Heinlein Fruit & Spice Park. I just call it the Fruit
and Spice Park. And we’re here down in Homestead, Florida. And this is a public park run by
Miami-Dade County. And this was established in like 1944, so it’s over 70 years old
now, you know, to basically show people, visitors, people in the area, what can be grown here
and highlight some of the agricultural, you know, plant products, you know, fruits, vegetables,
you know, plants, that could be grown here, that have commercial and non-commercial interests. So they have a great collection here. You
know it’s focussed on edibles. And that’s what I’m all into, edibles, I mean, this
has fruit and spice, right. And the cool thing about this park is that you can eat the fruit
only if it is fallen fruit. You can’t pick fruit off the trees and you can’t take it
off the park premises except if it’s in your belly once you pick it off the ground.
In addition, also, inside the check in office they actually have samples of different fruit.
Now be forewarned not everything here is edible, and actually there are poisonous plants so
don’t eat anything, you know, any time wherever you are in the world unless you absolutely
know it’s edible and you will stake your life on it. So anyways, let’s go ahead and
head into the office check-in, pay my money and show you guys the park. So now I’m at the park entrance, and this
is where we are actually going to go and go inside and check in, pay your money, your
admission, to go inside and check out the park. Now I want to let you guys know that
they are open 9am to 5pm seven days a week. That being said, here’s my recommendation
for you guys- don’t come on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are the busiest days so those
are the least likely days you’re going to find anything fallen on the ground. And the
other thing, tip, is get here early, get here as early as you can in the morning. I’m
here early, right after they opened and there’s like, I don’t know, like 6 cars in the parking
lot including mine and maybe some of the workers hopefully. So there’s hardly anybody on
the site. I’m here actually on a Monday. But yeah come here Monday through Thursday
early in the morning, you know, is your best bet in my opinion. So yeah anyways let’s go ahead and head
inside and see if they got any samples inside the office today. So now I’ve just checked
in in the office, paid my admission and of course you’re going to want to pick up one
of these guys- a walking map- that’s actually very important. And you guys could see a sampling
of just some of the tropical fruits they have here including the jackfruit, mamey sapote,
they got Canistel, black sapote, they got jackfruit and these other ones. Let me go
ahead and give you guys a close up on these guys so you guys see what they are because
you probably never had them before. This is one of my favorite areas for tasting
at the Fruit and Spice Park. And this is where you could actually eat this stuff. Because
the stuff outside you might not find any ripe and it needs to be on the ground before you
eat it. You’re not allowed to pick from the trees, once again. So you’re going to
come in here and grab a toothpick and then you could try the different samples they have
on the counter here. Now it varies every single day of the year because it depends on what’s
ripe and what’s in season. So that always continually changes. So today they have the
black sapote, khas 3:34 fruit which is kind of like your guava but not pretty kind of
sourish, jujube, gamboge, coconut and of course the jackfruit over here. My favorite of these
guys is actually the jackfruit. I love jackfruit. Jackfruit tastes like a juicy fruit chewing
gum. Mmmm. It’s a crunchy kind, really good. Probably I could sample all these guys and
get you excited. I’m about actually headed through the garden entrance door and headed
into the park. So now I’m at the garden entrance. And through
this door is the Fruit and Spice Park but before you enter the park, please read the
Park rules right here. You know, fruits and vegetables may not be picked from the plants.
Fruits may be sampled from the ground only. Not all plants are edible, blah blah, blah.
So make sure you abide by those rules before you go into the park and be a good park citizen
so that everybody could enjoy this beautiful park here in Homestead. Alright, so upon walking out that door you
guys are going to see like just fruit trees instantly. So off to the right here, this
is known as the black sapote. It’s related to persimmon. And what you want to really
do when you’re here is actually you always want to look at the ground because that’s
where the fallen fruit is and that’s where the ripe fruits are that you can pick and
eat. These guys actually rarely ripen on the tree because they’ll usually drop first
but sometimes you find them ripe on the tree. But you’re not allowed to pick them here.
And some of these guys are huge. So yeah you always want to remember to look down. Anyways I got to actually hit the head and
I’ll take you guys around the Fruit and Spice Park to show you guys the what else
is growing here and all the cool edible plants. Alright, so I want to show you guys this.
