Plant Diseases/plants

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Question
Hi.you always helped me in my queries,this time i want to know very tough situation of mine.i have low land approximately 2000 to 3000 metres which is very far from my house and there is nobody to stay there and look my land.i have planted two years back apple there but they are dead and some are dying,main problem there is drought in summer due to hot and monkeys at the time of fruits.Tell me what should i grow there which would yield good money.Do i plant fruit or herb.which fruit is grown there which can overcome above problem or which herb.

Answer
Dear Vivek, I'm not sure how well I can answer this, but let me try.  First, let me say that although I have actually studied monkeys in college (biology and anthropology# I have never actually lived with them, which would be a very different thing.  I found several suggestions.  One that I heard of was to trap one of the monkeys, tie a brightly colored cloth on him #like a tunic) and release him.  He will try to rejoin the other monkeys and they will run off and stay more hidden.  I don't think that will work, and you could get a nasty bite.  Other things I read was that monkeys won't eat the unripe fruit, so that if you picked it early then they wouldn't have a chance to eat it.  However, I think the best idea since this area would be largely untended and also dry, would be to find something that they won't be interested in eating that can go a long time without care or water.  The only two things I could think of were aloe vera and cactus.  I don't think the monkeys will eat the aloe vera, and it might be a good cash crop if you can find a market for it before you plant.  Aloe vera is an ingredient in many products and ointments, so that may be a good crop to consider. Plus they are always reproducing themselves so it would be pretty inexpensive to grow.   The other suggestion, cactus, would be like the prickly pear cactus.  The pads or leaves are edible, and the thorns might keep the monkeys off.  In the United States, the prickly pear pads are called nopales and they can be fried.  We used to eat them with eggs and they are very tasty.  At one time many years ago, I was trying to get an agricultural license to ship prickly pear leaves to India to send to a cousin for food.  There is a variety without thorns that is very good.  I don't know how helpful these suggestions are, but please let me know what you think, and point out any errors in my thinking which would help me improve this answer to you.  Good luck, my friend.  Melissa

Plant Diseases

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Melissa Johnston

Expertise

Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.

Experience

35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Organizations
Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

Publications
none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Education/Credentials
Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of Allexperts.com and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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