Front Yard Home Orchard in LA Grows over a Dozen Rare Tropical Fruit Trees


Alright this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
Have another exciting episode for you. This episode’s going to be definitely a fun one,
this is for those of you guys that don’t like to do garden maintenance but want to eat out
of your yard. We’re here on a field trip today in Los Angeles, California.
You can see this is what your standard front lawn looks like in Los Angeles and guess what?
Grass. It’s super high maintenance man, you’ve got to sit here and water it, fertilize it,
mow it, or hire a kid to do it and they’re not really productive. I’m not seeing kids
playing on the yards, playing on the grass and all this kind of stuff. It’s just, everybody
has a lawn because that’s what you think you got to do.
But today I’m going to share with you guys what somebody else did on this same block
instead of growing a lawn. They started in 1989 simply growing fruit trees in their front
yard instead. What a better use of your real estate than to grow your own food, but more
specifically grow some food that money can’t buy.
What we’re talking about today is we’re talking about rare, tropical fruits that can be grown
here in southern California that you just frankly don’t see in grocery stores because
some of these fruits are not grown on a commercial scale because they’re just not financially
viable because they don’t travel or ship well because they can be a little bit more challenging
to grow because they won’t do well in field because they do need some protected environments.
So that being said this video is specifically for people that live Southern California or
a warm climate where you don’t get freezes maybe like Southern California or Hawaii.
Here’s the house here, you can see instead of the lawn they got lush greenage growing
on. These are all fruit trees and a lot of edible, even in just the front walkway check
it out. We got some passion fruit growing, this is an excellent thing to grow up a hurricane
fence. As you see here the passion fruits growing. I mean, hurricane fences that look
this are ugly, but fill it up with a passion fruit vine, man you’re growing food, you make
it look beautiful and you got some stuff to eat. Let’s go ahead and enter in this front
yard fruit tree forest. So upon entering you’re going to see all different
kinds of fruit trees. Here’s a mammoth fruit tree here. One of my favorite fruits in the
whole-wide world, this is persimmons. I mean, this tree produces, look this thing is totally
packed and packed with tons of persimmons. I mean, persimmons you could eat fresh, they’re
definitely good. You could keep them cool, they’ll store for
many months. You could also dry them. If you simply cut them and hang them they’ll dry.
If try to buy dried persimmon it’s like twenty bucks a pound but with all these persimmons
man, you could be eating literally to the next time you get persimmons the following
year. So many delicious fruits, they’re almost in season. They need to be a nice color before
harvesting. Now besides the persimmon tree, hiding over
on this area is a little small fig tree that’s getting dwarfed by the persimmon tree. Especially
in a small, tight area growing fruit trees it’s probably good to keep them pruned down
so that they’ll produce for you and they won’t shade out other trees. Depending on the fruit
tree that you’re planting I recommend minimal ten feet, twelve feet would be good to keep
them nice and pruned down. If you get dwarf varieties they could be planted more close
together. Going underneath over here we can see we have
a couple more fruit trees here. This is actually called a sapodilla or also known as Chicozapote,
one of my favorite trees with delicious fruit, this is known as a brown sugar fruit, literally
when you cut this guy open, it’s like brown and if you get a nice ripe one it tastes like
brown sugar to me. I don’t advocate brown sugar, but I advocate the brown sugar fruit
or the sapodilla. Next here’s another really cool one that you
have to have a tropical environment. I tried to grow this in Northern California, it didn’t
do so well. This is actually called a curry tree. So the curry tree, yes, this is not
that curry spicy, this is actually real curry and if you just use the leaves you could actually
just use the leaves and eat them. Wow, that’s some of the best curry I’ve ever tasted right
off the tree man! I always encourage you guys to use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
So besides all the different fruit trees here, this is really cool. They got a few other
things that are actually edible. You might be thinking John what’s up with the roses,
man. The roses aren’t edible? Actually, the roses are edible. People commonly use the
flowers, you could use the petals in salads, it’s quite delicious. Actually knows the rosehips
are edible because they have rose hip teas and what not. Many people don’t know that
even the leaves of the roses are edible. They’d be known as a famine food, it probably be
my first choice to be eating my rose leaves, but they’re totally edible.
Besides the roses they also have this one which is really cool and I rarely see it.
I only know this as leaf ginseng, I don’t know the other name, but this one is amazing.
In my Northern California garden it’s been growing, it goes to seed, kind of like you
see here. These seeds will drop and then just start to sprout up everywhere and I’ll have
a bunch of these guys. This is a warm season crop and I like these guys because you could
just literally pick the leaves. They’re mildly succulent, so they’re kind of thick right,
and then you could eat them. Nice, mild, neutral flavor, super delicious, excellent to put
in salads. This would be a perineal in this climate here in Southern California, easily.
Before I show you guys some more fruit trees I want to give a special thanks out to Jasmine
who gave me the lead on this place, that’s doing amazing by just growing fruit trees.
I mean literally, a lady planted fruit trees in like 1989 and here it is like 15 odd years