I’m sitting underneath the Carambola or star fruit tree. Just got out the bathroom,
walked out and look what I’m greeted with- a nice starfruit that probably fell last night,
got dented on this side, got a few ants on it. Blow those off. And we’ll wipe this
guy off and guess what, this is my first fruit of the day. This is known as wang tung star
fruit , and I wonder if the Wang Chung of the 80s were named after the wang tung star
fruit, I highly doubt it. But man I really like fallen fruit because they’re at their
peak ripeness. This is when the tree is ready to give you it’s fruits and the seeds are
ready to be, you know, propagated, germinated into a new tree. So yeah, and this guy looks
like unlike star fruits that you guys would buy in the grocery store, this is like totally
barely any green. You might see a little green at the top. So we’re just going to eat part
of this here. Mmmm. Quite good, really watery, so good. The other thing you might want to
bring that actually I didn’t bring is a nice knife to cut the fruit and cut the bad
spots off. Alright, let me go ahead and enjoy some of my star fruit. So I’m really glad that a new area they
have since I came here last, and I’ll post a video link down below to the video. I came
here many years ago, I don’t even know how many years ago I was here now, 7 years ago,
I have no idea. But anyways, they have this section here that they recently added, it’s
a container garden section. So even if you don’t have the land to plant some of these
fruit trees that I’m going to share with you guys today, you could just get a container
to have it on a little patio outside, you know, in your apartment patio or whatever.
Now in general I recommend growing a vegetable garden in containers. But if you have a lot
of vegetables, you know, then grow some fruit trees, right. Now if you want to keep tropical
fruit trees in a non-tropical environment you could kind of like roll them out in the
summer, roll them in in the winter, but you got to watch out because some of these tropical
fruit trees get really tall. So you want to get smaller dwarf varieties and keep them
pruned. But then, you know, you might get some fruit here and there but it’s not going
to be like super productive, you’re not going to get a ton of fruit. That’s why
I recommend growing vegetables. But for fun, for curiosity, just because you’re a plant
lover, it would probably be something to do if you’re really into it. But yeah, I’m
glad they have this to show people that, you know, you can grow in containers. Now if you’re
selecting a container for a tree, fruit tree, you want to get the largest size container
as you guys could possibly fit in the space and deal with, right. The more root space
you could give the tree, the healthier it’s going to be, and of course fill it up with
some good soil. I would recommend a fungal dominated compost, you know, for the fruit
trees that actually can be very difficult to find. Let’s go ahead and continue you
guys, continue with the tour today at the Fruit and Spice Park. So one of my favorite areas of the Fruit and
Spice Park is this area here. It’s actually the mulberry area and this is where they got
a nice sign. They talk about the mulberries and they have a lot of different varieties
of the mulberries planted, the trees. And the mulberry makes an amazing fruit. I grow
actually the Pakistani mulberry which are actually quite long. It’s best to keep them
trimmed down, so you want to actually chop the center lead on the plant so it actually
encourages branching so that actually makes more fruit. And then the cool thing is, you
know, you prune in the dormant season. You take those cuttings, you can stick, you know,
take all the leaves off, stick them in dirt and they’ll, you know, in a pot, in the
greenhouse, in the shade, and they will actually root out and grow a whole new tree from cuttings.
So I really like that mulberries and figs you could easily just, you know, cut off branches,
stick them in the dirt, it will make a new one. And down here in South Florida, one of
the ones that makes the most sense is the ever bearing mulberry, the mulberry that actually
just grows year round and continues to make fruit year round. Now those fruits are a little
bit smaller. That’s why I like the Pakistanis that are much larger. Mulberries can be grown
here in South Florida as well as many other climates here in the United States. So that’s
definitely one I would recommend you guys grow. You know berries in general are just
not eaten enough and unfortunately mulberries are not a fresh fruit that you will often
if ever find in a grocery store. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen mulberries
in a grocery store. I’ve seen them in a farmer’s market. But they have a very short
shelf life, you know, so you got to grow them yourself if you want to eat some of the best
foods on the planet, the delicious berries. So now I’m going to take you guys in the
area of the Fruit and Spice Park that actually is growing the herbs as well as some vegetables.
It’s over in this area. They have kind of sectioned off and they have everything in
raised beds. Now one of the things I want to say is man I’m here early on a Monday
and it’s just really pleasant here, it’s like I swear like I saw one other maintenance
guy inside the park here, I’m like the only one wandering around and it’s just really
nice to be out in the warm Florida sun wandering around the park, one guy with one camera making
a video to share with you guys. But yeah I mean I love just getting out to nature. I
think, you know, you guys that are in on your computer all day and this stuff, you need
to get out to nature man. Whether you want to go out in your back yard and work in your
garden like I do every day when I’m home, or out visiting public parks like this that
have you know edibles growing, even better or just a regular public park to go hiking
and get connected back with nature. I think everybody, we all need to have some nature
time in our lives. And it’s sad that most of us don’t get this nature time. Anyways,
let’s go ahead and head into this area of the garden to show you guys what’s growing
on. So now we’re inside the herb and vegetable
garden here at the Fruit and Spice Park and they have a lot of different things growing,
you know. They got like sweet potatoes, they got different kind of chives and horse radish
and right here we have actually mints. One of the things I really like and want to commend
the Fruit and Spice Park on is actually the labeling of fruit trees and other plants.
