Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Plant Your Very Own Guacamole Tree

Hanson, T. 2015. The Triumph of Seeds. New York (NY): Basic Books. p. xix-18 & 55-80.

Was it just me or did anyone else find themselves wondering about the practicalities of growing their very own avocados after reading the first chapter of Thor Hansen's book, "The Triumph of the Seed." I personally think it would be a grand achievement and while I was the reading the first chapter of Hansen's book, I could feel the gears in my head turning. I have seen and held my fair share of avocado pits while making guacamole with my family; but I had never appreciated a pit as anything more than that "unappetizing brown thing," and never really saw it's true potential. I don't think I will be able to look at store bought fruit in the same way ever again.

As Thor Hansen explains in his book the avocado plant uses internal pressure to break through the hard casing of it's shell. This pressure ultimately comes from the water that has been absorbed from the soil/environment. When doing my own research I found one, do it yourself, method of growing an avocado tree; which involved sticking toothpicks into the seed and suspending it in a glass of water. "Sounds easy enough". Once the plant inside has matured enough and absorbed enough water it will then breakthrough the shell to expose its roots, at this point plant can then be transferred to a pot of soil.

This is the point where I reached my dilemma. Living in the interior of British Columbia I was pretty confident that an avocado tree wouldn't survive a winter in my backyard; which left me with only one perceivable option, I would have to have grow it in indoors. "Can you fit a tree fit in a pot?" I found myself wondering and it actually turns out you can. Although you can grow one from a seed, it appears that a healthy graft from a dwarf tree is your best bet if you want a plant that produces an avocado fruit. However I think that would remove the best part of the experiment, watching the seed the grow into a plant.

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