Growing a jackfruit tree

If you grow it from a seed, how long does it take a jackfruit to bear?

Carey McCain of CorJen Farm in Lakeland showed up in the chat of last night’s Goodstream to share his success growing a seedling jackfruit in Lakeland. Lakeland is too far north to grow jackfruit – or so we have been told – but so far, so good!

At two years old, his jackfruit seedling is blooming.

Pete Kanaris/GreenDreamsFL on YouTube reported in 2017 that his greenhouse-grown jackfruit was fruiting at 18 months of age:

It appears that jackfruit have the ability to bear fruit at an exceptionally young age compared to many other seedling fruit trees.

Here are more pictures of Corey’s jackfruit in Lakeland:

Note the flowers in the top two photos, and the shower head in the bottom photo. That is Corey’s frost protection system. On a freezing night, he can turn on the tap and keep the tree warm with a constant bath until the rains have stopped.

I asked about how he grew his jackfruit from seed and he wrote:

“From a fruit in a Oriental market. I originally planted 5 seeds directly in the spot. Cut worms took out 4 of them and one survived. The tree was almost destroyed by Irma. I covered it and put heat lamp inside for the 2018 freezes. It then grew insane last year as we had record breaking rain. Grew about 10 foot last year. We do not have a special microclimate on our property other than an awesome windbreak to the north from industrial buildings which you can see in the video. I forgot to mention we are near the airport if you know the location of Lakeland. On the far west side just outside of town. I monitor weather and microclimate on my property and we are often 1-3 degrees cooler than in the city. All my trees are on mounds because of extremely high water table and flooding. Very heavy mulching in large areas. The soil to build mounds is a muck soil, black and holds moisture well, bought from a local company, not typical Florida sugar sand. Most of our native, property soil is better than average Florida sugar sand. These contextual details certainly play a role in the trees vigorous growth. I plan to let the tree grow as big as it can, trying to get mass for added cold protection. One day it will get pruned from a freeze but I will protect the lower portion of the tree as much as possible. We had no freezes this year. God bless!”

At this point,I would probably stop that tree from getting much bigger, as a larger jackfruit tree is hard to keep protected.

As Fairchild Tropical Gardens shares:

“Jackfruit trees will form a stately, dense and rounded canopy with a minimum of input, but horticultural management is necessary to maintain a small, healthy and productive tree. With annual pruning the tree is easily maintained at a height and spread of six to eight feet. Pruning should be done once per year following harvest of the major crop, or towards the end of the growing season.”

Corey may want to just let it get huge, though. There’s nothing more beautiful than a full-grown jackfruit tree.

Reports I’ve read online claim it usually takes 3-5 years for a seedling jackfruit to bear fruit; however, it’s obvious that with good care it can make fruit earlier.

If you’re interested in started your own jackfruit from seed, in 2017 I posted a video on how I germinate jackfruit seeds:

I’m also planting jackfruit seeds on my new property, right in the ground so they get maximum root development:

When I was over at the land two days ago, I was pleased to see some of these seeds had sprouted. With proper care, I should have some fruit in just a couple of years.

The post How Long Does it Take a Jackfruit to Bear Fruit? appeared first on The Survival Gardener.

Original source: http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/long-take-jackfruit-bear-fruit/

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Jackfruit Tree

Up to 100 Pounds of Fruit Each Season

Why Jackfruit Trees?

The Jackfruit is easy to spot with its unique green rind, a large, oblong shape, and softly spiked exterior. Because Jackfruits can weigh anywhere between ten to fifty pounds, they stand out against smaller tropical fruit. And once they’re spotted, they quickly sell out…people can’t get enough of this versatile, delicious fruit.

The Jackfruit Tree offers unique fruit that’s delicious. Once a Jackfruit is cut open, their rich, creamy flesh can be picked away from the seeds for a fresh, juicy snack. The pulp’s taste is reminiscent of a sweet banana mixed with the tang of mango and pineapples. It’s perfect for enhancing smoothies and ice cream.

And whether it’s cooked in a pan or on the grill like barbecue, Jackfruit gains the texture and flavor of pulled pork, serving as a delicious meat substitute. Jackfruits are popular to use in curry, tacos, sandwiches and more. Plus, Jackfruit Trees are tough and easy to grow – place them by a sizable, sun-soaked window and give them a little water to thrive. They’ll produce a ton of healthy, savory fruit with just a bit of care.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

For starters, the Jackfruit is hard to find at local nurseries or big-box stores. But when you order from Fast Growing Trees, you not only get the Jackfruit Tree for yourself…you also get its one-of-a-kind tropical flavor and a full, healthy root system.

That’s because we’ve nurtured your Jackfruit Tree, long before it ships. Now, when it arrives at your door, it’s ready to truly thrive without effort on your part. You’ll get tons of robust fruit, year over year.

Don’t wait – this unique tree sells out quickly. Order your Jackfruit Tree today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Find a spot where you’ll have several hours of full sun exposure and where water will never pool. Remember, this is native to the tropics…so, think lots of heat and humidity to keep these trees happy.

If you’re planting outside, make your hole twice the size of the root ball and just as deep. Place your tree, backfill the soil and water to settle the roots.

If you’re container-planting, select a pot that’s about twice the width of your tree’s root ball and ensure it has drainage holes. Use an organic soil mix, place your tree and position it in front of a sunny window.

2. Watering: Simply check your surrounding soil – if the soil is dry about 3 inches down, water until it’s moist or until you see it draining from the pot for indoor Jackfruit Trees.

You may also mist indoor trees with a spray bottle since Jackfruits love humidity.

3. Fertilizing: Use an organic fertilizer, preferably one made for tropical fruits. Fertilize in the spring, and follow label instructions.

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How to grow JACKFRUIT in Uganda

Jackfruit Tree in Uganda Africa

Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world.
The tree is common to most tropical regions of the world.
In Uganda the tree is locally known as “Fenne” and the tree is found in almost all parts of the country.

Common Jack Fruit varieties in Uganda

In Uganda we don’t have specific types of the tree; however efforts are being made by the national crop resource center to improve the indigenous types present.
Some of internationally recognized varieties include;
Dang Rasimi – this originates from Thailand, it gives fruits that are bright green to pale yellow.
Golden nugget – it produces fruits with deep orange flesh.
Contact us here to buy fresh Jackfruit and Jackfruit Tree Seedlings in Uganda

How to Propagate Jack Fruit on your farm

Jack fruit can be propagated by seed or by asexual propagation. You should however select healthy, vigorous, and disease resistant seeds.
Soil requirements for growing Jack fruit in Africa
Jack fruit grows best in well drained, deep soils of moderate fertility. The tree doesn’t tolerate poor draining grounds. The plant thrives in moderately acidic to neutral soils of a Ph 5.0_7.5.
Contact us here to buy fresh Jackfruit and Jackfruit Tree Seedlings in Uganda