It’s quite often that I go into different, you know, farms or gardens, even botanical
gardens and things are just not labeled. And this doesn’t help out anybody, you know.
I mean a big part of the park besides providing the people with a fun experience is the education
so that people could become more familiar with the great foods of the earth, and more
specifically that grow well here in the South Florida area. So here they have things like the mint, cotton
candy, banana mint, ginger mint and I’m sure they have plenty of other kinds of mints.
And, you know, they got everything labeled. So I don’t want to spend too much time here
but I do want to share with you guys a few more things growing in this area that I think
may be of interest to you guys. So probably the most important thing that
i want to share with you guys from this section where they’re growing the vegetables is,
a lot of the common vegetables that you may have grown from the north don’t necessarily
grow too well here in South Florida, some of the ones that I’ve seen in this garden
that are doing quite well are the radishes, the collard greens are doing quite well, the
carrots are doing quite well. And some things that are not doing quite well are actually
the lettuces, they’re actually all going to bolt pretty quick and not doing so well.
So I would encourage you guys to focus on the tropical perennial edible vegetables.
And hopefully I’ll find an area here at the Fruit and Spice Park with those. Those
are vegetables such as the okinawan spinach, longevity spinach, the malabar spinach, the
katuk, those ones even the something like the chia or the bele, those are all perennial
edible vegetables that you could just grow in your landscape because they would grow
year round and provide a wealth of food for you guys. And it’s sad that, you know, not
enough places have these growing, you know, to show people what they are and that they
can be easily grown as a fruit tree here in South Florida. Because growing a fruit tree
here in South Florida is a lot easier than growing, you know, some of the northern vegetables
that we’re all used to and love from the grocery store. And the reason for this is
simply the weather here is warmer and the vegetables sold in the grocery store are good
in the cold. Now why is that? Because in commercial trade, they have to store and ship vegetables
in refrigeration. And these vegetables do really well in the cold, whether they’re
growing in the cold or whether they’re storing in the cold, because for them once they’ve
been cut they just think they’re, you know, getting another cold spell and they kind of
go into shut down slower respiration so that they could preserve their life longer and
stay alive. So yeah, so yeah tropical vegetables, you got to grow those if you’re in South
Florida. Alright, last shot here in the vegetable and
herb garden, I want to show you guys some cool herbs that I believe everybody should
grow. So the one herb that i believe everybody should grow, which is actually also a vegetable
are the allium family of plants. So the onions and the garlics. Literally this is how easy
onion and garlic is to plant- go buy an onion from the store and if sprouts up and starts
to shoot up, just plant it in the ground, it will actually grow more of the onion greens.
You could do the same with, you know, garlic, shallots and even elephant garlic, which is
actually not even a garlic. But plant those and then you want to harvest the greens. The
greens are more nutritious and have a nice flavor punch, you know, unlike the bulbs that
we’re used to eating. Plus, because they are greens in the above growth, they also
contain the chlorophyll. And it’s been shown that the onion and garlic family of plants
have anti cancer compound within them so that it could keep you healthy and disease free.
So I like to include onion and garlic in my diet almost every day. Wow, this stuff has
a really nice fragrance to it. So yeah, grow those in your herb garden, plus
they’re very tolerant of most weathers, you know. Garlic chives, onion chives, you
know, there’s different kinds of bulbing onions and clumping onions and walking onions,
so many kinds, so little time. But just get some to grow in your herb garden and use them
regularly in your recipes. So one of the things I encourage you guys
to do while you’re at the Fruit and Spice Park is to take the included free tram tour
ride. So you guys can see they got a John Deere Tractor and they’re pulling, you know,
a tram and they’re going to basically take you guys around and show you guys the park,
show you guys some of the edibles, talk about the park. It’s a nice learning experience.
It’s interactive because you could ask the guide questions, specially if it’s a day
like today when there’s maybe like 3 other people here. So that’s definitely going
to be really cool. At present time they do it at like 11, 1:30 and 3 o’clock. So I’m
going to get on the 11 o’clock bus. So one of the things I’m enjoying here at
the Fruit and Spice Park are the signs. So I’m glad that they actually have signage
to basically educate the public and visitors about some of these tropical fruits that most
Americans are unfortunately not familiar with. Because these are fruits from tropical countries
that don’t necessarily come from or are grown in any large fashion in the US. In addition,
many of them are actually not even shippable, you know, because they’re not going to make
the transit because they’re picked ripe and then you need to kind of eat them then
and there. So this is one of the family of fruits that I really like a lot. It’s a
sapotaceae family. And they got the mamey sapote, the canistel, the green sapote, the
cinnamon apples, sapodilla, star apple, abiu. And yeah, so it’s really cool. And every
tree, virtually every tree, not every tree but virtually every tree has a tag on it so
you could identify and get to know the tree and you could see the fruit that’s growing
on there and, you know, see the leaf structure and all this stuff. I mean, to me if you’re
into like edible fruit trees and botanical edibles and stuff, this is a cool place, trust
me. So what I want to share with you guys next
is actually a pretty huge tree. It’s all the way back there, doesn’t look too big
on the video. Actually I’m taller than it, that’s because I’m closer to the camera.
