Did you ever get the feeling you were being watched? As I was looking around and taking pictures, I kept getting this strange feeling and hearing scratching noises. I turned a corner and suddenly found myself face to face with 20 or so rabbits! I guess they thought I was there to feed them because they got pretty excited. I saw that their droppings were being used to fertilize the plants and trees. Rabbit manure is special because it is higher in available nitrogen than other manures, and it can be applied directly to plants without first being composted, unlike poultry, cattle, or horse manures.
Another interesting thing I noticed was that instead of just bark or wood chips, Mr. Texas is using a living mulch of watermelon plants under his trees. This is a great example of the permaculture principle of "stacking", or getting more than one crop out of the same space. He said that this was his first year to try it, but that he was getting 30+ pound watermelons, and that the best have been the Black Diamond variety. I'm definitely going to have to try it next year. I love melons.
All or nearly all of Mr. Texas' citrus trees are t-budded on flying dragon rootstocks, which he grows from seeds collected from a mature flying dragon tree in his front yard. A year or two ago he told me his method for growing rootstocks is to just plant a bunch of seeds (50 or so) in a 3 gallon pot and grow them for a year. The following winter he will separate them into individual pots, and grow them until they are big enough to graft.
I perused his unique collection of rare citrus, persimmons, pomegranates, blackberries, and other trees, and admired his grafts until a clap of thunder said it was time to go. Before I left I picked up a Cocktail grapefruit, a Sanguinelli blood orange, and a Clementine de Nules. I plan to add budwood from the sanguinelli to my multiple-variety blood orange tree, add Cocktail grapefruit to my Republic of Texas orange tree, and use the Clementine de Nules as a seed parent for future attempts at citrus hybridization. I'm just sorry I couldn't get the tour from Mr. Texas himself. Perhaps on a future trip.