later and everything’s in full production and doing really well. I mean, I’m sure just
a few years after she planted it she was already eating out of her yard and eating some of
the fruits that she was familiar with as a child that literally money can’t buy. So let’s
go check out some few more fruit trees. Over on this side we have a surinam cherry,
surinam cherries are really excellent to grow. There’s multiple surinam cherries here and
there’s different varieties of surinam cherries. I mean, just because you see a persimmon doesn’t
mean you have to get that persimmon. There’s so many different kinds and varieties of persimmons.
So before planting exotic or any fruit tree, ask experts and ask them are there other varieties
that might do better in my area than others. So varieties may produce better in higher
heat or with less water or grow bigger or grow smaller. surinam cherry’s definitely
one of my favorite fruits to be eating. Over we have a lemon tree producing really
well. Up above here, we have one of my favorite trees, this is called the jujube tree or jujube
tree and they make apple like fruits and if you look on the ground you can see them. We’re
going to go ahead and show you guys this one. Now these guys could be eaten fresh and it’s
kind of like an apple when you eat them fresh. When they dry on the tree or outside they
kind of get shriveled up and they look like a California raison. “I heard it from the
grape vine…” actually no, I heard it from the jujube tree. The Jujube branch.
Alright, so anyways, these are my favorite fruits when they’re dried. These are also
known as Chinese dates and when you bite into them on the inside it’s like a nougat it’s
like that milky way nougat. It tastes like sweet, it has like a bread like consistency.
But this is just a dried fruit and you don’t want it super dry. You want it just faintly
dried and that’s when the flavor really comes out. They’re nice and sweet and in China these
are known as a longevity food. So eat more jujubes for a longer life.
So over here we got another tree and this is really large. It’s like it’s be definitely
cut back a lot. This is another one of my favorites. It’s actually called the black
zapote or this is also known as the chocolate fruit. It makes this dark chocolate like fruit
on the inside. These are nowhere near being ripe. It’s actually related to the persimmon.
But it is not quite as cold tolerant as the persimmon, black zapote. Oh here’s one that’s
kind of getting eaten by the bugs. You kind of see it’s this like dark and black on the
inside man. These guys definitely need to be soft, kind of like an avocado when eating
them and they’re quite good. They’re not super sweet, they have a good flavor. I like to
blend those chocolate zapotes with dates and then it’s super good.
Here’s yet another fruit tree or plant here just near the house. This one is actually
called monstera deliciosa. Because it has a big monster like, phallic symbol fruit that
kind of like scales like pineapples, the scales need to actually fall off and you could eat
it and it has like a pineapple, banana flavor. Once again this is tropical, definitely super
delicious. Over on this side we have a banana, and this
is not necessarily a banana tree. People like to call it a banana tree, but it’s an herbaceous
plant. It looks like it’s doing fairly well. Over we have a cherimoya tree, another in
the atemoya family, they’re definitely delicious. I think I saw one over there yonder. Over
here we have a javacatva. This is so like a little tree that actually has little grape
like fruits that grow off the main stem. Let’s see, let’s see on the ground. I always like
to check on the ground below fruit trees to kind of see what I got and this is what they
look like. I mean, this one’s kind of dried out but this is a jabatacaba fruit, these
are better than grapes man. I love these guys a lot.
Continuing around right in the front, we gotcalamondin fruit here, it’s kind of like orange, or it’s
a citrus, wow, it’s really fragrant you can really smell the zest there. Now besides just
growing in the yard, because this yard is fully packed with fruit trees. They got some
more in pots up near the walkways, so let’s go ahead and show those to you guys.
First we have this guy and if you want to plant a tree that’s going to provide you with
leafy greens to eat, this is probably the tree. Plus you also have to live somewhere
where doesn’t freeze. It’s actually called the moringa tree. This moringa tree is towering
over me, so this is like over six feet tall and they amazing thing is I want to show you
guys what it’s being grown in. Check it out, it’s literally just being grown
in this one pot right here, and this pot is only halfway full of soil. The soil level
only comes up to here. So that’s totally amazing, not even a lot of soil, the moringa tree will
grow. The cool thing about the moringa’s if you chop it off and replant it, it should
probably grow new roots and sprout back up again off the top half. The bottom half will
just continue to put out new leaves for you to eat. I love the moringa and it’s one of
my favorite leafy greens on a tree to eat. Very nutritious actually.
Up over here you can see the citrus that we saw earlier. Then over on this side we got
a couple of cool things. We got a little small guava tree here that’s just, once again in
a small little planter on the patio. So a lot of these trees do not need a lot of root
space. Of course, the more root space you can grow the tree, the better it’s going to
produce for you. But even in a small space the tree’s going to stay smaller but still
produce but not be as productive as it could be.
Finally over here we have one of my favorite fruit trees to grow because not only can you
use the fruit, you could actually use the leaves. So this is a citrus, this is actually
called the kaffir lime. The kaffir lime, you can see there’s a whole bunch of limes just
sitting right here and these are edible, citrus edible limes. But more importantly these leaves,