That’s probably like at least like, I don’t know, 75 – 80 yards away. It’s actually
quite tall and quite massive. And this is known as the African baobab tree. So actually
I want to go ahead and give you guys a close up of the, show you guys the trunk to show
you guys how massive this tree is. So now I’m at the base of the African baobab
tree, and this thing is massive actually. I can take my arms and wrap them around it
and man it is so huge. And I guess now you guys could call me a tree hugger. So the baobab
tree actually makes these baobab fruits, which is really cool. And these ones here don’t
fruit because they’re, you know, pollinated by bats actually, they don’t have here in
South Florida. This guy right here I think is like thirty something years old. So it’s
actually been growing here quite a while. And I want to let you guys know when you grow
a fruit tree, you know, that’s an investment. It’s not just like growing some annual vegetables
that are maybe going to be, you’ll be harvesting from for the next month to six months, maybe
a year on the outset. But fruit trees are, they’re going to last. I mean, they are
some fig trees that I’ve visited that are over a 100 years old. Completely amazing.
So yeah, if you are going to plant a fruit tree, please take some time to think about
the fruit tree you’re planting and how it’s going to last in your environment and how
it will feed the future generations. So it’s not something to just, oh yeah I’ll just
buy a home depot fruit tree and plant it. There’s many considerations you guys should
take into consideration. Like if you plant one of these, will it even fruit in South
Florida. But if you want the baobab fruit, don’t worry, go to your local health food
store and they’re now selling baobab fruit powders. Actually they’re quite high in
vitamin C. They have more vitamin C than even oranges. So I’m just wandering around here at the
Fruit and Spice Park. And definitely wear some comfortable shoes. Luckily I always travel
with comfortable shoes. I don’t wear any high heels, ladies. So anyways, I’ve been hiking
around and getting a lot of good exercise, getting some good sun, enjoying just the beauty
of this park. And of course, you know, trying to find something to eat. And that actually
has been a little bit of a challenge aside from the starfruit I had earlier. I hadn’t
really found any fruit on the ground until now. So if you look under this tree, you guys are
going to see like all these rotten unfortunately avocados. So I mean, it kind of makes me sad
that all these, you know, fruits are rotting and nobody is getting to enjoy them. But at
the same time I’m glad people aren’t like picking the fruit and taking it away from
the park. I mean, after all this is not a farm. This is a park so that, you know, people
could see and experience the fruits that are being grown here. So I’m thankful for that.
Now we’re pretty much at the end of avocado season and just by chance I looked down and
one of the cool things is, you know, is that we can see colors. And I believe this is because,
you know, it’s important for us to differentiate ripe fruit from unripe fruit. And so when
I looked down I instantly saw this, and I was like yes! I found a ripe avocado. I don’t
think there’s any ripe avocado left on this tree except this and it is here waiting for
me. So this is a booth avocado. You guys may be familiar with the hass avocado. Hass avocados,
like a high oil content avocado, originally from California, now it’s grown all over
as the predominant avocado. If you go into a grocery store that’s the one you’re
going to find. But I like these kind, right, because they actually are lower in fat content,
higher in water content, so they’re not quite as like creamy and rich but they’re
really delicious. So, you know, these guys are ready when just a tad bit soft. This is
a tad bit soft, could go another day or two, but since I can’t take any fruit from here,
I’m going to open this up on site for you guys and show you guys what we got inside.
Hopefully it’s not all rotten. Alright. So you could see, always when you
pick an avocado at the store, I always encourage you guys, you know, if you don’t know if
it’s going to be good or not, because a lot of times they sell fruit that’s like
bad on the inside, I pop off the little nubby top. And inside the nubby top, that’s definitely
a good sign, you know, it’s kind of nice and green. I don’t have a knife with me
because I’m traveling on an airplane, can’t take knives. So we’re just going to break
it open with my finger nail. I like to have sharp finger nails. So we’re just using
my finger nails as a knife to scour all the way around this avocado fruit. Yeah this one
definitely looks like a good one. Alright, scoured around it. Now we’re just going
to use my human power strength to rip arhhhh, alright there we go, looks like we got one
ripe avocado. Wish I would have brought some salt and some spices. I could have made some
guacamole for lunch. Alright, but I don’t care man, I’m going to eat this stuff straight
up. Think it, you know, it’s a tad bit under ripe, could go like another day or two on
the counter. But I think this will be plenty good for me to eat since I’m actually quite
hungry today and haven’t eaten a lot. Alright, yeah, no bug damage, that’s a good sign.
