A starter orchard

A list of easy fruits to grow in the tropics, suitable for the early stages of any agro-forestry project. Fruit production will start less than two years from planting. We can start eating our own fresh organic fruit while we wait for the other, slower fruit trees to develop.

Bananas are best planted at the edge of the site or as part of a circle, for example to absorb grey water from the kitchen sink, or runoff from a pond. The clumps tend to degrade over time (two/three years) and need to be replanted at some point, timely management of excess shoots results in increased production.

Papaya is relatively short lived, (a few years),  it can be planted anywhere and can be useful and very resilient, for example in a Papaya Salad Circle, including long beans and cherry tomatoes, does not like soft moist soil as it is top-heavy and very shallow rooted.

Pineapple when planted in shade, on the N&E side of other trees for example requires little to no care and can produce successfully for a number of years.

Guava grows to a medium sized bush shape in a relatively short time, can be hard pruned if necessary and starts producing very quickly.

Dragon fruit grows also in semi shade and likes well drained areas, some watering helps in dry times, but is not essential.

Mulberry and Silverberry (มะหลอด) grow in bush form without great care,  they must be pruned at some point for ease of  harvesting. As the fruits are small and ripen over a longish period, repeated harvesting is required, this is an important consideration when selecting the location. Mulberry can also be used decoratively, as the branches grow very quickly and lend themselves to being shaped easily.

Jamaican cherry (ตะขบ) because of its natural umbrella shape, is often planted to create quick shade for an outdoor seating area, Jackfruit is also a fast grower and can create useful shade for other crops.

Passion fruit and Gac Fruit are vines, which require support, but they grow quick and produce within a couple of years, regular pruning is required to maintain growth. Gac fruit is by some considered a superfood.

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