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Extending Postharvest Life of Fresh Fruit: Harvest at the Right Time

Echoes from our Network: Homegarden Agroforestry

From ECHO's Seed Bank: Chipilín

Books, Websites, and Other Resources: CTA publicationsCVM publications, and App Translation


Homegarden Agroforestry

Michael Cooley

The term homegarden is used in the context of agroforestry. Kumar and Nair (2004) describe it as “intimate, multi-story combinations of various trees and crops, sometimes in association with domestic animals, around homesteads.” They mention village forest gardens as another term referring to the same concept. Homegarden systems are intensely maintained, multi-level systems that fit well in rural village communities.

Harvest at the Right Time

Tim Motis and Stacy Swartz

Farmers growing fruit and fruit-bearing vegetables are often faced with the challenge of selling or eating produce before it spoils. Extending the time over which fruit can be eaten or sold after they are harvested is a complex topic. In later issues of ECHO Development Notes we will touch on appropriate options for reducing spoilage while storing and transporting fruit. In this article, however, we focus on the importance of harvesting at the right time. We will start by explaining underlying concepts of fruit development and ripening behavior that influence the timing of fruit harvest. We will then discuss ways to help you decide when to harvest tomatoes and a few commonly-grown tropical fruit. 


Andrea Guzmán Abril, Dietitian of Project CAN (Culinary, Agriculture, Nutrition)

Chipilín (Crotalaria longirostrata) is native to southern Mexico and Central America. This species of Crotalaria is a popular food plant in countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador (Morton, 1994). It is probably the species of the genus Crotalaria most used as food. The young leaves and shoots are consumed, either alone or mixed with other foods. It grows in humid soils, open slopes, and is commonly planted in fields and gardens.