Mmmm. Oh you know what? Actually if it got too soft it wouldn’t be good. This is the
perfect stage of ripeness. You could look for like Florida avocados, you know, sometimes
your local grocery store gets them specially on the east coast, west coast can be hard
to find these Florida ones. And for me personally I’d much always rather a USA grown avocado
than some of the imported crap that were being shipped out from Chile, Peru or Mexico. Those
avocados in my opinion suck. Better yet, if you live in Southern California, here in South
Florida, South Texas, even like places like Arizona or some of the gulf states where it
stay a bit warmer, you want to grow your own avocados because those are absolutely the
best. But check this out man, doesn’t this look
beautiful? I mean, reminds me of The Sound of Music, just all this grass and then like
just rows and rows of fruit trees. And I’m in a far corner of the park here and I’m
almost like I’m just by myself. There’s like nobody for miles, well not at least for
hundred of yards anyways. So it’s really cool. There’s probably less than a dozen
people here at the park today. Just a quiet day and it’s early. Oh and this is a particularly
cold day for people in South Florida. It started out, the day started out, then overnight it
was like 40s, it started out this morning in the 50s and it’s probably in the 60s
today. So most you’ll from down here are like freezing. I’m like woohoo this is warm
man, I’m in the sub tropics. But anyways, yeah we’re in the avocado section
and just so many avocado trees. Doesn’t look like, you know, people come back to this
much, because this is like really off the beaten path. And then actually over this section
is definitely going to be barren this time of the year. This is the mango orchard. They
probably have over a 100 varieties of different mangoes. And that’s the time you probably
definitely want to come, you know, if you love mangoes, you want to come here. Because
I could just foresee all the abundance of fallen fruit on the ground with over a 100
varieties to try, you know. Come in July or August when it’s mango season, man, you
will probably just be in like mango heaven here at the Fruit and Spice Park. But make
sure you bring a knife. Alright, so I’m going to go ahead and continue
on my tour and see if I could find some other cool stuff to share with you guys today. So
even though I know a lot about tropical fruits and vegetables, and vegetables and all this
stuff, it’s cool because when I come to places like this I alway learn a few new things
to add to my repertoire of knowledge. And this trip, you know, I learned about how to
identify specifically different varieties of coconuts. So for example, you know, I know
there’s like the Thai coconut variety, that’s the kind that you may get that looks like
a little yurt in an asian market. They’re shipped over from Thailand. And they seemingly
all are sweet. It’s like the same genetic variety, they’re all sweet coconuts. And
people get to think and people get to use too, and what that, and to them that’s what
a coconut is- a Thai coconut. But in nature there’s many varieties of coconuts, much
like there are many varieties of apples. And, you know, I know this, and like some coconuts
when I’ve been in , you know, Hawaii for example, I get some coconuts, they taste really
good and some don’t taste so good. So I’ve learned that, you know, some of the ones that
generally taste better are the ones that are like yellow or orange. And those are usually
like maybe more of a dwarf variety and they’re sweeter than the big like, you know, Fijian
or Samoan coconuts that, you know, the trees get tall and huge, but then on the inside
it’s a little bit small and maybe not so much water and maybe it’s not tasting good. But this trip I learned a few things. So like
you could tell the different varieties of coconuts. I’ve got two different, you know,
palms behind me. This on this side is a Fijian style coconut, and this is a some kind of
dwarf coconut. I’m not exactly sure of the variety. But there’s a few ways of telling.