How to plant Jackfruit in Uganda

Collect seeds from fruits of trees with outstanding growth and fruit qualities.
Use only the largest seeds as these will give you the earliest and highest germination that way producing the strongest seedlings.
To prepare the seeds for plating remove the thin, slimy coating around the seed and then thoroughly rinse the seeds in water to remove any remaining pulp juice or sugary residue.
Pretreat the seeds with relatively hot water as this will stimulate germination.
sow seeds at a depth of 2cm and then gently cover with soil. Germination will begin in 1 to 6 weeks or even longer if seeds were stored for a long time after collection. Water to provide moisture required for seed germination.
Direct seeding in the field is the best propagation method if the planting location is well prepared.
sow several seeds in each planting hole to allow for selecting the most vigorous seedling.
Care for the seedling for at least 6 to 12 months in first growth year. However watch out for boring insects like shoot boring caterpillar and also mealy bugs.
Contact us here to buy fresh Jackfruit and Jackfruit Tree Seedlings in Uganda

How best to harvest Jackfruit in Africa

The tree usually bears fruit within 18 to 30 months from transplanting and the fruits mature with in 3 to 8 months from flowering.
The fruit is mature when there is a change in color from pale green to darkish green brown, the spines flatten out and there is a characteristic aroma.
Another method used locally to determine a ripe Jack fruit is to drum the fruit with your hands, when the sound is base/deep then it is ready and when the sound is treble, the fruit is not yet ripe.
Cut the stalk with a sharp knife and lower it carefully.
Waiting for the fruit to fully ripen on the tree and failing to check it daily will result in an over ripe fruit.
Contact us here to buy fresh Jackfruit and Jackfruit Tree Seedlings in Uganda

About Marketing Jackfruit in Uganda

Jackfruit has a ready market in farmer markets like Owino, Nakaseero and even roadside stalls or even village grocers. An effort can be made to add value to your fruits by packing the fresh fruits and selling directly to consumers at corporate bodies, making jackfruit crisps and even jam for sophiscated consumption.

Quick Tips for planting jackfruit tree in Uganda

  • Clear up the area meant for planting.
  • Sort out seeds you wish to use to bring up a seedling.
  • Open up a soil depth of 2cm were you are to put your seeds.
  • Pre-treat you seeds with warm water for 30 minutes before planting.
  • Sow your seeds, and then gently cover with soils.
  • Water to provide moisture and in 6 weeks the seeds shall have germinated into a healthy seedling.

Contact us here to buy fresh Jackfruit and Jackfruit Tree Seedlings in Uganda

Have you heard of jackfruit? One tree can produce up to three tons of food from this huge and utterly unique fruit per year, providing an almost miraculous source of nourishment for people living in tropical countries!

Jackfruit is also increasingly being used in other parts of the world, particularly in the U.S., as a plant-based meat alternative because the young, unripe fruits soak up flavor well and have a stringy, “meat-like” texture when cooked.

You may have seen it popping up in stores and on menus — for example, jackfruit tacos and BBQ sandwiches are popular ways to prepare it.

But what do you need to know about this food? And should it be something you look for and use in your own cooking?

What Is Jackfruit?

JACKFRUIT – $1.49 lb
Anybody familiar with it? pic.twitter.com/A0naz5ZO2Z

— LoriLNoel (@LoriLNoel2) July 23, 2018

Jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family.

The plant originated in southwest India, where it grows abundantly. And then, it spread to other parts of India, southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

It also grows in Africa and is relatively popular in Brazil and Suriname as well. Jackfruit trees typically grow in tropical and near-tropical conditions, but they can also be produced in Florida, Hawaii, and Australia.

The largest tree-borne fruit in the world, jackfruit can weigh up to 100 pounds and grow up to three feet long. (Though, the average size of the fruit is 10 to 25 pounds.)

Its huge trees produce massive, green, oblong fruits with a bumpy, fleshy exterior. On the inside, it contains many pale-yellow, plump bulbs, which are edible and joined at the core. The seeds can also be cooked, eaten on their own, or ground into flour.

A ripe, unopened fruit has a strong, unpleasant odor. But the pulp of the opened fruit smells sweet.

What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?

Eaten ripe and raw, the taste of jackfruit is sweet and similar to pineapple, mango, and banana.

When it’s unripe, it has more of a neutral flavor, like a potato, and works well in savory dishes.

When it’s unripe, it has more of a neutral flavor, like a potato, and works well in savory dishes.

A great thing about green jackfruits is they don’t have a strong flavor on their own, so they’re able to soak up herbs, spices, and other flavorings.

This allows the fruit to be made into plant-based versions of shredded chicken, pulled pork, or other meat-based meals.

Jackfruit can be made into a wide variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. And the seeds are often boiled or roasted and eaten as snacks. They are similar to chestnuts or macadamia in taste and flavor.

Jackfruit Nutrition

iStock.com/BeyondTheRoad

Eating jackfruit isn’t only a fun and meatless way to add something new to your usual meals. It’s also packed with nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants.

And the benefits of this tropical fruit are impressive. One researcher even called it a “miracle” food because it provides so many nutrients and calories.

Two cups contain 310 calories and boast the following lineup of vitamins and minerals:

The seeds are especially nutritious. They are high in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron.

The Benefits of Jackfruit for Your Body

Here are eight ways jackfruit may benefit your health:

  • Good for your immune system. Jackfruit contains moderate levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps your body fight free radicals and protects you from colds and other illnesses.
  • Improve your digestion. Jackfruit is packed with fiber, which helps improve digestion and prevent constipation.
  • May help prevent cancer. Jackfruit contains phytonutrients, such as lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, which have anti-cancer properties. It also contains many carotenoids, which have been found to help protect against cancer.
  • Boost your energy levels. Jackfruit has B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6. And it’s high in complex carbs which can give you a boost of energy, without throwing your blood sugar levels out of whack. In fact, clinical trials conducted at Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service have found that raw jackfruit has a lower glycemic load (increase in sugar/blood glucose level) than wheat or rice.
  • Help maintain blood pressure and heart health. It also has moderate levels of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Support healthy vision. Jackfruit has vitamin A, as well as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which helps improve vision and protects eye health.
  • Improves skin health and reduces aging. The water content in the fruit helps keep your skin moisturized and youthful. And the antioxidants help slow the aging process.
  • Good for bone health. It’s also high in calcium, which strengthens and helps promote healthy bones. The right amount of magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium. And the high amount of potassium helps decrease the loss of calcium.

A Sustainable Choice for a Growing World

With its huge size, nutrient density, and crowd-pleasing taste, jackfruit could be one of the most promising solutions for sustainably feeding the world.

Jackfruit could be one of the most promising solutions for sustainably feeding the world.

Amazingly, one jackfruit tree can grow about 100 to 200 fruits in a year.

Compared to the intensive land and water resources necessary to produce meat, jackfruit is far more efficient as a global food source.

Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, which focuses on sustainable agriculture, told The Guardian this about jackfruit:

“It is easy to grow. It survives pests and diseases and high temperatures. It is drought-resistant. It achieves what farmers need in food production when facing a lot of challenges under climate change.“

Researchers are also aiming to increase jackfruit consumption in India, where the food has fallen out of favor and often goes to waste. Making it a favorite staple food again could help feed millions of people who are facing food insecurity.

Where to Find It

You may be able to find jackfruit as a whole fruit, sliced into sections, packed into cans, dried, frozen, or made into other products.

