Some Fun Fact about Avocados
Call them ahuacatl, avocaat, abogado, avocatier, agovago pears or alligator pear, from guacamole to sushi, the world over has enjoyed avocados in a variety of ways. Once considered to have an aphrodisiac effect in many cultures, avocado growers put a lot of effort into dispelling this reputation to increase its popularity. From guacamole to sushi, avocados have been enjoyed for centuries by all cultures. The fruit of the avocado has been reported to have healthy cardiovascular effects. Avocado oil is now used for many dermatological applications. It has also been reported to have beneficial effects against osteoarthritis
Most of all – they taste good!
Nutritional Benefits of Avocados
Nutritionally, each 3.5 oz. avocado averages 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fats and only 2 “net” carbs (9grams of carbs with 7 from fibre), making them a friendly low-carb food.
5 Easy Steps to start your avocado tree
Things you will need:
- A ripe avocado seed (preferably from a farmer’s market so they are not GM-genetically modified)
- A tumbler (preferably glass)
- Four toothpicks
- Cut the avocado lengthwise, being careful not to cut through the seed. Twist the two halves, exposing the seed – remove the pit
- Wash the pit carefully-do not use soap, only warm water. Be careful not to remove seed cover. Wash until pit is no longer slippery
- Hold the pit with the narrow end up and insert 4 toothpicks about midway – these will support the pit when placed in the glass of water
- Make sure your tumbler is wide enough for your pit – set your pit, rounded end down, in the glass and fill it to rim with water
- Set in a well-lit, temperate area where it will be undisturbed
- Ensure you replace the water every 1-2 days; this will prevent mould and bacteria from forming
- Keep the base submerged in the water
- Be patient for the roots to sprout – 2-3 weeks-the tap will form within 3-4 weeks – take care not injure
- The skin of the seed will dry out, wrinkle and slough off – this is natural
- The seed will soon sprout at the top, put out leaf-buds and a shoot bearing leaves
- When the stem reaches 15-18cm (7”) cut back to about 7-8cm (3”) to encourage new growth
- When it reaches 15-18cm(7”) again, it is time to plant your baby avocado tree
- Remove from water and carefully remove the toothpicks
Time to Pot your Tree
If your climate zone does not get below 50ºF (10ºC)at any time during the year, you can consider growing your avocado tree outdoors.
Things you will need:
- Potting soil
- Some river rock
- A terra cotta or clay pot – 20-25cm (8-10”) diameter-makes sure pot is deep enough to accommodate the roots without injury
Place some river rock in the bottom of your clay pot for drainage. Hold your avocado seedling centred inside the pot, being careful not to break the roots and fill the pot with potting soil, gently packing the soil, leaving the top ½ portion of the seed exposed-this will prevent the roots from rotting.
- Keep your baby avocado tree hydrated- brown leave mean not enough water, yellow leaves mean too much water (if too much, let it dry out for 1-2 days)
- When the stem reaches 30cm (12”),pinch out the top two sets of leaves to encourage growth
- Low lighting and/or improper watering create weak stems and branches
- Maintain a constant temperature – keep away from cold breezes
- Do not fertilize for the first year – use a 10-10-10 mixture after that
- Wait until your tree is well-established before planting it in the ground
Tend to your tree regularly; within a few years (3-4), you will have a beautiful, low-maintenance tree. However, avocado trees are slow to bear fruit (5-13 years) so you need to be patient.