Number one, you want to look for the spines. So the spines and the stalks on this are actually
have a yellow tinge. I don’t know if you guys could see that over at the base there,
they’re kind of yellow tinged, yellow tinged that’s one way to tell. Then this one, you
know, is actually all green. And then the other way to tell is actually if the leaves
are overlapping or non-overlapping. So that was like new to me, I was like whoa that’s
really cool, because I knew about the color thing . So these leaves like they’re right
in the center, and the leaves pretty much like, you know, don’t overlap too much. They
overlap a little bit. But if you look over on this side, I mean the leaves are like really
really overlapping. So, you know, if you’re looking for some fat, for like a house, you
know, that kind is way more overlapping to absorb more of the sun rays and, you know,
get the rain off your roof will be definitely better to use, the Fijian style. But to eat
I would definitely prefer this side. So now I’m in the area with all the banana
plants around me. Now bananas are not trees, they’re actually herbaceous shrubs. But
nonetheless, they have many varieties growing here at the Fruit and Spice Park. And what
we’re looking at is a new area they’ve built probably just within the last couple
of years, is their banana bunker. And what they have is they have a protected area where
they actually hang the ripe bananas for the visitors to the Park to try. So today they
have a thousand fingers that has like a thousand fingers, you know, or bananas on one bunch
of bananas. They have the rowes, the gold finger, and another gold finger hua moa, dwarf
Brazil ice-cream, red cavendish, berangan, cardolia and mysore. Unfortunately, to my
standards these guys are not ripe and some of them are actually looking over ripe. So
how they fill this out because actually when they’re thinning out the trees, pruning
them, keeping them all nice and tidy. When they find a ripe rack they’ll throw them
up here and then make those available for people to eat. But, you know, most bananas
could be eaten in their green state but I don’t enjoy them. I want to encourage you
guys to eat your bananas when they are fully ripe and fully sweet. But I think it’s good to let people know
about all the varieties of bananas that some of the varieties that actually they’re growing
here. They grow I think over 70 varieties here. Now I know it’s been in the news a
lot lately like John we’re going to lose bananas man, there’s like some disease and
it’s going to affect the banana plants and all this stuff. We’re going to lose the
standard, you know, variety that’s sold in the store that’s known as the cavendish.
Actually I wouldn’t be sad if the cavendish variety disappeared because in my opinion
that’s one of the crappiest bananas to eat specially when it’s harvested green and
then gassed with ethylene gas, yes even the organic ones, and they don’t taste like
anything. Whereas some of the bananas here have amazing flavor. So I’m actually all
for a new variety coming out. And actually what I’d really like is all these banana
varieties that are being grown here to be put in a train. So you could go into any grocery
store and get, you know, a dozen varieties or two dozen varieties of bananas instead
of just the standard cavendish and they just call it banana. Whereas if you go into most
grocery stores you could get many different, you know, varieties of apples. So, you know, in my opinion the answer to
diseases and fungus in the environment is, you know, sometimes definitely some varieties
are more tolerant and, you know, resistant to certain diseases. But in my opinion the
way the system is set up now with using conventional fertilizers, that’s not really, you know,
feeding the plant to it’s core. It grows bananas and it grows them but maybe the plant
is not as healthy as it could be, you know. Like, for example, if people ate McDonalds
and fast food diets, you know, we’re not going to be as healthy as if we get, you know,
all our nutrition, anti-oxidants and phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables, right. And if
we feed plants like, you know, real nutrition, you know, rock dust, trace minerals, ocean
solid trace minerals, organic matter as well as the micro biology bacteria and funguses
and what not, so that the system could be healthy because that’s actually these bacteria
and funguses that are living in the soil that are not there in a chemical based system.
These things in the soil actually also inhibit and prevent the plant from getting diseases.
I mean, they are a level of protection for the plant. They help the plant absorb nutrients
and also they keep the bad stuff out. And that’s actually how we work. We have, you
know, probiotics or beneficial bacteria and yeasts in our gut that help us digest our
food but also comprise of our immune system. And I think this is where, you know, conventional
agriculture really got it backwards and they’re fighting an uphill battle and they’re just
losing in my opinion. So they really need to even go beyond organic growing standards
and really work on building the soil to build healthy plants to build healthy people. Let’s
go ahead and tour around a little bit more of the Fruit and Spice Park today. So I’m just hiking around the Fruit and
Spice Park today and where I’m going to go and head and into next is actually the
big greenhouse right there in front of me. Now we couldn’t even go on this on a tour.