these leaves you go into a store sell for a couple bucks just for a leaf or two. How
they use they leaves is in cooking you could use these leaves as a flavoring agent. Has
a nice, citrus scent to that. Wow, quite strong, just a little bit goes a long way.
So next what we’re going to do is we’re going to actually go into the backyard and share
with you guys what’s growing in the backyard because there’s even more fruit trees here.
So now we’re going to go ahead and check out the backyard, a lot of this backyard, there’s
not a lot of space in it, maybe like your backyard there’s like a little driveway and
a little patch of ground where there’s nothing growing, they could definitely put a vegetable
garden in there. But vegetable gardens are high maintenance, that’s why I like the fruit
trees. Check this out, here in this backyard there’s
a whole bunch of different fruit trees and these are fruits literally money can’t buy.
We was at the farmer’s market just a couple blocks down the street, they didn’t have some
of these tropical, exotic fruits at the farmers market. But they’re literally here growing
in the backyard and just with the investment of some money and some trees you plant them
and nurture them and they’re going to come to fruition, literally fruition.
So what we’re looking at here is a really cool one I’ve never seen before. This is actually
a purple guava and it has nice dark leaves, this is how they look and then when they’re
ripe, they’ll get, they’ll turn colors. So they will be a nice vibrant color like this
nice reddish color here and it should generally detract or come off the vine pretty easy and
then you got make sure you wipe it in the right place, give it some spice and all that
jazz. Then we’re going to go ahead and break this guy open and check it out. I mean, guava’s
I’ve never seen a guava like this. These are like rare fruits, look at that deep rich purple
in the inside and better than how it looks, man is how it smells. This stuff smells like
the best perfume. I wonder if you smear this over all over you if you’d smell like that.
Let me go ahead and tell you how it tastes and you can also eat the skin on these guys.
Wow, man, this guava lights me up and fresh fruit should light you up too. Fruit, in my
opinion, is one of the bests fruits on the earth to be eating.
Besides just this guava, the purple one which is really rare, I’ve never seen this before,
they also got a sweet and sour guava. So this one’s a little bit sweet but also then it’ll
hit you with some sour notes. So when you grow trees in your backyard you get to choose,
and I would highly discourage you guys to just choose a standard apple and orange. Grow
different things, push the envelope, grow fruit trees that money can’t buy that’ll give
you unique flavor sensations and also unique phytochemicals and phytonutrients, vitamins
and minerals that you’re not getting anywhere else.
Over on this side of the yard they got a tangerine or mandarin tree, just coming out the side
walk. I mean, even if you have not a lot of space you could just have a hole and the roots
will go down and seek out nutrients and what not. I always encourage you to plant your
trees actually on a mound and enrich the ground very well with some good compost, rock dust
minerals, worm castings and all that jazz. In addition another surinam cherry, these
things grow like weeds here, you can see the little surinam cherries just starting to develop.
They’re green on here. They’re going to turn into probably nice deep red or purple color.
Up above here we have an atemoya, so this in the, a relative of the cherimoya. Not currently
producing but this is a nice, huge, beautiful tree. Over here we have yet another surinam
cherry and the surinam cherry is actually is used a landscape and decorative tree in
many places these days, grows really well in Southern California.
Now I want to remind you guys that most of these trees will not survive if you get frosts.
So even in places like Northern California, not going to optimally do well unless you
live in the Bay Area, maybe Freemont where it just doesn’t get too cold. Over here we
have the white sapote. So she’s got all the different sapotes covered and then finally
in the back here we got a mamey sapote which she says hasn’t really produced for her. So
don’t necessarily recommend that. The white sapote will do fabulous in this area and produce
really well, I definitely love my white sapotes. That’s pretty much it for this whole backyard
aside from two more trees that I don’t even know the English name because these are actually
Filipino fruits that I don’t know the name of. The thing I do want to remind you guys
if you do live in Southern California or even Northern California, you want to join the
organization California Rare Fruit Growers that’s how she found out about growing all
these unique tropicals and found a member in the organization that basically held her
hand, got her started with growing fruit trees and doing this because literally growing fruit
trees is the easiest thing you’ll ever grow. Unlike vegetables that you need to tend to,
once you plant a fruit tree and nurture it, give it some water, I mean it pretty much
does it’s own thing year after year, it’ll give you some delicious fruit to eat to feed
you and your family. Once again I always encourage you guys to
eat foods out of your yard instead of the grocery store. It’s going to save money, they’re
going to be heathier and the pride of growership is just phenomenal. I’m glad that I got to
share this episode with you guys today and once again, even in a small, tight space you
could grow some fruit trees and I love my fruits and vegetables too. Alright, so once
again my name is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com. We’ll see you next time, and remember keep
on growing. How to Grow Foods with the Highest Nutrient
Density & Best Taste Alright this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
Today I have another exciting episode for you and what I’m going to talk about today
is something near and dear to my heart, I’m going to Briggs testing.

