Today I made one of my many trips to the Dover Produce Junction and found an unusual fruit for sale. The fruit is a tropical plant known as Rambutan. Rambutan trees are native to the Indonesian region of the world. It is now distributed worldwide, thanks to the 13th century traders. The plant is an evergreen tree which grows to approximately 65 feet high as a mature tree, under the proper conditions. There are three types of Rambutan trees, the male which produces flowers but no fruit, the female which produces flowers only and the hermaphroditic which produces female flowers and a small percentage of male flowers.

The fruit itself is round to oval and contains a single seed. The fruit skin is reddish color and covered with fleshy hairs or spines. The flesh is either translucent or white and possess a sweet, slightly acidic flavor very similar to that of grapes. The single seed within the fruit are of a glossy brown color. The seeds can be cooked and eaten, if desired.

The fruit has a very limited self-life and the seed must be removed immediately. The plant is very sensitive to temperatures below 50 degrees, so if you grow one it would need to be kept as a house plant. Now that the introductions and preliminaries are taken care of, let us actually see how to grow these fruits from store bought produce.

As mention above, you must ensure that the fruit you purchase is of high quality and fresh. It cannot be several weeks old or you are prone to failure from the very beginning. After successfully obtaining some fresh fruit, carefully remove the seed found in the center of the fruit. Wash this seed to remove all the pulp from it. If the pulp is not completely removed it will hinder germination.

Plant the seed horizontally with the flat side facing down in a pot with good drainage holes. Fill the pot with a good sand and compost mix. This procedure will assist the plant on growing straight upwards and aid in developing a good root system. I used the same type of mix which I use for growing cactus. Cover the seed slightly with some soil, but don’t plant the seed too deep. Germination will take from one to four weeks. If a fresh seed has not dried out, it may be able to survive for a short period of time in moist sphagnum moss. It will usually take about two years before the tree is ready to be transplanted. At this point the tree should be approximately one foot tall, however, it will still be very fragile.

An alternative method which has seen some manner of success in germinating the seed is to maintain the seed in water making certain to provide fresh water daily. The water used in the germinating process will become somewhat icky so be sure to change it daily. It should germinate in water within a week or so.

When transplant time arrives, it should be placed into a ceramic pot rather than a plastic one or directly into the ground. Use a combination of part sand, part vermiculite, and part peat in the transplant pot. At 6 months of age, the tree should be fertilized and again at one year old. After that fertilize yearly. Keep the soil damp and grow the tree in partial sun.

Now you are knowledgeable in growing the rambutan trees, so why not start some of your own?

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Joseph Parish
My name is Joseph Parish. I am also known as "Word Writer", a freelance writer who specializes in a host of subjects from survival and emergency actions to gardening. Over the years, I have found that many people involved in the subject of survival claim an attraction towards the subject they practice. A few of them have really meant it. Fewer still have put their life into it and shown their true feelings about the subject. I attended the American Public University, specializing in Emergency Management and Terrorism. I have written one book on terrorism entitled “The Mind of a Terrorist”, and it is available on Amazon.I was brought up in southern New Jersey and attended school in the Millville area, graduating from the Millville Senor High school in 1966. By the time I graduated, I was hooked upon entering the United States Air Force. I was determined to enter the military and pursue a field of study in the area of electronics. I initially attended a course in Aircraft Radio Repair at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Later, I was trained as a Ground Radio Repairman. Little did I realize that this course of training would eventually lead him into the Forward Air Control Career field.I remained in the military for 21 years, at which time I visited many foreign countries as well as just about all 50 states in America. In 1987, I decided that it was time to get out of the military and retire from active duty. It was at this time that I made a quantum career leap; combining my, military electronics training with my love of Aircraft, I became employed by TRW Aerospace in Redondo Beach California. The company was involved in developing and manufacturing various space craft units and satellites for the government. I will readily admit that the company was one of the greatest places I had ever worked, and really hated to leave the company, but I decided to depart the area. I have developed many interesting and cherished friendships while learning survival techniques, particularly those that dealt with earthquakes. Unfortunately, the area was not the best place to bring up children in and upon the conclusion of my contract with TRW, I returned to the east coast.Upon my return to the New Jersey area, I began teaching school for several years. I generally taught Junior High subjects, such as science and math. After getting involved in the teaching of young minds, I was informed that a close relative in Florida was ill and required help. Without hesitation, I headed to the sunshine state to assist. While in Florida I was employed as an RF Amplifier Engineer.Eventually the crisis which had brought me to Florida was over, and I was once again heading back up north, only this time to the state of Delaware. Here I worked as a mainframe computer operator for a major chicken producer until I decided that it was time for me to permanently retire.I decided to take a slightly different route. I was attracted to the topic of survival because of my love for the military and my field of work while I was active duty. When 9-11 took place in America, there was a rise in the popularity of survival preparations which led to both government and private citizens being concerned about survival. These people and agencies had the freedom to select the various topics relating to the subject and the followers began to flock to them because of their knowledge and values. By the end of 2007, various internet websites began cropping up relating to survival. One such website was mine. Being a part-time newspaper reporter in New Jersey years ago, I would create my own form of written articles.My first exposure to "survival" came as an Air Force Forward Air Controller (ROMAD) during my 21 years in the military. I have served as a unit Safety NCO, Emergency Preparedness NCO and other related duties. Some of my safety related articles had been published in the Air Force Safety Manual. Over the years I have taken courses ranging from FEMA sponsor classes to “Aircraft aviation” courses in my efforts to become more informed on survival techniques and procedures. I am a firm believer that you must be ready for any sort of emergency and above all you simply cannot rely upon the government to help you during times of crisis. I am a follower of the philosophy that you should continue to learn as much as you possibly can and believe that when you stop learning you are simply dead.I am currently an active volunteer in the Delaware Medical Reserve Corp, participating in the Delaware Bat Monitoring Program and the Terrapin Rescue. I previously was a Red Cross volunteer working with the Emergency Management Section of the organization.My hobby is gardening and I have my own greenhouse. I love experimenting with the propagation of plants. Many of my articles center around the topic of gardening. I look forward to accepting assignments from potential clients. Feel free to contact me at (302) 404-5976.

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