Juan Miguel Reyes grows avocados the size of small children.
From his humble avocado farm in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, this farmer says he has cracked the code for making an avocado large enough to feed a small village. This year, three of his trees each grew fruit that weighed between 25 and 52 pounds. What’s his secret?
We asked soil scientist Todd Weathers to weigh in. Weathers said he believes one major factor is the volcanic soil. After all, the farm Reyes owns sits near the base of the Tequila Volcano. “As volcanic material breaks down into the soil, it creates some of the most fertile grounds in the world,” Weathers told us. The volcanic soil, combined with sunny weather and great rainfall this year, were a trifecta, yielding above-average — even giant! — fruit. Ask Reyes, though, and he insists it was his secret ingredient that pushed his mega-avocados over the top.
“I play classical music at least twice a day,” the farmer revealed. His son, who helps him on the farm, started playing it on a small boom box while he would tend the avocado trees. Within a few months, Reyes had grown his first 10-pounder. He tested his theory by bringing out two additional boom boxes to help amplify the sound. Sure enough, he had fruit averaging 25 pounds, with one extra-large avocado growing per tree. He wired a sound system for his whole farm soon after.
Reyes knows it sounds unbelievable, but he’s dedicated to his theory. “I’ve tested out different composers and genres and tested their effects on the trees.” The results? Baroque music made them shed leaves, and pop music had them rejecting the fruit before it was fully-grown. “I think my trees prefer traditional classics, like Haydn and Mozart and you don’t get much more classic than Mozart.” Reyes, who has become quite the expert, adds, “Can’t say I blame them.”
What’s a guy to do with a 52 -pound avocado? Reyes hopes that eventually, his gargantuan avocados can be used to help feed people who don’t have enough to eat. And you couldn’t pick a better fruit to the do the job. Avocados are a nutrient-dense food contributing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and other nutritional benefits. Plus, in Mexico, avocados grow year-round, so Reyes expects to be pumping out super-size fruit all four seasons of the year. In the meantime, Reyes plans on celebrating his record-breaking avo by throwing a party for the people of Tequila. “I’ll be making the biggest bowl of guacamole and chips this city has ever seen,” he says.
Of course, this story wouldn’t be possible without the help of the first day of April, also known as April Fools’ Day!