Have you heard about the Dragon Fruit? If yes you absolutely need to try the yellow dragon fruit also locally called pitahaya in Ecuador. This is the sweetest one of the 3 different existing dragon fruits.
Last week we have finally been able to harvest the first few cactus fruits ourselves at the farm. Naturally totally organic.
Why do I need to mention this here and now? Well because 95% of the dragon fruit production is not organic. Even certified exporters use a lot of allowed chemical fertilizers. Dragon fruit production has become a extremely lucrative industry industry worldwide. Between 2006 and 2010, pitaya production has grown 6-fold. (source)
Fertilization—Fertilizer treatments included four treatments per year of 8N–1.3P–7.5K fertilizer at an annual rate of 380 lb/acre nitrogen, 62 lb/acre phosphorous, and 355 lb/acre of potassium. Many of the growers also applied compost and four to six minor element sprays.
Weed Management—Weed control treatments consisted of four applications per year of glyphosate (Roundup PowerMax®; Monsanto, St. Louis, MO) applied at a rate of 11 lb/acre per year, within rows, and four applications of pre-emergent oxadiazon (Ronstar® G; Bayers Environmental Science, Research Triangular Park, NC) applied to the containers at a rate of 8 lb/acre per year. Rows were also mowed four to six times per year at a total cost of $120/acre.
Yes. You read correctly – glyphosate 🙂 for Weed control. Crazy (!!!) Most people buying Dragonfruit think they consume something REALLY healthy. Vegans, Fruitarians, etcetera.
U.S.–Asian population and among mainstream health-conscious U.S. consumers who are lured by the high antioxidant properties and other reported health benefits associated with the fruit.
and if they would do a lab test would find out about Glyphosate or Roundup cancer which has been classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Now thats quite interesting with all the money that Glyphosate or Roundup is pumping into marketing and politics that still the WHO has not given them also a green card…
In the US you can buy yellow dragon fruit for a cheap as $6.- per fruit… In Ecuador the current price varies between 0.50 and 1 per fruit.
You can tell be looking at the fruit. If its really to big most likely it has been “eating” chemical fertilizers of any sort. Also go and visit the dragon fruit production areas. All the forests have been cleared for producing hectares of dragonfruit. Sadly we are still in a time when economic growth is more important than biodiversity …
Okay. Back to our farm in Ecuador. Here some photos of the first harvested yellow dragonfruits. Obviously organic 🙂
The yellow dragon fruit flower before the fruit has grown.
Growing yellow pitahaya is first green and does really look like a classic cactus.
Time to harvest once its almost yellow. You can see very little green left on the fruit on this picture.