Thursday, August 24, 2017

Just can't kick the habit...Some new tropicals for this year

Pandan Plant - The pandan flavor is typically used in many SE Asian cooking and pastries. The flavor can be described as somewhat nutty, coconut and grassy taste.

White Guava - Another popular fruit in SE Asia. These can be eaten slightly green with salt or fully ripened.

Peppercorn - Peppercorn is a under story plant which requires some shade it doesnt tolerate too much sun or cold temperatures so have it as a house plant maybe a good spot for it.

June Plum & Kohala Longan - Another try at these.  I made a mistake last time with my other june plum. Over watering. This time around I have it is a mesh pot which dries out faster.

My research has showed Kohala Longans to be the most cold hardy of the longans.

Muntingia calabura - The Cotton Candy tree. What a super fast grower!

Surinam Cherry - The first time I tried these cherries was in Hawaii. They have a bit of a peppery taste to them.

Thai Jumbo Wax Apple - Another popular SE Asian fruit that. Despite its name, a ripe wax apple only resembles an apple on the outside in color. It does not taste like an apple, and it has neither the fragrance nor the density of an apple. Its flavor is similar to a snow pear, and the liquid-to-flesh ratio of the wax apple is comparable to a watermelon. Unlike either apple or watermelon, the wax apple's flesh has a very loose weave.

Seeds I'm trying to grow:
Candle Tree
Baccaurea ramiflora
Lansium Domesticum
Waxberry Seeds
Green Date Palm
Roselle  Edible Hibiscus

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Science behind figs ripening and taste review of the LSU Tiger & Genovese Nero

The Science behind figs ripening and taste review of the LSU Tiger & Genovese Nero

So after a tasting a sub par Genovese Nero from the greenhouse. I encountered the question. So do figs taste better in the sun or in the greenhouse?

 Well in my research, I learned a few things that are crucial to understanding how figs and other fruits ripen.

The key ingredient is Ethylene Gas. Accidentally discovered by Dimitry Neljubow in 1901. He noticed that plants were being effected by vapors escaping from a gas main.  Three decades later, researchers found that plants not only responded to ethylene, but they could produce their own, and production of the gas increased when the scientists cut (injured) the fruit with a knife.

Watch the video below for more detail.

I used a Genovese Nero as my test subject for the Greenhouse vs Sun ripened taste test.

Previous post of my Genovese Nero Taste test.

Previous score:
Genovese Nero Breba (8/1/17)
Taste:  7
Sweetness: 6
Size:  6 (52.1 grams)
Productivity:  1
Total =  20

Well the answer to that question is a resounding yes! The comparison isn't even close. The fruit ripened ouside is sweeter and packs a lot more flavor.

New score:
Genovese Nero Breba (8/23/17)
Taste:  8.5
Sweetness: 8
Size:  6 (55 grams)
Productivity:  1
Total =  23.5

I also had the chance to taste the Calderwood unknown or also identified as the LSU Tiger. This was a spectacular fig! It tastes so sweet but retains a freshness about it, which made me like it more than the Gen nero. Watch the video for more detail.

LSU Tiger (8/23/17)
Taste:  8.75
Sweetness: 8
Size:  4 (35 grams)
Productivity:  2
Total =  22.75

Friday, August 18, 2017

Peruvian Apple Cactus

I love the taste of Dragon fruit but I doubt I will ever get them to fruit here in Seattle. So I've been growing the  Peruvian Apple Cactus since it grows in columns vs as a vine. Which is more ideal for the house.

You can see where the winter growth starts and ends and all the new growth from this summer. The are fast growers in the summer. 

August 2017

September 2016

March 2016

My Backyard grown Spartan apples

I have a handful of apples in my backyard.

Beni shogun
Column sentinel

The Spartan is the earliest to ripen. It's also quit productive. Which I think is great but it's taste is not so great unfortunately. It does not have the sweetness or tart flavor to make it Great. 

It also doesn't store very long before getting a bit mealy. I am not a fan of mealy apples. I give this apple a 5/10 for taste. I'll probably just use them for juicing.

Florea is the earliest fig in the collection

The Florea fig is a winner here in Seattle. So fa, the Brandon Unk fig is the earliest breba but the Florea has got to be earliest main crop fig. It's only mid August and all of the figs are near ripening.

This is a great fig for collectors in areas with short seasons. It's got my endorsement!

It is currently in a 2 gallon pot but I think I'll get this guy in ground. The taste of this fig is quite spectacular as well. I have a link to the tasting scores below.

Tasting Video:


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pastiliere Figs are Beautiful but...

Can't help but share how beautiful these Pastiliere figs are. The only problem is whether or not these hold their figs? Well so far I've been seeing about half of them drop off of the tree. So we shall see.
Originally purchased from Raintree.

Tasting Violette de Bordeaux, Florea, & Olympian Figs

Tasting Violette de Bordeaux, Florea, & Olympian Figs

The Brebas are winding down and these are about the last ones I'm picking off of my fig trees.

Violette de Bordeaux

The Violet de Bordeaux 3rd yr in ground has finally hit it's maturity level. The figs are top notch this year in terms of taste.  The color, texture, flavor and did I mention color of my VDBs this year were spectacular! The breba productivity kinda stunk though because I only pulled about 5 figs from this tree.

VDB for any Seattle grower should go in ground, you will be rewarded nicely with some of the best figs to eat.

Taste: 8
Sweetness: 7
Size: 4 (40 grams)
Productivity: .33
Total = 19.33 


This is a great fig! My 2yr old tree grown in a 2 gallon pot has proven to be incredibly productive. It had 10 figs on basically a single branch! I think it maybe a good candidate to go in ground here. It's definitely a keeper.

There's a real strong punch of sweetness and strawberry from the Florea. It's small but carries a big flavor stick.

Florea: Breba (8/14/17) - 2yr old plant
Taste: 8
Sweetness: 8
Size: 3 (22.6 grams)
Productivity: 6.6
Total = 25.6


The Olympian has gotten better and better over the last couple of years. It definitely has adapted very well to the climate that we have here in the PNW. The brebas are large and very attractive with it's bright yellow necks.

The taste on these were less figgy than the Gene's Vashon, it was sweet and melony. My kind of fig. Very little seed crunch compared to the Gene's Vashon. I'm glad to have this guy in ground it will only get more productive with time.

Taste: 7.5
Sweetness: 7
Size: 7 (68.7 grams)
Productivity: .6
Total = 22.10