They take you on the tram tour. And we couldn’t even go on this because they didn’t want
to even open up the big, you know, garage door to let the cold air in. Because these
were the ultra tropical trees that cannot be grown, you know, in the outdoors here in
South Florida. As tropical as I believe this is, this is really a sub tropical environment
and many tropicals can’t be grown here as can some sub tropicals that we might see near
the end of the video. But inside there are the super tropicals. So actually I’m going
to go ahead and go in the regular door that won’t let too much of the cold air in, and
show you guys around. I’m just about ready to walk in the door
of the greenhouse. And I found a nice starfruit tree here and looking down I found a nice
star fruit. Well, the back side kinda got eaten by bugs, but that’s alright, I could
get a bite or two off this side. Wipe it off first. Mmmm. Man, this one’s even way better
than the first one I had earlier today. Definitely a nice watery snack since I’ve been getting
kind of thirsty on my hike around. Alright, now we’re going in the tropical
greenhouse in here. And it’s definitely a few degrees warmer in here. And basically
they usually run tours through here. But man, i’s pretty nice in here, I like it. I could
live in here actually, just set me up a bed and a kitchen. Alright, let me go ahead and
show you guys what’s happening. So inside here they basically have all these
some things are planted in the ground. Like some, wow some really cool like variegated
bananas. But they also have a lot of things in big containers. And this is how you guys
could grow at home. They also have a heater in here. They’ve been keeping it nice and
warm during the evening. And they got things that are much more, you know, sensitive to
the cold weather that can’t even, you know, handle or wouldn’t be optimal outside. So
velvet tamarind, rambutans, they got durians, some breadfruit and I don’t know, a whole
bunch of other cool stuff. So let me go ahead and walk around and see if I can find anything
cool to share with you guys. So if one of your favorite fruits is the durian,
I’ve definitely found the tree they have growing here at the Fruit and Spice Park,
and it’s not looking too healthy to me. So, you know, don’t buy property in South
Florida, don’t buy it to grow durian, is not the optimal climate here. I would much
rather personally grow jackfruit anyways. So if you want to grow durian in the United
States, I would probably definitely recommend moving to Hawaii because you could grow them
there. But yeah here it’s just not looking super healthy. And even with the kerosene
heater that I could actually smell the kerosene fumes because they’ve been running that,
you know, yeah. Not looking too good. And many of their plants they have in here doesn’t
necessarily need to be grown inside the greenhouse, but they’re growing it in here anyways,
maybe just to fill some space up. So behind me what you guys are looking at
right here is known as the moringa tree. And, you know, I wish this moringa tree will be
featured a lot much more, you know, in the front and center at the Fruit and Spice Park.
I mean, this actually doesn’t even have a tag on it, which is kind of sad. I mean,
a lot of, most things are actually tagged, which I’m actually quite impressed with.
The moringa is like, in my opinion, like a staple green leafy tree vegetable that should
be grown in every household in South Florida. Literally it’s a tree that just grows leafy
green vegetables that you could eat year round, day after day, year after year. In addition,
you could also eat the drumsticks as well as the flowers. There’s a little flower
here, it’s actually currently flowering, it’s really pretty. Actually smells kind
of nice and then mmm it’s eaten. Nice more mellow flavor than the leaves itself that
can be tasting a little bit strong. Moringa has a variety of uses and more people should
be familiar and know about the moringa. And literally this is also you could start this
from seeds and/or cuttings, you know, like a branch cutting. You just cut it and you
stick it in the ground, strip the leaves off, stick it in the ground and then it will actually
root and grow into a new tree for you. And, you know, once it gets yay high just knock
it back and keep it in the ground and it will actually sprout up new stuff. You could take
that cutting that you knocked off to keep it low and put it in the ground next door,
and grow more moringa. I mean, this is really one of these up and coming food crops. If
you’re unable to get local moringa, you could order seeds online. If you just want
to try it, you could get green powders of the moringa leaf, dried moringa leaf, at your
local health food store. But it actually can get expensive. So I would definitely just
recommend you guys grow it. And even in a northern climate you could grow this in the
summer time, you know, when it doesn’t freeze but make sure you put in a pot, bring it inside
before freezing. You could keep it inside throughout the winter and then, once again,
take it outside in the summer. So it would probably be good to grow it in a container,
you know, if you don’t live here in South Florida. So now I’m in an area of the Fruit and Spice
Park that doesn’t look quite as bountiful as the other areas I showed you. I mean, I
personally liked, you know, sub tropicals and tropicals that are like evergreen that
always have their leaves year round. Now we’re now in the more temperate area zone of the
Fruit and Spice Park. But yet you see they have temperate climate crops. And, you know,
I don’t know why anybody would want to grow an apple here in South Florida. I’d much
rather eat, you know, bananas, you know, mamey sapote, chico sapote, jackfruit, carambola.
