Dragon Fruit in Indian River: Great Alternative Crop
Citrus greening is making citrus production very challenging and expensive. Many growers in Florida are looking for high value alternative crop with same or even higher profit compare to citrus. One tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central and South America has gained attention recently. Pitaya (genus Hylocereus, also known as dragon fruit), is a climbing-vine cactus species. Nowadays pitaya is a very popular fruit in United States and its unique taste, appearance and health benefits (rich in antioxidant) increased its popularity at high-end restaurants. Pitaya can be eaten fresh or processed into juice, desserts, jam, ice cream, cocktails and wine.
Today I visited a pitaya farm in Vero Beach, FL that is owned by a Chinese family. Unfortunately, the man that was in charge of the farm was not able to speak English, so I came back with just some great pictures of the farm. I also found that they ship all fruits to New York where they will be sold. If you are interested in pitaya (dragon fruit), you can find a great information about pitaya production in this link.