While your average chain grocer (outside of the tropics) may not sell jackfruit fresh, demand is rising fast and many stores are starting to sell it.

Specialty markets, such as Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Markets, will be more likely to have the fruit, or they may be able to order it for you. You can also look at your local Asian, Indian, or Caribbean food stores or find jackfruit products online.

Keep this in mind: Whole jackfruits sold in stores are on the sweeter side — versus the canned varieties, which are usually blander.

Canned Jackfruit

Most commonly, the fruit comes in a can and is labeled “young” and “green” — namely because the younger it is, the less sweet it will be.

@bionaorganic pulled jack fruit is perfect for making quick, easy and satisfying dinners on hot days like this. Pulled pork salad, burgers, tacos, you pick! Available from our tinned section 💚 #vegan #vegansofinsta #vegansofinstagram #vegansofig #jackfruit #diet #nature #natural #veganrecipes #eat #goodfood #losebylane

A post shared by Currant Affairs Leicester (@currantaffairs) on Jul 26, 2018 at 4:02am PDT

Canned jackfruit is usually packed with brine, syrup, or water (opt for the brine to avoid added sugars — although you may want to be mindful of the sodium content — or the water if you can find it), and then drain it and cook it any way you want.

So when shopping for canned jackfruit, you may want to look for “young green jackfruit packed in brine”(or salted water) on the label. Or you may be able to find “young jackfruit in water.”

Packaged Products Make Eating It Easy

Jackfruit is also becoming more available through packaged products.

Upton’s Naturals is sold widely (including online from Thrive Market). The company makes jackfruit in a variety of flavors, such as bar-b-que, chili lime carnitas, Thai curry, sweet & smoky, sriracha, and original flavors.

The Jackfruit Company — whose mission is to transform world health, farmer’s livelihoods, and humanity’s eco-footprint for the better — is another option. The company makes an array of jackfruit products with flavors like curry, teriyaki, tex-mex, lightly seasoned, lemon-garlic and bbq, plus prepared bowls, sweet ripe jackfruit, and a “naked jackfruit” product designed for food service.

You may also be able to find dehydrated chips, noodles, powder and other products.

How to Cut It

iStock.com/supit_ch

The idea of cutting into a massive, thick-skinned orb can be intimidating. But it’s doable if you’re willing to put in the work.

Here’s a quick step-by-step video to help you prepare this bulbous fruit.

When selecting a fruit, remember this: Jackfruit is green when unripe, and then, it turns light brown and has a strong fragrance when ripe.

(Editor’s Note: All parts of the jackfruit contain a sticky, white latex “sap,” which can be used as an adhesive. You may want to use gloves or coat hands, knives, and work surfaces with vegetable oil prior to preparation and lay newspaper down if you try to cut into it. And a warning: There have been documented cases of anaphylaxis in people allergic to latex, so you may want to avoid this food if you have a latex allergy or are sensitive to latex.)

How to Cook It

Much like tofu, unripe jackfruit absorbs the flavors it cooks but doesn’t have much flavor on its own. You can add it to a variety of dishes, such as curries, stir-fry’s, and chili, as well as soups, salads, and bowls.

If you’re looking to cook plain, canned jackfruit, the process varies depending on the different recipes.

Usually, you want to start by draining the fruit, and then cooking it until it’s easy to shred, creating a meat-like consistency.

If you want to use jackfruit as a meat alternative, an important thing to consider is that it’s much lower in protein than other meat alternatives — with only about three grams of protein per cup (though this is more protein than most other fruits). So you may want to pair it with protein-rich foods, such as lentils or beans.

Creative and Delicious Jackfruit Recipes

Here are six recipes for using this unique fruit:

BBQ Jackfruit
This recipe is a perfect choice for your summer BBQ party! By cooking jackfruit with your favorite barbeque sauce, it’s an easy choice that is sure to please eaters of every persuasion.

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
Whether it’s Taco Tuesday or any other day of the week, tacos are always a winning dish. This recipe uses orange for a flavor pop and pairs the tacos with fresh, healthy add-ons like avocado and cilantro.

Photo Courtesy of The Fitnessista

Easy Jackfruit Curry
Made with a variety of spices, this dish is full of flavor for an appetizing meal served with quinoa, rice, or other grains. You can leave out the oil and use water instead to make this recipe oil-free.

Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes
This easy-to-make recipe is surprisingly good and similar in texture to the real thing. You can make these cakes without oil if you want (just put them on a cookie sheet, drizzle with lemon juice, and bake in a 375° oven for approximately 10 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden brown and firm to the touch).

Buffalo Jackfruit Dip
Having a party? Here’s the perfect snack. This spicy dip uses jackfruit as a replacement for more traditional chicken versions, and the end result is a healthier-but-still-delicious treat.

Mu Shu Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps
Light and airy, this Asian dish uses traditional spices to create a flavorful end result. You can eat these lettuce wraps hot or cold — they’re tasty either way!

The Final Word on Jackfruit

Jackfruit can be a nutritious and sustainable food that can provide important nourishment in tropical communities. And it offers an interesting way to expand culinary horizons around the world.

You can eat the whole fruit as is or choose products made with young jackfruits, like canned products. But like most foods, eating jackfruit closest to its whole form will give you the most health benefits.

As more people move away from animal products in the U.S. and around the world, jackfruit, with its “meaty” texture, is another, more sustainable (and often less processed) option for plant-based meat alternatives.

Overall, jackfruit can be a healthy and affordable local food option if you live in the tropics. But for those of us in more northern climates, it has to be imported. At Food Revolution Network, we’re big fans of local food. But if we’re going to import anything, it might as well be foods that are nutritious and environmentally friendly to grow.

So unless you live in a region where it grows, jackfruit is not likely to become a staple food for you. But it can be an excellent occasional ingredient for creative meals — and it might even help feed the world.

Tell us in the comments:

  • Now that you know, what is jackfruit, what do you think about it?
  • Have you eaten jackfruit? How? And what did you think?
  • Will you try it if you haven’t already?

Read Next:

  • 7 stunning reasons you should eat blueberries every day

Featured Image: iStock.com/bhofack2

Learn how to grow jackfruit tree. If you live in a suitable climate and have space in your garden, you can easily grow it.

Jackfruit is a giant melon size oblong fruit that is grown in the tropical parts of South-East Asia. Nowadays, it is popularly cultivated in many other tropical and subtropical parts of the world.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10 – 12, *can be grown in zone 9 with care

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Soil pH: Slightly acidic to neutral, around 5 – 7 pH

Growing Habit

Jackfruit tree can’t tolerate frost and drought, even so, it is a tough tree that can withstand severe temperatures. A mature tree can bear up to 118 F heat and if acclimated, about 32 F cold temperature for a short time. Some jackfruit varieties can reach up to 100 feet, and there are some dwarf varieties like black gold that restrict up to only 10 – 20 feet height.
Jackfruit tree has a long life of more than 100 years. It bears the biggest fruits in the world, which weight anywhere between 10 – 110 lb.

Why should you grow Jackfruit tree?

