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5 Things About Avocado

Avocados are one of those things that you either love or hate.
They are extremely multi-purpose and can be used as a spread, in cakes and mousses and more …
The oils can be used in beauty products (i.e. think avocado oil based massage oils and creams).

And … Avocado is one of the many foods now classed as a “Super Food” (personally that phrase is a bit irritating as it seems to apply to any real food that hasn’t been modifed / GMO’d)

5 Things about why Avocados are so good for you

  • Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving. [1]
  • Avocados are low in sugar. [1]
  • Avocados are a “good fat” [1] (which helps boost “brain health”) and full of antioxidants [1] [2] [3] These antioxidants help protect against stress and oxidation. [2]
  • Avocados can assist in the prevention osteoarthritis. Half of an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin K, a nutrient that is often overlooked, but which is essential for bone health. [4]
  • Improved Digestion. Despite the deceiving appearance of the avocado – it is actually quite high in fibre which assists in healthy digestive processes. [4]

So … we all know there are lots and lots more reasons to have avocado (you can keep looking and find out heaps more – I am sure!). So … are you wanting to grow some of your own on your homestead?

Growing Avocado on Your Homestead

The beauty is that we can do this cheaply.
Next time that you are in the supermarket or at the local farmer’s market (even better!) get a heap of avocados.

  • When you eat each Avocado save the seed
    (be careful not to cut the pit when you go to enjoy your Avocado. A bit of a line on the brown skin of the seed is ok, but you don’t want to cut deep into the seed underneath this)
  • Clean the seed
    Getting wash off any bits of avocado still left on the seed.
  • Get the seed the “right way up” and then pierce with 3 toothpicks
    This is not always easy. Most of the time the seeds will have a pointy end and a flatter end.
    The pointier end is the top and the flatter end is the bottom.
    When you add the toothpicks place them in the bottom half of the seed and put them on an angle pointing upward.
  • Add water to a glass or jar and site the avocado (with toothpicks) so that the bottom is in the water.

Now wait …

  • Check the water each day and ensure that the water remains touching the bottom of the seed.
  • Change the water each week so that it doesn’t get stinky / mouldy etc.
  • After 3 – 6 weeks there should be both roots from the bottom and a sprout coming out of the top of the seed (the seed will crack where the sprout comes out)
  • Once it gets 10cm tall transplant the seed into a pot. Greenhouse the pot with plastic (or part of a soft drink bottle).
  • After 2 – 3 weeks begin to “harden off” the plant and get it used to being “outdoors”
  • After a few months transfer it to a large pot plant or half olive barrel.
  • When the plant is large enough (and you have a permanent position for it) then transplant it into the ground.

 

Avocados can take 7 years or more to properly “fruit”.
You need to be mindful of this in your planning of your Homestead.
I recommend planting more than you need so that you have extras (we lost a couple in Year 3 – devastating!) for potential loss and also for income potential.

References:
[1]      Web MD – Everything You Need to Know About Avocados
[2]     Mind, Body, Green – 9 More Reasons You Should Eat Avocados Every Day
[3]     South African University Research Study – Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (Avocado) leaf aqueous extract in mice
[4]    Avocados: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

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