Panoramic Fruit Company
Exotic fruit grown in the hills of Puerto Rico
Each year, availability is determined by the rainy season, which usually starts in April or May. This causes the flowering and then helps us to time the harvest. Typically, my harvest of mangosteens, rambutan and durian starts anywhere from the beginning of July to the middle of August and goes for 7 to 12 weeks.

Current availability

November 30, 2017

Hurricane Maria

As you can see below, predicting the default by the government of Puerto Rico was like saying winter will be colder than the summer. What I could not have predicted the timing of but which I always knew was a possibility was the devastation that would result from a direct hit by a powerful hurricane. On September 20, 2017, much of Puerto Rico was raked by devastating winds over 140 mph at sea level, much higher speeds in the mountains and rainfall measured in feet. Very little of the island was spared and that sadly includes my farm of 23 years. All of my people survived, their homes largely escaped the worst although one person lost his roof (since repaired) and the days and weeks that have followed have shined a light on the remnants of a leveled infrastructure. At first, blocked roads, no gasoline deliveries or food in stores meant everyone had to scramble. Potable water became scarce and people took risks just to get enough to be able to flush toilets and try to drink what they could find; they gambled this collected water was okay.

I am writing to say that I lost most of my farm; high percentages of fruit trees like rambutan and durian and mangosteen were either blown over or blown away without a trace. Some of the trees blown over might have been saved but the farm was not accessible for days and my people had one objective; take care of their own needs first. This is how it should be. My farm is blessed with a very old cistern that has been providing potable water for a very long time and it became a critical resource for many. Any and all who could get to this cistern were welcomed, this is what water is for if you have any- sharing.

This next month, December, I will be on site to do an assessment of whether I can continue. I am too old to take out another loan. I also have 6 wonderful people who have been with me for years  and who have gotten me to this point by working so hard and so well together. I am trying to figure out if I can continue past this year and am putting out a request for any individual or company interested in having me use this crew, this land and this tropical climate to grow coffee under contract. I first went to Puerto Rico to grow coffee, got sidetracked by commercializing tropical rare fruit and now, 23 years later, find myself looking for help. If not coffee, then tell me what you are thinking. It could be cacao or even medicinal plants or...

Please contact me if this is something you want to discuss further. I have always taken my own path without partners but now find myself trying to save 6 jobs and a farm in an area where there are no other jobs or much likelihood of there being any for many months or even longer. The exodus away from Puerto Rico was already underway before Maria and now is a full blown flight. The government can not fix something this massive and which requires huge capital inflows to repair. They could not take care of their whole country or its people before Hurricane Maria and now, they even more desperately need massive infusions just to avoid further degradation, loss of life and loss of a way of life, destruction of the environment and fouling of the adjacent seas. This disaster will not go away, these Americans need help and this is a legacy that can be created with pride or tainted by politicians for its failures and apathy like Katrina. These are humans, not constituents, who need help.

April 24, 2016

Looking at my 2015 notes, it is interesting to peruse the trends and changes from last year. The government is headed toward a cliff and has little choice but to default. The odd weather is giving us a small break and the main crops look good for a change. First time in 6 years. Luck? That said, the rambutan are flowering in a very staggered pattern and this is both good and bad. There will be a long season but amounts per week will be reduced. The mangosteen crop is large and just needs to clear the next few hurdles and make it to completion the latter part of July and through all of August. The rambutan harvest will also start the end of July but run into September, the peak of the hurricane season. There are incipient signs of the breaking up and reversing of the El Niño and depending on when this is plays out, it will have a possible impact on the duration and intensity of the second half of the hurricane season for 2016. But I am not a meteorologist, just speculating. The durian crop looks very good and will be spread out over maybe a month, starting the middle of July. Those interested can call but, not yet!

April 1, 2015

The way things are going in Puerto Rico, posting this on April Fool's Day seems about right. The economy and government are creating unknowns for everyone. For the last 5 years, the weather in Puerto Rico in general has been changing and not in good ways. Weather extremes of both rainfall amount and timing (wet season to dry season and back), unusual highs and lows within weeks of each other... this is the pattern, the new normal. Weather volatility is increasing, putting at risk all of the food grown inside Puerto Rico. And elsewhere.

Rambutan will begin to appear at the end of July (I think!), mangosteens are going to be in August and longan will all be very late, first fruit appearing in August. Durian is more or less starting the end of July and running through August and possibly into September. The durian crop could be the largest one ever.


For information on what might be available at any time of the year, please call Robert Luciano, sales manager, at (787) 672-2134. There may be small quantities of unusual fruit like the jackfruit, Rollinia, abiu and others that sometimes appear during the off-season.