Well, it’s a lifetime investment; all parts of jack-fruit tree are useful. It is quite a handsome rustic tree that resembles oak. It provides shade, shelter and natural habitat to birds and pollinators.
A single tree provides enough homegrown jack-fruits that not only you but your neighbors will get bored eating it.

Planting Methods

It can also be propagated from stems, but it is rather a difficult method, that is why seed germination is preferred. For this, take large seeds from fully ripe fruit and rinse them in warm water to remove sticky pulp. Sow the seeds immediately after that in a small pot so that you can transplant it later on the ground.

  • You can also buy a grown-up plant from a nearby garden center (which according to us is better).

Planting Jackfruit

Choose a big open space of your garden that receives full sun, clear it from weeds and dig a hole. To ensure good drainage, mix 1/3 part of compost, sand, perlite and organic matter in the garden soil to prepare a rich, porous potting soil for planting. Transplant your healthiest plant in the dug space, water it and mulch all around.
*If you’re planting a grafted plant then don’t cover its bud patch from the soil. Otherwise, it’ll rot down and die.

Watering and Fertilizing

Jack-fruit tree grows in hot and humid regions of Asia, where high rainfall is common. It means you need to water it often as it prefers moist, well-drained soil but avoid over-watering especially when the plant is establishing in first two years.

Once in a year, when growing season starts (In India, it happens at the beginning of rainy season in July or August), spread compost or farm manure adequately around the plant to boost it up. Feed it with slow release, balanced fertilizer twice in a year.
When the plant starts to bloom, feed it with 8-3-9 fertilizer by following manufacturer’s instruction for amount and rate.

Jackfruit Tree Care & Tips

  • If growing in a cool climate, mulch heavily around the tree when the temperature goes down below 35 F in winter to insulate roots from cold.
  • Do regular pruning to retain tree’s height below 20 feet. When it grows above 12 feet tall, reduce its main trunk to 8 feet to encourage the growth of dense branches.
  • Jackfruit tree establishes after 3-4 years. During this period if it produces flowers pinch them off to promote growth.
  • Once a month remove weeds around it to clear out the growing area as weeds drain the essential nutrients from the healthy soil.
  • Mulch it in summer to save moisture and prevent weeds from growing.

Jackfruit Uses

  • Do you know that jackfruit is also used as a vegetable? It is a meat substitute for vegetarians. It is also called as vegetarian’s meat in Asia because of its texture, which is like pork or chicken.
  • Its unripe fruit is used to prepare mouthwatering curry recipes, soups, puree and pickles.
  • Ripe fruits are sweet, aromatic and fibrous, which can be eaten alone or used in making syrups, pastries, cakes, and ice creams.

Harvesting Jackfruit

Within three to six years after planting, jack tree starts to flower, and in two-three months after blossoming, young and unripe green skinned fruits are ready to be picked as a vegetable.
Mature fruits are ready to harvest after four-five months of flowering when they exude sweet aroma, and their skin turns from green to yellowish tinge.

  • In native conditions it bears fruits year round but peak harvest season is summer.

Pests and Diseases

The most common pests that attack it are jack-fruit borer, fruit flies, and birds.
Jack-fruit borer affects all parts of the plant, but the use of organic insecticide is enough to deter it. On the other hand, covering the fruits is a handy option to save them from fruit flies and birds.

Jackfruit are an exceptional fruit. The fruit are extremely versatile in how they can be used and the trees are amazingly beautiful. Jackfruit are also very productive trees that respond well to pruning and other common management techniques. Read on and discover how to grow one of my all time favorite fruit trees.

Jackfruit are the world’s largest fruit

Botany

Scientific Name: Artocarpus heterophyllus

Common Names: Jackfruit, Jakfruit, Jaca, Nangka

Description

Jackfruit trees are huge! In their home tropical climate they grow up to thirty meters tall with an equally immense spread like that of a fig tree. They are an excellent shade tree in these climates. Outside the tropics though trees do not grow nearly as large and tree height is very easily managed with pruning. I have seen productive jackfruit trees kept to a height of two meters! Generally grafted jackfruit trees are easier to manage for size. I prefer a little less work than 2 meter trees require and choose to keep my trees between three and four meters tall.

Trees are erect, evergreen and upright. Leaves are dark green, alternate, glossy and somewhat leathery. All parts of the tree contain a sticky white latex.

Jackfruit hanging on tree

Flowers

Male and female flowers are borne on separate flower-heads. Male flower-heads grow on new wood among the trees canopy. They are swollen, oblong, from an inch to four inches long and up to an inch wide at the widest part. They are pale green, darkening with age. When mature the head is covered with yellow pollen.

Female flowers are borne on short, stout stalks that emerge lower down on the trees trunk and major branches. They look like the male heads but without pollen, and swell rapidly once pollinated. The stalks of both male and female flower-heads are encircled by a small green ring.

20kg Jackfruit hanging from scale

Fruit

Jackfruit are the world’s largest and one of it’s most impressive tree-borne fruit. A single fruit could be as large as 90cm long by 50cm wide and can weigh up to 35kg. The fruit is covered in a soft spiky rind and is a light green color that turns yellow when ripe.

The ripe fruit can be eaten fresh, preserved in syrups or even dried to make chewy jackfruit snack. The edible portion of the fruit comes in the form of bite sized arils. Each aril has a thick layer of sweet and juicy flesh surrounding a seed. If you have ever had juicy fruit gum that is exactly what it tastes like, sort of a mix between pineapple and banana. Even the seeds of the fruit are edible and taste very nice when fried with some salt and butter. Jackfruit can also be used raw when cooked in curries and is used as a meat substitute in many south Indian dishes. As a starch crop the unripe fruit is an invaluable food source for people in many areas of the tropics. Put simply Jackfruit is one of the worlds most versatile and useful fruits.

Climate

The jackfruit is indigenous to the rain forests of the Western Ghats of India. Early on it was spread to other parts of India, southeast Asia, the East Indies and the Philippines. It has since been grown all across the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Jackfruit prefers a tropical climate or subtropical climate with no prominent dry season. It thrives in lowland coastal areas below 1,000m with more than 1,500mm annual rainfall. Although essentially a tree from the tropical lowlands, jackfruit are quite hardy. In comparison to its less adaptable relatives, the cempedak and breadfruit, it can handle both colder and dryer environments. In Australia they grow best in the country’s north and along the coasts down to Sydney in the east and Perth in the west. Unless you experience full days below zero degrees Celsius at your location then jackfruit should grow OK. The best temperatures for active growth are between 16 and 28°C. Jackfruit can tolerate moderate winds and salt.

Soil

Like almost all fruit trees you will read that it grows best in well drained, loamy, super perfect, amazingly unrealistic and enviable soil. Well yeah, it will. It will also grow in crappy clay like I started with. As long as water is not pooling around the trees roots and drowning it, it should do ok.

In the right conditions jackfruit trees are very productive.

Spacing

Spacing depends on the final height of the tree. At my property I space my trees on 4.5m centers. In a traditional orchard with the space required to manage full sized trees, you would need a minimum of 10 meters on all sides. Newer orchard plantings are much tighter, I know of one in Florida with 8ft between trees! I will add that jackfruit have large, strong root systems and so this is one of those trees that you do not plant right next to the house unless you are controlling size.

