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Magnificent Mangoes
Papa PapayaIs it possible that agriculture in the future will owe a huge debt to a single mango tree?

The day that a botanical soap was first used on a mango tree should be remembered as a fiesta for plants the world over, and the tree should be preserved on permanent display.

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Quick Look
This story is not very long, but it is far too important to grab in a Quick Look.

If you love plants, innovation, new discoveries, food,
and/or are in any way fascinated with the concept
that we do not have to poison ourselves in order to survive,
you are going to love this story.

Then know this.
As wonderful  as it is,
the saga continues,
for it has only just begun.
Magnificent Mangoes
Mango Magnificence -- How an experiment on a single mango tree may have sparked an agricultural revolution.

Mike in Southeast Florida had a problem. He loved mangoes. He even had a mango tree.  A big one.  What he Mangoes are to be enjoyed. Often. Much. did not have was much success at growing mangoes and keeping them on the tree long enough to ripen so that he could enjoy them.

To this day, we are still a little unsure what epiphany he had or what kind of twisted logic made him think the way he did. But what he did was so radical and the results so extraordinary that the outcome has changed the way plants will be raised far into the future.

It started with a soap.  Back in 2002, a Florida based company was perfecting a formulation of a completely non-toxic botanically based multi-use heavyweight liquid degreaser that could replace most, if not all, of the toxic cleaning chemicals that people ordinarily use around the house but that also put themselves and their families at cumulative risk.

Knowledge of this degreaser product  was spreading quietly, mostly by word of mouth, where Mike happened to hear about it. Now how one makes the major leap of logic -- and faith -- to go from a battleship strength industrial degreasing formula to horticultural applications is still a little fuzzy and puzzling. Maybe it was the black crud that Mike saw covering his mango tree. He might have reasoned that a degreaser might be strong enough to wash it off the branches, stems, and leaves, allowing the tree to function more normally. He said at the time that his tree was in such bad shape he felt he had nothing to lose.

He knew the liquid soap he was contemplating, powerful as it was at really dissolving grease,  was safe enough that it posed no risk to him or anyone else if there were any overspray. Maybe that was the math that equated applying soap on a living, growing plant with the idea that the plant would go on living and growing, only perhaps better.

So he tried it.  He diluted the product he had (which today has now
been specially formulated to enhance its ability to help plants), and he sprayed his tree top to bottom.  Really soaked it. And he repeated it several times off and on over the ensuing weeks.

With nothing to go on, he was shooting instinctively toward a goal, yet he had neither guidance nor assurance that the results would be positive. What happened was so over the top that he could hardly believe it.

Mango tree in full bloom. Looks like Christmas!First off, his big tree cleaned up quite a bit. Then, his tree blossomed earlier and better than it ever had before. It was so incredibly covered with blooms that he had people stopping, staring, and taking pictures as if his tree were a major stop on a Christmas parade of homes. [Click pictures to enlarge.]

MIke's Mango Tree wweighed down with fruit

And then the fruit came. Not just scattered spots of fruit as in years past, but LOTS and LOTS of precious mangoes hung from nearly every branch on the tree.
And they stayed on. And they got bigger. His neighbors' did not.

Medium closeup of Mike's mango tree covered in fruit here.
Closer view of Mike's mango tree covered in fruit here.
[Click here and here for more mango tree pictures similar to Mike's.]

Mike's first neighbor.Mike's second neighbor

Mike's third neighbor
Mike's fourth neighbor's mango trees.

Then one night a no name wind storm came. Big storm. Big wind. As high as some 70 mph and lasted for several hours. Mike was heartsick at the thought of all that beautiful fruit, those luscious mangoes, being blown off the tree and lost forever. He dreaded what he would find in the morning.

What he saw in the daylight made him ill. Everywhere he looked, his neighbors' trees were devastated with virtually all the fruit completely blown off the stems.

But HIS tree was another story. He couldn't tell for sure, because of the hundreds of mangoes that had been on the tree before the storm, but it appeared that he had lost no more than perhaps 20%! Upon closer examination as to why, he discovered that the stems attaching the fruit on his tree were thicker and stronger than they had been in previous years and certainly more so than his neighbors' poor trees. And the only difference was the soap he had used on a whim that today, across the world, is being used in various formulations by thankful farmers and gardeners with similar fantastic results.

To be honest, Mike and hundreds, even thousands more like him, are still astounded by what happens when a line of 100% non-toxic, carcinogen-mutagen-cytogen-free, botanically based, biodegradable liquid soap products meet seeds, bulbs, rootings, soil, and living, growing plants. The outcomes are being called miraculous. You would get no argument from Mike. And, if plants really could talk, you would get no dissent from them either. Clean plants ARE happy plants, " . . . because cleaner plants do better in the dirt."SM

They really do.  Big time. Ask Mike. Ask his mangoes.

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