Start Up Your Own Dragon Fruit Farm
The dragon fruit is a very tasty and nutritious food that can have a lot of health benefits. But its price at this time is still prohibitive to many probably owing to the fact that it is not a common crop cultivated in a particular place. Supply determines the price as the market economy works on the Law of Supply and Demand. Rare products get pricey than common products.
If you want to enjoy the health benefits that could be had from eating delicious dragon fruits, you may consider putting up your own dragon fruit farm. But is it difficult to start up your own dragon fruit farm? According to dragon fruit farmers, it is not.
What do you need to start up your own dragon fruit farm? The requirements are simple. You just have to find a place to plant the dragon fruit plant, seeds from a ripe dragon fruit, or cuttings from mature dragon fruit plant. This means that you can propagate the dragon fruit plant sexually through the fertilized seeds or vegetatively through cuttings or sections of the stem.
Propagating Through Seeds
A ripe dragon fruit has many seeds in it (Fig. 1). You just have to mush this out with water to remove the seeds.
© 2011 Patrick A. Regoniel
Fig. 1. Dragon fruit seeds can be removed from the juicy meat.
Plant the seeds (making sure the flesh are removed well) in well-drained soil but keep it moist by covering the seedbed with a plastic bag. This should germinate in two weeks or so. Transfer the seedlings to a well-drained soil in a sunny place because the dragon fruit plant is a cactus. Shady areas must be avoided.
Propagating Through Cuttings
The dragon fruit plant can also be propagated vegetatively through cuttings from a mature plant. A segment of about 20 to 30 cm will do. The advantage of this method is you can save time growing the dragon fruit plant and enjoy its fruits after six months to one year. Directly plant the cutting to well-drained but humus-rich soil next to a 2 to 3 meter pole where the roots will grow and cling unto. The kind of soil and ambient conditions will determine the rate of growth of your dragon fruit plant.
Test out your dragon fruit plant in different soil and lighting conditions to find out the optimum conditions for growing it. This will be your basis for planting on a large scale basis or a farm at that. But if your backyard has the right conditions, you just might plant the dragon fruit plant around your lot as these do not occupy much space when it grows.
Pollination of the Flower
There are places where pollinators of the dragon fruit plant could be a problem. The plant blooms only at night and the possibility of pollination by insects may be compromised where bats or moths are not in range. The dragon fruit farmer therefore has to resort on hand-pollinating the flowers at night. The dragon fruit plant blooms in the early part of the evening so pollination must be done at this time.
Harvesting the Dragon Fruit
The timing of harvest matters when it comes to enjoying the best of the fruit's taste. Experienced farmers suggest harvesting during the dry season because the fruit will taste sweet unlike harvest in rainy days where the fruit will taste sour. This has something to do with available water in the succulent stem of the dragon fruit plant. Too much water dilutes the taste.
The Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Once you have a good start on your dragon fruit farm, you can start to reap what you have sown. Dragon fruit is plenty of health benefits for you and the people you sell your dragon fruit to.
Dragon fruit is low in calories and rich in antioxidants and also has antibacterial properties. Dragon fruit is rich in vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, and B3 plus other vitamins and nutrients. A few of the health benefits of Dragon Fruit include:
- Digestion: Dragon fruit is high in fiber which is excellent to improve the digestion system. A good working digestive system can help prevent getting medical issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) constipation and colon cancer.
- Iron: Dragon fruit is also a good source of iron which can help prevent anemia.
- Detoxify: Since dragon fruit is high in antioxidants, it can help the body detoxify and flush out toxins and metals.
- Immune system: Because of its high vitamin C content, dragon fruit can also boost the immune system, which fights off disease and illness.
- Prevent cancer: Dragon fruit has a good amount of Carotene and lycopene, which have many benefits including preventing prostate problems and the carotene can help prevent eye problems.
- Strong bones: In addition to all of these nutrients, dragon fruit also has a healthy amount of calcium, which is great for teeth and strong bones. Getting enough calcium from plants is very beneficial for keep bones strong.
- Cognition: Because dragon fruit does have a good amount of several important B vitamins and vitamin C, the fruit can help prevent the occurrence of cognitive disorders and keeps your brain functioning in a healthy way.
This is just a partial list of all of the great health benefits of dragon fruit.
© 2011 August 21 Patrick A. Regoniel Start Your Own Dragon Fruit Farm