Irrigation

While Jackfruit will survive dry conditions, the tree will not flourish. Water frequently during warm months and warm periods in cooler months. Less water is necessary during colder weather.

Fertilization

Plants are hungry feeders and those that are fed often will grow a lot more quickly and bear more delicious fruit. Heavy feeding is also a good way to get trees growing quickly if grazers, or in marginal areas frost, are likely to be an issue. I place a thick layer of composted manure around the drip zone (outer leaves) of young trees roughly three times a year, skipping winter.

Pruning

Jackfruit tree size is easily controlled through pruning. The most important aspect of pruning jackfruit is that you do it in the warm and wet time of the year. If you don’t do this you are going to have die back issues. I remember reading this and thinking I would try it anyway as half of what you read on the internet is just hearsay. Well I can tell you from experience, you will cause die back if you prune your jackfruit at the wrong time of year!

When pruning the technique will differ depending on the goal. Most growers usually want to bring down the height of the tree and this is done by removing vertical leaders. You can then control lateral branches for growth, being careful not to cut into the branch collars (the lump where the branch meets the trunk). Fruiting spurs from last years crop are also best removed as these will clutter up the inside of your tree. The below video from Dr Richard J. Cambpbell of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden does such a great job of demonstrating pruning jackfruit that I won’t go on.

Propagation

Seedling trees are readily available in Australia from most nurseries with a focus on edibles. If you wish to grow your own seedlings simply pot up/plant a fresh seed and keep it moist. Within a month most seeds will have germinated if viable. The fresher the better when it comes to jackfruit seeds, germination rates drop sharply as the seeds age increases. Generally seeds older than one month will have very poor germination rates. Seedling trees can fruit in as little as three years with favorable conditions. Many of the world’s productive jackfruit regions feature seedling trees exclusively.

Seedling trees are variable with fairly average trees coming from great tasting fruit and vice versa. I am yet to find a seedling that wasn’t at least ok, but grafted jackruit trees are preferable to be sure of quality fruit and decent yields. Grafted trees can be sourced from some of the larger fruit tree growers in Australia but stocks are always low so jump on them when they are available. I have noticed a severe shortage of grafted trees the last few years and have started grafting my own (with help).

Harvest

Mature jackfruit can produce between 20 and 250 fruit per year. Unless you have a place to sell them, you do not want 250 jackfruit. Thankfully though pruned trees tend to have less fruit (yield is somewhat relative to tree size) and of a higher quality. Trees generally flower in the spring and early summer. The fruit take from six to eight months to mature.

Jackfruit is attacked by a large number of pests. Issues experienced by growers include shoot borers, bark borers, mealy bugs, bud weavils, scale insects, pink disease and bacterial dieback. Fruit rot caused by Rhizopus artocarpi is also common. Many of these issues will be location specific and despite the range of pests, I have had none on my property.

Cultivars

Jackfruit is traditionally cultivated by seeds and because of this there is a large variety in fruit shape, size, taste and texture. Generally though jackfruit can be classified as one of two main types with several varieties of each available. These are known as the soft flesh and the crisp jackfruit.

Softer fleshed varieties taste wonderful but I tend to prefer the texture of crisp varieties. In saying that I have friends that prefer the soft so you are going to have to try them for yourself to figure out what you like. Fortunately if you have the room and you end up with a variety that you don’t like, they can always be used in cooking.

Cultivar Tree Fruit
Black Gold A late season, medium sized fruit that is produced by a smaller tree. This cultivar has been grown around the world and has been found to have good tolerance to cold.Low vigor, can be kept as small as 2.4 m (8 ft) with regular pruning. The flesh is soft and a deep orange color.
Tweed Crisp A variety selected in Australia by Bob Brinsmead of Tropical Fruit World on the Tweed Coast. Medium vigor and seems to be resistant to minor frosts. Crisp flesh of a deep orange color. Fruit is of medium size.
Underwood A crisp variety also from Tropical Fruit World, Underwood is one of their most popular varieties for eating fresh. This is another variety that I grow on my property. Medium vigor. The fruits are large and fat with excellent flavor.
Galaxy Galaxy and its seedlings are the most common jackfruit sold in Australia. It was developed by Fitzroy nursery. Historically, Galaxy was the main commercial variety. It has since been replaced by superior varieties such as Amber. Medium vigor. Galaxy has a medium sized fruit with a large number of arils. It is described as having excellent flavor. I disagree, I am not a fan of the Galaxy fruit I have tried.
Brinsmead Special A latex free selection made by Bob Brinsmead of Tropical Fruit World on the Tweed Coast, NSW. Medium vigor. A variety I grow on my property. Brinsmead Special is an orange fleshed and somewhat crisp variety. Cleaning of the fruit is made easier compared to some varieties due to its low levels of latex.
Cheena Cheena is a hybrid between jackfruit and cempedak. It is a moderate to heavy producer of small fruit that are easy to open and process. Low Vigor with spreading habit. This is a variety that I would like to grow at my property in the future. Deep orange flesh is soft and melts in the mouth. The flavor is richer than normal jackfruit.
Amber One of the main commercial varieties in Australia. Medium vigor. Apricot color flesh that is firm but not crisp. A medium sized fruit. Considered by many to be one of the best tasting jackfruit.

Florida Fruit Geek

Norberto Moreira sells jackfruits every weekend at Mustang Market under his business name, ‘The Jackfruit King’. I’ve been really pleased with the quality of the jackfruits I’ve gotten from him – they’ve been much better than jackfruits I’ve gotten elsewhere.

I have been seriously falling in love with jackfruit lately. Or maybe “falling in lust” might be a more accurate description of the state my feelings towards Artocarpus heterophyllus. The more I eat this sweet treat, the more I become enamored with its seductive array of tropical aromas and flavors.
Jackfruit in the immature, vegetable stage has become widely available recently in the US, as both canned and frozen forms. But it’s a lot harder to find jackfruit in the fully mature stage, where it develops that amazing complexity of taste and smell. Jackfruit grows and fruits well in South Florida – if you live there or other similar climates, you can grow jackfruit yourself, or get it directly from a farmer. But in the ‘frost zones’ of North and Central Florida, our winters are a little too cold for jackfruit to thrive.
So in my area, as in many parts of the globe, if we want to eat mature, fruity jackfruit, we have to find this fruit for sale, imported from warmer climate zones. Over this past summer (the prime jackfruit season in the Northern Hemisphere), I found mature jackfruit available at several locations in my area: a locally-owned grocery, at Asian food stores, and at Whole Foods Market.
Quality from these sources has been hit-or-miss. Occasionally the jackfruit they’ve sold has been great, more often it’s been in the fair-to-good range, and at least once I got a slice of jackfruit that was so bad I had to toss it in the compost. I suspect the problem is some combination of the fruits being cut from the tree too early, before the fruit is sufficiently mature to be able to ripen properly, and at the store, employees unfamiliar with jackfruit are cutting the big fruits into smaller pieces for sale before the fruit has fully ripened.

The prices I’ve seen at ‘The Jackfruit King’ booth have varied from $2 a pound in winter, $1 a pound in summer, and $1.50 a pound in November.

