Saturday, March 16, 2013

Eddy's avocado... grown from seed!

So you were hoping I'd knock off all the "growing trees from seed" posts?


I was down in Fort Lauderdale a few weekends ago working on my Amazing Tropical Food Forest when I ran into my friend Eddy... and remembered his avocado tree.

Check it out - probably a 9" caliper on this thing... and it's just a baby.

Eddy is a charismatic hands-on farmer who owns a coffee plantation down in Puerto Rico. He'd shown me this avocado tree before but I didn't think to take a picture then. (Eddy also grows edible air potatoes and shared some bulbils with me in the past.)

This time I got pictures and the whole story.

A friend of Eddy's had an avocado tree that was highly productive and had borne many crops over the years. The man shared his avocados with his family and friends (which included Eddy.) Unfortunately, this friend discovered he was dying of cancer. Thinking ahead, he brought a little seedling from his avocado tree to Eddy and said "Here, take this tree... grow it for me."

Shortly afterwards, he passed away.

Eddy, not being content with simply putting the tree in the ground, went for some serious overkill on his planting of the now-sacred seedling.

"David," he told me, "I dug this huge hole, man. Like... three feet deep. Then I dumped in lots of MiracleGro, buried it in, then put in more, you know... really deep. Then I planted the tree on that."

I asked him how old the tree was - and when it started to produce.

Eddy and his avocado tree.
"It's four years old now... coming into its fifth year. When it was three years old, I decided to graft onto it. But the graft died. Then I told the tree... 'make fruit this year or I'm gonna cut you down. I'll kill you!' And it did - David, it did! It bore fruit. No lie."

So there you go - another "fruit tree from seed" success story. This tree is totally beautiful and probably getting close to 20' tall. I've never tried the "burying lots of MiracleGro" method... but if I ever have a friend dying of cancer that hands me a seedling... by golly... I will.


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