“The only way to buy time,” said my friend Shirley “is to buy a mature fruit tree.” Hmmm. She’s right, you know. You can go to most any vivero and buy a little fruit tree in a gallon pot for less than $10. Then you go home, dig a suitable hole, fertilize it properly, and wait. That wait can take seven or eight years, and then you find out that the variety isn’t what you wanted. When we moved to Costa Rica, there were spindly orange trees in all the wrong places so we moved them. Three years later, they have no fruit. Bah!
But waiting? As was said in “The Princess Bride:” “I hate waiting.
Isn’t there anything I can do to speed things up?” (Shirley answered that one). But we have found a new place to buy fruit trees, mature ones; fruit trees that will reward you with oranges or pink grapefruit or just about anything you want in less than two years. Quite often, the trees are delivered with buds that will produce fruit in months. Where is it? Cocobolo Tree Farm (cocobolotreefarm.com) between Cañas and Liberia.
This is no tiny vivero tucked into someone’s yard (I love those) or spread out over a hectare, this is 17 acres of trees of all sizes and ages. On our walk through with the garden club, we were offered ripe, sweet, red grapefruit from some of the trees and they were quite a treat. Those are the trees we had delivered.
Yes, there will be transplant shock, and we will do everything we can to reduce its impact. No, I don’t really expect a huge harvest next month but I am not going to have to wait for years for that harvest either. I am buying time.
Buying time is important to me right now because I am mumble-mumble years old. I get cranky thinking about waiting for even five years before harvest. Do I have waiting-to-harvest trees? Yes, my coconuts. They are now 2 years old and won’t fruit for another four or five. So much for coconut cake, but it is, after all, not my favorite. Grapefruit, real sweet red grapefruit, is a favorite, and I am willing to pay for an early harvest.
So, there we are. If you bought a property with a large mango or manderina tree that is already producing fruit, or a vigorous avocado to enjoy with breakfast, you are fortunate. But if you want to buy time, look for a mature tree and dig a nice big hole. You won’t regret it.