But there’s good news: I have found a source for jackfruits that have been consistently in the good-to-excellent range. Norberto Moreira does business under the name ‘The Jackfruit King’ and imports jackfruits from Mexico, selling them on weekends at his booth at Mustang Market in St Petersburg, FL.
I don’t know the details of the harvsting process for the jackfruits Moreira sells, but apparently whoever is cutting the fruits off the trees does a pretty good job of waiting until they are sufficiently mature to ripen well before harvesting and shipping them.
Still, among any batch of jackfruits, quality is going to vary a bit from fruit to fruit, so Moreira does a final quality control check at the booth: he cuts a small piece out of the jackfruits and lets you sample a bit so you can see if it’s to your liking. I think that shows Moreira really cares about making sure his customers get top quality fruits, so they keep coming back again and again.

If you don’t want to buy a whole jackfruit, Moreira and his assistants are happy to cut one up into smaller chunks. An additional benefit of shopping here is that they’ll cut out a small piece of a jackfruit to let you sample, to be sure you’re getting top quality.

Prices at The Jackfruit King booth have varied seasonally. When I first bought jackfruit there in February, the price was $2 a pound. Over the summer, when lots of other vendors had jackfruit for sale, Moreira’s price was $1 a pound. Most recently when I visited in November, he was charging $1.50 a pound. If you don’t want to purchase an entire jackfruit, Moreira or one of his assistants are happy to cut one up into more manageable-sized chunks for you to take home.
In addition to jackfruits, I’ve seen The Jackfruit King booth selling a short, stubby variety of banana (I’m not sure what variety), banana flowers, calamondins, and papayas.
Mustang Market in St. Petersburg is open on Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 2pm. In addition to The Jackfruit King, there are many, many other booths selling produce, including lots of tropical fruits and vegetables that are difficult to find anywhere else.
As I understand, Moreira has jackfruits for sale year round. Before you venture there, you can always contact him to make sure he will be there with jackfruits for sale. His Facebook page has contact information.
Note: This post has not been compensated. It can be hard to find good fruits for sale, so when I find a business doing a good job of providing high quality fruits, I like to give them a shout-out.

#Moraceae #Artocarpus #Artocarpusheterophyllus #jackfruit #wheretobuyfruit

Joy of Jackfruit

“The strong response stems from the overpowering aroma and unfortunately poor quality experience that is often offered to the jackfruit neophyte,” he says. “If one is introduced to a superior jackfruit at the peak of quality it is well accepted by most. Children are most likely to enjoy the jackfruit. Green jackfruit does widen the appeal as well through the addition of a meaty texture and range of taste experiences.”

Jackfruit trees are easy to grow in South Florida, he says. They are frequently offered as part of Miami-Dade’s free Adopt-A-Tree giveaways. Care is similar to avocado. “Fertilization, watering and pruning are key,” Campbell says. Tried-and-true varieties for South Florida include ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Gold Nugget.’ “The new selections from Fairchild came from our breeding program whereby we wanted to achieve excellent quality with a smaller-sized fruit. The new selections also are productive and have greater cold tolerance than our traditional jackfruit.”

Campbell sees a huge potential for jackfruit in this hemisphere. “It is versatile and productive. It fits in with subsistence and big agriculture. It can be used for forestry. Our new varieties are manageable, small-fruited and delicious,” he says. “The future is bright for this rising star of the tropical fruit world.”

See Dr. Campbell and other experts at the Jackfruit Jubilee at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Sat., Sept. 13 from 9:30-4:30pm. There will be plant sales, jackfruit tastings, lectures on the fruit’s origins and background, cooking demos by chef Allen Susser and classes on growing and caring for jackfruit trees. For more information, click here.

Jackfruit Plant – Fanas, Kathal, Artocarpus heterophyllus

Jackfruit

From the family Moraceae and related to the breadfruit, growing jackfruit trees (Artocarpus heterophyllus) can attain heights of 80 feet with a straight trunk branching out from the base. Jackfruit tree info finds these trees cultivated in India. This otherworldly looking oddity has a very thick rubbery rind with short blunt spikes and up to 500 seeds. The average fruit is around 35 pounds but in Kerala, India a 144 pound jackfruit was displayed at a festival! All but the rind and core of the fruit is edible and the odor is in another category of scents than can be imagined. In fact, the fruit of growing jackfruit trees have been described as smelling either like a combination of grapefruit, banana and cheese or akin to spoiled onions blended with sweaty gym socks and cloyingly sweet. I can’t bear to think of the latter description!

All parts of the jackfruit tree produce opalescent, sticky latex and the tree has a very long taproot. Growing jackfruit trees have flowers borne on short branches extending from the trunk and older branches.

How to Grow Jackfruit

So now that you know what is a jackfruit, you may be wondering how to grow jackfruit trees? Well, first of all you need to live in a humid tropical to near tropical climate.

Growing jackfruit trees are extremely sensitive to frost and cannot abide drought. They flourish in rich, deep and somewhat porous soil. They enjoy a constant source of moisture though they cannot tolerate wet roots and will cease to bear fruit or even die if kept too wet.

Altitudes over 4,000 feet above sea level are detrimental as are areas of high or sustained winds.

If you feel you meet the requirements above, then propagation is usually attained via seeds, which have a short shelf life of only a month. Germination takes 3-8 weeks but can be sped up by soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours. Once the growing jackfruit trees gain four leaves, they may be transplanted although the extra long and delicate taproot may make this difficult.

Jackfruit Care

If after all my pessimistic jackfruit tree info you decide to give it a whirl, there are certain items regarding jackfruit care that you should know. Growing jackfruit trees produce within 3-4 years and may live to 100 years old with productivity declining as they age.

Fertilize your growing jackfruit tree with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium applied in a ratio of 8:4:2:1 to 30 grams per tree at 6 months of age and doubling every 6 months up to 2 years of age. Past the two year mark, growing jackfruit trees should get 1 kg. per tree in the amount of 4:2:4:1 and is applied before and at the end of the wet season.

Other jackfruit care dictates the removal of dead wood and thinning of the growing jackfruit tree. Pruning to keep the jackfruit at about 15 feet high will also facilitate harvesting. Keep the tree roots damp but not wet.