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99 thoughts on “Front Yard Home Orchard in LA Grows over a Dozen Rare Tropical Fruit Trees

  1. AWESOME Upload John, some many fruit trees that exist and yet we don't know of their existence, thankin' ya for bringing to our attention all these diverse species, thumbs up! =)

  2. I live in South Georgia and I've know where there is a stand of persimmons growing in the wild. They aren't as big as the ones in the film but they do grow in an area which does get frost. The same with figs, which are quite popular around here. I do know that there are varieties of tropical fruit trees which will grow in this area, such as bananas and others you wouldn't think would given the frost. One just has to do their research and work to find them.

  3. I know that from through the eighties and nineties as temperatures went up peach trees became less productive as the frost became less reliable, they need hard frosts to produce, and many orchards were shut down. But we are still in that in between kind of climate where the unexpected can grow and produce.

  4. I hold the camera for the las vegas and southern cali shots (like this episode) 🙂 On other locations he has another girl do it.

  5. John, I planed 5 fruit trees early this year. I want to keep them in small size tree and they are about 3 feet from each other. will it affect their fruiting? I don't need a lot of fruits from the same tree, but I want to have as many different trees as possible in limited space.

  6. My uncle planted about 10 fruit trees in our backyard. So far there's 7 left. Our weather here in Louisiana sucks. My plants and veggies are doing great, though. My eggplant is producing 60 black beauty every 2.5 weeks.