I’d rather eat any of those than an apple. But hey there’s an apple without works here,
the golden dorsett variety. And that’s this right here. In addition they have different,
you know, low chill hours, you know, peaches and plums and things like that, persimmons,
and what not. So you can even grow those because this is not a truly truly tropical environment,
you can get away with this. And even on places like Hawaii, you know, I’ve had apples and
peaches that are growing in Hawaii. But see the thing about that is that actually they’re
growing up on the mountain in elevation, you know, where you do get colder weather. So
yeah there’s always a way to grow some fruit today, depending on where you live, the climate,
and of course using certain varieties. So no matter where you choose to grow your
fruit trees, I always encourage you guys, besides having good genetics, is to have a
good, you know, base or food that you’re feeding the fruit trees. And I don’t necessarily
recommend the 10-10-10 or 15-15-15 or citrus fertilizers. What I recommend for you guys
is using more of an organic approach. The approach that a forest would use. I mean,
you know, when I visited some cool permaculture forest gardens and what not, they basically,
you know, take leaves and branches of trees and feed them to other trees. Whether you
want to, you know, wood chip them up and feed them as a mulch or, you know, whether you
want to just lay down full branches right below the trees, you know, it will break down
over time and then feed the trees. This is how nature systems work. There’s no, you
know, fertilizer pixies spreading around 10-10-10 or citrus fertilizer or fruit tree fertilizer
to the plants, you know. Nature is constantly rebuilding and adding to the soil as things
compost down. You know a lot of people may use manures and while they’re, you know,
there’s some benefits to using manure, you have to be careful with many manures these
days because they may have contamination. Either, you know, biological contamination,
GMO contamination, drug contamination, heavy metal contamination. So you really got to
pay attention if you are using manure products. So that’s why I prefer, you know, using
plant based, you know, nutrition in the source of, you know, just broken down plant matter
to feed the trees. The other thing that’s important for me of course are the trace minerals,
adding something like the ocean solution or ocean solids to add up to 90 trace minerals
both foliar fed and into the ground. And also the rock dust minerals that will add up to
70 different trace minerals, where most, you know, fertilizers may add 3 but maybe up to
16 or so. So, you know, I really want to get the range of nutrition into the fruit trees
so that they could be as healthy as they can and they will thrive in whatever you throw
at it. Oh of course, last step, of course, very important
for fruit trees and any other plant you’re going to grow, is to get the microbium or
the biology in there, the beneficial bacteria and fungi, mycorrhizal fungi and all the creatures
that live in the soil and to enliven and bring the soil alive. Because chemical farming,
you know, the fertilizers from the, you know, nursery and Big Box store, 10-10-10s and all
these things, they destroy the soil microbiome . So over time, you know, your trees can live
on that stuff but it’s like us living on some vitamin pills. We need to live on real
food and we need to feed these real foods to our trees so that they could be as healthy
as they can. And I hope they have a good nutrition program here at the Fruit and Spice Park because
I actually haven’t even enquired. Anyways I want to show you guys one more clip
here at the Fruit and Spice Park, before I actually got to get out of here and check
out another farm today. So this brings me to the end of my episode
here at the Fruit and Spice Park today. You know I really love this park and I wish that
there would be more parks just like this all over the country, highlighting the edible
fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds or herbs that could be grown wherever these parks are.
And I really like that they’re here, you know, primarily as an education piece to get
people connected back to food. And they’ve been doing this for over 70 years. I mean,
they are front runners and forerunners in this local food movement by showing locals
what can be grown here and inspire them to grow more local foods. And this is what we
need more of in our country today. I mean, most parks are just like behind me, you know,
they got a fountain with a lake and some grassy fields and picnic tables, which they actually
also have here. But they really have a lot of fruit trees here and other edibles, you
know. Some of my comments to the Fruit and Spice
Park if I was in charge or had any kind of say in what was going on, I would try to plant
a perennial edible vegetable garden in here to let people know what edibles they could
grow even in the summer season that will thrive. Because this is something that I see really
missing in South Florida gardens and farms that I’m visiting. There is just not that
many perennial vegetables and they are not highlighted as much as they should, because
everybody that has a home here in South Florida should plant, in my opinion, you know a couple
of fruit trees that they like but more importantly the perennial vegetables so that all this
produce does not need to be shipped in because they are really easy to grow. Also the other
thing I’d really like to see is an area with the carbohydrate rich tubers. I mean,
they had a few scattered here and there, maybe in the vegetable garden. Butt these are also
staple crops for many people around the world. And it would be really good to highlight some
of these food crops because when shit hits the fan, if it does or if it doesn’t, you
know, we will need to produce high quantity of carbohydrate rich foods to live on aside
from the nutritional powerhouses of the leafy greens. And they are kind of weak on this
respect as well. I mean, they had taro and cassava and some sweet potatoes but really
to have a section and to really have a nice sign to educate people about carbohydrate
rich foods and how the majority of the world even at this time in 2016, live on carbohydrate
rich food. And you know, some of of those root crops could be easily grown here in,
you know, super easily in South Florida. So I think that would be a really good display
as well. So if you guys enjoyed this episode of me
visiting the Fruit and Spice Park today, hey please give me a thumbs up to let me know.
I’ll be sure to come back and visit the Fruit and Spice Park the next time and make
another video. Because you never know what I’ll be showing here or what I’ll be sharing
with you. Also be sure to check my past episodes. I have over 1100 episodes now to teach you
guys all aspects of how you guys could grow you own food at home with several dozen videos
here that I’ve made in South Florida. And also be sure to click that Subscribe button
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be learning on my Growing Your Greens channel. So once again my name is John Kohler with
growingyourgreens.com. We’ll see you next time and until then remember- keep on growing.