Nursery owner has a love affair with jackfruit

Thirty eight year old Anil Kumar, popularly known as ‘Jack Anil’, is an expert in grafting and budding of jackfruit seedlings. His traditional techniques have been 100 percent successful and he is one of the most sought after people when it comes to preserving and popularising varieties of jackfruits.
Grafting and budding are horticultural techniques used to join parts from two or more plants, so that they appear to grow as a single plant. In grafting, the upper part of one plant grows on the root system of another plant. In the budding process, a bud is taken from one plant and grown on another.
Jack Anil owns the Ninnikallu nursery that has a variety of tropical fruits at Kabaka in Puttur, about 50 kilometres from Mangaluru. He is also working on a five-year project related to grafting at GKVK in Bengaluru.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, he said, “I lost my father when I was two years old and my mother would work in farms. Soon after returning from school, instead of going home, I would go to a farm. My mother would save some jackfruit for me, which I would enjoy. It was there that I watched people work in the farms. Over the years, the farm vanished and I continued to crave for that particular variety of jackfruit, which became an inspiration for me to learn the art of grafting. But the turning point was the ‘Social Forestry Scheme’ introduced by the government, where they would plant acacia and eucalyptus. I would keenly observe the plants and was very interested in growing rubber and thus started grafting as a hobby,” says Anil, who hails from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and has a diploma in industrial training.
To work in the rubber business, he came to Puttur and settled down there. He then popularised the gum-less variety of jackfruit. His inspiration has been Shri Padre, the editor of Adike Pathrike and Dr Shyamalama Reddy, associate professor at GKVK.
Anil said, “When we were young, not many people were interested in farming and everyone aspired for a while-collar job. However, now I see lot of techies wanting to know more about saplings and wanting to grow trees. If there is someone wanting to preserve a rare variety of jackfruit, I am willing to graft it free of cost anywhere across the nation. People throng to the farm for study. Ken Love, the executive director of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, visited the farm and was surprised at the grafting and budding techniques employed,” he said. He has set a target of grafting 50,000 jackfruit seedlings for this year. So far, he has grafted more than 100 varieties of jackfruit.
In recent years, the demand for jackfruits has increased, with people wanting particular varieties that they remember from their childhood or from their villages. Those who came in search of rare varieties often exchanged them for tropical fruits. As a result, he has more than 100 rare varieties of tropical fruit plants that include rambutan, mangosteen, miracle fruit, jabuticaba, santol and Abiu, in addition to more than 100 varieties of jackfruit plants. With the growing importance of ‘Vaastu’, people also look for trees that suit their star signs. There are 27 such trees at the farm.
During the recent ‘Vasanthotsava’, a fruit festival held at Pilikula, Pradeep from Pune, who met Anil through Facebook, took 60 varieties of plants for his mixed fruit farm, near Chiplun.

Jackfruit Tree Info: Tips For Growing Jackfruit Trees

You may have seen an extremely large, spiny behemoth of a fruit in the produce section of a local Asian or specialty grocer and wondered what on earth it could be. The reply, upon inquiry, may be, “That’s a jackfruit.” Okayyyy, but what is a jackfruit? Keep reading to learn more about this unusual and exotic fruit tree.

Jackfruit Tree Info

From the family Moraceae and related to the breadfruit, growing jackfruit trees (Artocarpus heterophyllus) can attain heights of 80 feet with a straight trunk branching out from the base. Jackfruit tree info finds these trees cultivated in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, Kenya, Uganda and Mauritius. They may also be found in Brazil, Jamaica, the Bahamas, south Florida and Hawaii.

This otherworldly looking oddity has a very thick, rubbery rind with short blunt spikes and up to 500 seeds. The average fruit is around 35 pounds but in Kerala, India a 144 pound jackfruit was displayed at a festival! All but the rind and core of the fruit is edible and the odor is in another category of scents than can be imagined. In fact, the fruit of growing jackfruit trees have been described as smelling either like a combination

of grapefruit, banana and cheese or akin to spoiled onions blended with sweaty gym socks and cloyingly sweet. I can’t bear to think of the latter description!

All parts of the jackfruit tree produce opalescent, sticky latex and the tree has a very long taproot. Growing jackfruit trees have flowers borne on short branches extending from the trunk and older branches.

How to Grow Jackfruit

So now that you know what is a jackfruit, you may be wondering how to grow jackfruit trees? Well, first of all you need to live in a humid tropical to near tropical climate.

Growing jackfruit trees are extremely sensitive to frost and cannot abide drought. They flourish in rich, deep and somewhat porous soil. They enjoy a constant source of moisture though they cannot tolerate wet roots and will cease to bear fruit or even die if kept too wet.

Altitudes over 4,000 feet above sea level are detrimental, as are areas of high or sustained winds.

If you feel you meet the requirements above, then propagation is usually attained via seeds, which have a short shelf life of only a month. Germination takes three to eight weeks but can be sped up by soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours. Once the growing jackfruit trees gain four leaves, they may be transplanted although the extra long and delicate taproot may make this difficult.

Jackfruit Care

If after all my pessimistic jackfruit tree info you decide to give it a whirl, there are certain items regarding jackfruit care that you should know. Growing jackfruit trees produce within three to four years and may live to 100 years old with productivity declining as they age.

Fertilize your growing jackfruit tree with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium applied in a ratio of 8:4:2:1 to 30 grams per tree at six months of age and doubling every six months up to two years of age. Past the two year mark, growing jackfruit trees should get 1 kg. per tree in the amount of 4:2:4:1 and is applied before and at the end of the wet season.

Other jackfruit care dictates the removal of dead wood and thinning of the growing jackfruit tree. Pruning to keep the jackfruit at about 15 feet high will also facilitate harvesting. Keep the tree roots damp but not wet.

The clouds leak constantly. I imagine someone doing laundry up in the sky, trying to wash dark smudges from the rain clouds, wringing them dry into white fluff once again. The clouds have no shame. They weep constantly, not caring that all eyes are turned towards them. Clouds have no control over their emotions. I am grateful to them. They cry the tears I want to. I sit on the steps outside my grandfather’s house and watch the rain. The roof leaks a little; we put steel utensils at the right spots to keep the floor dry. These spots keep shifting because the roof is sloped, sometimes we move the utensils. Many times we forget. Sometimes the rain stops, without intruding.

The rubber trees have grown from the last summer I was here. The earlier trees had dried up; no longer could they be suckled for milk, that dripped slowly into coconut shells, a viscous white. New saplings had been planted two summers back which had afforded a view of hills long blotted by the old rubber trees. Now they were grown up and once more, sunlight filtered into the courtyard through the dark green of their leaves. Moss grows on the steps up to my grandfather’s house

The clouds infect the earth with green here. A green that seeps and creeps and drips, into houses and dreams. A green that cuts into you, slicing in, where it festers in the moist darkness of your heart. In it, writhe centipedes and millipedes, and other creatures with too many eyes and too many feet. While bathing I had reached an uneasy truce with various insects, most terrifying of all a spider the size of my palm. When I was younger, my grandfather had often reassured me that insects are more afraid of us than we are of them. I try to trust him.

We went on walks, as we had for more than ten summers (or is it monsoons?). There are explosions of jackfruit at regular intervals. They make the path slippery and treacherous, and fill it with a haze of tiny flies whose English name I do not know, tiny enough to inhale. I am still amazed that it grows on trees. I now know that it is the largest tree borne fruit, because my phone is smart. I always think how lucky people who cross the jackfruit tree before it let falls a fruit are. The pungent sweetness of its golden flesh that lies inside the hedgehog green exterior is an acquired taste I believe. After years of resistance, this time I succumbed. I must be growing up. I like the chips more, crisped in coconut oil. And there’s a dish of fried jackfruit seeds of course, beyond compare, coated in spices unharnessed in a delectable crunch.

Pineapples on the other hand, sensibly grow in spiky bushes that look much like its crown, and thus care more for human safety than the jackfruit. Pineapple fields on a hillside are a sight to behold. These feature on our walks too. But my favourite part is the stream, fed by those clouds full of inner turmoil. The water is clear, and in its deepest doesn’t rise above my knees. But the current in parts is swift. There was a time I lost a slipper to it, and floated the second along as well, since what was I to do with one, and hopefully someone downstream would find the pair and put it to good use. We chart its course, constant companion.