  7. hi, can you make a video about best seeds to grow in doors or in pot that will continue produce with ability to harvest from the plants any time in the year such as mints.
    a complete list would be awesome.
    thanks in advance man

  8. Put 3-6" of wood chips around base of fruit trees to provide insulation from cold weather, water retention, and fertilizer (after 1 year of breaking down).

  9. I have a few kaffir lime trees, persimmon, jujubee, guava, lime, tangerine, peppers, basil, and others in my small yard. Will love to have more fruit trees like apple.

  10. Hey John, you inspired me to prepare my own vegetable garden in my parents backyard ( im 16). I placed some compost and some leaves over it to get it ready for winter. Now shrooms are growing there. Is that a good or bad sign?

  11. the Jujube Tree looks cool and tasty! never heard of them? are they a warm weather tree or could be plated in Pennsylvania?

  12. When we hang out, we're gonna have to graze & talk SEPARATELY 'cause u launch debris when u talk-while-eating… I still love u tho'. We'd just have to work around that.

  13. I remember my Great Grandmother used every part of her yard to grow food She grew everything imaginable, fruit trees and just about any vegetable you could think of. She had this old dirt cellar that she did all her canning and the kegs of pickles that were delicious! I think what I miss is the time we spent together in the garden If you can get your kids involved, it not only introduces them to healthier eating, it brings you together as a family. Love your videos John, thanks for sharing!

  14. This video was impressive, John. It reminded me of my grandmother's herb garden in the backyard, which made me very emotional. Anyway, this was highly informative and has inspired me to want to grow my own fruit trees in the future. Thanks!

  15. John,
    I'm trying to select an attractive fruit tree for my front yard. I'm in Zone 5b, so i was looking at kikita persimmon trees, or jujubees. But both have small flowers and its tough to find what adult trees look like. Something that I can keep 12-15 feet tall would be ideal. Any suggestions?

  16. Harmony farms in Sebastopol sometimes carries grafted fruit trees I bought my mom a tree that had santa rosa plums two types of nectarines a two types of peaches grafted on a dwarf tree. They also had apples grafted with five different varieties. I got them in the spring but I believe they carry them in the fall as well. Maybe call and see if they have any in stock or place an order. Love your videos!

  17. I like the fruit trees. I'm glad my neighbors aren't doing this. Looks like a jungle.  Is this guy smoking pot? I don't care. He's super fun.  I wish he would get together with Hilah cooking on Youtube. They'd whip up some fun recipes for the stuff this uber enthusiastic guy grows.

  18. I've tried the brown sugar fruit/ sapodilla, and I didn't think they tasted anything like brown sugar.  Its hard to explain it, but I thought It had an amazing flavor.  I was really suprised.  Maybe a cross between a mango and a fig.  But thats probably a wrong discription.  Either way they taste amazing.

  19. I definitely love growing things money can't buy, or something I really love because when you grow it, it taste soooo much better than commercially grown food. I watched this video hoping to get some ideas for a new fruit tree we want to add.  Thanks John for another awesome ep. and for the woman to share her garden with us!

  20. John, you hit my favorite topic on subtropical fruit growing in so.cal….and yes you can get these rare and unusual fruits at your favorite farmers market…just have to look and ask around…and check us out when in your in our area at Del Mar Farmer's Market, Del Mar every saturday afternoon…ray
    ps come early…because there is a big demand on our surinam cherries, atemoyas, and sapotes and a lot more….

  21. What is the variety of the Purple guava?  I would like to grow it here in south Florida but I would like to know what kind it is.  Never seen one like that before.  Great Video btw.  Thanks for sharing!

  22. I live like 2 hours south of los angeles (san diego) I was just wondering, could I grow papaya trees here in southern CA? Also could I grow pineapples too? (some seeds I put in my chicken incubator sprouted) and they're mexican papayas

  23. John, I like this video. This is how I first found your videos. I searched for "Southern California" and "Exotic fruits", I have been watching your videos and I will keep watching. If you're looking for ideas for videos I wanted to suggest one, would you consider making a video and detailing which exotic fruit trees would fare better in subtropical areas such as Southern California? Maybe include topics like zone 9a/10a and which trees are possible with a little bit of care. Before I was searching all over the internet for trees that could thrive here (Even with a little bit of care for the frost/heat of a subtropical zone), now I am growing some of my own. Thanks John.

