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Top 10 tastiest and rarest fruits in the world

Ackee

Ackee fruit
Ackee Fruit

Ackee  is a rarest and strange looking fruit that grows in the tropical regions of West Africa. Although native to West Africa the use of ackee in food is especially common in Jamaican cuisine. It is the national fruit of Jamaica and ackee and saltfish is the national dish.

Ackee is pear-shaped but when it ripens, it turns from green to a bright red to yellow-orange and splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds each partly surrounded by soft, creamy to spongy white to yellow flesh.

The dried seeds, fruit, bark and leaves are used medicinally. The ackee fruit is canned and is a major export product in Jamaica.

Rambutan

Its an important fruit tree of humid tropical southeast Asia. Traditionally cultivated especially in Indonesia, malysia and Thailand. The fruit is a round to oval single-seeded berry borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10-20 together.

The leathery skin is reddish and covered with fleshy pliable spines hence the name which means ‘hairs’. The fruit fresh which is actually the aril, is translucent whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor very reminiscent of grapes.

The fruits are usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned. Its bark roots and leaves have various medicinal value and also used in making of dyes.

Dragon Fruit

It is believed to be a native of Mexico. In Tropical and Sub-tropical regions in South America and Asia the dragon fruit flourishes and grows in abundance.

Its outer skin is cactus-like resembling that of the scales of mythical dragons. The fruit’s texture is sometimes likened to that of the Kiwi fruit because of its black, crunchy seed. The flesh which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories.

The seeds are eaten together with the flesh have a nutty taste and are rich in lipid, but they are indigestible unless chewed. The fruit is also converted into juice or wine, or used to flavor other beverages. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.

Read: Basic Characteristics of an agri-preneur

Jabuticaba

It is a rare purple colored fruit native to S.E Brazil. It’s a thick-skinned berry and typically measures 3-4 cm in diameter.

It resembles that of a slip skin grape. It has a thick, purple astringent skin that encases a sweet, white or rosy pink gelatinous flesh. Fresh fruits may begin to ferment 3-4 days after harvest. It’s used to make jams, tarts, strong wines and liquors.

Because of its extremely short shelf life fresh jabuticaba fruit is very rare in markets.

Miracle Fruit

Miracle fruit
Miracle fruit

It grows in the tropical forests of W. Africa where it is known for its sweet berry, It has low sugar and a mildy sweet tang. It contains glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrates chains, called miraculin.

When the fleshy part is eaten this molecule binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet.

In Japan, Miracle fruit is popular among patients with diabetes and dieters.

Read: Why Kakuzi Ltd is abandoning Pineaple and venturing into hass avocado farming

Durian

Its native to South East Asia. It is destructive for its large size, strong odor, and formidable thorn covered husk. Its flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness and it is used to flavor a wide variety of savoring and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines.

Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance. Others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odor. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense, disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage.

The persistence of its odor which may linger for several days has led to the fruits banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in South East Asia.

African Horned Cucumber

African Horned Fruit
African Horned Fruit (Also known as Thorn Melon)

Native to Sub-Saharan Africa and its now grown in California, Mississippi, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Chile, Australia and New Iceland. Ripe fruits have yellow-orange skin and lime green, jelly like flesh with a tart taste, and texture similar to a cucumber. It can be eaten at any stage ripening but when over-ripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds.

Its taste has been compared to combination of cucumber and Zuchini, and it is also said to taste like an unripe watered down banana.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree believed to have originated in the sunda Islands and the moluceas of Indonesia. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, South west India and other tropical areas such as Puerto Rico and Florida. The Mangosteen fruit is sweet tangy, juicy, somewhat fibrous with fluid-filled vesicles like the flesh of citrus fruits with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind when ripe.

Cherimoya (Custard Apple)

Cherimoya is mainly grown throughout South Asia, America, Southern Europe and East Africa. It is the most delicious fruit known to man.

The fruit is oval, often slightly oblate, with a smooth or slightly tuberculated skin. The fruit flesh is white and creamy and has numerous dark brown poisonous seeds embedded in it.

The fruit can be chilled and eaten with a spoon, which has earned it another nickname, the ice-cream fruit.  Indeed, in Peru, it is usually used in ice creams and yogurt.

Cupuacu

It’s a tropical rain-forest related to cacao. Common throughout the Amazon basin it is widely cultivated in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru in the north of brazil. With the largest production in Para. They are oblong, brown, and fuzzy 20cm long and covered with a thick hard exocarp.

The white pulp of the cupuacu has an odor described as a mix of chocolate and pineapple and is frequently used in desserts, juices and sweets. Basically, its juice tastes like a pear with a hint of banana.

Read: How to make millions from watermelons farming

Now you know, there are millions and millions of fruits in the world. The questions you should ask yourself today is, have you planted a tree-fruit this year? if not, hook up with us and we will guide you on the best fruits that suit your area and expectations.

 

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Grapes Farming: What you need to know

Grape is a woody vine that produces clusters of edible berries. Grapes are currently being grown in Kenya, especially in Naivasha and Meru. They can be eaten raw or can be used to process wine and other products such as jam and grape juice.

Related content: Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

There are plenty of health benefits in consuming grapes for they are a rich source of Vitamins- A, C, K and minerals such as iron, copper, manganese. Grapes are widely cultivated all over the world due to the fact that they are non-climatic and can thrive in different climatic conditions but they prefer warm to hot temperatures.