The village market is close by. We go every day. We have little else to do. My grandfather’s house is not used to many inhabitants any more, each day we go to buy bread or eggs or evening snacks that are fried and oily and hot and perfect. The shops are still housed in structures built more than half a century ago, old shutters that instead of rolling down fold out and in like Chinese fans, and the roofs are slanting, clay tiles lie cocooned in each other. The house has a similar slanting roof, red clay tiles, and green moss and below that a wooden ceiling, from when my great grandparents built it. As I fall asleep at night I look at the same ceiling they looked at, and wonder how different the thoughts that traversed our minds. Fireflies flit in the dense darkness, mirroring the cloud bereft star studded night sky. Even the fireflies emit a green light here.

It is strange, how losing a place as we know it makes us so afraid. For me my grandfather’s village was to be that unchanging dot in space and time, unravaged by the passage of years, where I would go each summer to find that everything was as I had left it the year before. And finding that it cannot be so, I am imprinting each sight, which had earlier seeped in only subconsciously, committing each detail to memory. There is the view from the bathroom window that has no glass, only wooden bars, a high small window through which coconut trees, the sky and part of a hill is visible. The way points of sunlight pierce through needle like holes in the roof. The mangosteen tree towards the back of the house which sheds fruit each day. This summer I learnt how to crack open its thick purple skin, placing it between my palms and pressing down till it popped, its sweet white fruit succulent on my tongue. Furniture from my grandfather’s house in Delhi (I remind myself of its earlier place in the earlier house and its new position, its earlier and current uses), as though I’m the sole historian of his artefacts. I travel to a small village in Kerala each summer, of rubber trees, monsoon streams and exploding jackfruits. And even when I no longer take a flight, a train and a hired car to get here, I don’t want that to change.

Ranjini Nair

Ranjini Nair wants to be a dancer. She is currently figuring out how to support herself while doing so. She also has degrees in literature, and is wondering what she can do with them.

Commonly grown in tropical area, jackfruit can now be found anywhere in the world nowadays. Originated in India, this plant has widespread throughout Asia, South America, and Australia in last few decades.

The reason why many countries are eager to adopt this plant is because this plant was said to be the savior of the world. No, it is not about saving the world by becoming alive and fight the aliens, but by providing the nutrition we need to survive.

This plant can provide hundreds of fruits at once, assuring that it can feed many people in just one fruit season. Not only the fruit, the trees are also huge enough to provide a lot of woods. People even compare the size of the trees into majestic eastern oak of United States of America.

But jackfruit is more than that, and in this article we are going to talk about this future ‘savior’ of humanity.

Giant Fruit

As mentioned before, in a single fruit season, a single jackfruit tree can give us hundreds of fruits at once. If you have never seen any jackfruit tree, you might think about small-sized fruits hanging on the trees, but if you have seen one, you should know how wonderful it is.

The average weight of a jackfruit is about 10-15 kilograms, with the record stated that the biggest jackfruit ever discovered weigh about 45 kilograms. The fruit itself can reach 1 meter long, thus if you see its tree when it is fruiting, you will see a huge group giant fruits hanging on the height.

The size of the fruit comes with the amount of flesh to be consumed. About 80% of the fruit’s weigh comes from the edible part of it, whether it is the fruit flesh or the seeds. Yes, you can also eat the seeds after cooking it.

Imagine buying a whole jackfruit weighting about 3 kilograms and able to eat about 2.4 kilograms of it. Pretty sure you will get swamped just eating one. Remember that there are tens of it in just one tree, so by planting just a single jackfruit tree you can simply feed many people.

Moreover, the fruit can be eaten both ripe and unripe. Ripe fruit can be eaten directly just like eating other kind of fruits, while unripe jackfruit can be cooked into many kinds of dishes. Tropical Asian countries have many variants of dishes made of unripe jackfruit.

What It Contains

Jackfruit by Neajjean

According to National Public Radio, jackfruit is “high in protein, potassium and vitamin B”. A cup of it also contains about 3 grams of fiber, 2.8 grams of protein, 739 milligrams of potassium, 37 percent of a day’s worth of vitamin C, and 1 gram of fat.

All those nutrients in a cup of jackfruit are accompanied with just 38 grams of carbohydrate. That is a lot less carbs compared to grains like rice and corn, so you can eat and absorb all those nutrients provided by the fruit without worrying much about the carbohydrate value.

However, you might not want to eat a whole jackfruit in one sitting, because you will get full by eating just 10 or 12 bulbs. While a single fruit can contain about 50 to 500 bulbs. See how many people can be fed, healthily, with just one jackfruit.

“It’s a miracle. It can provide so many nutrients and calories, everything. If you just eat 10 or 12 bulbs of this fruit, you don’t need food for another half a day,” Shyamala Reddy, a researcher at University of Agriculture Sciences in Bangalore, India.

So, the size of a single jackfruit is enough to fill many people’s tummies. Not only that, it can provide that much amount of nutrition to those people. Pretty much like the answer for fighting world hunger, isn’t it?

Fame

It seems like a good idea to fight world hunger with this fruit. “It is easy to grow. It survives pests and diseases and high temperatures. It is drought-resistant. It achieves what farmers need in food production when facing a lot of challenges under climate change,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank.

It adds another reason for us to start cultivating this fruit. But how can we have just heard about it recently? Apparently, we should start spreading the idea from now. The reason is, this fruit has not gained the fame it deserves, even in India which is where the fruit’s originated.

“I think it could play a much more important role in diets than it currently does and be a staple,” said Nyree Zerega, a researcher at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Zerega has studied about this fruit in Bangladesh for years and discovered that in recent days this fruit is not as important as it was decades ago.

In India, about 40 to 50 years ago, this fruit was indeed considered as important staple. But nowadays, this is considered as a ‘poor man’ food. Nowadays, there are only two commercial-scale plantations in India which are still actively operating.

“In the country of origin, it is just not understood. There is an inferiority attached to jackfruit. Any farmer would happily carry an imported apple in his hand rather than jackfruit,” said Shree Padre, a farmer to The Guardian.

What Can We Do

Finding it is hard to promote jackfruit from only just its nutritional content? Then you should know that this fruit is more than that. The seeds can be consumed too, but you need to cook it first to make it edible.

“In addition to consuming cooked young jackfruit, ripe jackfruit, and jackfruit seeds, there are also many food products with longer shelf life that can be made from jackfruit,” said Zerega. One of the most famous food made of this fruit is Gudeg, an Indonesian cuisine coming from Yogyakarta.

The timber from the trees also has its own characters, making it usable for furniture, construction works, even making musical instruments. However, not many people are willing to utilize it. “It is just not being utilized,” said Zerega.

It is an all-in-one plant, and there are many reasons for us to start planting it to fight many of our problems nowadays, including world’s hunger. “We just don’t have a choice. We are going to have to explore some of these alternative to make sure we are going to be able to nourish people,” said Dr Jim Yong Kim from The World Bank.

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