  24. you should visit glendale CA on your next trip to LA. Armenians there love to plant fruit trees you'll see them everywhere!

  25. When you opened that huge guava, John, I found myself being forward to smell it, too!!!
    One of My favorites. Trying to grow a sweetheart lychee here in Glendale, 8 years old, less than 5' tall, blooms like crazy, but loses all it's tiny fruit! Decomposing granitic soil .. too fast loss of water? Nutrients swept away from the roots? Water more often, but less time? More sun? Special food/nutrients for best flavor?

  26. I find Persimmons to be disappointing. They look so sweet and good on the tree but to me they're not good at all.

  27. I'm in the Pasadena area of LA. I'm planning on growing many fruit trees as well. What are some natural methods of preventing birds and insects from eating up all the ripe fruit?

  28. people should grow at least a dozen "food plants".
    There is so much waste from food going bad, to transportation , storage, labor etc…
    its such a waste.
    fruit trees grow pretty easy with little care.
    There are perennial greens you can use for spinach , lettuce etc.
    i grow %30 to %50 of my food
    and i live in the suburbs.
    The fruit is much better when it ripens on the tree
    and i eat varieties that taste better, rather than grown for production.
    Juju is easy to grow and very tasty and healthy.
    fig, pomegranate, white sapote, mulberry.. will all grow to at least zone 8.

  29. There’s a Surinam cherry tree producing in San Jose, Ca at Emma Prusch Farm Park, there’s also producing banana there as well. Also at quarry lakes park in Fremont they have a few jabuticaba trees, surrounded by water so probably helps with the temp.

    Those areas are a solid 9b zone so possible to grow weird exotics in 9b

  30. Great videos, have a question. What kind of fruit trees can I plant in New Mexico. Our weather is crazy and unexpected with heat in the summer and color, frost, freezing and snow during the winter.

  31. White and black sapote are not even related to each other sapote just means soft fruit so you could call any type of soft fruit sapote lol.

  32. 1:28 I just have realized that its not the fruits fault. Its the conventional growing methods fault perhaps. I guess some fruits really are not good to ship but i think there could be a lot more financially viable fruits people can base their business off of. The key is to just eat locally one way or the other I guess

  33. I really want to move to a tropical area where I can grow so many fruit trees when I retire lol…drooling over all when watching…thanks for sharing…u really have so much knowledge on growing fruits and vegetables! Way to go!

  34. Can't stop watching your videos. i live in the UK so sadly i can't grow most of the plants you share with us, until i get a polytunnel where i am going to grow myself a curry tree if nothing else.

  35. 5 years later, my front yard and back yard are full of fruit trees. I don’t understand why the Los Angeles folks don’t grow fruit trees on their yards to help battle bad air and drought.

  36. Running into celebrities about town would not be nearly as life changing as running into this guy. Thank you so much for giving us the time. You are making a difference in my life for sure. My garden is going strong!

  37. Hi, how are you? I have a question? how to keep bare root tree alive for March Right now it January 18. today I receive a bare root tree from a nursery Help, please. are should I plant it in a pot.

  38. John, you're exceptionally gorgeous and very informative. I would love to formally interview you one day. I'm working on getting into a masters program where your knowledge would be very valuable to the community. Frank Snapp (hummingbird avatar) on Facebook. Friend me please! You're fascinating. Thank you for your posts.

  39. In California I used to grow fruit in my front yard. When they ripened the Mexicans came and took it all to sell on street corners.

  40. In this day and age it's important to distinguish which fruits can be grown "under the radar", since so much housing now involves an HOA which might have rules against easily recognizible "fruits"… red dates or jujubes, passion fruit, etc are probably gonna fly "under the radar:

  41. I'm just surprised you didn't address the issue of drought and water use limits- all fruits and veg require substantial water, even with drip technique, etc.

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