Love avocados? You’re not alone – avocado consumption has been on the rise, more than doubling in the decade between 2010 and 2020, and this figure is set to increase even further. Unfortunately, while nutrient-dense avocados may do wonders for your health, they’re having the opposite effect on the environment. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you need to cut this superfood out of your diet – instead, learn about how you can eat avocados in a completely sustainable way.
Why Are Avocados So Bad for the Environment?
Being a fruit, many assume that avocados are environmentally-friendly to grow. When done on a small scale, they are – avocado trees are loved by wildlife, and they’re also great for adding diversity to a home garden.
However, in order to keep up with consumer demand, commercial avocado farming is playing a huge role in deforestation, and has also significantly contributed to climate change. You can’t forget about the food miles involved either when it comes to transporting avocados around the world.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix – start growing your own avocados at home!
Growing Avocados at Home
If you’ve never considered growing your own avocados before, the first thing that you should know is that this is an easy fruit to cultivate. Meet the basic requirements of an avocado tree and you won’t need to do much else throughout the year, other than enjoy the literal fruits of your labour!
While it’s true that avocados grow best in frost-free regions, there are now more varieties than ever out there, and many of them can tolerate a short and light frost.
That said, you don’t necessarily need to keep your avocado tree outside year-round. Avocado trees thrive in large pots, and this enables you to bring your tree either inside or into a greenhouse for the winter, making the fruit accessible to those in colder climates too.
How Many Avocados Does One Tree Produce?
Here’s where it gets shocking – a mature avocado tree could potentially produce up to 300 avocados in one season, although 150 is more of an accurate average. Of course, avocado trees grown in pots and pruned to stay on the smaller side won’t have such heavy yields, but even then, give your tree the best of care and you can still expect a hefty harvest.
Even better, avocados don’t actually start ripening until they’ve been picked. This means that even once your fruits have grown to their full size, you can leave them on the tree for several months, rather than having to deal with an over-abundance of avocados all at once. It’s just like having your very own personal avocado store in the back garden!
Before getting too excited, keep in mind that avocado trees need to be around 10 years old before they can start producing fruit. That said, you won’t need to wait an entire decade – simply look for a tree nursery that’s able to supply you with a mature avocado tree (guess what, you’ve already found one!), and you could be picking your own fruit in just three years time.
Are Avocado Trees Really Worth Growing?
Whether you plant one in your garden or grow a potted avocado tree in your greenhouse, this is a tree that’s most definitely worth growing. Not only will it give you access to fresh avocados throughout the year, without much effort required on your part, but it’ll also save you from contributing to the environmental destruction that commercially grown avocados are responsible for.