Why grow Grapes?

Grapes farmingGrapes are suitable for home gardeners and for small scale or large scale commercial production. In Kenya, grapes can be used to reduce economic and food insecurity because there is a good market within the country.
There is ready market throughout the year and new wine companies that use grapes as their main raw material are setting shop in Kenya.

Established companies such as East African breweries ltd are thinking of entering the wine market as they seek to diversify. The future of this crop is promising. A good percentage of the grape consumed in Kenya is imported and mostly sold to the high end market that pays a good price for them- a kilo goes at around 400-500 Ksh. Wine producing companies such as Kenyan wine agencies do import the grapes they use because of the good quality of imported grapes and lack of local supply.

For bookings and more information, kindly visit our offices.

 

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MAKE YOUR OWN WINE THROUGH BERRIES FARMING

As you approach Naivasha town from Nakuru, a canopy of eucalyptus trees line both sides of the busy highway, forming a cool shade that has defied the scorching sun that welcomes you to this dusty town.

And just at the end of the canopy, you will be welcomed by a sign post that leads us to a green metal gate that is reinforced with an electric fence as the guard ushers us into the expansive farm. Venter, a South African national and a horticulturist, is the general manager of the 2,500-hectare farm that brews wine on Kenyan soil.

According to Venter, the sugar levels must be between 23 and 25 per cent for the grapes to produce the sweet commercial wine produced at their Rift Valley winery. Venter argues that what makes them produce quality wine is because they grow their fruits near the equator.

SUGAR LEVEL MUST BE CONTROLLED

To get the required sugar levels, Venter, who has been the farm manager for the last two years, says that the water consumption must be controlled. According to Seed of Gold Journalist, “We are situated near the equator and since Kenya has no winter season which is used as dormancy stage for the grapes to rest and grow, then water must strictly be controlled to avoid an overgrowth of grapes,” explains Venter.

“Why should Kenya be proud of stocking wine brands from other countries while it enjoys volcanic soils, cool nights and warm days which combine to ensure slow maturation of grapes that allow us to produce fulsome wines of a unique character?” poses the 41-year-old.

Morendat Farm, which is part of the Kenya Nut Company, is the producer of the Leleshwa brand wines. The farm produces 150,000 bottles of wine annually but has plans to do a million as time goes by, according to Venter. On the farm, they use machines to remove all the weeds and when planting the seedlings, they always make sure the rows run from North to South to avoid the plants having direct contact with the sun.

He said the seedling holes must be half a metre deep and the roots must sharply point to the centre of the hole to make sure they grow upright. The distance from one seedling to another must be 1.5m while the rows should be 2.7m apart. They are then watered using a computerized drip irrigation system that makes sure each plant consumes at least two liters of water per hour twice a week.

 

Grapes Farming: What you need to know

 

DRIP IRRIGATION

Urea is also applied using the drip irrigation system. This is supplemented with compost manure from the more than 3,000 beef bulls for which Morendat Farm is also famed for. After watering, the ground around the grafted seedlings is covered with a polythene paper to ensure there is little evaporation and to suppress weeds.

Besides South Africa, the farm also imports seedlings from Israel. After the third month, the plants are ringed with a wire mesh to keep off birds which can decimate acres if not checked.

They normally plant between June and July and they are ready for harvest after three years. They like harvesting at the end of January or early February because that is the warmest season of the year which is crucial for better sugar levels. The vines, once planted, can stay in the farm for up to 30 years before they are uprooted and fresh seedlings are planted.

Their current vines they are harvesting were planted in 1995 and in the next 10 years, they shall replace them with fresh vines as they will have reached their optimum.One hectare under grapes has between 2,000 and 3,000 vines and a good harvest yields between 10 to 15 tonnes of grapes.

Also Read: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

YOUNG VINES

Currently, the farm has 12 hectares of mature grapes and another 12 has young vines which are supposed to produce fruits in the next two years. Their target according to Venter is to plant another 36 hectares to cope with the increasing demand of their wines in the shops and hotels. Venter trained as a horticulturist at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Venter said that they have invested in irrigation with equipment imported from South Africa because water is the heart of any grape farming. The farm also has a reservoir which is used as a backup whenever there is a sign of water levels going down.

Ventor told the journalist that he has a soft spot for horticulture as he comes from a farming family. His parents, brothers, uncles are all farmers, says the father of two boys and two girls, who has been farming for the last 25 years.

Although he is reluctant to disclose how much the farm is making, he was quick to point out that there is good money in grape farming. However, one of the major challenges is the downy mildew disease and weevils which can be devastating if not managed.

KEEP CLEAN

Dr Lusike Wasilwa, the Assistant Director in-charge of Horticulture and Industrial crops at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), says a number of diseases which attack the grapes can be contained by keeping the field clean. He says that you should not let leaves and uprooted weeds lie idle on the farm as they are alternative hosts for pests.

According to Dr Wasilwa, the best soils for grapes are loam and volcanic but clay soil is also appropriate so long as it has enough manure. The crops should be grown in areas with soils that do not retain a lot of water. One should also ensure they grow the correct variety. The berries flourish in temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Celsius up to 40 degrees but are best harvested during hot season.

(This Article was first published on the Saturday Nation, Seed of Gold, courtesy of Francis Mureithi)

Grapes seedlings are available at our nurseries. For more Information kindly visit our offices or contact us.